An automatic irrigation system saves you a lot of work and time, and on hot days you no longer have to worry about whether your vegetables may be thirsty. Instead, they are continuously supplied with the precious water and you can go about your work with confidence.
Drip irrigation for the garden – without a pump
This simple form of drip irrigation works without electricity and external water connection and is particularly suitable for vegetable beds and herbaceous borders. All you need is a rain barrel with a capacity of at least 1500 liters and various garden hoses that can be coupled together. How to install the system:
1. Place the rain barrel (s) on a pedestal about 50 to 100 centimeters high.
2. Lay out the garden hoses in such a way that they can ensure optimal irrigation.
3. Check your plan and correct the situation if necessary.
4. The water should always be able to escape directly at the roots.
5. Couple the hoses together and close the end piece with a stopper.
6. Connect one or more hoses to the rain barrel (s).
7. Perforate the hoses where water is to escape.
8. Get the system up and running.
Irrigation system with electricity and water connection
If you have an external power and / or water connection in the garden, you can perfect the irrigation system described above (€ 88.89 at Amazon *) with a submersible pump or move the water supply straight to the house connection. In this way, a sprinkler system for the lawn can also be installed by coupling various irrigation elements (e.g. square, submerged or area sprinklers) to each other using hoses and connecting them to a tap. However, this should have a pressure of at least 0.5 bar so that the automatic irrigation works. You can install irrigation systems both above and underground, but they are not suitable for vegetable or perennial beds: Here, watering should take place directly at the roots and not through the leaves, as otherwise there is a risk of fungal diseases.
A garden fountain can be useful for economical irrigation. However, this cannot be drilled yourself, as a rule experts have to work.
Good planning is the three-fourths rent – think of empty pipes
If you create a new garden or fundamentally redesign it, you will quickly be tempted to lay a few empty cables through the garden, for example. Only to find out later that this or that pipe is not the right one. So when you take over the redesign of your garden, please always put empty pipes under the terrace and the paths. If you always position them one meter from the next junction or edge, you will find it easier later to find the cables again. Use the yellow drainage pipe or a commercially available PVC pipe with a diameter of at least 100 millimeters. Contra-angles measure a maximum of 30 degrees. This way you can easily pull through an additional electrical cable later without having to open all the ways. If you build an irrigation system yourself, good planning with foresight is the three-quarter rent.
Check water pressure and water volume
The supply line for the tap should have at least mindestens “, better still 1”. This is important to ensure that there is enough water in the irrigation system. When choosing a pump – should you pump from a well or a cistern – 3-4 bar is completely sufficient. Please also pay attention to the amount of water. If you are using three pop-up sprinklers, you will quickly get 2000-3000 l / h. needed. You should also take this into account when selecting the cistern.
If the tap is already in place, please test how many liters of water are available per hour. The easiest way to test this is to fill a ten liter bucket as an example. First open the tap to which the system is connected and fill this bucket. Stop the time in seconds until it is full. Then divide the number 36,000 by this value. So you get the amount of water in liters per hour that is available. Please note, however, that the water pressure is subject to fluctuations.
Divide the water strand into two circuits
Should parts of the garden be irrigated to different degrees? Or is the water pressure or the amount of water not sufficient for the area to be irrigated? In such a case, the division into two circuits is recommended. When building an irrigation system, it is best to always combine the parts of the garden that have roughly the same irrigation needs.
If you build an irrigation system yourself, you should have thought in advance where water strands are or pipes are buried.
The easiest way is to make a scale sketch (1cm = 1m) and draw in all paths, terraces, plants and areas to be watered. The sprinklers (4 m or 10 m radius) and the spray points (e.g. 2 m radius) of the irrigation system are drawn with a compass. Please note that plants can hinder the spread of water.
In addition: Which components optimally supply certain plants? And: How many meters of waterway must be laid at all. Be rather generous in your calculations here.
The compilation of an irrigation system
Which set or which additional individual parts are required is primarily a “cultural question”. The optimal supply of a bed differs from that for potted plants or even watering the lawn.
For example, the irrigation of vegetables or fruits requires targeted delivery. The “English lawn”, on the other hand, has to be irrigated over a large area.
Before you build an irrigation system yourself, we recommend comparing the respective starter sets that you can buy in your hardware store. To properly water your plants, we have summarized the differences here again:
Pot irrigation: All components to supply an irrigation system with 10 plant pots, planters or solitary plants with sufficient water. The main line is placed inconspicuously near the pots. From there goes a thin hose for adjustable pot irrigation. This means that each plant can be supplied with the right amount of water individually. The spray jet is guided downwards in the form of an umbrella. (To the product category pot irrigation)
Bed irrigation: With the water strand you are flexible and have a lot of creative play. Simply lay it directly on the ground between the plants as required. Now dosing pieces with nozzles, riser pipes or also satellite spraying stations and pot irrigation can be connected. (To the product category bed irrigation)
Lawn irrigation: The simplest variant here is our mobile lawn sprinkler, which can be placed anywhere on the lawn with a garden hose. But “Build your own garden irrigation” is also an inexpensive professional solution, even if you are a layman. With pop-up sprinklers and a water line under the turf, the entire system is almost invisible. Only when water is supplied, the irrigation heads are driven by the water pressure and spray at previously coordinated angles and throwing distances. The advantage: The lawn area can still be used at any time and can be safely ordered with a lawn mower or scarifier.
There are many different irrigation systems to buy in your local hardware store. The system is frost-proof! In winter, just leave everything as it is – only the irrigation computers need to be removed. It is best to have the staff in your hardware store advise you again which system is best for you and your requirements.
It will be exciting to build an irrigation system yourself with the many refined additional components that we can provide from experience. For example, a water distributor can supply several water lines with just one water connection. No matter whether lawn, beds and / or pots. Only a tap on the house facade is no longer a logistical problem. There will no longer be any need to manually change the plug.
Even different watering times are possible. With the irrigation computers at the exits of the water distributor, times, durations and intervals are programmed according to the needs of the respective plants.
There are many different options and systems that can do the work for you.
Usually it is always a question of the price. Of course, the self-made systems are cheaper, but the complex or computer-controlled irrigation system takes even more work off you and you don’t even have to turn the tap on again.
We advise you to start with a simple solution and if you no longer like it later you can always fall back on the more complex and expensive solution.
After laying the systems, whichever, please check again whether the system really works and whether your plants or the garden bed really gets enough water.
It would be great if you could tell us in the comments how you built your irrigation and which system you might have bought from the hardware store and how satisfied you are with the system. So everyone can benefit from your irrigation experience.