Micro Irrigation is one of the simplest forms of irrigation and is ideal for the home Greenhouse Irrigation System or home garden. It is also widely used by Pubs, shops, garden centres and nurseries, in fact anywhere and everywhere that plants need water. This system is favoured by both professional and DIY enthusiasts alike.
Using a mains water supply (ie outside tap) is the best economical method to achieving a Home Garden Irrigation System.
For those of us who have busy lives, and want peace of mind, just by adding a battery operated controller you can have a totally automated system, which you can safely leave operating whilst away.
Whats needed for a Home Garden System
Firstly you need a water supply distribution line, and this is normally either a 16mm or 20mm LDPE pipe connected to your outside tap. The LDPE pipe can then be run around the building or garden to supply the water to the irrigation system. The LDPE pipe, for neatness, can be fixed to wall or fences by way of pipe clips or even run underground.
Once you have decided where your hanging baskets, plant pots, or flower bed irrigation etc will be placed, each of the baskets or pots can have its' own outlet, you can then run the LDPE pipe round the building or garden to suit. Once you are happy with the layout, you can then insert the connectors at regular intervals along the LDPE pipe to allow water to be fed to the individual outlets.
In order to insert the connectors into the LDPE pipe, a small tool can be used to make the hole, making a junction at which the outlet is attached. Using a length of 4mm pipe attached to the connector, the outlet can then be placed in the hanging basket, plant pot, vegetable patch or flower bed.
A Typical Layout
A typical layout consists of:
1. Tap connector to 16mm or 20mm LDPE pipe
2. A length of 16mm or 20mm LDPE pipe - supplied in 25mt, 50mt or 100mt lengths
3. To assist in the routing of the LDPE pipe, various fittings known as Barbed Fittings are available. ie. Tees , for taking a branch off, Elbows, for turning corners, Stop Ends for the end of the line valves, to name but a few.
4. The Small Bore Pipe (4mm) comes in 50 or 100mt lengths, you should allow 500mm for each outlet, although shorter or longer lengths can be used. Also available is a range of fittings to assist in the used of this pipe. ie. Tees, Crosses, Elbows etc, all of which can be found in the 4mm fittings section.
5. The most versatile outlet for the Hanging Baskets and plant pots is the Octamitter. This outlets flow can be individually adjusted to suit the different requirements of each basket or pot. ie. Small pots - very low flow, larger pots - higher flow - and all coming off the same LDPE Pipe. There are several variants of the outlet, of which the most common is the stake version, but the outlets are also available as a Barb fitting, which can fit into a LDPE pipe, or a Threaded Connector which fits into a tube known as a riser.
6. Micro Sprays of various designs are available for irrigating the vegetable patch or flower bed. These sprays are normally fitted onto a small tube known as the riser tube these are then attached to a stake for inserting into the ground around the various beds etc. The riser tube comes in 2 lengths but can either be cut down to reduce its length or by using a threaded fitting can be joined together to increase its length. In order to join the riser to the 4mm pipe, a small fitting is needed, and this can be found in the 4mm Fittings Section.
7. Various outlets all screw into the riser tube, a few examples are below
Micro Sprays - these on average cover a 1.5mt radius, dispensing either 90lph, in Black (litres per hour), or 55lph, in Green and are available as follows:
i. 360º Spread
ii. 180º Spread, or
iii. 90º Spread
Strip Sprays - these consist of 2 outlets, each with a 180º spread, placed apart, ideal coverage for a narrow bed.
Mister Sprays - these give a 1mt radius, dispensing a fine mist
Rotor Sprays - these cover a 360º full circle spread, and by using various outlets on average will give between a 2 & 3mt radius spread
Vari-Rotor Sprays - as Rotor Sprays but are fully adjustable.
The Vortex Spray gives a full cirle spray and like the octamitter is fully adjustable from a few centimetres to a diameter of 3.6 metres at 1.5bar water pressure.
The Vortex Spray comes in various forms ie:
On a Stake
On a Barb - this sits directly into the LDPE pipe or on to a 4mm Tube.
or threaded - this fits in to a riser tube.