Saving Money With a Homemade Drip Irrigation System

flower bed

Flowerbeds filled with attractive flowers and other plants can add beauty to the outside of homes and buildings. Once everything is growing, though, it needs to be watered in order to stay alive and keep adding beauty to the home and yard. Many people invest in a garden hose and a sprinkler, or a soaker hose, to do the watering. While these work well, this isn’t the most efficient way to keep the flowerbeds watered. A drip irrigation system is inexpensive to make, it takes less effort to water the flowerbeds, it is better for the plants and it uses less water to get the job done.

That last should be explained. In the heat of the summer, especially during the daytime, when you use a sprinkler a huge amount of the water evaporates before it even hits the ground. This is the reason people should water at night or in the early morning, before temperatures reach their hottest. Also, being watered from above, particularly when the sun is shining on the plants, can cause the leaves to burn as the rays of sunlight are intensified. This is the same principle that causes swimmers to sunburn easily if they get wet and then lay out in the sun to dry off. Watering plants from below is much better for the plants, because the sun’s rays aren’t intensified, but more of the water is able to sink down to the roots, where the plants can use it.

Making a drip irrigation system is simple. I’ll give an example of how it is done for a 24 foot flowerbed. This can be adjusted for different lengths.

What you will need is three 8-foot lengths of 3/4 inch PVC pipe, two couplers, one end cap,  one female connector and some PVC cement.

Lay the PVC pipe in the flowerbeds, end to end, and mark it where it lays close to bushes or plants that will need the most water. This is to give you an idea of where the holes should be. Alternately, mark every six inches down the length of the pipe. Next, drill an eighth inch hole where the marks are, down the length of the pipes, on the top of each pipe.

Next, use the couplers and the PVC glue to connect the three pipes together, making sure that the drilled holes are on the top of the pipes, so they are aligned. Also glue the end cap on one end of the three pipes and the female connector on the other. Allow the glue to dry completely, then simply put the pipe in place. It can be buried or left on the surface; that part is up to you. I prefer having it buried, but that is simply my preference because even more of the water is conserved.

To use the drip irrigation system, connect one end of the garden hose to the faucet and the other end to the connector on the pipes, then turn on the water. The best part about this is that you can leave the water on all the time, until you need the hose for something else. Incidentally, my local cost for making this 24 foot drip system would be less than $20. This could even be adapted for gardens.

This is a more efficient way to water the flowerbeds and to have more of the water actually getting to the plant roots rather than evaporating. This means that less water is used, which can save quite a bit of money, depending on how much you pay for water in your location.




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