Micro-irrigation can seem daunting at first. You might have found yourself standing in the irrigation aisle of your local hardware store staring at a display of little black plastic bits that all look the same but surely all must have their specific purpose. Where does one begin?
We are here to help you on your journey. Follow our step-by-step guide and you will be irrigating your garden effortlessly in no time.
1- Your first step is to download the Neta DIY Irrigation Planner. It will assist you every step of the way and will also serve as a handy shopping list to take to your local hardware retailer.
2- The guide will first ask you to identify the areas you want to water, measure them and draw them on graph paper. You don’t need to be a great artist; however, it does help to have accurate measurements of your garden beds.
3- The next step is the bucket test which is needed to determine your flow rate. All you need is a 9 litre bucket and a stop watch. Simply turn your tap on full blast and time the amount of seconds it took to fill up the bucket. Your flow rate will help determine the amount of lines you will need.
- Do the bucket test at approximately the same time of day that you plan to run your irrigation.
- Do the bucket test with your electronic tap timer attached if you plan on using one as it could affect the flow rate significantly.
- If you put too many water emitters on one supply line you could exceed your tap flow rate. If this happens, the water output may be affected and the system may not water your plants as expected.
4- Once you have planned out your irrigation system using the planner information and your drawn map, you will end up with a list of components you will need. Take this list to your local hardware store or garden centre and gather what you need.
Make sure to purchase items such as Pipe Saddle Clamps, Rigid Pipe Stakes and Ratchet Clips as these are important for holding your irrigation system in place.
Add a pack of Goof Repair Plugs as there is always a chance you may put a hole in the wrong place and will need an easy way to repair it.
5- Once back home, your first task is to unroll the poly pipe and stretch it out in a straight line in the sun using Rigid Pipe Stakes to hold it in place. The warmth from the sun will soften the pipe and remove the coiled storage memory making it easier to handle.
6- Mark out the area in your garden where you want to set up your irrigation system based on the layout drawn using your Neta irrigation planner. Remember to measure twice and cut once.
7- Soaking pipe ends in hot water will soften them making it easier to slip over the barb fittings.
8- Using a Ratchet Clip at each connection between the fitting and the pipe will ensure that the fitting will not pop off, especially with strong water pressure.
- Use a pair of pliers to ensure the Ratchet Clip clicks in all the way.
- Make sure the arms of the Ratchet Clip line up perfect or there is the potential for the clip to pop open.
9- Secure the system in place with Pipe Saddle Clamps and Rigid Pipe Stakes.
10- Determine where the drippers, sprayers, or joiners for the 4mm Flexi Tube will go and use the 4mm Multi Tool to make holes.
11- Either use your hand, or the 4mm Multi Tool hex socket to push or screw in the dripper, sprayer, or joiner.
- If you are using the Flexi Tube to extend your irrigation system, it is helpful to assemble the sprinklers and drippers before attaching to the main pipe.
12- Avoid getting dirt and debris into the system as you assemble it as it may clog the drippers and sprayers.
- A filter at the tap end will also help prevent debris entering the system.
13- Connect the system to the tap and check for leaks. This is especially important to do before burying any parts of the system below the soil. Adjust the flow on adjustable drippers and sprayers to give the required spread of water across the soil.
Congratulations! You have finished and your irrigation system is good to go.
To make irrigating your garden and lawn even easier, consider adding an electronic timer to the system so you can water the garden automatically and effortlessly.