Premium Drip Irrigation Kit for Vegetable Gardens

Congratulations on your purchase of a Premium Drip Irrigation Kit for Vegetable Gardens from Drip Depot!

Please take a few minutes to read through these instructions and familiarize yourself with all the parts. For assistance with part names and details, you can print the list of parts included in your kit from the Kit Item page on our website.

Drip Depot Irrigation Kits are modular in design, as no two gardens are completely alike. Should you have any question while installing your new kit please feel free to email our Customer Support team or review some of the many resources in our Education Center, found under the “Learn” tab in the menu bar on our website.

The Vegetable Garden Kits utilize ½” (.600” ID x .700” OD) poly tubing as the mainline. The Vegetable Garden Kits include several different emitting devices to water your plants, including individual drippers, poly drip line with evenly spaced factory installed drip emitters and some larger kits include thin walled drip tape with factory installed drip emitters.

Individual Drippers are used to water individual plants that are normally spaced farther apart or where a run of drip line or drip tape would not be practical, such as tomato, pepper, squash, cucumber etc. Drippers with barbed inlet connections can be inserted directly into ½” or larger mainline tubing or inserted into the ends of ¼” micro-tubing to reach plants that are not near your main or lateral lines.

Drip Line included in many of the kits is flexible ¼” (.170” ID x .250” OD) poly tubing with drip emitters factory installed at specific spacings.

Drip Tape also has factory installed drip emitters at specific spacings and flow rates. Drip tape is thin walled and requires lower pressure (15 PSI and under) and lays flat when not pressurized so is for use in straight rows only.

Your kit may also include items you may not need for your specific design but are included “just in case”.

  1. A coupler for the ½” poly tubing is included “just in case” your design requires coupling two sections of ½” tubing together such as in making a repair.
  2. A ½” elbow is included “just in case” your design requires a tighter 90 degree turn in the ½” mainline tubing layout.
  3. A ½” tee is included “just in case” your design requires you to split your ½” mainline tubing in two different directions. If so, the kit does include two ½” tubing end caps.

Installing your Head Assembly - Drip Depot Kits come standard with garden hose thread components for easy connection to your outdoor spigot or garden hose. Hand tighten only, no teflon tape or pipe dope is required with hose threaded connections.

a. Install the Backflow Preventer also known as a Hose Thread Vacuum Breaker, included in your kit, to the outdoor spigot. Ensure this item has the rubber washer seated completely down inside the female threaded connection prior to installation.

b. Next, install the Filter, included in your kit, to the vacuum breaker or backflow prevention device. Please ensure the rubber washer is seated completely down inside the female threaded connection prior to installation.

c. The Pressure Regulator is installed after the filter. Again, ensure the rubber washer is seated completely down inside the female threaded connection prior to installation. Please note the directional flow arrow on most pressure regulators for proper installation.

d. Lastly, the Female Hose Thread Tubing Adapter is installed on the outflow side of the pressure regulator. A helpful tip is to connect your tubing to the tubing adapter prior to connecting to your head assembly components. Most tubing adapters have a female swivel end for ease of installation.

*Please note: If using a hose-end water timer to automate your drip system the Head Assembly must be installed after/downstream of the timer or valve. Drip irrigation products are not rated for constant pressure use. Many municipal codes require the use of anti vandalism protection (set screw) on an outdoor water spigot backflow preventer. The J10 with locking screw may qualify when properly installed directly on the outdoor hose bibb. If used on an automatic water timer for your irrigation system we recommend not tightening the screw as the plastic threads of the timer can be permanently damaged if the backflow device is removed.

Mainline Tubing Installation - Determine the best location for your ½” mainline to reach from the water source to your garden area. The flexibility of Drip Depot kits allows you to run the header row however best fits your garden design. This can simply be along the top or side of the garden, through the center for a large garden, or whatever works best for you.

a. Connect the mainline tubing to the head assembly.

b. Lay out your ½” mainline tubing. Use the steel wire stakes to secure the ½” tubing in place.

c. Cut off any excess tubing.

d. Flush the line(s). Allow water to run through tubing to remove any debris that may be inside.

e. Install the Perma-loc Tubing End Cap(s) to close the line(s).

Installing the Feedlines and Drippers - This kit includes individual drippers, micro drip line, plus ⅝” drip tape. Individual drippers are usually used to water single plants, such as tomatoes, peppers etc… while the drip line is great for rows of more densely planted crops like beans, peas, lettuces and more, plus the drip tape for straight rows of evenly spaced crops.

*Remember the 30/30 rule for ¼” tubing: maximum single run limit of 30’ and no more than 30 GPH flow per single run.

Drip Line Installation:

a. Punch a hole into the mainline tubing, where you want a row or run of micro drip line, using the ¼” punch tool included in the kit.

b. Attach a ¼” barbed coupler to one end of the drip line and insert the barbed coupler into the hole you punched in the mainline. You should hear a snap or click once the barbed coupler is inserted correctly.

c. Unroll the drip line down the row. Micro drip line is flexible and can be laid out with slight curves or “S” shaped zigzags if necessary.

d. Cut the drip line to the length needed and cap the end with a ¼” goof plug.

e. Repeat steps a - d for all drip line runs.

Micro-tubing with dripper Installation:

a. Punch a hole into the mainline tubing, where you want a row or run of micro drip line, using the ¼” punch tool included in the kit.

b. Attach a ¼” barbed coupler to one end of the micro-tubing and insert the barbed coupler into the hole you punched in the mainline. You should hear a snap or click once the barbed coupler is inserted correctly.

c. Unroll the ¼” micro-tubing to reach to the first plant to be watered and cut. Please Note: If you are watering several plants in this run, proceed with steps e - g. 

d. If watering a single plant, insert the barbed inlet of a dripper into the ¼” micro-tubing; snap the dripper end of the micro-tubing into a Stabilizer Stake and push the stake into the soil near the base of the plant.

e. Insert one side of a ¼” barbed tee in the micro-tubing. Cut another short section of micro-tubing to reach from the run to near the base of the plant to be watered. Attach this section to the center point of the ¼” barbed tee. Attach the barbed inlet of a dripper to the end of this short section of micro tubing.

f. Snap the dripper end of the micro-tubing section into a Stabilizer Stake and push the stake into the soil near the base of the plant.

g. Attach the micro-tubing to the remaining barb on the tee fitting and unroll to the next plant to be watered. Continue to the last plant in this run by following directions in step d.

Note: Water hungry plants may require additional drip emitters or a higher flow dripper to meet their needs.

Drip Tape Installation:

  1. Punch a hole in the side of the ½” tubing where you want to start the run of drip tape using the ¼” punch tool included with your kit. (See our Row Crop Kit Installation Video for additional instruction.)
  2. Insert a Barbed Take-Off Valve into the hole you punched. The barb on the take-off valve is larger than the micro fittings and dripper barbs so does require some effort to insert. (A nice tight seal is desired in this fitting connection to prevent leaks.)
  3. Attach the drip tape to the perma-loc end of the barbed take-off valve by turning the locking nut all the way backwards; next push the drip tape all the way over the barb; then turn the locking nut out over the drip tape until tight.
  4. Unroll the drip tape down the straight row and cut at the end of the row. Install the perma-loc tape end cap to close the end of the drip tape run. Please note: Drip tape should be laid out with the emitters facing upwards to reduce clogging due to dirt and debris being sucked into the system at shutdown.
  5. Repeat these steps for each run of drip tape.

Tips

Placing your roll of poly tubing in the sun before installation allows the tubing to warm up and become more flexible, which makes installation easier. Also, larger rolls can be stood on edge and unrolled from the outside of the coil. It is best to anchor the end of the tubing by staking or placing a heavy object on it then unroll. Another option is lay the coil on the ground and starting with the inside end, slowly pull and twist to unroll without kinking. See our Professional Tips for more helpful suggestions.

Remember the 200/200 Rule for ½” poly tubing: maximum 200’ run lengths and 200 GPH (gallons per hour) total flow; 30/30 Rule for ¼” tubing: maximum 30’ run lengths and 30 GPH total flow. See the Tubing Buying Guide for details of tubing capacity.

Drip Tape is lightweight and can move from wind and normal expansion and contraction from temperature changes so can be staked or even buried with a few inches of soil or mulch. (See our Tips on using drip tape.)

If you live in an area where the temperatures drop down to below 37 degrees Fahrenheit you must winterize your system. See our Winterizing Instructions.