Colin McCrate from the Seattle Urban Farm Company demonstrates how to set up a simple drip-irrigation system


For busy gardeners, drip-irrigation can be one of the best ways to handle your vegetable garden’s watering needs. It uses water more efficiently than sprinkler systems, making it ideal for drought-prone areas, and it saves you time outside with the garden hose.

Setting up a drip-irrigation system doesn’t have to be a complicated plumbing project. A drip kit system is very easy to set up and can be done in a single weekend. You don’t need any special plumbing experience or special tools and it can be scaled to any size garden. All you need in addition to your drip-irrigation kit is a standard outdoor hose spigot and a Y-valve, which is available at any hardware store. Using a Y-valve is important because it will allow you to turn your faucet into two, so that you can attach a drip-irrigation system to one side and have the other side of your water source available for a regular garden hose.

One reason why drip-irrigation installation is so simple is that drip systems have battery-operated timers. The timer is the brain of your drip-irrigation system, and it works on a 9-volt battery so you don’t need electricity or wiring to make it work. You can program the watering device with a few simple pushes of a button and then it’s ready to water your plants while you’re at work or while you’re on vacation. Once all the pieces are in place, you can connect your drip lines and run them into container plants, raised flower beds, or around the entire yard. After your drip-irrigation kit is put together, you’ll have a self-watering system that saves you time and water, and that helps you grow happier, healthier plants.

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