Every gardener dreams of getting a good harvest in a greenhouse, spending a minimum of funds and physical efforts for this. This dream can be realized by automating the processes of lighting, irrigation, ventilation, heating of a closed structure. Drip irrigation systems, which can be purchased or made independently, allow to satisfy the need for greenhouse plants in water, sparingly spending its reserves. Since ready-made systems are sold at very high prices, many summer residents are trying to organize do-it-yourself drip irrigation in the greenhouse. At the same time, it is impossible to completely avoid costs, because you have to purchase the necessary consumables individually or in a set. But the money spent quickly pays off by saving water supplied on time and precisely to the root zone of the grown plants. Crops that do not experience a moisture deficit develop well and produce an excellent harvest.
To arrange drip irrigation in a greenhouse, it is necessary to provide a slow supply of water through pipes to each plant from a container located at a low height. To do this, a tank or barrel is placed next to the greenhouse structure, which is raised above ground level at a distance of 1.5-2 meters. A system of rubber opaque tubes, the diameter of which is only 10-11 mm, is pulled from the container at a slight slope.
A hole is made in the tube next to the plant and a nozzle, 2 mm in diameter, is inserted into it, through which water will flow to the root system. With the help of a dispenser, a tap or an automatic sensor, they regulate the supply of water heated in a barrel, which prevents overconsumption of water and excessive waterlogging of the soil.
You can learn how to make an automatic watering timer with your own hands from the material: https://diz-cafe.com/tech/tajmer-poliva-svoimi-rukami.html
By the way, why exactly drip irrigation? Here's why:
- By building a drip irrigation system for the greenhouse, you can protect the fruits and leaves of many vegetable crops from unwanted moisture.
- With this watering, a crust does not form on the soil surface, so the roots can breathe freely.
- Spot irrigation prevents weeds from growing, so it is possible to save energy on weeding.
- Reduces the risk of damage to plants grown in the greenhouse, pathogenic microbes and fungal infections.
- The process of growing vegetables and flowers in a greenhouse takes place with the least amount of labor.
- Compliance with the recommended regime and watering rates for each type of plant.
- Optimal water consumption. Especially important for suburban areas experiencing difficulties with water supply.
Important! The disadvantages of do-it-yourself drip irrigation in the greenhouse include the need to control the filling of the container with water in the absence of a centralized water supply system, as well as clogging of the nozzles. The last drawback can be easily corrected if you include a filter in the system and close the container with a tight lid.
Selection of materials for arranging irrigation
Greenhouses installed in suburban and garden plots usually have a standard length of 6-8 meters. Smaller drip tubes (8 mm) can be used for such small structures. For such thin hoses, special fittings are available to facilitate the process of connecting individual elements of a homemade drip irrigation system. If tubes for external droppers are used, then it becomes necessary to purchase even thinner hoses with a diameter of only 3-5 mm. These tubes connect external drippers and tips, through which water is supplied to the root system of each plant.
Types of fittings
The micro-drip irrigation system, assembled from 8 mm tubes, includes a number of microfitings, among which are:
- barbed plungers;
- fittings providing a transition to threaded connections;
- anti-drain valves.
Due to their tapered shape, the fittings are easy to insert, ensuring the integrity of the system at pressures up to 3 atmospheres. To equalize the pressure to acceptable values (0.8-2 atm), special reducers are built into the system.
The main components that may be needed when self-assembling a drip irrigation system for plants grown in a greenhouse at a summer cottage
Water gets to the roots of plants through tips, which can be ordinary and labyrinthine. The first is chosen when only one tip is supposed to be put on the dropper. The second option is necessary when two or four tips are connected to the dropper through the splitters.
Drip irrigation system complete with a reducer required to regulate the pressure level of water coming from the water pipe
Features of mounting external droppers
Before you start assembling the drip irrigation system in the greenhouse, you need to plan the planting and draw a diagram, putting on it the length of the supply pipes and droppers connected to them. Then, according to the drawing, the required number of parts of the required length is prepared, which are assembled into a single system using fittings. Additional equipment is also purchased, the list of which necessarily includes a filter and automation at the request of the gardener.
Layout of the drip irrigation system in the greenhouse. The storage tank is placed on an elevation to create the necessary pressure for supplying water through the pipe system
The drip irrigation system, assembled in the greenhouse according to the scheme, is connected to a water supply or storage tank using a special adapter fitting with a ¾ inch thread. This adapter is either immediately connected to the water pipe, or a filter is placed between them, or it is connected to the solenoid valve of the automation system.
Important! The tubes are cut to length so that the tip falls into the root zone of the plant.
Homemade installation option for irrigation
Not every summer resident can afford to permanently live in his suburban area or come there every day to water the beds. Various home-made structures are invented to provide plants with water in the absence of the owners of the dacha.
An interesting version of the do-it-yourself irrigation device in a greenhouse in the country is shown in the figure. Struck by the simplicity of the design, the availability of materials required for its assembly. At the same time, the summer resident will not incur large financial costs.
Diagram of a self-made installation, assembled by hand from scrap materials, for drip irrigation of greenhouse plantings during the absence of the summer resident. Legend: 1 - a barrel with a valve for collecting water;
2 - storage capacity; 3 - funnel; 4 - base; 5 - filling pipe.
Five-liter plastic canisters are used as storage tanks and funnels. The top of the canister is cut at an angle. The storage container is installed at an angle by attaching it with adhesive tape to a wooden strip. On the opposite side, a counterweight (P) is attached to this bar. The drive is rotated along the axis (0) between two stops (A and B) fixed on the base. A funnel is also attached to the same base, the hole of which is connected to the pipe used for irrigation.
The water flowing from the barrel into the storage tank gradually fills it. As a result, the center of gravity of the drive shifts. When its mass exceeds the weight of the counterweight, it overturns and water is poured into a funnel, and then enters a pipe with holes, laid next to the roots of plants. The emptied accumulator returns to its original position under the action of the counterweight and the process of filling it with water is repeated. With the help of the valve, the volume of water supply to the storage tank from the barrel is regulated.
Important! Counterweight weight, drive tilt angle, axis position are selected empirically. The operation of the entire installation is adjusted manually during a series of experimental irrigations.
Or maybe take a ready-made assembly kit?
Inexpensive drip kits are commercially available, which contain all the elements needed to assemble an irrigation system with the exception of filters. Therefore, filters must be purchased separately. Trunk pipes are made of 25 mm polyethylene pipes, which are durable, lightweight, and do not corrode. In addition, their walls are resistant to liquid fertilizers, which can be supplied to plants through an irrigation system. The installation process of the system is described in the instructions that come with the kit.
A set of accessories for a drip irrigation device in a greenhouse with an approximate diagram of their location and a method of connecting the system to the water supply
In the thick walls of the main pipes, 14-mm holes are drilled into which they insert, using rubber seals, starters for irrigation. Drip tapes of measured length are put on starters. The ends of the drip tapes are closed with plugs. To do this, a five-centimeter piece is cut from each tape, which is then put on its twisted end. To make the greenhouse watering process automatic, it is necessary to install electric controllers powered by batteries. Maintenance of the assembled drip irrigation system is reduced to periodic cleaning of the filters.
A comparative review of water purification filters for summer cottages will also be useful: https://diz-cafe.com/voda/filtr-ochistki-vody-dlya-dachi.html
Drip irrigation of cucumber seedlings in the greenhouse saves water, as well as the effort and time required to moisten the soil in each individual pot
The assembled drip irrigation system will deliver the same amount of water to each plant. This must be taken into account when planting crops, selecting plants in groups that differ in equal water consumption. Otherwise, some crops will receive moisture in the optimal amount, while others - in excess or, conversely, in a deficit.
It is better to start collecting the drip irrigation system at the end of winter. Having drawn up a planting plan, and having assembled the system in accordance with the prepared scheme, you can mount it in the greenhouse after planting the seedlings. Using ready-made kits sold in specialized gardening stores, every summer resident can make a drip irrigation system with his own hands. Thus, by introducing new technologies for watering plants grown in a greenhouse, you can achieve good yields and reduce the amount of effort spent on caring for summer cottages.
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Do-it-yourself watering in the greenhouse: how to make drip irrigation?
From planting seeds to harvesting, the plants in the greenhouse require regular watering. Doing it manually is long and difficult.
The efficiency of such irrigation is low, since the water from the bucket not only falls on the root of the plant, but also irrigates a rather large area of soil around it.
The ingress of moisture into the aisles stimulates the development of weeds and diseases that live in the soil of the greenhouse. Drip irrigation, in contrast to manual irrigation, delivers water and fertilizers to the plant in a targeted manner, significantly saving water and energy. In addition, it saves the greenhouse owner from the laborious work of daily irrigation of the beds.
The modern system of automatic irrigation of the greenhouse works according to the "drip" principle and practically does not require human intervention.
Let us consider in more detail the principle of its operation, the device, and the cost of the equipment.
Types of irrigation systems for summer cottages and their features
It is necessary to consider all the currently popular automatic irrigation schemes, before you start creating automatic irrigation in your greenhouse. In the form of an enlarged diagram, any irrigation system consists of the following parts:
- equipment for forced water supply under pressure
- water purification systems from mechanical, chemical and other impurities
- automation (controller)
- pipes and valves.
Classification of automatic irrigation systems
You can organize automatic watering in the greenhouse using one of four types of systems:
- Drip drip.
The principle of organizing irrigation is different and each has its own pros and cons.
This principle is not new and has been used for a long time. Allows you to economically use water and take care of plants. As an example, you can recall the recent events in Crimea.
After the annexation of the peninsula to Russia, Kiev blocked the North Crimean Canal. And a real threat looms over agriculture. Most of the irrigation installations had to be stopped. Previously, 400 thousand were irrigated. hectares, now there are about 13 thousand hectares.
After three years of shock, the peninsula's meliorators found a way out. One of them turned out to be drip irrigation. They knew about it before, but it was rather a curiosity. It has now become the norm. There is water in Crimea, but it is not enough. So there is only one way out - careful and economical spending. This is exactly what drip irrigation allows you to do.
With a properly calculated irrigation scheme, the entire system can operate in two modes:
- using power supply for pressure pumps.
From the collecting tank, water is supplied through a pipeline to belts with droppers. They are located taking into account the moisture of the plant root system. Water in dosed drops does not completely moisturize the root system, but in a targeted manner - for each plant. Also, liquid top dressing can be supplied through the same pipes.
Using this principle of irrigation, Israeli agronomists achieve high yields, with a traditional water shortage.
Drip irrigation has obvious advantages:
- with a small pressure of water, its savings are obtained (up to 30% when compared with the usual method of irrigation)
- water and fertilizers are delivered to each individual bush, which also prevents weeds from growing
- you can loosen the ground less often.
And if you add a timer and a soil moisture sensor, then the entire irrigation system can work in automatic mode.
There are, of course, special requirements for such a system. To avoid clogging the holes of the drip line, the water must be clean. Therefore, water filtration must be added to the system.
Automatic irrigation systems for greenhouses can be equipped with drip tape. Structurally, it is a kind of polyethylene sleeve with holes at a given distance. The roots of plants are moistened through these holes.
- It is used in greenhouse conditions and outdoors
- For watering trees and garden crops.
Drip tape is the most budgetary option, but also the most short-lived. On the other hand, due to its simplicity, it quickly pays for itself and, moreover, is economical and efficient. It can be used in gravity systems or at a low pressure of 1.5 bar.
Available in two varieties:
- ∅ 16 mm. A popular modification for small irrigated areas, where the line length is no more than 250 meters. Long length does not guarantee uniform flow of the area
- ∅ 22 mm. Not used as often, but can shed evenly over a length of 450 meters.
When buying, you should calculate the area of the site in advance. The larger it is, the longer the tape is needed. And already from the total length, its diameter is also selected.
Hose with integrated drippers
Drip irrigation of another type is a line of tubes with built-in drippers (step 30–33 cm). This distance is optimal for creating an overlap between the irrigated spot areas and ensures moisture penetration to the plant roots.
There are several options for execution:
- Non-collapsible and collapsible. Collapsible, more expensive, but easier to clean from dirt.
- Non-adjustable and adjustable. They differ in water consumption. In the former, it depends on the pressure in the system. For the second, the water consumption can be adjusted.
- Uncompensated and compensated. The latter are more ergonomic. They have a special membrane that balances the pressure in the pipelines, regardless of the distance at which the total water supply is realized.
But there is a limitation. It makes sense to buy compensated droppers for pressure systems. In gravity, they do not function.
The installation scheme for droppers is as follows: a special hose is laid along the garden bed, and then droppers are cut in front of each bush.
It is possible to moisten several bushes at once from one outlet from the central hose - 2 or 4.
- A splitter is installed to the central outlet
- Droppers-pegs are connected to it through thin tubes
- Peg droppers are placed near a bush with a plant.
- They work with a high pressure (up to 6 atm.) Of water.
- Long lasting.
- The location of the droppers. They can be installed even if the plants are chaotically planted.
The only drawback is the complicated installation.
Hose quality is important in versions with both tape and remote drippers. Naturally, untreated water will clog the hose itself and the droppers. In addition, from the inside, there is a high probability of green algae formation. This leads to a decrease in the flow area of the hose.
We recommend the Rain Bird XF Series Double Layer Hoses. Thus, three goals are achieved:
- the design itself is such that clogging of the droppers will not occur
- the inner layer is made with black carbon, which prevents the formation of green algae.
- can operate both in gravity mode and at pressures up to 4.5 bar.
Before making automatic watering in the greenhouse, you need to purchase such items as:
For greenhouse irrigation systems, several types of taps are used:
- initial with a clip. Installation on the central pipe (hose) of the route is preferable
- initial with clip and rubber band. Improved version of the previous tap.
- initial for flexible hoses. Popular element of irrigation structure
- checkpoint. Combines two sections of the central highway
- checkpoint for drip systems.
Perhaps this is the most demanded and necessary element. Filters help to avoid blockages in the line and in the wiring system.
They differ into varieties such as:
- Garden ordinary.
- Combined with a pressure reducer that controls pressure.
- disk. Recommended for complicated water supply systems
- mesh. Effective when taking fluid from a well or borehole.
When choosing a filter, you need to focus on its throughput.
Of course, in order to assemble a water supply system (and an irrigation system is also a kind of water supply system), you will need connecting elements - fittings.
This name refers to the various elements. For example, such as:
- adapters from one diameter to another
The system of automatic irrigation of the simplest design is equipped with a storage tank for water. Lightweight and handy plastic water storage containers are available. But a regular 200-liter barrel will do just fine. To ensure the minimum water pressure in the system, it is advisable to raise the container above ground level by 1–1.5 m.
If it is not possible to raise the container above the ground, water can be pumped from it. So even better. If water is used from a well or from a general water supply system, it is still recommended to heat it up. And in the container, it will have time to heat up in the sun and such water can already be used for irrigation. By the way, nothing prevents you from equipping even such a simple plant irrigation system with an automation unit with a pump.
For greenhouses, sprinkler irrigation is common. The spray cans are installed from above, from the ceiling, and from below, from the ground.
With such irrigation, the length of the pipelines is optimal. The main condition for pipes is to withstand strong water pressure.
Spray heads can be stationary or rotating. The main thing is to ensure an even distribution of moisture.
- water is sprayed evenly
- the soil is moistened to the required depth
- nourishes beneficial microorganisms in the soil
- a comfortable microclimate is created in the greenhouse
- watering is provided over large areas.
But such a system has limitations:
- possible waterlogging of the soil
- high probability of sunburn on plant leaves
- water is not used efficiently
- there is no possibility of adding top dressing to the root system:
- a sufficiently strong water pressure is required.
This is an improved version of sprinkler irrigation.
This method will require stronger piping to withstand pressures of 30-50 bar and a larger pump to maintain this pressure in the system.
The increased pressure is due to the design of the nozzles used, like deluge nozzles. Such nozzles are used in automatic fire extinguishing systems.
Aerosol irrigation helps to improve the microclimate in the greenhouse. This is especially true on hot and dry days, when it is necessary to cool the plants.
This system is also suitable for growing cuttings. Leaf growth slows down, and their root system, on the contrary, is actively developing. To avoid mold and mildew in the greenhouse, ventilation must work well and the air temperature must be controlled. The artificial irrigation system, equipped with sensors, can automatically maintain the temperature between 25 ° –27 °.
It is actively used in greenhouse seedlings breeding.
- Rapid cooling of the greenhouse space.
- Substantial water savings.
- There is no formation of a hard "crust" on the surface of the soil.
- Uniform distribution of moisture.
The disadvantages include the presence of electricity, which is necessary for the operation of water pumps.
The irrigation systems described above, of course, can be installed independently, but they still require special knowledge and skills. There is another way to deliver moisture to the roots of plants - using ordinary plastic bottles.
There are several options for performing such irrigation:
- water bottles are hung
- placed on the ground near the root system
- buried near the roots to a shallow depth.
What's great about this system is its ease of execution. It is enough to have at hand:
- a thick needle or awl
- a little gauze or cotton fabric
- a set of empty plastic bottles with a capacity of 1-2 liters with caps
Further preparation procedure:
- Prepare bottles - wash and peel off stickers.
- Trim the bottom with scissors by about five centimeters.
- Heat the needle (awl) and pierce several holes with it. The amount is selected based on the future water consumption in such a drip system.
- Put a layer of gauze (cotton cloth) in front of the lid. This will be a kind of water filter so that the holes in the lid are not clogged.
- Dig a hole near the plant for a bottle 10-15 cm deep.
- Insert a bottle with a closed lid into the prepared well and sprinkle with earth. The actual system of "automatic watering" for one seedling is ready. It remains to repeat all the steps for the rest of the plantings.
It is clear that if the installation of the "irrigation system" is carried out under the existing roots, you need to dig holes very carefully.
The system is apparently simple to implement, but these are not all the advantages:
- It turns out additional aeration of the earth.
- Cheapness of material and ease of installation.
- Economical water consumption.
- The greenhouse atmosphere is not saturated with moisture.
You can use containers of larger volume, but you need to understand that they will take up more space under the plant. Rather, it would be wiser to cover existing bottles with them from above so that they do not get clogged with debris.
How to choose a drip tape for irrigation
The key role in the use of such irrigation is played by tape - a flexible hose that is laid out in the beds and brought to the plants.
When buying, inspect the tape carefully. It must be strong enough, but at the same time flexible, so that creases are formed on it, due to which the entire system may fail in the future.
The assembly technology for such irrigation structures is shown in the video.