Drip Irrigation for Container Gardens or Elevated Garden Beds
For 15 years I have been using sprinklers or hand watering because I have felt that installing a drip irrigation system will be complicated. Depending on the time of day non-drip styles of garden watering can be incredibly wasteful. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], more than 50% of used outdoors is completely wasted. The EPA says, “drip systems are generally more efficient than conventional sprinklers, because they deliver low volumes of water directly to plants’ roots, minimizing losses to wind, runoff, evaporation, or over-spray Drip irrigation systems use 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional pop-up sprinkler systems and can save up to 30,000 gallons per year.”
This is THEE SEASON for me to stop my ridiculous procrastinating and finally install a drip irrigation system for my elevated planters and raised beds. It saves water, obviously, but I also see it as an opportunity to reduce the number of hoses I have to drag around the gardener. If you remember, hose dragging was causing my osteoarthritis some major aggravation. Less hose dragging means a happier back and less work in the garden. Gardener’s Supply Company sent out a Snip-n-Drip Raised Bed Soaker System and a Snip-n-Drip Raised Bed Soaker Hose Connector Kit so I can set all my raised beds and planters right for this season’s watering.
What I discovered is that installing a drip irrigation system takes A FEW MINUTES. No kidding. A few minutes. Why oh why have I been procrastinating for 15 years? It all comes in the package – all you have to do is lay out all the pieces, cut to the measurements of the elevated beds, raised gardens, or containers that you are irrigating, following the specific directions on the package. Then assemble the system much like a giant set of Tinker Toys — simply connect the hose to the connector, then connect the other side of the hose to the other side of the connector, and so forth and so on until you’ve created your drip irrigation masterpiece.
Tall beds like my new elevated beds were as easy to install as the lower-to-the-ground gardens. Once in a while, the soaker hose would be tempted to curl up a bit. I solved that problem by clipping apart several old wire hangers I found in my closet and bending the hangers to form pins that would hold down the drip irrigation hoses.
Because I have double elevated beds, there is one spot where the soaker hoses crossed over the connecting edge of the beds (see below), but once the plants fill in you will not see the hose. With a kit, it was simple and fast to put together and definitely worth the effort as I will be saving water and saving my back both at the same time.
yep! I have been procrastinating myself for years! This article is encouraging me to make it happen! With many raised beds and flower beds, something has got to give! Thank you for sharing this story!
Drip systems are fantastic. I love this idea of using the wire hangers!
You got it Jodi! Keep on a growing and feel free to send me any questions so that I might help!
Thanks Jeremy. I appreciate your note. 🙂