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Drip irrigation system or PVC pipe?

Hi, I just made and set up four 55 Gallon barrels to collect rain for my first garden that I will be putting in next spring.

Can someone please help me understand why I should purchase a drip irrigation system over Making my own with PVC? Is there any benefits of with using a drip irrigation kit? I'm just trying to figure out how to do this right since it's my first garden.

Thank you, Randy

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Re: Drip irrigation system or PVC pipe?

In my experience, you will spend more using pvc than buying black polyethylene tubing (I bought a 500' roll for thirty something several years ago). And you'll still need the emitters, and the fittings for the pvc, as well as the tubing, though emitters are easier to put on tubing than pvc. Also, using that water from barrels requires something that will work with low pressure, like T-tape, unless you are watering by hand.

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Re: Drip irrigation system or PVC pipe?

Hi Pepperhead, I am going to have a timer hoped to the barrels. Thank you for the advice, I am already convinced to buy irrigation system since you mentioned price lol. Will any drip irrigation system work with barrels since I have low flow from the barrels? I am not sure how much pressure I will have but my barrels is about 11 feet high compared to my garden area.

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Re: Drip irrigation system or PVC pipe?

You could simply use soaker hoses and not worry so much about the pressure. Note, having used drip irrigation for many years, I can tell you that the hoses will leak after a few years and sections will have to be replaced in a vegetable garden. Drip works best in permanent plantings like vineyards etc. Also with drip you have to water so the most water needy get enough, meaning you will be watering places that don't even have plants later in the season, and you will still need to hand water when you are trying to get seed to germinate. I save water in barrels too, but have reverted back to using watering cans out the barrels or placing them up high enough that there is enough gravity pressure to run a hose and had water.

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Re: Drip irrigation system or PVC pipe?

Hi Randy,

Warm welcome to the forum.

Please update your profile to include your county and state. You will get a much better response with a more specific location.

NIX the PVC. You need flexibility in a garden.

I have used both drip systems and soaker hoses as a Landscape Contractor and a home gardener.

I used Poly Drip for my drip systems. Send them photos and a sketch of your garden and they will help you design a system.


They have great battery operated digital timers with a 5 year warranty.

For soaker hoses I prefer the flat hoses rather than the round, black hoses. They are much easier to weave between your plants.

Whether you opt for a drip system or soaker hoses do invest in a timer. Set it to go off in the wee hours of the morning. Before day break.

BTW - most drip systems and soaker hoses use a 1/2" feed line. I always used a 3/4" feed line. Much better water pressure.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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Re: Drip irrigation system or PVC pipe?

I concur with others that PVC is expensive when you factor in the cost of connectors, etc. And, when you have it in place, it's essentially permanently in place. Get some type of hose system for flexibility. Yes, they eventually crack or split, but not yearly. If you pull them out at the end of the season and take care of them they will do okay.
Dan - "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends..." Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Karnevil #9

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