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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. 

2023 Update: We also have a new easy raised bed drip irrigation tutorial here – one that connects right to a nearby hose spigot.

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.

Drip tape running along the soil next to a bok choy seedling. The raised bed contains many small seedlings in the background.

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! 

DeannaCat is holding a strip of drip tape showing the emitter within the line. In the background there are various other irrigation supplies such as valves, connectors, drip tape as well as a pair of scissors and measuring tape.

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.

A birds eye view of a raised garden bed outfitted with drip tape irrigation. There are four lines, evenly spaced, young tender seedlings are growing throughout the raised 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.

Tender young radish seedlings have emerged from the soil amongst drip tape spaced evenly throughout.
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.*** 

A close of of an irrigation valve assembly with a 40 psi pressure regulator.
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.
A birds eye view of a raised bed with drip tape irrigation, words have been superimposed over the top of the image, labeling each section. From drip tape lines, 1/2 inch poly tubing for headers, PVC connection to mainline, 15 psi regulator, and adapter to drip with on/off valve.
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. 

A birds eye view of the irrigation supplies needed for raised bed drip irrigation. A number has been superimposed over the top of each item so it corresponds with the list and description of each item in the section to follow. Drip tape, elbows, valves, connectors, hole punch, pressure reducer, figure 8 end clamps, drip tape end clamps, as well as scissors and measuring 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.

Six irrigation header valves are shown with a few raised garden beds beyond.
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.
A hose end timer is shown connected to a faucet spigot. It contains two spigots for two stations with 1/2 inch drip tubing connected to each.
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!

A graphic showing each piece of a drip irrigation faucet adapter and the order in which it is put together. From the water source to backflow preventer, mesh filter, 25 psi regulator, adapter, to 1/2 inch drip tubing.

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.

An image graphic showing various raised bed drip irrigation assemblies using a variety of different parts for different purposes.
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. 

A trench is exposed showing the PVC main line coming out of the valve header assembly.
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!
Irrigation header valves are shown next to a Hunter controller, beyond lies a large space containing many raised beds.
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.
DeannaCat is holding a PVC riser with  an elbow on each end to connect to the main line to supply drip irrigation for raised beds.
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


  • Jim Brown

    Does it matter the type of 15 psi regulator? Also, is a 20 psi regulator for the tape irrigation too much? I am having difficulty getting the 15 psi regulator due to out-of-stock issues. I do have Senninger15 psi threaded at both end regulators. I like what you are doing. I have 5 raised beds.

    • DeannaCat

      Hi Jim. From your message it sounds like you have at least one Senninger 15 psi regulator in your system? If that is the case, that is sufficient. We only have an additional 15 psi at every bed because our main line is at 40 psi – it’s a large garden area and we wanted to keep the pressure higher until it reached the beds so it wouldn’t get too low by the time it reached the further beds. But if you reduce your main line that feeds all 5 beds down to 15, that should work great. 20 is too high for drip tape. Most of them require 8-15 psi – check the specs of the drip tape you’re using. I hope that helps!


  • Emily

    This has been so helpful. Thank you! I am wondering how this setup changes if you tap into existing sprinkler heads to convert them to drip vs. tapping into the main pvc line? Is there a simple way of accomplishing this? I have existing underground sprinklers and want to dedicate an entire zone to drip watering raised beds.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Emily, at our old property we converted sprinkler heads to a 9 port drip manifold system that watered in ground plantings of perennials and a few blueberry bushes growing in wine barrels using 1/4 inch drip tubing with emitters at the ends of each line. Are the raised beds going to be directly on top of the existing sprinkler heads or is it going to be located nearby as there are a variety of things you can do depending on the location of the beds and the water source. Maybe check out this article with videos from Drip Depot to see some options to find which might work best for you. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions and good luck!

  • Judy

    Hi. Two questions. We have always hand-watered our 9’x9′ veggie garden but are now ordering parts for a drip tape system and following your recommendations. We are going to use an 50′ garden hose from faucet on the house and then connect the 4-1 adapter to the 1/2 poly tube which will run for another 20-30 feet to reach the veggie garden. After that point we will have 8 5/8″ drip tape lines low-flow (8″ emitter spacing).
    First question…I’ve purchased the 4-1 faucet adapter using your link on this page to amazon. I realize now that the pressure adapter is for 25psi and not 15. Will the 25psi one be ok for our application?
    Secondly, we are ordering all the other parts from DripWorks as DripDepot does not deliver to Canada. The drip tape is “Low Flow (Green) (TDE1508L100)” on Out of the 3 that they sell would this be a good drip tape to use? Thx. Looking forward to hearing your answer and starting this fun project.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Judy, unfortunately drip tape needs to be reduced to between 8-15 PSI (it looks like your “Low Flow” drip tape recommends 10 PSI) so you would need to piece together your own adapter with a different pressure reducer or you can add another pressure reducer before it hits the drip tape to ensure the PSI are reduced to proper levels. Another option would be to use your current set up and instead of using drip tape for your lines, you could use 1/4″ soaker tubing which operates with a pressure range of 10-30 PSI, you would just need 1/4″ barbed adapters to connect the 1/4″ soaker tubing to your 1/2 ” tubing header. You would then cap the end of each 1/4″ soaker tubing line with a goof plug to end the line. Hope that helps a bit and ask any other questions that you may have, good luck!

      • Judy

        Thank you so much for the info and taking the time to answer my questions. I was able to cancel the 4-1 adapter and will buy the pieces separately as I’d really want to try the drip tape system. I heard many good things about it and am very inspired by your website and posts so we’ll go with that option and put in the 10 psi reducer as you suggested. Your instructions are very well done and I can’t wait to put in this new system. Thank you again!

        • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

          That’s great to hear Judy and thank you so much for the kind words. Best of luck to you in setting up your irrigation system and have fun growing!

    • Mike Williamson

      I ordered everything from drip depot from your site. But when I clicked on the punch it took me to Amazon and the one that was there said it was 1/4 inch punch, That doesn’t sound right.I want to make sure I get the right punch. Please advise

      • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

        Hi Mike, Drip Depot does have a few options for the irrigation punch if you’d like to get it through their website. And yes, 1/4 inch is correct as that is the size hole needed for the different barbed adapters or drip emitters. Hope that helps and good luck on your irrigation set up!

  • Katie

    Hi Deanna and Aaron, I’m curious to get your take on this setup vs. your former recommendation (Water Right Soaker Hoses). I’ve tried both as well and the jury is still out…

    I’ve still got too many variables moving at once to say definitively, but it seems like the soaker hoses were using a lot more water and I was noticing more runoff, whereas with my drip lines moisture was a little less evenly distributed but better retained. I’ve just been using spacing/timing to account for the differences. I’ve found the drip line is also much less expensive than the hoses. Have you noticed any other (or contrary) pros/cons between the two?

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Katie, we have found the drip system we installed on our new garden beds using drip tape waters the raised beds more thoroughly and evenly. If you used perforated drip tubing, you may see some inconsistency in the watering depending on the brand as some of the perforations don’t emit water as well. The soaker hoses are good if you only have a few garden beds to worry about and they did a good job for us in our previous location as our garden usually did quite well. We still have a 4 100 gallon fabric pots that we grow calendula in and they are all watered with the Water Right soaker hoses and it is working well for the purpose. However, the new system waters more throughly and evenly while being completely automated so the new system wins hands down. Hope that helps and reach out if you have any further questions. Good luck and have fun growing!

  • Ryan

    Hello! Have you come across any drip tape that is made of clean materials (bpa-free, pvc-free)? All i have been able to find sis that soak hose you mentioned in your other posts.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Ryan, unfortunately we haven’t found anything that meets that criteria. Let us know if you happen to find something that fits those parameters.

  • Blake


    I followed just about everything in this post. When I turn my water on using the valves, water does not come out. I took it apart and put it back together and it still did not work. At one point, 2 of the valves worked, then they did not. I thought maybe they were clogged because I didn’t flush them, but I put a new pressure regulator on and it still did not work. When I take off the regulator, plenty of water comes out. I have no clue what to do.

    • DeannaCat

      Hi Blake. Hmmmm… Do you happen to know the PSI of your main line? Perhaps it’s already quite low – too low for the recommended operating “inlet” PSI for the pressure regulator maybe? Even then, I would assume some water would come through it. What are the specs of the regulator you’re trying to use? I know it sounds silly to suggest, but make sure you’re not installing the regulator backwards (check which side is marked inlet vs outlet?). I’m also not sure what valves you’re referring to that aren’t working… The permaloc ones that convert to drip tubing? I hope we can figure this out!

  • Monique

    I’m setting up my garden beds following your instructions and I purchased several 15psi regulators (I have 30psi at the valve). However, I discovered that the pipe from my main valve is 1/2 inch (I need 3/4 to fit to one end of the regulator). I am trying to determine whether I should get adapter fittings to connect my 1/2 pipe to the 3/4 end of the regulator (if such fittings exist), or should I replace the pipe at the valve. I would prefer to replace the pipe, BUT the pipe for the first 10 to 12 feet is under concrete. I do have an option to replace the pipe after this point, but I don’t know if it makes sense to do so. My concern is whether the 1/2 pipe going to 3/4 pipe 12 feet away from the valve is not a good idea. I’m trenching no matter what cause I’m adding a bed. Replace pipe or add fitting adaptors. If you have any recommendation, I would appreciate it. Love your site, instagram, etc. So very helpful. Thanks!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Monique, that is quite the predicament but it should be a pretty easy fix. Changing out the main supply line likely isn’t necessary, I tried to find 1/2 inch 15psi regulators but I am not sure that they are readily available. The only bummer about that is you will have to get a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch adapter for your one end with a 3/4 inch to 1/2 inch valve on the other (if you are connecting to 1/2 inch drip tubing). Although it should be a fairly painless process in the end and it will definitely be easier than replacing your supply line. If you are getting supplies from Drip Depot, they are quite responsive and can help you if you have any specific or technical questions. Hope that helps and good luck on getting your garden set up, it’s an exciting time for you!

  • Katherine

    I bought the same drip tape as you recomended here – but they were out of the 15psi regulators. I bought the 12psi regulators, will those function similar or do I need to wait until the 12psi are in stock?

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Katherine, if you are going to add a regulator at each bed you should be more than fine. The 15psi regulators seem to have more than enough pressure so the 12 shouldn’t be too much of a drop off in pressure, 15psi is just the max pressure for that particular drip tape. Hope that helps and good luck getting your irrigation going!

  • Debby

    How much watering do u give? We are in zone 9b. How many minutes a day? How many days a week? Do we water more with new transplants??

    Thanks for any advise Debby

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Debby, it really depends on how hot it is for that particular week. For us, our garden seems to do just fine with twice a week watering for close to 60 minutes each watering. The best thing to do is to water your garden for whatever duration of time and then check the moisture level of the raised beds, do this each day to make sure that your soil is not drying out in between waterings. As the plants get larger, their water needs will increase so the duration may have to be increased with time. Using mulch will also help maintain the moisture levels of your raised beds. Hope that helps and good luck!

  • Larkin

    We’re going to do a combo of your drip tape and hose bib systems for our raised beds. If we select a hose bib timer system with a pressure reducer, should we reduce the pressure at the hose connection to 15psi to acommodate the drip tape, or would it be best to reduce the PSI at each bed?
    We’re going to use the 1/2 black tubing to run to each bed and then follow your drip tape system.


    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Larkin, if you need to water 3 or 4 beds within within 50 feet of the hose bib, you may be able to get away with one 15 psi pressure reducer at the hose bib although be sure your drip tape is heavy duty enough to accomodate 15 psi as lighter drip tape wants it reduced to 8 psi. If you have a larger area to cover or need to water more raised beds, it may be beneficial to use a 30 psi reducer at the hose bib before reducing down to 15 psi or lower in each individual bed. You can always change the pressure reducer at the hose bib and add a reducer at each bed if you find the water pressure isn’t high enough to begin with. Hope that helps and good luck!

      • Elizabeth

        I followed your system but in the end we used the black tubing to connect the beds instead of PVC. I had 12PSI reducer for each bed but didn’t have the right adaptors to connect it to the black tubing. My landscaper rigged it but I need to test it out bc it may rather drippy in places where it’s not supposed to drip (between the bed lines). This dripping was also happening where I connected the timer. Any suggestions in reducing water dripping where it’s not intended? Thank you! This tutorial was amazing and I might actually start understanding this and be able to deal w my own system after going thru all you provided and my own installation ( w a lot of workarounds).

        • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

          Hi Elizabeth, it really depends on where and why your system is dripping. If there is dripping where a connection is screwed together, they have teflon tape or plumbers tape you can wrap around the threaded end of a connection which is supposed to stop water from dripping out of the connection. There is also a greater chance of leaking form the hose bib if the threading on the hose bib are worn down or damaged in any way. Hope that helps and let us know if you have any other questions, good luck!

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