Ultimate Drip Irrigation Kit for Small Farms
Congratulations on your purchase of an Ultimate Drip Irrigation Kit for Small Farms 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. We also have an instructional video showing installation of drip tape in a row crop irrigation system linked here or on the kit item page.
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.
Drip Depot Small Farm Kits utilize ¾” (.820” ID x .940” OD) poly tubing as the mainline. The larger size allows for more flow and longer runs of drip tape that is needed in small farm operations. The drip tape, included in the Small Farm Kit, is made for straight row crop irrigation, is durable, and easy to install. The Perma-Loc Tape x Barbed Tubing Take-Off Adapter Valves are used for individual on/off functionality of each tape row run. The Premium Small Farm kit also includes two complete Head Assemblies for connecting to two separate water sources.
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. This Small Farm Kit includes two complete Head Assemblies to connect to two separate water sources for optimal coverage.
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.
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.
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 and filters for proper installation.
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.
Repeat steps for the second Head Assembly connection.
*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 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 Installation - Determine the best location for your mainline(s) to reach from the water source(s) to your crop area(s). 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. Just keep in mind that drip tape runs are for straight rows only. See our Sample Design Layouts for Small Farms.
Connect the mainline tubing to the head assembly.
Lay the tubing along one end of your garden space as a header row to connect your drip tape runs.
Secure in place as needed using the 6” Heavy Duty Wire Staples.
Flush the mainline to remove any debris that may be inside.
Close the end of the tubing with the Perma-Loc End Cap.
Drip Tape Installation - Things to note when using drip tape: drip tape is flexible, but since it lays flat when not pressurized it is used for straight rows only; drip tape is thin walled so requires an even lower pressure than other drip irrigation, no more than 15 PSI (follow manufacturer’s recommendations for best results); 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; finally, drip tape can be buried or covered with mulch.
Roll out drip tape from header row to the end of your crop row. Cut to desired length. Tip: Depending on time of year and temperature, please keep in mind that expansion and contraction of polyethylene can occur as temperatures rise and fall, and may cause slight changes/movement in the length of the tubes. Giving yourself a little extra length might be helpful to ensure good coverage at the end of your row.
Using the 7mm (400 barb) punch tool, included in the kit, punch a hole in the ¾” tubing at the location where you want to connect the drip tape run. See our video on how to use the 7mm Punch: https://youtu.be/i8oFCZHQobY.
Insert the barbed end of the take-off valve into the hole. It is important to cut a clean hole to ensure a tight leak-proof seal between the tubing and the fitting.
Attach the drip tape to the perma-loc end of the barbed take-off adapter 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.
Install the perma-loc tape end cap to close the end of the drip tape run. You may use a few heavy duty wire staples to secure the drip tape in place also. Just keep it loose enough to allow the tape to fill without any restrictions to flow.
Repeat these steps for each run of drip tape.
*illustration depicts installation for smaller tubing and fitting sizes but is the same general process for the larger tubing and fittings.
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 480 Rule for 3/4” poly tubing: maximum 480’ run lengths and 480 GPH (gallons per hour) total flow. See the Tubing Buying Guide for details of tubing capacity.
Making straight clean cuts is very important to get secure connections between drip tape and the perma-loc fittings.
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.