I spend years hand watering my entire garden and after several years of low rain I finally decided to look into what the best drip irrigation system was to use for my garden. A drip irrigation system basically consists of a long hose with small holes – called emitters – located at various distances along its length, connecting to a water source through a valve. Between the valve and the hose, which is called drip tubing, is located a system composed of a filter, pressure regulator, and a backflow preventer.
To water the plants in your garden, the best drip irrigation system releases water slowly at or near the roots of the plants. This maximizes irrigation efficiency because water soaks into the soil immediately, thus reducing evaporation. Here are the top 10 drip irrigation systems on the market. I hope you find this article helpful.
- Top 10 Best Irrigation Systems
- 10. Rain Bird GRDNERKIT
- 9. KingSo Micro System
- 8. Koram Easy Set
- 7. Orbit 69500
- 6. Mister Landscaper MLK-VEG
- 5. Raindrip R560DP Automatic
- 4. Dig GE200
- 3. Drip Depot Premium
- 2. Habitech Adapter Kit
- 1. Orbit 69525 Micro Bubbler
- What is a Drip Irrigation System?
- Sprinkler Emitter Best Drip Irrigation System
- Spot Watering Emitters
- Best Drip Irrigation System Components
- Benefits Of A Drip Irrigation System
- Tips For Getting The Most Out Of The Drip Irrigation System
Top 10 Best Irrigation Systems
10. Rain Bird GRDNERKIT
The Rain Bird GRDNERKIT does a good job of watering a few plants or trees, especially when they’re in a straight line. The hose is much too rigid to snake around your yard, though, so don’t expect this system to be able to handle a wide array of vegetation.
- Includes galvanized stakes
- Easy-attach couplings
- Includes only a few emitters
9. KingSo Micro System
Made from UV-resistant materials, the KingSo Micro Irrigation System is a durable solution that will keep your vegetable garden healthy for years to come. It features adjustable drip tops, allowing you to save water without making your plants have to suffer.
- Great for smaller plots
- Generous 82-foot hose
- Doesn’t come with instructions
8. Koram Easy Set
It’s fine if you’re not a plumber if you want the Koram Easy Set drip irrigation system watering your yard. The whole system is above-ground, so you won’t need to dig a lot of holes in order to run the tubing across your lawn.
- Includes installation tools
- Clearly labeled parts
- Can’t handle high water pressure
7. Orbit 69500
The Orbit 69500 drip system is a great choice for the home gardener who already has a drip irrigation system in place but who now needs to upgrade or alter it. It comes with more than ninety components that allow for the perfect watering customization.
- Useful case helps with organization
- Each watering head has own valve control
- Irrigation components are rather flimsy
6. Mister Landscaper MLK-VEG
The Mister Landscaper MLK-VEG allows you to individually control each row of drip irrigation tubing, only watering as much as needed. They also send you a DVD to help with setting up everything, so you can get this drip system set up and running in no time.
- Spikes to elevate line
- Ideal for watering raised vegetable gardens
- Valves can need frequent replacement
5. Raindrip R560DP Automatic
The Raindrip R560DP Automatic drip system is an amazing value considering the watering package not only comes with tubing, drip heads, ground stakes, and more, but also with a handy timer that can be used to fully automate the entire drip irrigation program. Set it up once and then allow it do the work.
- Timer threaded for standard spigot
- Requires little prior knowledge
- Irrigation fittings tend to leak
4. Dig GE200
The Dig GE200 drip system can irrigate up to 700 square feet of ground, so if you have a lot of vegetation to water, it’s a great choice. It works especially well on hillsides, ensuring that you’ll be able to cover uneven terrain with lush green, beautiful plants.
- Includes micro sprayers
- Perfect for watering flowering plants
- Includes back flow preventer
3. Drip Depot Premium
No tools are needed to ensure that your plants get lots to drink when you have the Drip Depot Premium. It connects to any standard tap or hose, allowing for an easy setup and making it a good irrigation system for green thumbs without a lot of technical know-how.
- Works well with programmable timers
- Video-based instructions
- Perfect for potted plants
2. Habitech Adapter Kit
If you only have a small garden to worry about — or even if you plan on building your drip watering system a piece at a time — then the Habitech Adapter Kit is an great way to get started. The irrigation system attaches directly to a hose or tap, transforming it into a steady, easy-to-manage drip irrigation kit.
- Automatically lowers high pressure
- Mesh filter helps keep debris out
- Works on all standard spigots
1. Orbit 69525 Micro Bubbler
You can get the Orbit 69525 Micro Bubbler drip system set up and going in as little as 15 minutes, so there’s no need to sacrifice the entire weekend just to set it up. The flexible tubing makes it simple to get around obstacles, making it easy for yards with lots of trees.
- Can easily connect multiple units
- Instructions are very useful
- Allows for targeted spraying
What is a Drip Irrigation System?
Simply put, the drip irrigation system uses low pressure and low volume water to slowly water your plants 24/7. You can apply various spray patterns and nozzles to keep the foliage moist and the roots moist all the time. This of course will help your plants grow more quickly and prevent you from having to water them everyday, which helps save you time.The popularity of drip irrigation has risen over the past few years. Many people just don’t have the time to water their gardens and this is one of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to do that. The other big factor for many gardeners can be a lack of fresh water. Many places are going through extreme droughts and a water efficient drip irrigation system can save you hundreds of gallons on your garden every year.
By reducing the amount of water you use on your garden you can end up saving quite a bit of money and water. Unlike an expandable garden hose, you can use your drip irrigation system to add fertilizer quickly, which helps promote better growth in your plants. By putting the water right at the root system of the plants, you aren’t wasting water by having hit the foliage or other places where it won’t help the plant, and can actually hurt it.
Sprinkler Emitter Best Drip Irrigation System
One of my favorite emitters are the drip irrigation sprinklers. They can cover a pretty large area and you don’t have to worry about specially dripping water onto individual plants. The drip irrigation sprinklers fit and standard ¼” tubing and can be adjusted to either produce a slow drip or a large spray to cover several plants.
This way you can use one emitter to water several plants. They don’t easily get clogged and the water flow is fairly constant. The best designs I have used with regard to drip irrigation use only these sprinkler drippers to cover larger areas and save more water.
Spot Watering Emitters
Are inserted directly into the tubing and emit water via the nozzle on the end. One of the most common types of emitters is a 1 gallon per hour (GPH) spot watering emitter that will deliver 1 gallon per hour @ 15-50 PSI. The great thing about these is that they are designed using high quality plastic and are UV resistant. Most emitters will fit into just about all hose tubing but you might want to double check this to be sure.
Best Drip Irrigation System Components
When looking for the best drip irrigation system you will find there are a lot of components and it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. Let’s take a look at the sample diagram above a basic irrigation system with three connections and see how it works.
It is much less expensive if you purchase an Irrigation Assortment Kit and the amount of hose you need. The Drip Irrigation 1/4″ Tubing is also much cheaper than a regular rubber garden hose. It is made from 1/4″ polyethylene material which is pretty durable.
Garden Hose Socket simply connects to your tap and is designed to fit all regular sized water taps.
Tubing Quick Connector allows water to flow in one direction and not flow backwards when the water is turned on. This will affect the water flow rate of the entire system if it didn’t have this component.
Barbed Tee connector is a simple T-connector to combine three hoses together.
Tubing Quick Connector allows you to collect two tubes together.
Stakes allows you to secure your tubing into the ground and prevents bugs or dirt from getting into or onto your hosing.
Risers act similar to stakes but allow you to lift the material off the ground and you can use different size as the plant grows taller.
Tee Pipe Connector lets you to put tubing into two sides and a coupling on the other side.
Atomizing Nozzle attaches to the end of a coupling and is where the water comes out. You can have it spray as broad of spray pattern as you want.
Dripper slowly drips water out and does not spray it out like the nozzle.
End closure allows the water to stop and prevents it from leaking out.
Benefits Of A Drip Irrigation System
For many people, the best drip irrigation system is the best and most cost-effective way to ensure that their lawn or vegetable garden stays healthy and fertile as long as possible.
The reason why they can save you money is because they don’t use as much water as many other gardening watering systems. Because they deliver water straight to the root of the plant, rather than dispersing it over a wide area, there’s less waste without depriving your precious plants of the water they need.
The systems are also easier to customize to your particular situation. Most layouts use extremely flexible hosing that you can snake around obstacles, allowing you to be absolutely certain that you won’t miss a single plant in your garden.
It also reduces the need to alter your landscape. You don’t need to level out your lawn, or move any tree stumps or fence posts that might be in your way. It’s an extremely low-effort solution, even when factoring in installation.
You’ll likely also encounter fewer weeds when you use a drip system, as virtually all the water you use will be soaked up by your plants. There won’t be large patches of wet, fertile ground for crabgrass or dandelions to sprout up, reducing the amount of time you have to spend outside with your hoe digging then up.
Drip systems aren’t all sunshine and unicorns, however. You will pay a little more up-front to install one, and the sun could damage the tubes over time. Additionally, basic periodic maintenance will likely be required to make sure that nothing gets clogged.
All in all, though, you’ll likely find that keeping a lush, green garden is much easier (and cheaper in the long run) with a drip system installed.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of The Drip Irrigation System
Once you’ve finally made the decision to convert your landscaping over to a drip irrigation system, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Before getting started, you need to plan out the best drip irrigation system and examine your terrain. Remember that water going uphill requires more pressure, and you’ll want to make sure that you’ll have enough to sufficiently water any plants in high terrain.
Decide if you’re going to automate your entire operation, as well. Obviously, if you do, you’ll need to invest in a good quality timer, that can save you a massive amount of time and frustration down the line, which is really the point of installing one of these things!
You also need to be able to look into the future a little bit. Are your plants going to get bigger and require more water? Will you be expanding your lawn or vegetable garden, and need a drip irrigation system that can easily be extended? While it may now be essential to answer these questions before you begin, doing so can certainly prevent yourself some frustration later on.
Be sure to soak your drip emitters in a vinegar and water solution every so often and to prevent magnesium or calcium build-ups. If not, the system could get clogged — and your garden could get under-watered.
The great thing about these systems is that, as long as they are installed correctly and you don’t let them fall into disrepair, they’re pretty hard to mess up!
Good luck installing yours! Click here to read about more of the advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation.