Updated: November 2017

Drip Irrigation System Reviews:

We live in a hilly suburb of Portland, Oregon and although we get our fair share of rain in the winter months, we often get hot and dry summers which leave us having to water our flower beds, raised vegetables gardens and lawns. Healthy yards need water and often regular sprinkler systems are wasteful and not effective at watering your plants. The house we moved into sits up about 10 feet from the main street level so almost all the water from the sprinklers just runs down the hillside and out to the street. I am a bit embarrassed to say the least, but I knew there was a better solution out there. Drip irrigation systems have been around since ancient times, although the modern versions that are hooked up to actual sprinkler systems are quite efficient. Watering lawns on level ground makes sense with a sprinkler, but drip irrigation makes more sense for areas that slope of dramatically and lose most of the water before it gets absorbed by the ground.
drip irrigation

Drip Irrigation Materials - We started shutting down some sprinkler heads along our hillside and replaced them with "drip lines". Some of the work we could do ourself since the sprinkler lines were already in place. Home Depot and Lowes offer drip irrigation supplies for the DIY homeowners out there that want to conserve water and have healthy bushes and plants in their yard. You will need to look for valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. Drip systems, also called trickle irrigation, are great at watering slowly and getting the water to the roots of the plant. Most are placed above ground, although some are installed underground. Drip irrigation is almost 90% efficient compared to the 50 to 70% efficiency with sprinkler systems for lawns. They work best in targeted areas for raised vegetable gardens, flower beds, hegdes, and shrubs. Our first drip system was designed for the arborvitae that run along the back of our yard on an elevated rock wall with little dirt. The drip system has worked wonders for those shrubs. A home drip irrigation kit can be bought at Home Depot or Lowes and they often include a backflow preventer, water valve, drip tubing, pressure regulator, filter, and emitters. The water slowly drips off the end of the emitters onto the base of the plant so as not to waste the water. Instead of a steady flow that just runs off the dirt, a drip system lets the water be absorbed and used efficiently. You can browse the best selling drip irrigation kits and tubing supplies here.

Drip Irrigation Cost?:

If you just want a drip irrigation kit and already have a lawn sprinkler system setup at your house, then it's fairly inexpensive. You are looking at $20 to $100 for a basic DIY drip irrigation kit. For a more complex drip system, the cost will increase to $500 - depends on how much line needs to be extended around your yard and what the terrain is like. Remember that some of the drip tubing should be placed under ground. Our drip system has about 2/3's of the drip line above ground and the rest is underground. Be careful when placing it around trees since we have had several lines crack as the tree trunk grew and expanded the line until it broke. It's a simple fix, but one that become a pain in the neck if you have to do it every week. If you have a professional crew come out to install a drip irrigation system for you, make sure they place the lines strategically away from the base of trees (the roots of the tree will get the water no matter what) so that the lines don't get compromised in the future. To install a drip line system, you have to run drip tubing and get that connected to the main sprinkler lines so that you have a flow of water. This can be time consuming, especially if you are starting from scratch and don't have a sprinkler system in place. The pros will charge between $1200 and $3500 - again price is determined by square footage of yard and how much line you need installed. Ultimately, the drip system should work flawlessly once it's hooked up to a timer that regulates how often and how long the drip lines run. Drip irrigation cost is an investment that will save money and hopefully keep your landscaping looking beautiful.