The ML50 Raised Bed Drip Kit can be used in a wide range of layouts including planter boxes, vegetable gardens and plants in close spacings to satisfy any garden watering requirements. The drip kit uses drip line with pre-inserted emitters every 9” for even uniformity along the drip line in short lengths. The drip line can be used to cover plants in rows or closely spaced plants within the layout. This kit contains all the parts required to install a complete system. It can be connected into a 3/4” garden hose or faucet/spigot and we highly recommend installing the 25 PSI pressure regulator (included) after the backflow preventer. The pressure regulator is used to lower the incoming pressure of the system to the suggested operating pressure of 25 PSI, which is within the range of recommended pressures for drip irrigation or micro sprinkler systems. The instruction manual for this kit can found in the kit package.
Connect the pressure regulator to the backflow preventer and attach to the faucet. Insert the 1/2" poly tubing into the swivel adapter compression side and screw the swivel adapter into the pressure regulator.
Leave the poly tubing out in the sun for a few minutes to make it easier to work with and then lay it out near the raised beds or planter boxes.
Near each raised bed, connect a 1/2" tee. From the tee, extend poly tubing to the top of the raised bed and add a 1/2" elbow. From the elbow, extend an additional length of drip tubing along the side of the bed.
In front of each row, punch a hole into the side of the poly tubing using the hole punch.
Insert a 1/4" barb into the end of the dripline and then insert the barb into the poly tubing. Run the drip line along the length of the row, repeat for each row, and leave the drip line end open.
Turn the water on and flush the line, then close the end of the dripline using a goof plug and the end of the poly tubing using a figure “8” hose end.
Start the kit from a faucet or garden hose
- First review the area to be irrigated and then make a drawing of the garden or site with your preferred layout.
- To automate the system, install one of DIG's hose end timers (not included) after the backflow device.
- In the installation stage, to the faucet, first connect the backflow device, then the pressure regulator and then the 3/4" swivel adapter with the 60 mesh screen. If water quality is a concern, we highly recommend using a fine mesh 3/4" filter with 155 mesh (model D57A), not included with this kit.
- Lay out the 1/2" drip tubing per your drawing and along each planter.
- Near the corner of each planter cut the 1/2” drip tubing and connect a 1/2" tee. To the tee, connect an additional length of 1/2" drip tubing and raise the drip tubing to the top of the planter. To install the 1/2" compression fittings, cut the drip tubing with a hand pruner, being careful to keep dirt from entering the line. Hold the compression fitting in one hand and the drip tubing in the other and force the drip tubing into the fitting by wiggling it from side to side. Make sure that the drip tubing is pushed into the compression fitting for about 1/2" to 5/8" for a very tight fit. No glue or clamps are required.
- To the end of the drip tubing, connect a 1/2" elbow and to the 1/2" elbow, connect a short length of 1/2" drip tubing. Lay out the 1/2” drip tubing perpendicular to the planter’s rows and to end of the planter. This is the main water supply line for each planter.
- Near each row, punch a hole into the side of the 1/2" drip tubing and insert a 1/4" barb.
- To the 1/4” barb, connect the 1/4” drip line with drip emitters every 9” and lay out the 1/4" drip line beside the plant rows a few inches past the last plant in each row to compensate for temperature changes that may affect the length of the drip tubing. Do not extend the drip line beyond the recommended layout of 28' in length
- Secure the 1/4” drip line, using the 1/4" stakes included.
- Turn the faucet on and flush the line for a few minutes to clean all debris that may be trapped inside the drip tubing or the drip line. Then shut off the faucet and close the end of the 1/2” drip tubing using the 1/2” hose end and the 1/4” plugs included with the kit.
- Pressurize the system again and make sure that the system is working correctly and no leak appears.
Note: To expand the kit we highly recommend continuing with the same model drip line. Review the instruction manual included with the kit for complete details.
Using drip irrigation, water first thing in the morning before the temperature begins to rise. This will allow excess moisture on the leaves and top soil to dry before fungal and other diseases can develop. The most common cause of early plant death is over watering. Using drip irrigation can help sustain healthy plants by applying water directly to the plant root zone when and where it is needed. For established plantings, deep, infrequent watering is recommended. In most cases deep watering will encourage deeper rooting, which leads to stronger, healthier plants.
About the soil and suggested drip emitter spacing:
Sandy soil or light textured soil: Water percolates straight through before it can spread far enough horizontally, so use the drip emitters in close spacing of 10" to 12" apart. Apply water at close intervals such as every other day for 20 to 90 minutes depending on plant size and type, daylight conditions (full sun, partial sun or shaded) and weather pattern (cold to hot) with the plants under full sun in hot conditions getting the longer period.
Loamy soil or medium textured soil: This is the ideal soil condition with water moving slowly and spreading evenly, so use the drip emitters spaced 16" to 18" apart. Apply water at wider intervals such as every two to four days for 15 to 90 minutes depending on plant size, type, daylight conditions (full sun, partial sun or shaded) and weather pattern (cold to hot) with the plants under full sun in hot conditions getting the longer period.
Clay soil or heavy textured soil: Water is absorbed very slowly, so install the drip emitters at a spacing of 18" to 24" apart. Apply water at longer intervals such as every three to five days for 30 minutes to 60 minutes depending on flow rate, plant size and type, daylight conditions (full sun, partial sun or shaded) and weather pattern (cold to hot) with the plants under full sun in hot condition getting the longer period.
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