Designing A Drip Irrigation System

I’ll have to see about that in the spring - it just frosted here last night so I think we’re getting close to the end of the season (plus my backflow preventer cracked :frowning:)

Yes, those are the 4 trees

I need to get an exact list of all the plants installed - will work on this, thanks

This is why I do this. Maybe run a test spot for XX minutes until you find the ‘sweet spot’ where coverage area halts?

That’s never fun. If you haven’t replaced it already, I’d recommend installing unions before and after the backflow for easy maintenance in the future. Something like this :wink:

Let me know when you have this list and we can review it in more detail. Until then, I found the following for your trees:

  • Kwanzan Cherry: ½ to 1 inch per week
  • Autumn Glory Maple: 1 to 1½ inches of water per week.
  • Magnolia: Every week for its first two growing seasons, a magnolia needs 5 to 8 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter.

Scheduling of drip lines is tricky; either the zone needs plants with similar hydrazones throughout for one type of emitter to be used, or emitters with different outputs need to be installed to match the watering needs of each plant/tree on an individual level. If your drip line uses bubblers, you can adjust this to reflect the water requirements of each sone.

Hope this helps.

Best, Emil

@ronjonp, this is a great idea! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Turns out it was just a piece in the backflow prevent - the vent cap - replaced that and all is well with it… though, a PVC pipe nearby also got a small crack but that should be fixed soon

Hmmmm, sounds like I may need to do changes around the trees since they don’t have the same watering needs? Reduce the emitter flow rates and/or # of emitters so that each tree gets the appropriate water it needs in a week?

@jsurpless, ah good, that’s an easy fix.

I’ve seen this issue with PVC and temperature swings more times than I can remember. Copper pipe usually weathers better, but it’s a cheap retrofit if your entire backflow setup is PVC now. A trick I learned from an old-timer was to wrap your back flow (and exposed piping) in xmas lights (the old school ones with the big bulbs) during the last weeks of the watering system. This would heat up the pipe enough to prevent freezing. Heat tape would probably also do the trick…you could set it up to IFTTT and have a WeMo outlet turn on anytime the temp goes below “X”. Just an idea :wink:

Ideally, yes. This is the common catch 22 with drip zones. They are installed and designed for plants “A”, but then designs change and plants “B” and “C” are added. If the sprinkler tech doesn’t know their plants, they will mistaking install emitters thinking it’s getting water and not consider how much water. Then the watering dance begins with some plants getting too much water and others not enough. Someone needs to create a smart drip emitter and can crunch the numbers and apply a different output across the zone pending the watering time scheduled.


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