Thursday, March 25, 2010

Proper Drip Irrigation Layout

In Drip Irrigation, For Every Landscape and All Climates, I recommend laying out parallel lines, or “laterals,” of tubing throughout the entire bed. I always stock the 1/2-gph, 12-inch-interval version because I install drip systems for different clients with different types of soil. The 1/2-gph tubing with the 12-inch spacing along the hose’s length is the only one that will water sandy soil. You can have your local irrigation supplier order tubing with 6-inch spacing in the drip hose. Yet, clay-loam soils can also be irrigated by turning on the system for a shorter period of time because the water easily spreads laterally. The parallel lines of tubing might be as close together as 6 or 12 inches in sandy soils and as far apart as 24 inches in heavy clay-loams. If you have a fairly heavy soil and want to save money, buy the tubing with 18-inch or 24-inch intervals between emitters, and you’ll save 25% or 40% respectively. Also, a higher flow rate, such as 1 gph, will help the water to spread wider than with the slower 1/2-gph emitter tubing. At worst, you’ll just have to run the system a little longer to get the wet spots to meet underground along the length of the tubing.

The photo on the left was taken at a winery here in Sonoma County. The one on the right I found at a museum in Paris, France. It's really catching on even though there is no French version of my book, as far as I know!


Let me know what you think.Visit my web site to learn about my new book on drip irrigation and other gardening books.NOTE: The comments section at the bottom of the post has disappeared. Click on the "___ Comments" button or the title under the "Blog Archives". Thanks, Robert

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