A drip irrigation improvisation for your garden- Entry #89
This past week I planted twenty hills of melons and squash and Nancy transplanted a 50-foot row of heirloom tomatoes she had started from seeds in the greenhouse. This finished the planting of our garden and all was well except that the holes in our conventional drip system didn’t match the spacing of the hills and tomato plants. I thought about inserting ¼-inch tubing into the standard ½-inch main line and installing store bought drip nozzles at each desired location, but when I did that in the past, I had to constantly maintain it throughout the growing season. Nozzles tend to clog up or blow out of the tubing if the pressure is too great. I decided to improvise and use what I had. Here is what we did:
First, we laid down a ½-inch plastic main line the whole length of the row and drilled 1/16-inch holes clear through it from top to bottom at every hill or plant. My melon and squash hills were about 65 feet long, so I increased the drill bit size about half way to the end of line so the water outflow remained the same at the end of the row. The other thing you can do is increase the number of holes you drill the farther out you get from your source of water.
Second, we cut short pieces off of an old soaker hose about 4 to 6 inches long.
Then we slicked the hose on one side so that it could be pulled open and be fitted around the ½-inch plastic line everywhere we had drilled the holes.
Then we placed it over the line and turned on the water. We discovered by twisting the short piece of soaker hose around the ½-inch line we could adjust the water flow at each plant as desired
It worked perfect soaking the hills and plants quickly without wasting any water. The best part was that it was inexpressive and I believe will require little maintenance.