First of all if you are considering installing a drip irrigation system you should take some time to sit down and map out the area you want the drip irrigation to cover. For example, if you want to install a system in your garden, make a rough drawing of the plants you have and where they are situated, remembering to include trees and shrubs, which, for some reason people tend to ignore when planning their systems. A basic rule of thumb is that if it is growing and you want it to keep on doing so, include it in your garden plan.
You need to have your system geared up to the requirements of your plants. For example some need watering more often than others, annuals and ground cover for example; ideally these should be grouped together in your garden crops in vegetable gardens should be separate from other plants because they will have their own specific watering patterns. Also think about plants growing in sunny spots and shade as these will also need different amounts of water. Now all you need to think about are the plants you may have in containers, which have to be watered separately from those growing in the garden.
For plants in flower pots and containers you need to have pressure compensating drip emitters for the system to be effective. There needs to be ¼ inch micro tubing attached to ½ inch solid tubing and ¼ inch soaker hose drip line, stream bubblers or sprayers in larger pots. With trees and shrubs you will need either type of drip emitters (pressure or non-pressure compensating) with ½ inch drip tubing or coming off ¼ inch micro tubing attached to ½ inch drip line. You can have soaker hose drip line to form circles around the plants.
Soaker Hose ?
A ¼ inch soaker hose drip line will adequately water your annuals and ground cover and is the ideal type of line for flower beds. For larger beds you could use micro sprayers and jets while using drip irrigation.
You will need to find out how much water goes through your water source per minute for optimum use of the drip irrigation system, and this is a simple operation. All you have to do is ensure that no water is being used in the system and place a 5 gallon bucket under your tap. Turn the tap on and see how many seconds it takes to fill the bucket and from this calculate how many gallons per hour will flow through the system. It might help you to know that the maximum recommended flow rate for ½ inch drip ploy tubing is 240 gallons per hour.
Water Pressure of Drip Irrigation
You also need to discover what the water pressure is from your tap and to do this you will need a cheap water pressure gauge for drip irrigation, which you have to screw onto your hose bib. Turn it on and read the pounds per square inch reader on the gauge and do this for each water source you will be using. If your pressure of drip irrigation is more than 90 pounds per square inch you should hire a plumber to lower it so that the system runs efficiently without coming under stress from too much pressure.
Now you are ready to install your drip irrigation system, wikipedia ?