Here's a simple drip irrigation system that uses gravity to put rain water from a rain barrel exactly where it's needed in the vegetable garden. This dripper is designed for a square foot garden system, but can be used in any garden situation.

Drip irrigation is very efficient. Water is put exactly where it's needed-at the root system of the plants. No water is wasted due to runoff or evaporation.

This is my entry for the Get in the Garden contest. I hope you like it!

Step 1: Dripper Materials

This project is constructed out of 1/2" PVC. Here's what you'll need:

4 4" long pieces of 1/2" PVC
2 36" long pieces of 1/2" PVC
2 90 degree elbows for 1/2" PVC
1 four way connector for 1/2" PVC (a tee connector could be used here)
1 female hose connector for 1/2" PVC
1 male connector for 1/2" PVC (if a tee connector is used, this isn't needed)
2 end caps for 1/2" PVC

1 drill
1 1/16" drill bit
1 hacksaw
PVC primer
PVC glue
tape measure
<p>i need a watering system for both sides of yard for hedges 200 feet each side would this work thanks</p>
I had some success with a drip system made from hosepipes but the holes get blocked by algae. Any ideas other than painting the water barrel black to block out sunlight?
<p>We'll be building an elevated barrel system with an outdoor pond pump (they're only like $50) to prevent insect growth and algea growth, and we'll place a removable cap on the end so we can flush out the pipes once and a while. I might suggest either of these methods.</p>
This really looks like a great post! My husband has been trying to find help with <a href="http://www.calgarysprinklersystems.com/about.asp" rel="nofollow">irrigation systems in Calgary</a> and how to make them better! I am sure that this would be so helpful for him. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you for sharing this! My mom has been trying to figure out ways to improve our <a href="http://www.aquatechsprinklers.com/home.html" rel="nofollow">irrigation system in Webster NY</a> and this is probably one of the better ideas I've seen. Thanks again for sharing
Thank you for the step by step process! I am looking at doing some <a href="http://www.regencyirrigation.com" rel="nofollow">irrigation in Calgary</a> for my home. Any tips for the new guy?
Sorry...in Step 7, I meant "YOUR plants will thank you"...not "YOU'RE plants will thank you"
As the author of the article, can't you simply correct it?
Thanks for this instructable! It actually seems doable with my limited skills. I am not known for my green thumb, but this year I really wanted to start a garden and grow my own veggies. Since I live in the desert, it can get really hot and dry so I know that a good <a href="http://evergreenos.com/irrigation.htm" rel="nofollow">irrigation</a> system is important. I like that this one will prevent runoff and evaporation.
I've been looking all over the place for a domestic <a href="http://evergreenos.com/irrigation.htm" rel="nofollow">irrigation</a> system! My friend across the country mentioned doing this and she had excellent success with her tomatoes. They took first place at the state fair!&nbsp; My new goal :)
I know it's been a while since this post, but... Does more water drip from the holes closest to the rain barrel? (If so, how much more?)<br><br>I'd like to build this myself and wonder if anyone has noticed this issue. Thanks for the great instructable. <br>
No...the drip is uniform...assuming that the unit is reasonably level.
Very cool instructable. Great idea using things we usually keep around the house (having a well instead of city water and living in a VERY rural area teaches you that its cheaper to have some extra pvc and connectors on-hand than to drive 30 miles for a 15 cent part!) Thanks for a great idea and a well written/documented project!
Great concept. An alternative idea, would to replace the piping with offcuts of hose pipes to allow more movement around plants.
Isn't drip irrigation supposed to be controlled by a computer that knows how much water is needed?
Not necessarily. Soaker hoses are technically drip irrigation. This is a form of drip irrigation as well. After using it a couple of times, you can calculate how much water is being delivered based on timing. If your rain barrel is delivering 3 gallons of water a minute, you know that you've applied 15 gallons if you let it run for 5 minutes. Essentially, you are the controller for the system instead of having a computer controller. You could also install a simple timer between the hose bib on the rain barrel and the dripper. That would shut the system down after a preset amount of time.
Umm... I don't know if this works for anyone else but my water tank (no pump, just pressure-powered) tends to pump out so much water that it's more of a stream than drops.
My rain barrel has a hose bib on the bottom, so you can regulate the amount of water coming out. You could also use a hose shut off valve at the dripper to regulate the amount of water being used.
A simple & expandable drip system- very nice. Looks so simple, I bet even I could do it. How many do you have chained together in your garden?
Right now I only have the one. I'd think that the number you could link together would be limited by how much higher the rain barrel is than the garden. I'd guess you could link three or four without much problem. My garden is on a slope, and my rain barrel is three feet higher than the top of the garden, and eight feet higher than the bottom of the garden. You'd probably have to use a valve system to regulate the flow equally...
Does the hole drilled side go up or down in the garden? Im guessing down, so water doesnt sit in the tubes and stagnate...
Right...the holes go down, so the water drips into the soil.
Simple and straight-forward. I like +1

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