Proper irrigation is a skill that surprisingly few gardeners have mastered. By far the largest loss of plant materials on garden and plant projects is the direct result of improper irrigation. You may be surprised to learn that the most common irrigation-scheduling problem is not too little water, or even too much water, it is watering too frequently. With drip systems the goal is saturating the soil 6" deep in the entire planter. Drip emitters slowly trickle water into the soil at the location of each emitter. Because the water comes out of the emitter so slowly, it easily soaks into the soil, saturating the soil to a 6" depth easily. In all but the sandiest of soils the water can be forced to move at least 36" in each direction away from the emitter through a combination of positive displacement and capillary action. Remember, if you can't achieve saturation of the entire planter area, you at least want the wetted area around each emitter to be as big as you can make it in a single 24 hour period!
* Tape measure
* Utility knife
* Drip watering kit
* Bag of decorative mulch
STEP BY STEP
1. Determine what type of kit will best suit your needs. Are you going to water a series of pots on a trellis or deck? Are you going to water bushes or a vegetable garden? Or are you going to augment the abilities of your in-ground sprinkler system?
2. Once you’ve selected the location for your drip watering system, draw a schematic plan.
3. Then take some rough measurements of the distances you’ll need your network of hoses to cover. Double check any distances before you begin cutting the hose.
4. Connect the “female” end of the system to the nearest outdoor spigot. Be sure to use any pressure regulating disks in the assembly. This will ensure that you system does not come apart due to high pressure. All the connections will be merely fitted together so it is important to regulate the pressure. Cut your first section of hose and connect it utilizing the quick coupler.
5. At the point where your hose has reached the first plant, determine whether the line will branch and terminate at this plant with the use of an “end of the line” dripper, or whether you will utilize an “in-line” dripper and continue the hose past this point.
6. Repeat this process until you have run hoses to all the desired plants. Use the supplied crimping device to terminate the end of the hose line.
Turn on the water and experiment with the drip flow. Once you have determined how much pressure will yield the desired amount of dripping you can begin utilizing the drip method for watering your plants. You can also utilizing automatic feeding/fertilizing components to make your plants the healthiest and most productive they can be.