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How to Irrigate a Veggie Garden

There are a few ways to go about watering a veggie garden. Micro Sprinklers, Drip Irrigation and depending on the size of the garden, Spray Sprinklers. Micro sprinklers for the average household are the most common systems. Veggie gardens are an active place for you to dig up, replace and change vegetables. Due to this, dripline is not going to work, it gets in the way of the Trowel, and due to the sizing of common veggie gardens, spray sprinklers overthrow.

Have a look at the categories below for our recommended products for each system.

For this example, we will base our design on an above-ground Veggie Garden, 2m x 1m x 08.m (LxWxH) using the recommended Micro Spray System

Veggie-Garden-Dimensions

Pipe

With this example, we are not talking about delivery of water to the veggie garden, and assuming you have a water line already or tap close by that can be easily connected

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13mm Lateral

Brand: Netafim

Features

  • UV stabilised for long life
  • Suitable for Wetta spray and drip systems
  • Tested to 3 bar pressure rating (43.5 psi)

The pipe commonly used in a veggie garden to deliver the water is 13mm Lateral Pipe. The 13mm Tube is a perfect option as it comes in 25 and 50-meters at a low price. The tube is smaller in size that can be disguised easily. This pipe is rated to 3 Bar/43.5 psi.

19mm Lateral

Applications

  • Low-pressure irrigation systems
  • Horticultural
  • Viticultural
  • Landscape
  • Residential

Features

  • 5 Bar rated (72 psi)

19mm Lateral pipe is common is most irrigation landscape situations. If you are planning on doing another area, e.g. your Lawn. You could use 19mm Lateral for the veggie garden as well and save money and hassle with not changing sizes. This Pipe, as well as the 13mm x 100m, is rated at 5 Bar

The graphic below showcases common ways to install the lateral pipe for your veggie garden. If you have the option, you can hide the tube inside the veggie box, giving you a neater look, as seen on the left. The tube can then go straight underground and run hidden to your tap or water source. The other option is to go up and over the box, as seen in the right example. Not as attractive but makes repairs and maintenance much more comfortable.

veggie-garden-pipe-options

Valve

We always recommend having a shutoff valve for any irrigation system. The benefits greatly outweigh the costs. If you have to do repairs to the sprinklers or a line breaks, you won't have to worry about flooding the veggie garden and act quickly.

See our examples below in how you can lay a ball valve in your veggie garden.

veggie-garden-with-Lat-ball-valve-under
veggie-garden-with-Lat-ball-valve-over

Here is the top-down view of how the pipe and valve are installed for our veggie garden example. Keep in mind that the valve is in a valve box and is buried, leaving just the lid shown, as seen in the example above.

veggie-garden-pipe-top-Lat-valve

Micro Sprays

The reason we mainly use micro-spray sprinklers for the veggie gardens is the fine droplets that are emitted, along with the size of the throw.
Standard micro or jet sprays throw around 1 - 1.5m, with a lot of customisability in stands and stakes to help install. The Vari Jet Micro Spray is ideal for a veggie garden as it has a flow dial to control range and flow of each sprinkler. Allowing you to adjust the distance of throw, in case it is going too far, helping flush the sprinkler when blocked.

The Vari-Jet's screwed into a Rigid Riser, the Rigid Riser snaps into an Asta Stake, and poly tube connects this set up to the mainline. Giving you great flexibility in heights and positions for your sprinkler.

Micro-Spray-adjustable
Micro-Spray

Rigid Riser and Asta Stake connection

Pros:

  • Adjustable Height
  • Solid Asta Stake structure, keeps the spray upright
  • Flexibility in positioning due to poly tube connection
  • Poly Tube connection doesn't wear and tear the barb in the mainline when knocked or moved.
  • Easy assembly

Cons:

  • More components = more price and assembly needed

Rigid Riser only connection

Pros:

  • More economical
  • Easy Assembly

Cons:

  • Fixed Height
  • Fixed Position
  • The spray is more susceptible to being knocked out of position.
  • When knocked, the barbed connection to the mainline wears and enlarges causing leaks.
  • These leaks if knocked around too much will leak, you'll have to plug holes and punch a new hole, next to the repair.

Sprayer Directly into Mainline connection.

Pros:

  • Economical
  • If the veggie garden mainline is well above the plants, this could work.

Cons:

  • When knocked, the barbed connection to the mainline wears and enlarges causing leaks.
  • These leaks if knocked around too much will leak, you'll have to plug holes and punch a new hole, next to the repair.
  • The sprayer is likely to get buried.
  • No flexibility or adjustability.
  • The sprayer will spray directly into the closest plant and not get up and over. Bad coverage

Coverage

The advantage of micro sprays in veggie gardens is the droplet size and coverage. Most home veggie garden boxes are around the 1m to 2m size, which works perfectly for these micro sprays. For more extensive/wider beds, you can add a row into the middle that throws a full 360 degrees and so forth.

As you can see below, this garden bed layout allows for full coverage of the plants with minimal wastage. Sprinklers always water more, closer to the base of the sprinkler, than they do further out. Hence why we use head to head application. They are allowing each sprinkler to cover the areas that would be dry.

veggie-garden-with-Sprinklers-cut-out

An example of the spray pattern and why we use head to head application

sprinkler-coverage-side-on
sprinkler-coverage
sprinkler-coverage
sprinkler-coverage
sprinkler-coverage
sprinkler-coverage

Products Used