How to Install a Drip Irrigation System

Save time and water with a drip watering system in your vegetable garden — a little patience now will pay off later

Houzz Contributor. I’m a California-based writer and editor. While most of my projects are garden-based, you might also find me writing about home projects and classical music. Away from the computer, I’m found in the garden (naturally), on my bike, or ice-skating outdoors (yes, that is possible in California). I’m also willing to taste-test anything that’s chocolate.


Drip irrigation is often the first choice for an edible garden. It provides slow and consistent water to the roots of each plant, where they need it the most, and prevents fungal diseases and weeds. It saves you water, because you measure the amount you use in gallons per hour rather than gallons per minute, and it practically eliminates water loss from overspray and evaporation. It’s also easier to install and more flexible than an inground sprinkler system and, once it’s in place, it requires less hands-on time during watering — a plus for those with larger gardens.

Before you rush out to get the parts, realize that it takes some time and a bit patience to install drip irrigation, though not as much as an inground system. Plan on a day for installation — or two, if you have a lot of ground to cover. Drip systems also require more upkeep throughout the growing season — emitters and water lines are easily dislodged, damaged and clogged. Fortunately, they’re also relatively easy to troubleshoot and repair.