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How to Install a Simple Drip Irrigation System for Your Vegetable Garden

On our last video we planted our first plot of cool weather crops for this fall We planted some collards. We planted some Lacinato kale. We planted some cauliflower And we also planted some green magic broccoli. I wanna show you how that’s coming along and what we’re having to do just to keep it hanging on until the temperature breaks. Let’s see here. It looks like it is a cozy 95-96 degrees out today, nice little burner. For some fall planting. So here’s that plot. We planted in the previous video collards, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower And these things are hanging on just kind of barely hanging on It’s toasty out here today Even though I’ve got this drip tape buried underneath these plants still been having to run the overhead sprinkler Unfortunately, just to keep these things cooled off My strategy has been to run the drip tape for an hour or So in the morning and then in the afternoons when it gets blazing hot I have to put this overhead on the plant start wilting a little bit the heats just too much for them So we’ve just been having to cool them off keep them limping along Until we cool off a little bit You can see right there with this kale plant it’s making it just barely it’s not standing straight up like it should be but It’ll get there once it cools off a little bit. If all the weathermen are right, we’ve only got a few more days of this One or two more days of 95 and then we’re supposed to be clear of any 90 degree weather For hopefully until next you know late spring early summer or so So once these temperatures get below 90s this stuff will do a lot better it’s just right now We have to kind of baby it along If you’re new to our channel, go ahead and hit that subscribe button and that bell button below So you get a notification every time we come out with a new video if you’re a frequent viewer of our channel welcome as always so we’ve got that plot planted 11 rows and now It’s time to work on this baby right here. These plots are all the same size 30 by 35 And this plot here is where we had some sorghum sudangrass This stuff was up five or six foot tall before we mowed it down We put a tarp on it to kind of help kill that mode sorghum sudangrass Knock it back so we could get in here and cultivate and plant everything. We still got a good bit of residue Down here that’s chopped up. You can see some of that sorghum sudangrass clippings down there. Now after we removed that tarp what we did we came in here with some of our chicken manure compost our chicken manure with the peanut holes in it and those feathers that I showed you in a previous video and we put six wheelbarrow loads on this plot I’ve had a lot of people asking how much do you put per thousand square feet? So I put six wheelbarrow loads my wheelbarrow is 7 cubic feet that’s how much it holds It’s about 42 cubic feet on this thousand foot plot right here. We spread those wheelbarrow loads out Got it nice and raked out nice and even and Then came in here with the tiller and chopped it all up so we could chop up some of that leftover Sorghum Sudangras, debris any chunks that we had From that chicken manure compost and just get the soil nice and workable and ready for planting We’re using the same row spacing here that we did the previous plot So we’ve got 11 rows here on a 3 foot spacing Already came in here with my double wheel hoe and the plow set in the furring position Laid off those rows made a furrow there so I can bury my drip tape And before we plant this next round of fall crops I wanted to kind of go through a little bit more in detail on this drip system and how it works and How we hook it up? A lot of times people are scared to start using drip irrigation in their garden because they just feel intimidated by it They think it looks complicated hard to set up and They’re just not real familiar with it So today I want to show you just how easy it is to connect everything get everything set up So then when you do get ready to water your garden and once the temperatures cool down all you got to do is just go hook a water hose up and that’s gonna water everything nice and evenly so the first component of Our drip system that we put down Or lay out is this mainline tubing here And this is a solid poly tubing here And it’s got this blue line on it and that blue line is going to be important because that’s where we’re gonna want to punch our holes For our drip tape row starts to go in and that’s going to ensure we get them all kind of pointing in the same direction So we’ll straighten that out a little bit and get it all facing toward where the row is gonna go I Like to take a couple bricks or something heavy and put on each side or each end of the mainline tubing just to kind of hold It down until I get everything Installed and then on the very ends of the mainline tubing you’ve got these little clamps called a figure eight end clamp that crimps that So no water is coming out of the end and then to feed our mainline tubing. We’ve got this piece here We call a filter regulator combo so you got your filter right here Your pressure regulator which you need to knock it down So it doesn’t blow out the lines your water hose hooks up right here, and then you’ve got this tee here Which I like to use so I can put this in the middle of my mainline section. Now you could certainly put it on the end and run it in one direction But I found that if we put it in the middle, we get a more equal distribution of water So what we’ll do is we’ll cut this mainline in half right here hook up one end of this side of T one end to the other side of the T and that way we get a nice equal distribution of water Over this entire plot, so we cut our mainline in half between these two rows and we’re going to put one end Onto here Twist it on there and we want to make sure that blue line is facing out that way and then we’ll just tighten this nut down And then on the other side we’ll do the same thing put It in there make sure the blue line is facing the right way and tighten that nut down So now when we hook our water hose up right here Water is gonna go through that filter through that pressure regulator and then split off right there and feed that main line to the right and to the left So it can feed all the drip rows in this garden. The next step is to put down the drip tape or bury the drip tape now you’ll see a lot of other Farmers and channels out there that lay their drip tape on top of the soil and I just can’t understand Why you would want to do that. We bury ours for several different reasons. The first one which is especially important as hot as it is. Is that your surface evaporation is greatly reduced when you bury it so your plants actually get to use More of that water that you’re putting out then if you laid it on the surface where you’re going to get more evaporation So we bury it so we get more bang for our buck out of the water that we’re putting out. Another reason to bury it is just it’s out of the way we can actually take a little Shallow weeding tool and cultivate on top of it when it’s buried we don’t have to move the drip out of the way to weed Between our rows or around our rows. It’s just nice and out of the way some people recommend putting staples on top of it But forget the staples just bury it and you don’t have to worry about that wherever you put it. That’s where it’s gonna be So as is the case with almost anything in this world There’s an easy way to do something and there’s a hard way to do something I’ll show you the easy way to lay drip tape and then we’ll also talk about how you can do it if you don’t have Access to this nice tooling that makes it easy for you. So this here is our drip tape layer attachment and this is a setup that attaches to our double wheel hoe only the double not the single or the high arch and it holds a 1,640-foot role of drip tape and basically lays it down in the furrow and buries it simultaneously. Now for this thing to work properly you have to make a furrow it won’t work Well, if you just try to do it on top of the soil So you’ve got to make a furrow first, and then this thing is going to lay the tape Several inches deep in that furrow and bury it so you’ve got that roller down there and that’s going to basically Apply the tape in the furrow nice and tight and then the plow set comes right behind it and covers it up Really really simple yet Really really effective device for small-scale garden allows you to lay this tape really fast and really easy. Now if you don’t have a wheel hoe or don’t have our drip tape layer attachment Can you still bury your drip tape and still plant on top of it, like we do? Yes, you can. Let me tell you how you would do that. So without this nifty tool here. It basically becomes a two-man job You need one person on the end of the row holding the roll, or maybe you can design some kind of device to Hold the roll sort of like a water hose stand But you need something to hold the roll there and then somebody else to pull out the tape Along that row there and once you lay it in the row Then you’ve got to keep it nice and tight and then come back behind it with the plow set in the Hilling position and cover it up. You could also cover it up with a rake so you did you don’t necessarily need a wheel hoe you could make these furrows with a hoe and Cover it up with a rake it would just take you a lot longer so you can do it without this attachment here Many people do it just makes it a two-man job. Whereas using this. It’s a one-man job. Now whether you’re laying drip tape with this drip tape layer Attachment or doing it by hand or burying it or putting on top of the soil. You always want to make sure those emitters are facing upwards Towards the Sun and so to get started with this process We’re just going to take our nail that we include with the drip tape layer. We’re going to poke it down Through that tape into the soil to hold it in place there and we’re just gonna walk along that row and put down some tape. So I’m going to go ahead and get these eleven rows knocked out real quick like and then we’ll talk about Hooking up the row starts and the row ends on the drip tape. Roll that beautiful bean footage. Alright, alright, alright that was quick and easy Only took us about 10 minutes to lay those 11 rows of drip tape there just to note We do include two of these staking nails with our drip tape layer. So you don’t have to walk back and forth across the garden every time you’ve got two nails you can just grab the one From the previous side of the garden when you go to start a new row. You can see our drip tape lines there They’re buried And then they stick out at the beginning of the row where we’ll hook them up to that mainline tubing there Another neat thing about that drip tape layer is it makes two little perfect mini furrows? On each side of that buried drip line, which is awesome for planting carrots or planting anything on double rows. We’ll talk more about that in some upcoming videos Now if you didn’t want to plant a whole plot at one time like I’ve been doing and you just wanted to plant a few rows One week and plant a few more rows the next week You don’t have to lay all this tape at one time that main line is sealed so you can lay Tape for a couple rows plant them Be watering them and then when you get ready to install a few more rows You can do that one step at a time if you’d like. That way you don’t have to do it all in one day. So now let’s talk about how we hook up these rows starts and these row ends to make the system complete So this piece here is what we call a row start. So this connects the drip tape to this main line So the drip tape slides on that barb right there this nut is used to tighten it down Onto that tape and Then this little barb right here sticks into this main line where that blue line is So you can use a knife but I like scissors because it just gives a little cleaner cut Come in here inch or so before the main line and I’m gonna cut that right there I’m gonna make sure this green nut is backed all the way back We’ll slide the tape onto this barb here I’m gonna give it a little twist Make sure it’s on there nice And then I’m gonna tighten this nut down here Onto the tape so we get a nice secure connection and then to hook this piece up to the mainline We use this little tool here called a hole punch. And so we’re going to poke it right into that blue line right there Got our hole poked there And then we just take this barb Stick it in that hole and it’ll pop in And we’re good to go. That’s one row start installed there now. We do make these with a valve on them as well So if you want to turn certain rows in your garden on or off, you can get the ones with the valve and do that I usually just use these because I’m watering all the rows at one time now once you get all your row starts installed you can Turn the water on and kind of flush out the system Let some water run out of here If you’re worried about any dirt being in the lines there so you can flush that out But to close these off you’ll see a lot of people doing it several different ways People will tie these in knots, fold them over Use another piece to kind of crimp it but the easiest way we found are these things here called row ends. You’ll see it’s got a narrow lip on one end Kind of a wider one on the other end. So what you do is you take your drip tape you slide it through that narrow end and Then you’re just going to fold this drip tape About two times and then slide it back through that big end, and you’ve got a nice secure Clamped drip tape row end there. So we’ve got all our row starts hooked up all 11 of them and our row ends put on and our drip system is now complete All we have to do is come in here and hook up a water hose To this brass piece right here and to feed all those lines we can get those water spots showing up and we’ll be ready to plant. So I hope explaining kind of the nuts and bolts of drip irrigation Helped some of you guys out there that are on the fence about using it. Or maybe you think it’s a little complicated It’s really really simple. It’s just a small investment of time upfront When you’re putting your garden together That’s going to save you Tons of time throughout the lifespan of those plants because it makes it so easier to water everything Evenly you’re going to use less water. You’re going to water more effectively one of the other frequent questions we get about drip irrigation is can I reuse it and we’ll be Reusing this stuff all throughout the fall and winter. So when one of the crops one of these rows is done We’ll go in will pull that crop out or cut it down. We’ll rip up that tape Cultivate that area clean it up if there any weeds there. We’ll put the tape right back down We don’t even have to disconnect it from the mainline We’ll put the tape right back down and plant something else on top of it. So I’ll reuse this tape here four or five times before I’ve probably cover crop or give this plot a rest. In this plot here we’re going to be planting some cabbage I’ve got some Cheers cabbage transplants some red cabbage We’re going to be planting some more kale. I’ve got some blue knight kale, some scarlet kale We’re also going to be planting some rutabagas and some purple cauliflower but we can’t get it all in one day Fall planting is like our elephant and as daddy always says you have to eat an elephant one bite at a time So we do it one bite at a time. We set up our drip system one day We’ll plant it the next day. So you have to stay tuned to the next video where we’ll be planting all those awesome transplants in this garden here If you have any more questions about drip irrigation that I didn’t answer Please put those in the comments below and if you just started using drip irrigation I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Has it been a game-changer for you, like it is for almost all the customers we hear from. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. We’ll see you next time.


  1. Jason Paul Author

    Install? Typical first frost here is 10 Oct thru 20 Oct (Ohio River Valley (Cincinnati-ish)) – we're lookin' to pull everything up and flush/blow the lines for winter in the next 2 weeks or so.

  2. Anne Wade Author

    I’m so excited to start gardening next year. I just got the Hoss deal, irrigation kit, dribble wheel, etc. I do have a question. I’m interested in growing grains…wheat, oats, etc. unfortunately the harvest for these crops is labor intensive. The only threshers I’ve seen are from China, India and the like. Do y’all ever foresee offering a small scale, USA made, Affordablethresher for small scale grain production?

  3. Ken Wilkins Author

    I've used drip tape for 3 yrs. I lay it on top of the ground and turn it on for a few min. This makes a nice wet spot where I then plant my transplants or seeds. With sweet corn I just run my planter right next to the tape and then cover the tape with a rake. I do have to be careful not to nick it with the hoe.

  4. Carol Avant Author

    Y'all know I LOVE my drip tape system! If I hadn't installed this system, I wouldn't have the Fall planting of bush beans, pole beans and cucumbers I've got now – The dry conditions and heat would have killed 'em off by now. Adding a drip tape system to your garden is a definite game-changer, and it's really pretty easy to install. If this 66 year old lady can do it all by herself, then just about anyone can do it! But don't think you're all alone having to figure everything out – Call or email Hoss Tools and you'll have every question answered (in ENGLISH!), usually by Greg or Travis. No matter how small (or stupid – Yes, I asked some stupid ones) the question, you won't be talked down to, either.

  5. Sherry Tucker Author

    Once you bury drip tape, you'll be sold! I don't have the wheelhoe/layer combo, so I have to do it by hand…hoe out a trench (if your soil is bone-dry, wet it down the evening before so the trench won't collapse AS you pull it!), lay/hook up the tape, turn the system on so the tape stays in place as you backfill…done! I did five 32' rows this morning (by myself) and it only took a little over an hour. I "won't" bury it in my new asparagus beds, though…will lay it on the surface, staple it down, and mulch heavily (seems logical to me for a "permanent" crop).

  6. Gidget Author

    Lord have mercy, how I would have loved that back in the day (as they say lol) as a kid in the late fifties and early sixties my job was carrying the water to the garden. Buckets and buckets and buckets and buckets 😵 I was so happy in the seventies when my own garden was close enough to the house for a water hose 😆 it's come a long way in my lifetime 👵🏻

  7. Robert Guidry Author

    I have been using drip tape for 10 years now. I started not burying the tape, had problems with animals chewing through the tape for water. The only time I lay drip tape on top now is when I plant seeds like carrots beets etc. that need to be kept real moist. I lay a line buried seal each end and use a line laid on top until the seeds sprout. When the seeds sprout I start using the buried line.

  8. Kevin Blanchard Author

    Travis On your web sight it states the drip tape implement for the wheel hoe is only for the smaller thickness tape but you are using the bigger thickness. I have the wheel hoe and attachment but haven't ordered the tape yet. I would prefer to use the larger thickness tape because it last longer.Did something change in the implement ? Mine is less than a year old now.

  9. Michael Morris Author

    I just walked in from planting the last of my starts… Green and Red Cabbage… so everything I started in the seed trays, except the onions has now been planted… man I hope the high temps are over!

  10. Michael Morris Author

    I used my hoss double wheel hoe for the first time today to "make a row"… worked just fine. I have to use the heavy drip tape because of "wire worms" and so I have to lay it by hand any way… it's a little work, but I've learned the payoff is well worth the effort. I've only been using drip two seasons, and I will NEVER go back! I do it right by myself, and up until today I did it with a long handle hoe, and a rake… it's only work… you can do by hand by yourself, until you can get the tools… or you can just decide it's fine to do it by hand… again it's only work, it won't kill you.
    Ge you some of their row starts with shutoff valves… it's great for different types of crops that have different water / feeding requirements.

  11. Polecat5150 Author

    I was just about to ask – (what if I don't want to water all my rows every time I turn on the drip system) Nice to know y'all sell a row start with an individual shut off valve, very nice.

  12. Ken Mcfalls Author

    Great video Travis. Your detailed explanation of how to install the drip tape was excellent for a blind gardener. Thank you so much. Ken the blind gardner

  13. Shaken Grain Author

    USA Zone 8A – I had trial plants of collards, turnip greens, kale and bok choy direct seeded into garden back 3rd week of July. 95+ degrees every single day until Oct 4th. They came up fine. Plants would limp over every single day and perk back up when sun passed by. Watered late afternoon so they could better recover from heat and leaves could dry before dark. Moth worms were bigger problem/should have netted the plants. The plants that survived worms are progressing nicely and really taking off this week in first break in heat (Oct 8)! Collards and kale almost a foot tall. Already harvested baby bok choy and succession harvesting turnip greens (4 harvests so far). Everything wilted every single day, but did fine. Just give them plenty of water as soon as sun is past to help them perk back up. Main crop in new Hoss seed trays is almost ready to plant. Anxious to compare when both old and new plants are in harvest stage. The July plants probably have been weakened compared to new ones planted in cooler weather. Will soon know. **** People posting PLEASE GIVE YOUR GROW ZONE so we can better interpret/learn from your suggestions/experiences. ****


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