Feel a little clueless when it comes to how to setup Dripworks drip lines? I was a bit intimated by drip lines and assumed they were ultra complicated.
Turns out, the hardest part of installing the Dripworks drip lines up was the baby that woke up early from his nap.
I purchased the small kit from Dripworks and added a few extra packages of drip tape, end plugs etc. to make it work for my space.
Before you purchase drip lines, map out your garden space and figure out the length of mainline and drip tape you will need. Also consider the type of soil you are working with and how that will affect the number of lines needed in each row.
I chose to do three lines of drip tape down each row since our clay soil is dense, but it transports the water a little better than sandy soil.
(Someone with sandy soil would probably do four drip lines.)
Don’t know what type of soil you have? You can order a soil test or go outside after it rains and see for yourself. Just grab a clump of the dirt in your hand and squeeze to see how well it sticks together. Clay soil tends to clump. You can also look at your untilled ground in the summer. Does it have cracks? Is it super hard to shovel? Probably clay.
Once my kit arrived I watched a quick Youtube video on installing dripworks drip lines and went to work.
The first part you will need to make is the manifold. The manifold = filter + regulator + hose regulator. It looks like a weird paintball gun.
You connect the weird paintball gun to the faucet (I also ordered a faucet splitter, so I could use the faucet for other things without disconnect my lines.
I also recommend adding a timer to your drip lines to get consistent watering with minimal effort. (This will also come in handy when I am off camping or visiting family.)
Garden Tip: Use teflon tape on your end plugs or on any connections that are leaking on the manifold. This saved my sanity.
After the manifold is connected to the faucet, you will need to connect your mainline tubing. That is the thicker tubing without drip holes in it.
I struggled big time trying to wiggle the stiff mainline tubing onto the manifold. I finally gave up and let the tubing sit in the hot sun so it could become more pliable.
That seemed to do the trick.
My next issue was getting the mainline to lay flat when I rolled it out. I ended up using landscape staples that came with my kit to hold it in place while I connected the drip tape lines.
The drip tape lines go down the length of each row. To connect them to the mainline, the kit gives you a special hole puncher and multiple drip tape row connectors.
I spaced my drip tape lines about a foot apart on each row.
You make the holes with the puncher where you want the lines to start, then stuff in the connectors.
I found it easiest if I punched the hole slightly higher than horizontal and put the connector in with a twisting motion.
Once the connectors are in, you will connect the drip tape by sliding it onto the end of the connector and screwing the connector down. (It will make sense when you see the parts you are working with.)
Unroll the drip tape down the row and cut.
If you have row covers make sure the end peaks out so you can tighten any end plug leaks. (Wish I had thought of this….)
To connect the end plugs, you will want to put teflon tape on, before sliding the end of the drip tape on.
Try to keep the drip tape from going sideways when screwing the end plug down over it.
Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
At the end, you will probably have sore thumbs from punching all those little holes and twisting on all the row connectors.
Once your lines are down you will use the figure eight ends to kink the end of the mainline (you don’t want water pouring out of the mainline).
The last step will be testing out your drip lines/timer by turning on the water.
Walk along your lines while the water is running to see if you can spot any end plug or manifold leaks.
Be sure to turn the water off, before fixing the leaks or you will be working in mud.
Garden Tip: If you are working with landscape fabric you will be putting that down over the lines. I researched the pros and cons of drip tape over or under the row covers and decided to go with under.
The idea being the water will be flush with the soil and be more likely to go where I want it to go before evaporating. I’ve also heard drip tape lasts longer if it is protected under the landscape fabric.
The trade-off being easy access to your drip tape if a leak springs or a drip hole gets clogged.
Hopefully that isn’t an issue if you have a filter on your manifold, avoid stepping in on your rows, or stabbing landscape staples into your lines on accident.
For my top three tips to laying landscape fabric, you can read my post here.
If you plan on putting down a straw or hay mulch, make sure you test your lines first and put the mulch on top.
If you still have questions, feel free to post them below in the comments!
It is amazing how long it takes to write each post with two rascally kids climbing all over me. However, I do my best to include details (even if it is embarrassing to admit my failures). If you can, I would really appreciate it if you left a comment below. It makes me happy to know someone is out there and it gives my website a boost. Happy gardening!