DIY Watering System for Vegetable or Flower Gardens


One of the most important aspects of growing your own veggies is proper watering. On a recent trip to Virginia in March I met Scott and Susan Hill of Hill Farm. This retired couple turned retirement into a profitable farm venture. Susan is a master of the growing and accounting part of the operation and Scott is the architect, maintenance man, and everything else guy. Scott was a helicopter maintenance test pilot in the Army before retiring. His skills in fluid dynamics shine in Hill Farm’s dual watering systems.

Hill Farm hi-tunnel
One of the high tunnel growing houses at Hill Farm

This low cost system design was inspired by the Israelis, and Scott Says, “If it’s designed by the Israelis, you know it’s going to work.” At Hill Farm these dual watering systems are used in the raised garden beds, as well as the in-ground beds. One part of the system is a soaker hose and the other part is drip irrigation. This dual system makes the best use of their well water and grows an amazing crop month-after-month, all year long.

Hill Farm crops
Crops with only the soaker hose in use

To build a dual watering system for each growing bed is simple and affordable. The parts needed are:

120 feet of soaker hose (for 3 hoses in each 40’ bed)
3 end plugs for soaker hoses
1 end plug for regular hose
5 feet of pvc
2 pvc shut off valves
U clamps for attaching pvc and soaker hose to raised beds
1 four-way pvc joint
5 pvc elbow joints
4 female pvc hose fittings for soaker hoses and drip hose
4 male hose fittings for soaker hoses and the drip hose
1 male hose fitting to connect to a water source
10-20 drip lines with nipple and emitters
Pvc adhesive for cementing joints
Hole puncher for setting the soaker hose nipples

Your growing beds will determine exactly how many feet of hose, number of nipples and emitters needed. Most of us would have a smaller growing bed requiring less length of the soaker hose, drip hose, and number of drip lines.

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