Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Micro Irrigation Installation

Now that you have your equipment and plan in place, it is time to install your micro irrigation system.  An hour before you plan on starting lay the roll of 3/4 inch poly tubing out in the sun.  It will be much easier to work with if it has softened.

You can attach the system directly to the faucet or you can attach it to your hose when the system is needed.  If you want to use a timer attach it to the faucet, then attach the backflow preventer and the pressure regulator.

Irrigation In The Garden

The pressure regulator has a compression fitting on the end.  Use that fitting to connect the 3/4" poly tubing.  Lay the poly tubing in the garden in proximity to the planting areas.  There is an array of T and cross shaped connecters that can be used.  These also use the pressure fittings.

When I installed my first system the poly tubing came in black and the vinyl tubing was green.  Now you can buy these in many colors to match your garden environment.  The same is true of the risers.

Riser With Sprinkler Head

Now decide where you need to attach the 1/4 inch vinyl tubing to the poly tubing.  Use the hole punch to push a hole into the vinyl tubing.  Attach the risers, bubblers or drip heads to the poly tubing by pressing their connector into the hole you made.

If you punch a hole by mistake just use a goof plug to repair it.  You can also reconfigure your layout in the future by plugging unneeded holes with the goof plugs (love the name).

If you are using a riser you can attach many types of spray heads:  full circle, 1/2 circle, 1/4 circle.  There seems to be more types available each time I go to the store.

An Array Of Sprinkler Heads

When done crimp the end of the poly tubing.  There is a simple plastic piece for doing this.

Turn the water on low to test the system.  Even with the pressure regulator it is possible to blow parts of the system off by turning the water on full blast.

You will need to run the system for 45 minutes every other day.  In Florida's intense heat when there is no rain, I need to run my systems every day.

Once or twice a years flush the system by removing the crimper on the end of the 3/4" poly tubing and letting water to run through.  This will remove any hard water build ups or dirt that has gotten into the system.

I have found that my micro irrigation systems have saved me money on my water bill during the growing season, plus it has reduced my problems with fungus by reducing the amount of water hitting the leaves.

Good luck with setting up your own micro irrigation system.  You'll find that your garden maintenance is much easier and enjoyable.

God bless,

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