How to install drip irrigation for fruit trees
What’s the most important to the survival of your fruit trees? For me in Texas, it is definitely – water! Here in Texas we have absolutely brutal summers with highs reaching the triple digits regularly. It can get as hot as 110 F here on the hottest days. It is crucial for you fruit trees to get enough water. Read on to learn how to install drip irrigation for fruit trees!
So, you have planted your new fruit tree or want to irrigate your existing fruit tree. It can be super simple to set up drip irrigation! No professionals needed and no fancy equipment required. I installed my entire drip irrigation system on my own and it was the best thing I have ever done for my garden.
Know your tree
The first thing you need to do is to research the type of tree you have to determine how much water it needs to thrive. Not all trees are created equal – when it comes to watering!
The amount of water that a fruit tree or garden needs depends on the type of soil that it is planted in.
Once you know the amount of water that you tree needs to be healthy, you can start selecting the drip irrigation components to use.
How to install drip irrigation for fruit trees: Installation
The first thing that you need to do is to buy your drip irrigation supplies. If you already have them, great! If not, check out these drip irrigation kits!
Once you have your supplies, you want to start by figuring out your tree’s drip line. Drip line – wait, what? Yes, you read that right!
Every tree has a drip line. This drip line is based on where the outermost branches extend to. This also is an indication of where the roots are reaching too in order to find nutrients and water. If you only water the very base of tree you may not be helping the tree grow like it should.
Once you have figured out your tree’s drip line then you know about how much drip line you will need. I actually recommend using soaker hose drip line. It is a soaker hose that is made to fit drip line using drip fittings.
Take your soaker hose line and coil it around the drip line of the tree and use irrigation stakes to secure it into place. Then take the barb fittings and connect the soaker hose to the main supply line.
Tip: When purchasing soaker hose to use with your drip system, buy the soaker hose in a long length. Do this for two reasons; the first being that this soaker line will need to be replaced from time to time due to sun exposure. The second is that this line can be cut to length for each particular need. To clamp the line at the end, simply take a zip tie and secure the end of the soaker hose.
How to install drip irrigation for fruit trees: Testing
It is time to test the system to see if it works and if there is any leaks in the system. Turn on your main supply line and allow the water to run for 15 minutes or so to see how well the water is distributed around the tree. Use this time to evaluate the effectiveness of the system and to see if there are leaks.
If no leaks are present and you are satisfied with how the system is working, you are all set to go!
How to install drip irrigation for fruit trees: Setting up a timer
All is left to do is program your timer so that it is completely “hands-free”. There are a few different options for timers our there. Do some research on which one will work the best for you. Here are some timer recommendations: Get this one if you are using multiple areas – or – this one if you just have one area to irrigate. Once you get your drip irrigation all set up on a timer and everything, watering is one of the easiest garden chores to do!
Once you have all of this done, you can set back and enjoy a glass of sweet tea while your fruit trees are being watered each and every week.
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Also, check out our article on How to plant an apple tree or How to mulch around fruit trees!
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