Sustainable Opportunities Ltd

Greening Urban Evironments

Guidelines - Project Two - 4 Steps

Automate your irrigation system for £50

If you find regular irrigation by hand is getting you down, or you are off on holiday, this next project will automate the irrigation process by introducing a timer which will then control the irrigation process. You set the timer to turn on the water at specified intervals and then the water runs into the high end of your gutters down to the low end and any excess drains off into a drip tray.

What you need:

  1. Irrigation drippers
  2. Micro irrigation PVC tubing
  3. Battery opperated irrigation timer

Step 1 Get hold of some irrigation drippers

Irrigation drippers come in all sorts of shapes and size

drippersdripperanother dripper

 

Drippers can be bought from specialist suppliers, DIY or gardening stores or online from a range of outlets. A list of possible sources is included at the end of this Guide.

Some drippers are rated in terms of the number of litres per hour they will introduce and others are adjustable so that you can vary the amount of irrigation through the dripper. If you are growing a variety of plants in a variety of gutters then you may find the adjustable type more useful.

Drippers typically have around a ¼ in/4mm barb that will allow the fitting and gripping into 4mm (ID) inside diameter 6/7mm (OD) outside diameter plastic (typically PVC) irrigation tubing. Some precision drippers are expensive (£3 each) and some are ‘excellent value’ (£3 for 50 on Amazon).

KISS - If you regulate the angle of your gutters you control the drainage with any excess irrigation draining away and so you may be quite happy with the ‘value’ product. Just ensure your ‘value’ drippers allow slightly more than enough irrigation water in at periodic intervals – any excess will just drain away or be caught in a drip tray for re-use.

Useful links

Step 2 Get hold of some irrigation tubeing

You have to ensure that the tubing you buy will fit and grip the irrigation drippers that you have selected. Usually this will be what it termed ‘micro irrigation PVC tubing’ and typically this will be the 4mm(ID - Inside diameter ) and 6/7mm(OD - Outside diameter) PVC tubing mentioned above. A link to sources is included at the end of the guide.

Useful links

Step 3 Get hold of an irrigation timer

Battery operated irrigation timers can be bought from specialist suppliers, DIY or gardening stores or online from a range of outlets. A list of possible sources is included at the end of this Guide. You should be able to pick up a reasonable one for aound £15-£30. You should check that it will fit onto your tap, your adaptor, your hose or other water source.

timerirrigation timer

Useful links

Step 4 Drill hole in sealed end fitting, fit tube to timer and through hole to dripper

end fitting with holefitted dripperfitted dripper

The size of the hole should match the OD (outside diameter) of the irrigation tube you have chosen. Push the irrigation tube through the hole and then push the barbed end of the dripper into the tube.

Congratulations you now have an irrigation system controlled by a timer !

You can go on holiday and leave it to water itself

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