The best kind of irrigation installation for vegetable gardens is a drip system. Drip irrigation systems save water, ensure that vegetable gardens get water where they need it—at the root of each plant instead of on their leaves, and save time spent on weeding because water delivery can be focused on a small area instead of the whole vegetable bed.
Drip irrigation installations can be as simple as snaking a water hose around the base of your vegetables and poking holes in the hose to very intricate combinations of drip hoses and end point delivery systems.
The drip irrigation system shown in this video is a middle-of-the road installation with several zones controlled by ball valves, a system of drip hoses, and a few bubble spouts for specific plants. Planning out your drip system is the hardest part of an installation. Once you figure out how your vegetable garden will most benefit from what type of water delivery, the actual installation is simple.
My Vegetable Garden Drip System Installation included:
1. PVC pipe from the pump house to the vegetable garden with a shut-off valve at the pump house.
2. Five control valves along one side of the vegetable garden with non-drip hoses leading off each valve.
3. Pre-punctured drip hoses leading off the main non-drip hoses for the more densely-planted vegetable beds (such as the asparagus bed).
4. Individual non-drip hose delivery to the base of each plant in the squash bed (ends left open).
5. Bubble spouts at the end of each hose at the base of blueberry plants.
The method of installation of drip irrigation is to use a puncture tool to punch holes in the main water delivery hose, insert a joint fitting into the punctured hole, and attach a drip hose of desired length to the other side of the fitting. Snake the drip hose through the vegetable bed and close the end with a plug or sprayer attachment. Stake everything down with tubing stakes (I discovered–because I was working on a chandelier project made of bicycle parts–that broken bicycle spokes make perfect irrigation tubing stakes).