- Drip irrigation. general information
- Selection of materials and equipment
- Putting together a drip irrigation system
Nowadays, drip irrigation systems are gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional irrigation methods. What it is, what are their advantages and how you can make them yourself is described in this article..
With the arrival of spring, many problems arise for gardeners. One of the main ones is the arrangement or repair of the plant watering system. Without watering, there will be no harvest. Everyone would like this, undoubtedly, the most important operation to take up as little time and effort as possible, which is always lacking..
The easiest way to make watering easier is to make a summer water supply. To do this, it is advisable to install a storage tank in which the water will be heated until the time of use, lay pipes to the points of water intake, install taps, splitters, and lay hoses. The resulting system will greatly simplify the irrigation process, you can even install sprinklers and all you need to do is just turn the desired tap. Then everything will happen in automatic mode, but exactly until the moment when this valve needs to be closed. From this, the first problem of such a system becomes clear – the need for constant control, which means mandatory presence, in fact, everyday. But what if you need to leave for a few days? In addition to this problem, such a system has a number of disadvantages:
- Alternating periods of waterlogging and drying out of the soil. Indeed, the earth is wet only during watering, and in order for the plants to have enough moisture for the whole day, they have to bring it in with an excess. After water is absorbed, a dry crust forms on the soil surface, which must be broken periodically, which is also quite unpleasant for plants.
- Excessive consumption of water. With traditional watering, the entire area of the beds is irrigated with water, and not just the zone of the plant itself. This leads not only to increased water consumption, but also favorable for the growth of weeds in beds with cultivated plants..
- Risk of damage to plants. Firstly, intensive watering erodes the soil and can, thereby, expose the root system, which is detrimental to the crops grown. Secondly, the wrong time for watering – for example, when the sun is still active enough, can lead, due to the drops forming the lenses, to the plants getting sunburn.
How to achieve effective irrigation of plants and at the same time avoid these problems? The best way to install a drip irrigation system on your site.
Drip irrigation. general information
A drip irrigation system is a complex consisting of main pipelines through which water is supplied to the beds, and polyethylene pipelines or hoses with built-in droppers (emitters), or drip tapes. During the operation of such a system, water is supplied to the plants directly into the root area. This creates a zone of stable moisture around the plants in accordance with its water demand throughout the growing season. Water consumption for drip irrigation is 2–5 times less than with traditional methods. In addition, when fertilizers are dissolved in the supplied water, the required amount of nutrients for feeding is reduced by several times, since all this is supplied together with water directly to the root zone of each plant. Moisture is supplied in ultra-small quantities, therefore it does not require pre-heating, which is mandatory, for example, for watering cucumbers, zucchini and many other plants.
Drip irrigation is currently successfully used in open and greenhouse vegetable growing and horticulture. For perennial plantings or gardening, as a rule, polyethylene pipes or hoses with droppers are used. They can be used for several years. For annual plants, it is rational to use drip tapes. They, in turn, can be either disposable – used during one season, or reusable – washed and rolled up after the end of the watering season..
The following will describe how you can make an inexpensive do-it-yourself drip irrigation system..
Selection of materials and equipment
For the correct calculation of the drip irrigation system, the following points must be taken into account:
- The area of the irrigated area. Generally speaking, such a system can work effectively both on large areas of several hectares, and on small ones, on the order of one hundred square meters. When calculating the required number of drip pipes or tapes, the drip spacing must be taken into account. When using tapes with a pitch of 50 cm, the distance between the rows should also be 50 cm. This, by the way, is the maximum possible distance. On sale, you can find tapes with a pitch of 10 cm to 50 cm.When a dense planting, for example, carrots, the distance between the droppers and, accordingly, between the rows should be minimal.
- Water intake type – well, borehole, open reservoir or container. If you connect the drip irrigation system to the existing water supply, then the costs for the entire complex will be minimal, since you do not need a pumping station and a filter – mandatory elements for supplying water from an open reservoir, and you will not need a filter required when connecting to a storage tank – the tanks have an unpleasant property of siltation, which can lead to clogging of droppers.
- Characteristics of the soil and the type of planted plants. The main characteristic of the tape is the water consumption – 0.5 l / h, 0.75 l / h, 1.0 l / h and 2 l / h. Depending on the type of soil and moisture-loving plants, the tape is selected.
All these points are taken into account at the stage of buying a tape and sales consultants should help you with this..
After the main element has been selected, the required number of supply pipes is calculated (HDPE pipes are best suited), connecting fittings, taps and other necessary equipment.
Putting together a drip irrigation system
1. Install the plastic pipe. Since HDPE is afraid of ultraviolet radiation, it will need to be covered. It is best to bury it in the ground. It is necessary to provide for the possibility of draining water from the system in the fall, otherwise the water remaining in the pipes for the winter can break the walls of the water supply system. To do this, all pipes are laid at a slope, a pit is equipped in the lower part, and a drain valve is installed in it – all that needs to be done now is to open this tap in the fall, and the rest of the water will merge into the pit on the slope..
2. Make holes in the pipe to fit the size of the fitting through the required distance. There are as many holes as planned rows. We make holes in any convenient way.
3. Insert the fitting into the holes. They will be joined by drip tape.
4. The end of the tape can be fixed as follows: cut off a piece of tape and put it on the wrapped end.
5. We do this for each row. We lay out the ribbons in the garden.
6. We connect the pipe to the water source. It is clear that by this time all the necessary work to ensure its supply and cleaning has been carried out.
7. Different belts can be designed for different pressures. Make sure that the pressure in your system does not exceed the recommended one. Install the gearbox if necessary. We open the water supply tap smoothly – the belts should straighten themselves. That’s it, the drip irrigation system is ready to use.