auto drip irrigation system

How To Install DIY Drip Watering In Your Garden

This guide will show you how to design, install, and setup a DIY drip irrigation system with a programmable timer to automate your watering schedule. Gardening has never been this easy.


Gardening doesn’t have to be complicated, or difficult. Plants only need a few things – and when those needs are satisfied – a garden will thrive and grow plenty of fresh healthy vegetables or flowers.

Plants need three things: food, water, and sun. In a perfect world, nature takes care of providing proper quantities of these three necessary elements. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy in the real world! Most of the time a garden will need supplemental water and food (fertilizer).

Benefits of Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is an excellent choice for any garden because it’s easy to set up, and inexpensive. D rip irrigation uses less water than other watering systems because it is extremely efficient. Drip irrigation systems supply water directly to a plant and its roots in the soil immediately below.

Water is delivered exactly where it’s needed, and not wasted in the unused soil between plants (as is the case with sprinkling systems). A drip irrigation system supplies water slowly so the soil is able to absorb essentially all of the water; as a result, very little water is lost to evaporation.

As an added benefit, weeds will be less likely to sprout up between plants because the unused soil is not being watered.

Benefits of Automatic Watering

Watering a garden by hand can be a pain and takes up precious time. It’s easy to water too little, too much, or forget entirely. Furthermore, watering by hand requires your presence, which can get in the way of those summer vacation plans!

This is where an automatic watering system comes in handy. An automatic drip irrigation system will keep watering your garden, even when you aren’t around.

The biggest benefit of using a programmable timer to automate your watering schedule is the time savings; automatic watering will save you time every day!

A drip irrigation system controlled by an automatic timer is the perfect combination, and provides all the benefits of both.

How To Install Drip Irrigation In A Raised Garden Bed

This tutorial will show you how to design and install a drip irrigation system in a 4 FT x 8 FT raised garden bed. For more information on raised-bed gardening, and to learn how to build one of your own: see our How To Build A Raised Garden Bed article .

Automatic drip watering is an easy DIY project, and it’s budget friendly! The project is affordable and can be completed in under an hour.

Automatic Drip Irrigation Supplies

All of the following supply links are on Amazon.

Additional Supplies For Larger Systems

  • 1/2″ Drip Tubing (50FT)
  • 1/2″ To 1/4″ Reducer Tees
  • 5/8″ Supply Hose
  • Supply Hose to 1/2″ Adapter

Step 1) Planning & Designing A Drip Watering System

Drip irrigation systems use low-flow drip emitters to deliver water to the plants in a garden. You can think of drip emitters as mini sprinklers.

Drip emitters have a very small coverage area and must be placed within a few inches a plant. One emitter is needed for each plant.

The number emitters to build a complete drip watering system in a raised garden bed will vary depending the size of the plants. For example: a large zucchini plant will sprawl out, and can take up nearly half of a raised garden bed. However, small plants can often be be fit into a 12” squares. A garden with only small plants could require as many as 32 drip emitters in a 4FT by 8FT raised garden bed.

I recommend using a notepad and pencil to sketch out a plan for the unique design of your garden.

Try to make your design look like a tree, with one main distribution line that runs the length of the garden (representing the tree trunk) and ‘branches’ that come off the trunk. Each branch should lead to a drip emitter. See the image below for an example.

Make sure to keep all the drip tub tubing lines straight and parallel with the sides of the raised garden bed – to keep everything looking neat and tidy .

Trying to feeding more than 10 drip emitters with a single 1/4″ tubing line will not work. It results in uneven watering; there will not be enough water pressure for the drip emitters at the end of the system. A 1/2″ main distribution line should be used for drip watering systems with more than 10 emitters. This larger diameter tubing is capable of supplying much more water and will keep water pressure up throughout the system.

Drip Tubing Size & Flow Rates

The recommended maximum flow rate for 1/4″ drip tubing is 30 GPH (gallons per hour) with a maximum of 30 FT of tubing. The drip emitters used in this tutorial have an adjustable flow rate. They can be set between zero and 10 GPM by tightening or loosing the screw-on emitter cap. At the max flow setting of 10 GPM, three drip emitters would be the most a 1/4″ drip hose could handle. Adjusting the flow rate down to 3 GPM (or less) allows you to supply up to 10 drip emitters with a single 1/4″ tube.

Larger 1/2″ drip tubing is rated for a maximum of 200 GPM and 200FT. This size gives you plenty of headroom to use as many drip emitters as necessary. Reducing tees make it easy to connect a 1/2″ main distribution line to 1/4″ tubing for each of the smaller ‘branches’ in the system.

To install drip irrigation systems in multiple garden beds, use a 5/8″ supply hose to bring water to each individual raised garden bed. Use a 1/4″ Drip Hose Adapter (or a 1/2″ Hose Adapter for use with a 1/2″ main distribution line) to convert from supply hose to drip tubing.

Step 2) Install Drip Lines & Emitters

Installing the system is the most satisfying part of this project! Once you have a plan and all the supplies, the actual installation is process is easy and quick.

How To Cut 1/4″ Drip Hose

Start by measuring, and cutting a 1/4″ drip hose leading to the first drip emitter on your design plan. To cut the hose, use a good pair garden shears. A utility knife will work, but I prefer using garden shears because they make it easy to cut the tubing safely. They’re also great for pruning when the time comes!

How To Install 1/4″ Barbed Drip Fittings

To connect drip irrigation tubing to a barbed fitting, press them firmly together by hand. Make sure to keep pressing them together until the tubing slides past the barbs on the fitting. Joining tubing and a barbed fitting instantly creates a watertight seal. The connection stays sealed in place without any glue, fasteners or hose clamps.

This does require a little bit of hand strength and force. If you’re having trouble getting the hose pressed all the way onto the fittings, try letting the tubing sit out in the sun for a few hours, or soaking the tubing in hot water. Installation requires less force when the tubing is hot because it’s more flexible and elastic.

If you mess up, it’s possible to remove a fitting. Simply pull and twist. With a little tug, the barbed fitting should separate from the tubing without a ton of force. As long as nothing breaks, you can reuse both the tubing, and the fittings.

Step 3) Setup An Auto-Watering Timer

A programmable timer is what makes an automatic drip irrigation system extremely convenient. An auto-watering timer can be programmed to water your garden on a schedule that works best for the plants you’re growing.

Install the timer directly onto a faucet, or mount it right to your raised garden bed. After installing two AA batteries, start setting up your programmable automatic watering timer. This timer is extremely user friendly. With a little luck, and a little skill, you will probably fly through the setup without even needing to consult the included instructions.

How Often Should You Water?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a good one-size-fits-all answer. How much water a garden needs depends on the types of plants, and the climate. For growing vegetables in a raised garden bed in Oregon’s temperate Willamette Valley, I like to water every morning for 10 minutes. This doesn’t provide the full amount of water needed, but it rains infrequently throughout the summer. When it’s especially hot or dry, I’ll up the watering duration to 15 min per day.

You can fine-tune the amount of water delivered to each plant by adjusting the drip emitters. For example: hot peppers are native to dry climates, so they don’t require as much water as other vegetables. Turn the adjustable flow rate down on the drip emitters supplying water to hot peppers such as jalapeños or habaneros.

Keep in mind that a properly functioning drip irrigation system will only leave a small visible wet area on the surface soil around a drip emitter. This might be a bit of an adjustment if you’re used to hand watering and seeing everything sopping wet. But don’t worry, most of the water is below the surface!

Don’t Forget The Plant Food!

Your drip irrigation system will provide all the water needed, however, your plants still need food. There is a number of different ways that work, but I recommend using this Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder All Purpose Plant Food from Amazon. It makes the job super easy! For best results, feed every 1-2 weeks.

Check Out Our YouTube Channel!

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to see more projects like this one, check out all of our DIY projects.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading along! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

An automatic drip irrigation system is the perfect DIY solution to your gardening struggles. You’ll have a green thumb in no time!

Automatic drip irrigation system


Published on Oct 29, 2015

it is a overview ppt regarding drip irrigation system

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  1. 1. Seminar on: Automatic Irrigation System With Remote Monitoring and Control System Submitted by: Chiranjeev sinha Roll no. 1113321030 EN 3rd year Session 2013 -2014
  2. 2. Introduction  The continuous increasing in population of the world demands massive amount of food which is a major cause of concern in coming future.  To meet the need of huge food production there is an urgent need of rapid improvement in food production technology, a system that makes the agricultural process easier and burden free from the farmer’s prospective.  In a country like India, where the economy is mainly based on agriculture and the climatic conditions are isotropic, still we are not able to make full use of agricultural resources, so we introduce the MBIS.  MBIS is a manually controlled micro controller based irrigation system by which farmers can irrigate their fields very easily from anywhere in the world.
  3. 3. Problems in Irrigation  Water wastage  Crop destroyed  Money wastage  Time wastage  Land fertility decrease  Huge labor needed
  4. 4. Drip Irrigation System  In manual irrigation sometimes the quantity of water irrigated is in excess or sometimes there is scarcity of water due to which the crops get destroyed.  Drip irrigation saves water by allowing water to drip slowly directly to the roots of plants, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters.  It will improve crop performance by ensuring adequate water and nutrients when needed.
  5. 5. Block Diagram Sensing logic
  6. 6. Sensing logic  The logic consists of two wires one with the 5V supply and the other one was the ground attached to the adjacent sprinklers of Drip irrigation system  When there is water in the field conduction will take place between the wires • voltage at the microcontroller will go low • The interrupt generated will trigger the GSM module to call the authentic user which indicates there is need of turning OFF the motor.  If there is no water in the field, there is no conduction between the wires • voltage at the microcontroller will go high • The interrupt generated will trigger the GSM module to call the authentic user which indicates there is need of turning ON the motor
  7. 7. Working  Once call has come from the GSM module setup in the circuit.  If the farmer wants to switch ON the motor he just needs to give a ring to the particular modem number (GSM number) which is implemented in this circuit.  Microcontroller checks weather the call is coming from authenticated person if it matches with the number which is given in the program then it will start the motor.  If the number doesn’t match means some other person is calling then no action will be taken.
  8. 8. Advantages  Decreased Labor Costs.  Improved and better crop production.  No water deficiency in crops.  User friendly setup.  Easy to control  Saves time.  Saves water.  Low cost and easy to implement.  Cover whole area of the field.  Reliable system.
  9. 9. Disadvantages  Difficult in case of failure of GSM modem.  Kit is to be protected from reaching water.
  10. 10. Conclusion  This system is user friendly and having a lots of advantages  Farmer can use it from any where in the world according to their needs.  It is very cheap and reliable system having less disadvantages.  The ability to conserve the natural resources as well as giving a splendid boost to the production of the crops is one of the main aims of implementing such technology into the agricultural domain of the country  To achieve the nation’s goal of having three times meal for everyone.
  11. 11. References  Mahir Dursun and Semih Ozden (2011). “A wireless application of drip irrigation automation supported by soil moisture sensors”, Scientific Research and Essays Vol. 6(7), pp. 1573-1582, 4 April, 2011.  Indu Gautam, S.R.N. Reddy, “Innovative GSM Bluetooth Based Remote Controlled Embedded System for Irrigation”, on IJCA, June 2012.  Mahesh M. Galgalikar, “Real-Time Atomization of Agricultural Environment for Social Modernization of Indian Agricultural System”, on IEEE Proceedings, 2010.  Vasif Ahmed, Siddharth A. Ladhake, “Design of Ultra Low Cost Cell Phone Based Embedded System for Irrigation”, on International Conference on Machine Vision and Human Machine Interface,2010
  12. 12. Queries ?
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it is a overview ppt regarding drip irrigation system