EPIC Drip Irrigation System for Raised Beds πŸ’¦ (Before & After)


What’s up everyone, Kevin here. So today we are going to redo and perfect
the drip system in the front yard. As you can see all the beds
are ready for planting. I got to get irrigation
set up. So I’ve got a bunch of new fittings from Drip Depot
who actually did the donation for the last time we did this years and years ago. So we’re going to update it for the
modern era for 2020 make some adjustments. I’ll go over what went wrong or what I
didn’t like so much about the way I did it last time and then how
I’m fixing it for this time. So here’s an example bed of the
system that I have right now. You could see we have a little one by one
or two by two as the header row that I hammered in the main line in to. And then I’ve got quarter inch drip
coming out that I just secured at the end with a stake that just goes into the
ground. Now I think it’s an okay setup, but what I prefer and what I’m changing
it to is it’s going to have a header row and a footer row. So there’ll be an end row of mainline
right over here with some end caps and I’m going to switch this out to drip tape
and not drip line because I like the flow rate a little bit better and I like
the performance a little bit better. Each of the beds also has an
on off. So if I wanted to, let’s say cap this bed off because
it’s got enough water but I needed to irrigate the rest, I could
go ahead and do that. What I don’t like about how I did it
is I think this should be moved to down here so it doesn’t take up any
of the space on the header row. So I’m going to have to cut new main
line and pop these off and move them down to here. So this is what it looks like when
you’re pulling out of an old sprinkler system. You have to connect it to the
sprinkler itself, which is right there. It runs up vertically into a 90 degree
connector into a filter to make sure no particulate matter gets caught. It goes down into a pressure regulator
at 15 PSI and then it goes into the main line. And the main line is what
you’re pulling out of over here, let’s say to connect into a
bed. So that’s the basic setup. That’s the basic logic. Now what I need to do is go ahead and
take one of these beds as a test and construct the new header row
with four lines of drip tape. And then I need a footer row
with some end caps on it. And then I also need to take our on off
valves and move them lower so they’re not taking up any of this
space on the header row. So we’re going to go ahead and
construct one, see how it works, see if we can correct any inefficiencies
before we extend it out to all 14 beds in the front yard. Now before you
even buy any drip equipment at all, you have to calculate the total gallon
per hour output of the system to make sure that the parts and
pieces you’re buying, especially the mainline tubing
will support that. So for example, my half inch mainline tubing can support
a system up to 200 gallons per hour of output. And what that means is I have to add
up every single length of drip tape, sum all of that up and then calculate
if that’s going to put out more or less than 200 gallons per hour. So in my case, I think I had somewhere around 225
feet of drip tape and I have four inch emitters. And so I can say okay well then that’s
going to be 225 times three because that’s going to be four
four four adds up to a foot. So 225 times three 675 and the emitters
are are a quarter gallon an hour, right? So 0.25 gallon an hour. So 675 divided by four is less than 200
cause 800 divided by four would be 200 and so I knew I was safe for this system. That’s really one of the
most important pieces. After that you can mix and match and you
can do all sorts of 90 degree rotations and on and off valves and
T T splits and whatever. As long as you’re under the total amount
of gallons per hour output that the whole system can support. , So I’ve got my on-off valve there, a 90 degree into our three lines of drip
connected over here to a footer row. And so just to show you that again,
on a more classically shaped bed, you’re pulling out with a T connector, you’ve got your on-off if you so choose
to want to turn off the irrigation here I went 90 to 90 into a header piece of
wood to keep it nice and stable into four lines with a footer row. And
then we’ve replicated that here, here, here, over here, and then over here and here. And
then all the way over here too. And this is a really long one, so this is three lines of tape
all the way down to there. So the rest of the system is all set up.
It took a while to make sure that no, every end cap was properly tightened. All of the drip tape connectors were
properly tightened and I had a couple of leaks that I finally plugged up, but
the entire system works and oh my gosh, it’s so insane how convenient it is to
turn one thing and have all of these beds here as well as the beds over here
and even the long bit over here, all set up on drip irrigation.
All right, so it turns out, I guess I didn’t need to install the drip
irrigation anyways because we just had basically a flash flood here in
San Diego. But I’m just kidding. It’s going to be nice to have this. What I wanted to do was answer some
of your frequently asked questions. So on Instagram I said, “Hey, if you
have any drip irrigation questions, drop them and I will do my best to answer
them.” So as we’re hanging out in our rainy front yard, let’s go ahead
and roll through some of these. So @ameliabretzing, she says, is the
water pressure consistent in every bed? And it wouldn’t be if you didn’t do that
calculation that we mentioned earlier in the video. It sometimes can take a little bit of
time for water to permeate through the entire system, but as soon as you get to that end point
of the system and water starts coming out of all the emitters, the
water pressure is consistent. The only reason it wouldn’t be is if you
actually didn’t calculate correctly and you are under pressure
for the entire system. @giraffekari says feeling overwhelmed
where to start with drip irrigation? I actually was too. So what I did is I
went to Drip Depot, this is early on, like maybe three years ago and I just
emailed their customer support and I was like, “Hey, can you help me out? I don’t, I’ve never done drip irrigation before.” And surprisingly because the customer
service sometimes is like pretty bad. Surprisingly. They just helped
me design the whole system, which is pretty crazy. And actually Jack over at Drip Depot
helped me troubleshoot some of the calculations that I was doing for
this system that you see behind me. So that’s where I started Drip Depot and
they are the people who donated all the fittings for this video. So first of
all I would have used them anyways, but second of all I just wanted
to give them a nice shout out. Oregon Dana on Instagram says curious
about the approximate cost of your setup. Yeah, so this one would have cost somewhere
around $200-$250 and what you’re getting with that is all the fittings you need
to set it up, your 90 degrees, your Ts, your end caps, your takeoffs from the main line into
the drip tape connectors and the mainline tubing as well as the drip tape. And I actually have plenty leftover so
I can do any troubleshooting I need. I can replace something. If it
breaks, I can extend the system. And so for me that’s a
pretty good deal. I mean, I know that’s a little
expensive, but to do one action, just turn the nozzle on and I can even
put this on an automatic timer if I want to and have the entire garden
watered. It’s well worth it for me, especially if I go on a vacation or
something like that. Shot by a girl says, I would love to know the drip
distances and drip rate for different applications. That’s a
good question. So for me, I chose four inch distance between each
emitter on the drip tape and I chose a relatively low flow rate of
a quarter gallon an hour. So let’s say you have four feet right
there and that’s going to be roughly 12 emitters. Yeah, 12
emitters. Yeah, 12 emitters. Mathematics. It’s hard. So 12 times four because I
have four lines of four feet. That means you’ve got 48 emitters, which means you divide that again by
four cause it’s a quarter gallon an hour and you’re back to 12 gallons in an hour. So this bed will put out 12
gallons of water over an hour. If I run it, that’s too
much. I don’t need that. So let’s say the bed needs a
roughly around three gallons. Every time I water it, well then I only need to water it for
about a quarter of an hour or 15 minutes. So I can turn this entire
system on for about 15 minutes. And I know I’ve put three gallons
of water into every single bed. Beth van Boxtel asks, when
you add compost or mulch, do you cover the lines or do you keep
them on top? So I’ll be covering them. That’s just buried drip. That’s
a very common application. It actually helps preserve the drip tape
because it’s not going to be exposed to the sun and there’s no issues
with clogging or anything
like that provided you have no leaks in the system and no like
little tears or anything like that. So actually buried drip is probably
the better way to go if you can. Okay. Sow and Savor asks which is best soakers
for the whole bed or emitters focused more on the plant root?
Yeah, that’s a good question. I almost think it’s like a
personal style type of thing. As long as your plants are
well established in the bed, this style of application
will be completely fine
because then the roots will be out far enough to reach any sort of
pockets of water that the emitters are throwing out. If you really are worried about that or
you like to direct sow into your bed, sometimes you may want to do soaker
instead because that puts out a consistent stream of water across the whole soaker. So that’s really just depending
on the way that you do it. I like to grow my plants over in my seed
starting area and then transplant them in. And so for me it makes a lot of sense
to go ahead and do this application, especially because if I feel that maybe
the drip isn’t quite solving the job early on in the plant’s life, I can just go ahead and hand water until
they’re established and then I know they’re good to go. Garden Socal
says, why do you need a filter? Where did you find the inline
filter? So again, the filter, I found at Drip Depot, it’s part of
the standard sprinkler retrofit kit, but you need it because if there’s any
particulate matter that’s coming out somehow, like it gets in
the water line or whatever, you need it to be caught before it
goes into your main line of drip system because then you’re just going to clog
it and you won’t actually know where it is. So if it, it’s better to get caught there rather
than to go into your mainline and get caught somewhere in the
potentially hundreds of feet
of mainline tubing that you don’t know how to fix it cause
you don’t know where it is. Beloved Hinata is the irrigation mainline
the same as a normal waterline? No, it’s not. It’s a separate type of tubing that’s
used specifically for irrigation. You can buy it in different diameters.
I bought a half inch mainline, which has a 200 gallon per hour output. So the whole system has to be under
200 gallons per hour for good water pressure. Mad midget says, is there a way to do this for a handful
of 10 gallon pots? Yeah, totally. There is, what you would do is you would punch
into the main line and you’d pull like quarter inch drip line out
and you’d have a drip spike. So you would spike it into your, um,
into your grow bag or your fabric bag. And then it would just put a targeted
amount of water directly in the root zone. And so I actually might do that because
I might be putting some grow bags out here. In fact, I will be putting some grow bags out here
and I can punch into my main line and get a drip manifold. And like maybe
let’s even, I have 10 grow bags. I could go one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 and pull in and just spike in. And actually I have a whole video
on someone who did exactly this. If you look up on my channel
Growing in 35,000 Milk Crates, there’s a guy in New York
City at Riverpark, New York. He grows for a professional chef and
he did this in thousands of milk carts. He did exactly that method.
So check that video out. Okay. Our final question is
from crispy crackling pop. Is it hard to set up for someone who
is maybe not so great with things like this? Yeah, I mean yes and no. Right, so the way I think about it is
like if you ever played with Legos, that’s exactly what you’re doing. The hardest part about this is figuring
out the math behind the system before you buy everything. Like we’ve talked about a couple
of times already in this video, once you know that the system is
going to support whatever you build, then it’s really just
putting it all together. I mean this design is
not even that common. I don’t think like you don’t actually
need the footer rows that I have because really all the footer row is doing is
just acting as a way to keep everything nice and tidy. It’s not helping the flow of anything
and the only reason I did that is because I didn’t want to put a spike at the end
of each of the drip tape and just adhere it into the soil. I figured
that’s four points of disorder, rather than just tying it all together
and having a nice grid sit down. So it’s really not that hard. You just
kind of have to play around with it. And honestly when you get your drip you
can just kind of mix and match and like lay things out and put it all
together and see if it makes sense. Just like I did. I put this one
down and I said, oh, it makes sense, and I made some tweaks and then I just
applied it to the rest of the whole bed. Drip irrigation is super, super fun.
I don’t know what it is. I just, I think it’s very pleasing to look at.
Obviously it’s handy in the garden, so I hope this was helpful. If it
was, feel free to shoot a like, feel free to shoot a follow. Feel free to shoot a question
down below and until next time, good luck in the garden
and keep on growing.

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