If you don’t want to spend a lot of time watering your garden with a hose or watering can, a drip irrigation system is for you. Drip irrigation systems gradually distribute exactly as much water as you need at any given time, leaving more time for yourself in the evening.
When you’re going on vacation, you won’t have to worry about anything else. Thanks to the drip irrigation system, everything is regulated automatically, and you’ll find your garden wonderfully fresh after your vacation and notice significant savings in water costs.
The Best Drip Irrigation System for Garden
The precision watering system delivers just the right amount of water slowly and precisely right where your plant needs it – at the root zone. Contains everything needed for an easy, successful installation.
How To Work Raindrip Automatic Watering Kit?
Buyer’s guide for the drip irrigation systems
This review and guide provide information on some best drip irrigation systems you can find.
There are quite a few manufacturers of drip irrigation systems on the market, and the prices vary greatly. From a pure price point of view, the type of drip irrigation systems can be priced from $21 to $69.
The Best Drip Irrigation Systems For The Money
All our reviews are based exclusively on expert judgments or practical experience with most of the drip irrigation systems we have tested. We strive to make our guide as independent and as detailed as possible.
Drip Irrigation Systems In Comparison
Flantor Garden Irrigation System
Simple installation without the need for digging or plumbing skills. Durable and versatile poly drip watering hose made of low-density polyethylene construction. Rugged, flexible tubing does not deform or swell under the sun and is durable throughout the year.
MIXC 226FT Greenhouse Micro Drip Irrigation Kit
Adjusting individual settings
Comes with 15 misting nozzles +10 adjustable drippings +5 sprinklers. Every 360° rotating water spray nozzle could be adjusted individually according to its setting and needs. Simply turn the drip irrigation head counter-clockwise to increase the drip flow, or turn the drip head clockwise to decrease the flow. Perfect for decks, patios, greenhouses, gardens, lawns, Perfect for balcony, hanging baskets and vegetable gardens, etc.
Rain Bird LNDDRIPKIT Drip Irrigation Landscape & Garden Watering Kit
Maximum water savings
Attaches easily to an outside faucet or hose with included connections to regulate pressure, prevent backflow, and filter sediment. The three essentials for a Drip system to operate properly. Includes drippings and 1/4” tubing for spot watering of individual plants; micro-sprays and bumblers for widely spaced plants. Tubing’s unique micro-porous construction expands over fittings then shrinks to create ultra-tight connections that are virtually impossible to remove without cutting.
What are drip irrigation systems?
An irrigation system is used in the garden to make it much easier to water the plants. Irrigation can be designed for the garden by an appropriate system and, if desired, can be done automatically – for example using a timer or with sensors and computers – or turned on manually.
A drip irrigation system is divided:
- Manual drip irrigation system
For irrigation with an integrated system, the water supply must be adjusted manually. The advantage here is that watering is only done when needed and the amount of water can be controlled. The disadvantage here is that there is no watering in the absence of watering. In addition, irrigation still involves effort.
- Digital water timers
A timed watering system is very simple compared to manual controls. Plants are watered at the same time daily or weekly. Therefore, there is very little effort involved.
The disadvantage of this is that the amount of water does not match the current needs. Even if it has just rained, the plants are watered again. In a greenhouse, balcony, or terrace where rainfall is not expected, this is certainly a positive thing.
- Automated irrigation system
Automated irrigation systems or computer-controlled irrigation systems are more expensive but have some advantages. These include the fact that the water supply does not need to be adjusted manually and therefore requires minimal effort. However, irrigation is regulated by the appropriate measuring sensors.
If it has just rained, or if the ground is still wet enough, the irrigation system will not be activated. This saves water, prevents overwatering, and waters the plants correctly.
What Are The Types Of Drip Irrigation Systems?
A very simple irrigation system consists of hoses through which water flows as needed. If necessary, the tap can simply be turned on. There are different types of irrigation systems, which can basically be divided into three groups.
There are some drip irrigation systems are available:
- Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation is installed over or near individual plants or planters and provides an easy but economical supply of water. Water is released near the roots, which reduces evaporation. That’s why it’s so easy to conserve water. It is also suitable for freestanding plants and plants that cannot be watered from above.
- Sprinklers and sprinklers
They distribute water over a large area and are therefore ideal for lawns, dense beds, or for watering large areas.
Sprinklers or retractable sprinklers: these are basically a combination of sprinklers and drip irrigation. Sprinklers can be placed over plants, such as in a greenhouse. They distribute water evenly over a large area and are especially suitable for plants that need high humidity.
Retractable sprinklers are sprinklers that can disappear into the ground when not in use, so they are not a tripping hazard.
What should you look for when buying drip irrigation systems?
All plants need attention, even in small areas, and above all regular watering. At first, it sounds quite simple, but in the stress of everyday life, you forget about it quite quickly.
When buying should pay attention to the following:
A good model should purposely output and distribute water evenly.
- Operation and setup
The operation or installation of the irrigation system should be as clear and simple as possible.
- Handling and assembly
The design of the irrigation system should be done annually and the assembly should be simple.
- Customization parameters
The number of setup options available can determine how versatile it is.
- Quality of workmanship and materials
For the longevity of an irrigation system, quality must of course be as high as possible.
- Re-commissioning after the winter
To avoid damage to the sprinkler system in the winter, it must be removed from the garden or balcony and stored in a frost-free room. Water must be removed from the hose beforehand.
If in spite of these precautions, the damage is found when restarting after winter, of course, there will be deductions in the inspection and comparison.
How to choose the right drip irrigation?
Drip irrigation on the garden plot not only saves water resources but also significantly increases yields. It provides a timely flow of moisture directly to the roots of plants. In this case, leaves do not get burned because of water droplets, the spread of phytosanitary diseases is reduced, soil erosion is prevented. Among other things, such a system can work by itself, without our presence. It’s always tempting to replace hard and painstaking work with relaxation!
Having realized all the usefulness of this device, it does not prevent understanding properly its structure. So then make the right choice in favor of the system that is suitable for our garden! So let’s proceed.
Types of drip irrigation
The principle of operation of all drip systems is quite simple. Through special pipes laid out on the plot, life-giving moisture comes directly to the roots of each individual plant. The simplest version of drip irrigation, which can be arranged without much trouble yourself, is a system by which the water to the watering points is supplied by gravity from the tank. Such a system is suitable for beds, remote from the tank for a short distance. For longer irrigation lines you will have to use a pump.
Drip irrigation is very easy to install using special plastic connectors – fittings, and in the fall it can be disassembled and removed until the next gardening season.
There are two options for the device of drip irrigation in the homestead – with drip lines or on the basis of drip tape.
This is probably the most correct way of drip irrigation. It implies that along the rows of plants laid an irrigation line – a rigid PVC hose, which has resistance to UV. In it on the place of planting, using a drill with a suitable diameter, make a hole for fixing the remote drip. Thus, the place of its installation determines yourself. The drip can be installed under each plant or with the help of a mini-branch to serve several bushes (usually 2 or 4).
Remote droppers can vary significantly in their characteristics. Some allow you to regulate the flow of liquid by turning the cap. Such droppers are called adjustable droppers. Non-adjustable ones give out a certain amount of water per unit time – 2, 4, or 8 liters per hour.
Compensated remote droppers provide a uniform watering of each plant, regardless of the length of the belt and irregularities in the terrain. They are less sensitive to contamination, but they are not suitable for gravity systems. Uncompensated drip heads should be used to irrigate small beds with no slope from the tank.
In some of the simplest gravity drip irrigation systems, there is no drip as a separate element, and the spike acts as an uncompensated drip, as in its base has a maze to slow and stabilize the water flow.
A drip tape is a thin polyethylene sleeve in which there are holes at an equal distance, through which water flows evenly to the roots. Typically, such a drip system is used to water linear beds with plants planted at equal distances from each other. It is quite simple to install, but it is not durable and robust. The time of its use depends on the thickness of the hose – in general, this system can last 1-3 years. During operation, fittings and taps are not replaced, only the tape is replaced.
Drip tapes in turn come in three types:
Inside the slotted tape for drip irrigation, a labyrinth channel is built, which slows the rate of water supply and normalizes its flow, distributing water evenly along the length of the tape. This eliminates the situation where most of the water goes at the beginning of the belt, and the plants that are at the end of the belt actually do not get any moisture. Thin water outlets are cut by laser in the right places. Different manufacturers patent different configurations of the channel, but the essence is the same.
Modern slotted drip tapes have self-cleaning mechanisms. However, they are very sensitive to the degree of purity of the water, so special attention must be paid to its filtration.
The emitter belt uses individual flat droppers, which are embedded inside the belt at a predetermined pitch. Such belts are not equipped with a combined labyrinth channel, so clogging is extremely rare. The turbulent (flow) principle of fluid movement also contributes to the self-cleaning of the inner surfaces.
Emitter drip tape
This is the most expensive model among drip tapes, its cost increases in proportion to the decrease in the pitch between the outlets.
Emitter drip tapes are available in 2 types of drip configurations – uncompensated and compensated.
Uncompensated are suitable for small lengths of the irrigation lines. In the second case, the length of the belt has almost no effect on the intensity of water flow.
In the labyrinth belt, a meandering channel for water, which slows down the flow rate and normalizes its flow, is applied directly to the surface of the belt material.
Labyrinth Drip Tape
This is the most budget-friendly option for organizing irrigation, but such a tape has a number of disadvantages. For example, when unwinding, there is a high risk of damaging the labyrinth, it is difficult to lay the tape with the water outlet upwards, low uniformity of irrigation. Today it is an outdated technology of drip tape production, and as noted by gardeners, not very well proven.
The thickness of the walls of the drip tape
Drip tape can have different thicknesses on the sleeve walls. This parameter determines its mechanical strength and resistance to various damages. The thinner the tape, the shorter its service life.
Important: when choosing a drip tape, it is necessary to consider the thickness of the walls – it directly affects the service life of the product.
Standard thicknesses are considered:
- 5 mils (0.125 mm) is the thinnest of drip tapes. Recommended for early maturing annuals when planting in soft soil without stones, shows well in heifers.
- 6 mils (0.15 mm) – suitable for conventional open ground. Suitable for plants with a long ripening period.
- 8 mils (0.2 mm) is the most versatile drip tape available. It is fairly resistant to mechanical damage. Suitable for growing plants with a long ripening period. Can be reused if handled with care, washed, and dried at the end of the season.
- 10 mils (0.25 mm) and 12 mils (0.3 mm) are thick-walled drip tapes that can be used in stony soils and where various mechanical stresses are likely. Such tapes are not afraid of mice and insects, and with careful use and careful maintenance, they can serve for many seasons.
- 15 mils (0.375 mm) – this is the strongest tape, suitable for very stony soil and increased factors of mechanical damage.
Distance between outlets
Another important factor to consider when choosing drip irrigation is the “tape spacing”. It is chosen based on the needs of the crop being grown.
Cucurbits need a large distance between the holes – from 40 cm, a step of 30 cm is optimal for tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, potatoes. A distance of 10-20 cm is suitable for densely planted plants, such as garlic, parsley, lettuce, onions. Also, such a tape is used for sandy and light soils, here the soil is moistened literally in a continuous line.
Working pressure in the drip tape
Since the drip tape has quite thin walls, it can not work at high water pressure, which is, for example, in the standard water mains. Usually, the tape can withstand a maximum pressure of 0.7-1 bar. At higher pressures, it will simply burst!
You should also consider the minimum pressure at which the drip tape can work. Different manufacturers specify from 0.2 to 0.5 bar, which means the lifting of a container of water to a height of 2 m. Some tapes, according to the manufacturers’ characteristics and gardeners’ experience, work well at a pressure of 0.1 bar (1 m from the ground).
To reduce the pressure of water from the water supply network to the operating range of the drip tape, special pressure reducers are used.
Special attention should be paid to the purification of irrigation water. Otherwise, all drip irrigation lines can fail already in the middle of the season – dirty water quickly clogs the drip lines. This issue is more critical for the slotted belt than for the emitter belt.
Important: special attention should be paid to the cleaning of irrigation water, otherwise all drip irrigation lines can fail in the middle of the season.
Moreover, the less the flow of water by the drip, the thinner the channels for the release of water, and therefore more careful filtration is necessary. You can be guided by the following indicators:
if the drip water flow rate is less than 1.0 l/h, then increased filtration is required because of the very thin water outlet channels;
if the water flow rate by a dropper is more than 2.0 l/h, then such a belt is less sensitive to the quality of water filtration.
Water flow rate by drip tapes
One of the most important indicators of the drip tape is the flow rate of liquid from each drip tape in a certain period of time. When choosing the water flow rate, a number of factors must be considered: the type of source, the quality of water, the length of the band, the crop’s need for moisture, the method of planting, and the soil’s ability to absorb water.
According to the level of water consumption per drip, you can distinguish 3 types of emitters:
- flow rate per emitter 2.0-4 l/h – increased water consumption. Excellent for crops with a developed root system, requiring a lot of water. Often used in the double-row planting scheme, and also indispensable on sandy soils with rapid absorption;
- flow rate per emitter 1.0-1.5 l/h – standard flow. Recommended for most crops and soil types;
- flow rate per emitter 0.6-0.8 l/h – economic water flow. Effective for very long irrigation lines, for water sources with low capacity, and for soils with low wetting rates.
Drip Tape Diameter
Drip tapes with diameters of 16 and 22 mm are most common. The more massively used tape diameter of 16 mm. The main limitation of this type of tape – the irrigation line can not exceed 250 m with an acceptable uniformity of irrigation. Tape with a diameter of 22 mm is used less frequently. The irrigation line of such tape can be up to 450 m in length.
Purpose of Fittings
The system can be simply assembled if you use special fittings for drip irrigation. Fittings can be with or without taps. The first are more convenient to use, as if necessary, you can shut off the water supply locally. Regulation of water flow is also required if some zones consume less water than others or for alternate irrigation of different areas.
Start connectors are used to connect the drip tape to the plastic water supply. They are made with a sealing rubber band or a compression nut. Drill holes in the HDPE pipe with a wood drill bit with a centering spike and tightly insert the starter connectors with or without cocks.
Fittings for drip irrigation angles or as tees are used to connect the tape to a flexible garden hose. They are also used for its branching or for turns. Seats fittings are made in the form of ruffs, which provides a tight fit of the tubes.
Repair fitting is used in case of breakage or to lengthen the drip tape. With its help, its ends are connected.
The most important component of the system that automates the irrigation process is the controller or timer. The latter sets only the frequency and duration of irrigation. Timers can be electromechanical or electrical. The controller can be used to set an irrigation program that takes system pressure into account, sets irrigation cycles by day, and takes humidity and temperature into account.
The more perfect the drip irrigation system, the more expensive it will cost, but those who have tried drip irrigation, speak of it mostly positively – the cost is fully justified.
Drip Irrigation Systems Price:
Drip Irrigation Systems Under $50
- Flantor Garden Irrigation System
- Raindrip Automatic Watering Kit
- Micro Drip Irrigation Kit
Drip Irrigation Systems Under $100
- Rain Bird LNDDRIPKIT Drip Irrigation Landscape & Garden Watering Kit
A fully automated garden makes everyday life much easier. You no longer have to worry about anything, and thanks to the app you will always have everything at your fingertips.
In dry climates or with insufficient rainfall, the question of additional moisture in the beds is more than relevant. That is why drip irrigation systems are becoming more and more popular. Their use allows for quite affordable investments to achieve the maximum effect, to ensure uniform, rationed, and regular watering of plants.
Therefore, to have a green lawn in the home garden, even in the hottest summer is quite realistic. Drip irrigation systems easily bring this beautiful idea to life.
FAQs- Drip Irrigation Systems
Automatic watering always takes time. In the winter, the water must be drained so that the hoses do not start to burst.
It should also be noted that the hoses need to be cleaned regularly to keep them from getting hot. There are various citric acids for this, which can be found in ordinary hardware stores.
If your plants aren’t growing the way you want them to, fertilizer can help. Liquid fertilizer is common and can be applied exactly at the root with drip irrigation.
However, it should be rinsed with citric acid after the fertilizer has been applied, or the nozzles can become clogged.
Sprinklers should be used two to three times a week. You can expect about 4.0US gal lqd of water per 11ft² here.
Drip irrigation uses much less because it is directly connected to the plant. With small nozzles, this can often mean savings of 30-50%.