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All Things Garden,  Irrigation

How to Install Drip Irrigation in Raised Garden Beds (Drip Tape)

One of our top priorities when building our new garden was to install drip irrigation for all the raised garden beds. When it comes to keeping plants healthy and happy, providing deep, even, regular water is just as important as high-quality soil, compost, and sunshine! Yet good irrigation practices often go overlooked. Hand-watering is time consuming, and it’s difficult to be consistent. Plus, setting up automated drip irrigation systems can often feel intimidating… until now!

Follow along and learn how to set up drip irrigation for multiple raised garden beds. Our new raised bed drip irrigation system utilizes drip tape, but the skills you’ll learn today can easily be applied to other types of drip emitters too. This article and accompanying video will walk you through everything you need to know – from supplies to the step-by-step process – to feel confident to set up a similar drip system of your own. 



In this article you will find:


  • A brief introduction to drip tape irrigation, including frequently asked questions and best practices about spacing, timing, pressure, and winterizing.

  • A list of supplies needed to set up drip irrigation to raised garden beds. Nearly everything on this list was purchased through Drip Depot. We’ve been long-time Drip Depot customers, and I recently signed up as an affiliate with them as well. So, we’ll receive a small commission if you shop through our links – which is greatly appreciated and supports our work!

  • A YouTube video. I will walk you through the supplies and process of installing drip irrigation for raised garden beds using drip tape. I also show a quick demo of how to glue PVC pipe, and a few other styles of raised bed drip irrigation systems too. If irrigation feels intimidating or confusing to you, it may be best to start by watching the video and then come back to digest everything else!

  • A written summary of the steps shown in the video, with plenty of photos of our drip system install.

  • Notes for alternative options for installing drip irrigation to raised garden beds (such as using standard ½” irrigation tubing and emitters rather than drip tape). 


Jump straight to the video here.


Drip Irrigation Saves!


Did you know that automatic drip irrigation systems not only save you time and energy, but also save water? Studies show that drip irrigation can save up to 70% more water than overhead sprinkler systems. Rather than spraying everything down willy-nilly, drip irrigation delivers targeted water right at the base of plants and soil. This reduces waste, runoff, and evaporation. 

Not to mention, drip irrigation is more efficient and effective at watering plants deeply, rather than only wetting the top few inches of the soil. Deep water means deeper roots, and more resilient, drought-tolerant, and robust plants. All in all, drip irrigation is a win-win – for you, your wallet, plants, and the planet.



What is drip tape?


Drip tape is essentially a flattened version of drip tubing. It lays flat on the soil surface but puffs up once it’s pressurized and full of water. Drip tape comes with drip emitters pre-installed at a set spacing, such as every 6, 9, 12, 18, or 24 inches apart. Each individual emitter will emit a set quantity of water – from 0.25 gallons per hour (GPH) up to 1 GPH depending on the type of drip tape you choose. Drip tape operates at a lower water pressure (8-15 psi) than standard drip irrigation (20-40 psi). 

It’s important to note that not all drip tape is created equal. In fact, drip tape often gets a bad rap as being short-lived or even “disposable” because of the way it’s commonly used in big ag. Yet the lifespan of drip tape depends on the quality and thickness of the tape used. We chose the thickest commercial-quality drip tape we could find (15 mil), rated to last up to 10 years when taken care of! 



Why we chose drip tape


We chose to use drip tape in our raised bed drip irrigation system for a number of reasons:

  1. I love the convenience of pre-installed emitters, rather than punching holes and adding emitters to solid ½” irrigation tubing as we’ve done in the past. 

  2. I also like the close emitter spacing that drip tape offers. Our drip tape has emitters every 6 inches. There is another style of round drip tubing with pre-installed emitters (like this one). But from what I saw, 9 inches was the closest emitter spacing available in that type. We’ll talk more about spacing below.

  3. Drip tape has the reputation of being less prone to clogging than other types of emitter tubing. Drip tape is well-designed not to clog, even when buried below soil or mulch! It was highly recommended by a friend of mine who does professional garden installation and maintenance.


Can you cover or bury drip tape irrigation?


Yes! Drip tape can be installed on the soil surface, buried up to a foot below the soil, or covered with mulch without clogging. Even better, covering drip tape (or other drip irrigation components) can offer protection from sun damage and temperature extremes, thereby extending its lifespan. 

In order to keep the very top of our soil well-irrigated, we plan to keep our drip tape fairly close to the soil surface but will cover it with a little soil and mulch. No matter how you choose to install your drip tape lines, be sure that the emitters face upwards.


Spacing drip irrigation in raised garden beds


I recommend spacing drip irrigation in raised garden beds in a way that evenly saturates the whole bed, with the rows no wider than 12” apart. After all, one of the many benefits of growing in raised beds is that you don’t have to follow rigid row planting, unlike traditional field row crops. Plus, the more damp soil there is around, the more the worms, nematodes, and beneficial microbes will thrive! Last but not least, watering in a wide swath around plants (as opposed to directly at their base only) encourages roots to explore, growing larger and wider. That leads to bigger, healthier plants!

In our 4×8’ raised garden beds, we installed the drip lines about 9 inches apart evenly across the bed – or four lines total per bed. Each row of drip tape has .25 gph emitters every 6 inches. This spacing will provide a nice even distribution of water across the entire bed, allowing us to plant along the drip lines or in between. It will be especially great for closely-spaced plantings like root veggies.

It’s best to position the header in one short end of your raised garden bed. Then attach the drip tape (or other drip tubing and emitters) from the header down the length of the garden bed.


Drip tape in our 4×8′ raised beds, spaced every 9 inches. With 15 emitters per 8 ft row of drip tape, each providing 0.25 gallons per hour, and four total rows of tape, that means that this bed will receive 15 gallons of water in one hour. We definitely could have gone with .5 gph drip tape too – and then run the bed for less time as needed!


How long should I run drip irrigation in raised garden beds?


It depends! Every garden will have different water demands based on the unique climate, season, temperatures and rainfall patterns. It also depends on your mulching practices, and how thirsty your plants are. Larger, mature plants generally “drink” more water than smaller ones. Soil protected with a nice 2 to 4″ layer of mulch will stay damp much longer than bare soil, greatly reducing water needs.

In general, it best to provide less frequent, deep, long watering as opposed to short shallow bouts of water every day. This will encourage deep healthy roots and stronger, more resilient plants. Try to water enough to keep the soil evenly moist at all times, but allow it to dry out ever-so-slightly between watering. Of course, you never want the soil to be totally dry! But remember that plants breathe through their roots – so the soil shouldn’t be constantly sopping wet either.

In our climate, we typically run our raised bed drip irrigation system for about an hour twice per week. The time you run your system will also vary depending on the type of emitters used. For instance, if we were using drip tape with .5 gph emitters (instead of .25 gph), we could run the system for half the amount of time.

When direct-sowing seeds, plan to provide additional overhead or hand-watering during the first few weeks. That will help keep the top of the soil nice and damp during germination and early root development.


Once these baby radishes get a little bigger, the drip irrigation system will give them plenty of water on its own. However, just after planting the seeds, I made sure to also hand-water to keep the top soil nice and damp (especially between the rows of drip tape where it’s more prone to drying out).


Winterizing a raised bed drip irrigation system


As with all types of irrigation, it’s best to winterize your raised bed drip irrigation system before freezing conditions arise. At minimum, thoroughly drain the system and protect it with a nice deep layer of mulch. Leaving standing water in pipes or valves can cause them to crack when the water freezes and expands.

Or, to further reduce the risk of damage, folks in extremely cold climates may want to remove the drip irrigation components completely – storing them in a protected location over winter. There is no need to take the whole system apart however! Use a threaded adapter at the point of connection in each raised bed. Then you can simply unscrew it, remove the entire header and attached drip lines together in one piece, and hang it in the garage (or something similar). 


Understanding water pressure in drip irrigation systems


Average household water pressure is around 40 to 60 pounds per square inch, also known as PSI. That is an ideal pressure for sinks, showers and outdoor hose bibs. Yet drip irrigation systems cannot handle such high water pressure. Too much pressure can cause “blowouts” or damage. Therefore, you’ll likely need to add a pressure reducer to your raised bed drip irrigation system. 

The best operating pressure for standard drip irrigation tubing and emitters is between 20 to 40 psi. Most times, one pressure reducer at the start of the system is adequate (e.g. where it connects to a faucet or control valve). Our main irrigation valves already had 40 psi pressure reducers installed at the head assembly. Note that lengths of over 100 feet of standard ½” irrigation tubing may start to lose pressure at the farthest end. 

Yet drip tape needs even lower pressure, from 8 to 15 psi, depending on the thickness and specifications of the chosen drip tape. ***In order to maintain good water pressure throughout our large garden space, we kept our main PVC lines at 40 psi but then added a 15 psi pressure regulator inside each raised bed before connecting drip tape.*** 


The first pressure regulator in our system reduces the water pressure down to 40 PSI in the main water supply lines that feed each garden bed.
Then in each bed, we added an additional pressure regulator to reduce down to 15 psi, ideal for drip tape.


Supplies Needed for a Raised Bed Drip Irrigation System


Below is a list of the supplies needed to create a drip irrigation system for raised garden beds using drip tape. At the end, I also noted a few alternative supplies and adjustments if you prefer to use standard ½” drip tubing instead of drip tape. 



  1. A main water supply. We ran PVC to each raised bed, and then converted to drip tubing within each bed. However, you can easily run the same type of drip tape irrigation system from a regular faucet or hose bib. This article and video will show you how to attach drip to a hose bib with an automated timer.
  1. Standard ½” irrigation tubing, which you can buy here in 50 to 1,000-foot rolls. This will be used to create the main “header” that the drip tape lines will attach to. 
  1. An adapter to connect the ½” drip tubing to your main water supply. We used this adapter to convert from threaded ¾” PVC pipe to ½” irrigation tubing (which has an option for ½” threaded pipe size under the same link). On the other hand, this 4-in-1 adapter is ideal to attach drip to a regular faucet or hose bib instead. It includes a pressure reducer, backflow device, filter, and drip tubing connector. 
  1. Optional but recommended: a valve to control or turn off each raised bed individually. Our PVC-to-drip adapter (described just above) has a valve already included. However, you can buy these separate valves to install within your ½” tubing too. 
  1. Pressure reducers. Standard drip systems should be reduced between 20 to 40 psi, which can occur at the main connection (such as at a hose bibb or irrigation valve). Our main irrigation valves already had 40 psi pressure reducers installed. Systems using drip tape must be further reduced to 8 to 15 psi (check your drip tape specifications) so we added an additional 15 psi pressure regulator at each bed. Note that our regulator is made to connect to ¾” pipe thread, but other sizes are available. 
  1. Elbows and/or tee connectors to create the header. We prefer these Perma-loc connectors that screw on over the tubing. They can easily be disconnected as needed for repairs or changes. Rather, these common compression-style connectors are more permanent; things need to be cut apart to make changes.
  1. Drip tape of choice. We used this heavy-duty 15 mil drip tape with 0.25 gph emitters every 6 inches. The 0.5 gph would be ideal for raised beds too! Drip tape comes in rolls of 100, 500, 1000 feet or more. Run some quick math to determine how much you need. For example, we installed (4) 8-foot rows per 4×8’ bed. So that’s 32 feet per bed X 16 beds (plus a few smaller beds) = about 600 feet. See above for more info on spacing.
  1. Barbed adapters. We used these 3.6 mm barb adapters to connect the ⅝” drip tape to the ½” header tubing. 
  1. End caps or clamps. We use figure 8 clamps to end the ½” irrigation tubing header. These closure clips are what we used to end each line of drip tape.

  2. A punch tool. Used to add holes to the ½” irrigation tubing and then connect various adapters or drip emitters to. Here is a simple hand punch, or this option is similar to what we use.

  3. Stakes, pins or galvanized landscape staples to hold everything in place. 
  1. If you’re working with PVC, you’ll need PVC primer, glue, and a good set of ratchet-style pipe cutters.

  2. Optional: a timer or controller to automate the system. Our orchard, existing garden, and new raised bed drip irrigation systems are connected to a solar-powered Hunter 6-station controller. The other drip systems we run from hose bibs have this simple faucet timer.

  3. A backflow preventer and filter. It’s best practice to have a backflow prevention device to stop soil or other contaminants from getting back into your household water supply. Similarly, a filter will prevent debris from entering and clogging your drip irrigation system. There are a few backflow preventer options, depending on your main water supply connection. Hard-piped systems like ours usually have a filter and backflow preventer within the mainline head assembly. Or if you are connecting to a hose bib, use a 4-in-1 faucet adapter – which has a backflow device, filter, pressure reducer and drip connection. You can add a timer too! See photos of both below.


Two of these standard sprinkler head assemblies supply the main PVC lines to our raised beds, which already include a filter, backflow device, and pressure reducer.
If you aren’t up for using PVC, you can connect drip irrigation right to a hose bibb – then run the lines to your raised garden bed! I go over exactly how to do that in this article. We also added a timer to automate the system, which can supply two different zones!



This all-in-one adapter makes it a breeze to attach your drip irrigation to a hose bib or faucet!


Alternate drip supplies: 


If you’d rather use ½” irrigation tubing to create rows instead of drip tape, there are a few adjustments you’ll need to make. One, you can create the main header (just like ours) but use 3/4” poly tubing instead of half-inch tubing for the header. Then, use these barbed adapters to connect ½” tubing to it. Keep in mind you’ll need to purchase 3/4” connectors, elbows, and other adapters for your header assembly in this case.

Another option is to still use ½” tubing in your header, but cut it and install tees every 8-12 inches to attach the lateral lines to. From there, you can connect either pre-perforated ½” drip tubing like this, or regular solid ½” tubing with your own emitters added, such as  1 GPH or 2 GPH drip emitters, or connect micro-sprinklers or bubblers with ¼” micro-tubing. Or, you could even connect 1/4″ drip tubing to a 1/2″ header, shown below.


There are a lot of variations of this system out there. He is another example from Drip Depot, utilizing 1/2″ tubing as the main lines and 1/4″ drip tubing for the lateral drip lines, plus a variety of Perma-loc connectors and other drip components. Once you understand the basics, the options are endless!


Installing Drip Irrigation In Raised Garden Beds (video)


Now, please enjoy this video demonstration that will walk you through the installation process. Then, keep scrolling for a written summary and additional photos of our system. Before getting started creating your own raised bed drip irrigation system, draw it all out! That will help you visualize the system as well as develop a list of the parts you need.




Steps to Set Up Drip Irrigation in Raised Garden Beds (written summary)


1) Run water supply lines to each raised garden bed


The main water supply lines may be PVC, other hard piping, or ½” black drip tubing itself. One option is to add water lines and risers concealed under/inside every raised bed, either before the garden beds are installed or trenched under existing beds after-the-fact. Or, simply run the water lines up the outside of the bed wall.

After construction or modifications, flush the main water lines to remove any debris before connecting drip irrigation components or valves. Simply turn them on and let the water run for a few minutes. Keep the lines elevated or otherwise protected from anything getting back in during the process. 


Our existing irrigation system on the property had two extra valves and lines (capped, not in use) that were previously installed by a sprinkler specialist. We simply removed the caps then built onto the system from there. You can find a video on how to install this type of head assembly here, or contact a local landscape irrigation plumber to help get it set up – then install the rest of the system yourself!
A view of the header valves from the other side, along with the solar-powered Hunter controller that automates it all. Only two of these supply the raised beds. The remainder supply drip irrigation to our existing garden, orchard, and other parts of the property.
We added PVC risers to each bed before filing them with soil, but installed the rest of the external supply line pipes after filling them with soil – only because we were driving all over this area with a UTV to add gravel and soil. (I show a quick demo of how to glue PVC pipe at minute 6 in the video if needed!)
The riser is flushing water to make sure there is no debris in the lines before proceeding to connect the drip irrigation for raised garden beds.
Flushing all the PVC lines before attaching any drip components.


Notes on our water line installation:


You’ll see in the photos that we installed our PVC lines on top landscape fabric, under several inches of gravel. However, please keep in mind we live in a mild climate that doesn’t freeze over winter. It also doesn’t get all that hot in summer! Otherwise, it’s best practice in most places to trench and bury pipes at least 6 inches minimum (usually 12″ to 18”) to protect them from freezing or temperature extremes. Therefore, please look into the best practices for irrigation water line installation in your climate. 

To offset how shallowly we installed the supply lines, we used schedule 80 PVC (grey) rather than schedule 40 (white). Schedule 80 is thicker, more resilient to temperature swings, and UV-resistant. Unlike white PVC, it won’t get brittle and crack from sun damage. Therefore, schedule 80 is recommended for above-ground installations (or in situations similar to ours). It is more expensive than schedule 40, so only use it if you have to.


The main supply line for the garden irrigation shows PVC trenched into the gravel coming from the supply line, one line is trenched next to the raised beds while the other travels along the edging to connect to the other side of the garden.
One zone feeds the 9 closer raised beds, while the other zone supplies the 10 beds on the far side of the garden.
PVC lines trenched into gravel traveling next to raised garden beds for irrigation.
The supply lines run just outside the bed, teeing up each row and then teeing into the bottom of each bed – connecting to the riser that we put inside before adding soil. In a few spots, we left short dead-ends (capped) that will be easy to add on to in the future if needed.
PVC lines trenched into gravel following along the sides of raised beds for drip irrigation.
All of this eventually got backfilled with gravel, covering the lines.


2) Convert from the main water supply lines to drip


Next, use an appropriate adapter for your system to connect the main water supply lines to ½” drip irrigation tubing. (That is, unless you’re already using 1/2″ irrigation tubing for your supply lines). The right adapter will depend on your particular supply lines (various sizes of PVC, other hard-piping, a hose bib, etc) as discussed above and in the video. To use the same adapter we used, you’ll want your PVC point-of-connection to have a threaded female fitting. The adapter is available for either 1/2″ or 3/4″ threaded PVC connections, but be sure to choose the 1/2″ Perma-loc size!


A riser and pressure reducer heading is poking out just above the soil line for the start of drip irrigation for raised beds.
From top to bottom: PVC riser from the main water supply lines, pressure regulator, adapter to 1/2″ tubing.


3) Assemble the header and drip tape lines


If you’re installing drip irrigation in multiple raised garden beds of the same size, I recommend making one header in/near the garden bed to be sure everything fits and is spaced the way you like it. Then, use that header as your guide or prototype and assemble the remaining headers in a clean work space. (Such as a concrete patio. We even put some together on our dining table.) That way, there is less risk of getting soil inside the parts as you work – which can clog your emitters!


  • Measure and cut the solid 1/2″ poly tubing to fit inside one short end of your raised bed. If you’re using figure 8 end clamps like us, leave a couple inches extra to fold over.
  • Measure and cut the smaller/side section of the header that will connect to the main water supply/adapter.
  • Connect the pieces of header tubing with elbow connectors.
  • Measure and mark where you want each row of drip tape to attach, spaced evenly in the bed (between 6 to 12 inches apart).
  • Use a punch tool to create holes in the main header tubing. Be sure the holes are oriented in a way that will have the drip tape laying flat on the soil surface.
  • Insert barbed adapters into the holes.
  • Attach drip tape. Completely loosen the perma-loc nut (exposing as much of the barb as possible), slip the drip tubing over the barb, then hold it in place while you tighten the nut down over it. Remember, keep the emitters facing UP!
  • Add end caps/clips to both the main header line and drip tape lines.


All the parts for drip irrigation for raised beds header assembly and drip tape.
An elbow with perma-lock fittings connecting to a piece of half inch tubing.
Some parts of the header assembly for drip irrigation in raised beds. Half inch tubing, connectors, drip tape, and elbows.
Before punching holes, I measured and marked where I wanted to attach each adapter/drip tape line.
A four way image collage on punching holes into tubing, adding the connectors, and adding drip tape to the connector.
Adding the drip tape adapters to the header tubing.
A four way image collage on folding the end of a drip tape line over itself a couple times and fitting the end piece into a clip which seals the end of the line.
To end drip tape lines, insert the drip tape into the smaller opening of the clip first, fold it over itself a couple of times, and then pull it back into the larger opening in the clip.
The end of a line of tubing is bent over itself by a couple of inches with a figure 8 clamp attached to the end to stop the flow of water.
An irrigation header that is shown with drip tubing, drip tape, barb connectors, and elbows.


4) Install the drip system – and enjoy!


Finally, install your new drip irrigation in the raised garden beds. Pin everything in place with landscape staples. Connect your header to the main water supply, and turn on the system to test it. Tighten or adjust any leaky connections as needed. Cover the drip components with a little soil or mulch if desired to protect it from sun. Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your brand new easy, efficient, time-saving raised bed drip irrigation system!


Drip irrigation in raised beds watering fresh seedlings from 4 rows of drip tape.


And that concludes this lesson on how to set up drip irrigation in raised beds!


Well folks, I realize I just shared quite a bit of information to digest. Who knew irrigation could be so dry? 😂 But now your garden beds should be the opposite of dry! I hope this article took some of the mystery out irrigation for you. I also hope you now feel prepared and comfortable to install drip irrigation in raised garden beds of your own! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. If you found this information to be valuable, please spread the love by pinning or sharing this post. Thank you so much for tuning in, and happy watering!


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DeannaCat signature, keep on growing

49 Comments

  • Pam

    I spent weeks searching for info on installing drip tape in raised beds. I am thrilled to have found this comprehensive article that we can all follow no matter what our learning style might be. I personally find the pictures to be very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge. I cant wait to explore your videos.

  • Allie

    Loved the video and loved that were is a blog post with more details! We are going to use the drip tape and underground pvc to each bed! My only question is do you think it’s possible to go from Hose Bib > Timer > Back to underground PVC? Kind of like combining the two methods?

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Allie, I have seen people attach a hose bib directly to PVC using various fittings and attachments although I don’t think I have seen a timer used with it as well. There is a instructional video on youtube called “How to connect a PVC pipe to an outdoor tap” and you may be able to attach a timer to the metal flex tubing that connects the hose bib attachment on top and the metal pipe that is attached to the PVC fitting on the bottom. Let us know what you think or what you end up trying out, good luck!

  • Christy

    Wow, this is EXACTLY what I needed! Your explanation was so well-planned and executed. You answered so many questions that I couldn’t find good answers to, and your instruction made me realize that this is actually easy to do. I’m no longer anxious about this process… now I’m excited! Thank you, Deanna!

  • Suzanne

    Oh my was this timely, I just ordered everything! My husband and I were at a loss for how to “correct” our badly placed, not appropriate, already cracked drip system…mind you, in our brand new beds, that we had built last Summer! They were also filled with absolute crappy “soil”… still smelling horrid and full of flies… since we had them built. Your info on how to fill a raised bed was so incredibly helpful too, and how I stumbled onto you guys. Since I didn’t know what they were filled with, I was trying to decide whether or not I should empty the beds of the “soil” that was put into them. I couldnt bring myself to plant in them. In the end, we did, and I am so glad. I missed the season last year, so I am thrilled to be better prepaired this year. Being new to CA and not sure about this growing environment is hard enough for me, so I appreciate all your help. You made this drip system explanation so easy to understand. Drip is all new to me as well, because in Illinois it was only a soaker hose, no drips there. 🙂 Thank you so much for your easy to understand help. Your new place is stunning and I love seeing all the progress.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Glad to hear it is all working out for you Suzanne, we have had to empty the soil from a large raised bed in the past for another reason and while it is a bit of a pain, it is usually worth it in the end. Good luck and have fun growing!

  • Monique

    Thank you for this useful info! I will revisit this article again and again to get things just right for my new vegetable beds. I want to try drip tape but since I already have pressure reducers at the valves (30psi), I thought I could not as I did not want to make any changes at the valves. Good to learn I can add 15psi at the bed(s). I’ve been using drip for landscape watering for 20 years (10a zone, Bay Area) and still have trouble figuring it all out; plus there are better choices each year. I’m always looking for tips for fixing problems and having to replace tubing — mostly stemming from poor planning. FYI para. Alternative Drip Supplies, link “these barbed adapters” doesn’t seem to be working properly.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Rebecca, the riser specifically comes off the main PVC lines from a “T” piece which connects to a 4-6″ piece of 3/4″ PVC that goes underneath the bed, an elbow or 90 degree PVC connector attaches to that which should point upwards to the top of your raised bed. From there a 12-14″ piece of 3/4″ PVC connects to the other end of the elbow which brings it straight up to the top of the raised bed and then we connected another elbow piece that connects to that to start your header. Note that the final elbow has one threaded end which connects to our pressure reducer at the beginning of the header assembly. Hope that helps and let us know if you have any other questions, good luck!

  • Ann Showalter

    You have inspired me to try yet again. Here in South Texas many obstacles to deal with. My water well is over 300 feet deep and full of salt and many minerals which often kill the plants if used for heavy watering – Lots and lots of sun and very little rain, which we catch in Livestock protein tubs. If layering the drip tape within heavy mulch would that help leach out the salt befor hitting the soil? Many thanks for all your hard work putting your web site and tutorials together, they are so helpful and a pleasure to read.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Ann, unfortunately water that is high in sodium will likely be a detriment to your soil and garden in general. A water test may be beneficial to know the sodium levels of your water and if it is even deemed usable for a garden. Another option would be to get a large rain tank (maybe 5,000 gallons) that can effectively capture what little rain you do get that can then be used in your garden. You can capture a lot of water off of the roof of your house with only an inch or so of rainfall. From there you may need a pump to get the water from the rain tank to your garden but you may be able to hook up a drip system from there, before it reaches the garden. Using a lot of mulch in and around your plants will also help them retain what little moisture may be available. Hope that helps and good luck!

  • Shantel

    Hi! I’ve been looking forward to this post ever since seeing you were building new raised beds! Do you have any tips on irrigation supply shops that will ship to Canada? Sadly Drip Depot does not 🙁

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Shantel, maybe look into Irrigation Direct Canada, Central Irrigation Supply of Canada, and Irrigation Depot Canada. Hope that helps and good luck getting your new drip system up and running.

  • Maria

    Great timely info. I think tape is something I’m going to try in a new bed I’m putting in. Drip always seemed too challenging till your info.

    Have you given any thought to putting in a pollinator bed at the new place yet? I love your previous post on it, but I’m a bit overwhelmed with choices that would be good for a small space. I’m adding 2 4ft round fabric beds devoted to pollinators/monarchs, thank you for your source! With our drought regulations (sf Bay Area zone 9b) I’m hoping on some best small bed ideas, so been looking forward to what you’re planning.

    I added a birdbath with rocks for a water source last year, but seems full sun was a bad idea, as the water turns quickly even with daily changing, so I need to do…something with that. Not sure what.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Maria, if you have an area that is shaded, that may be a better location for your fountain. You can plant a variety of plants in a small space such as cosmos, verbena, bachelor buttons, calendula, and of course milkweed. Our new raised bed area is going to have a lot of veggies growing throughout but we are planting zinnia, calendula, sunflower, cosmos, bachelor buttons, and various other flowering plants that will be integrated into the space. We have plans to turn another area of our property into a full on pollinator garden with maybe some fruit trees here and there, however, I think that may be a year or two away. Thanks for reading the article and let us know if you have any questions.

  • Briana M

    Thank you so much for this article! One of my favorite features about your irrigation is that the water supply comes up inside the bed. Can we do that with the Polyethylene tubing? Or would you recommend staying with PVC for burrying those supply lines inside the bed itself? We have a much smaller area to cover, if that plays into the decision at all.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Briana, absolutely you can use poly tubing instead of PVC, even more so since you have a smaller area to cover. You can also drill a hole in the side of the bottom of your raised bed if you wanted the tubing to go through the side of the raised bed instead of trenching it underneath. Hope that helps and good luck with your irrigation install, let us know if we can help in the future.

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