Do you get frustrated by having to hand water your vegetable garden each season? Before I had kids it wasn’t too difficult, but now it can be a struggle to find the time to water. Especially when I have to wait until it cools down, which typically is around dinner and bedtime for my kiddos. This year, I told my husband I don’t want to lose any more crops due to my lack of time management skills! To solve my problem, he set up a busy girl irrigation system for our garden. Read on for a busy girls guide to automatic garden irrigation and how to establish an automatic watering system to reduce your time watering, and keep those fabulous veggies alive!
A few other reasons we decided on an automatic irrigation system include:
Where we live in California, it is vital to water our crops on a regular basis, as we do not get rain throughout the summer. Also, the summer temperatures can sometimes reach the 110-degree range! An irrigation system is better to use than sprinklers. Sprinklers do not allow water to get to the root, often spraying the leaves instead, which can cause fungus or disease.
Our garden currently has three 4’X16’ and two 4’X8’ raised planter boxes. This location was previously used as a small pasture for horses. Due to this, there are only two hose bibs on either side of the space and no convenient irrigation leading to the actual planter boxes. I did not want to have permanent irrigation lines run, as I may need to adjust my raised bed boxes differently in the future.
With all of this in mind, we set-up the following irrigation system. All I have to do now to water my garden, is turn on the hose bib! Boom! Busy girl win!
This is what we needed to establish the irrigation system for a single 4’ x 16’ planter box:
- 32 feet of 5/8” drip line
- 4 5/8” elbow connectors
- 16 bubblers
- 1 5/8” hose connector
- 1 5/8” pressure end cap
- 6 5/8” clamp stakes
Cut the drip line into four pieces (2 pieces 14’ long and 2 pieces 2’ long).
Using the elbow connectors, join the four pieces into a rectangular shape approximately 14’ x 2’. This will lay in the center of the planter box. Use the clamp stakes to secure the drip line to the ground, one at each corner and one at the hose connector and end cap.
Install the bubblers every two feet along the drip line. I installed 1 bubbler on each short end of the rectangle and 7 bubblers on each long side. This is done by poking a small hole in the drip line and pushing the bubbler into the line.
Find the spot where you will tie your water source into the drip system. Cut the drip line at this spot and install both the end cap and the hose connector. Connect your hose to the drip line and you’re all set!
When the bubblers are open, they will spray a radius of approximately 1ft. With the above spacing, this will ensure that the entire planter box is sufficiently watered.
Sufficient water equals happy plants! Happy plants equal bigger harvests! Bigger harvests…well, you get the picture! Happy gardening my friends!