Drip irrigation project, part one

Photo #1: Getting ready to swap out the old T Tape for Aqua Traxx
Last year, my husband and I installed a new irrigation system on our raised beds. We've used soaker hoses on each bed for years but they frequently clogged with minerals, which reduced the amount of water coming out of them. We felt it was time to try something new.

We chose a drip tape product called T Tape, which we purchased from Dripworks. It worked really well all season long last year. Each bed has a PVC riser with a valve and hose attachment. On top of the bed is a manifold (a cross-piece made of flexible sprinkler pipe to which the drip tape connects) that 3 or 4 runs of drip tape attach to, depending on the width of the bed.

I've since learned of a new drip tape product they carry called Aqua Traxx; it's made by Toro and one of the owners was telling me they are really pleased with it. I was curious about how it compares to T Tape so the folks at Dripworks kindly sent me some to try. We decided to replace the T Tape on a 4' x 16' bed and a 3' x 8' bed.

The process of swapping out the T Tape was very simple. On the larger bed, we disconnected the T tape from the manifold and connected the new Aqua Traxx drip tape. On the smaller bed, we decided to make a complete manifold which only took a couple of minutes (see next post for details).

We took some photos to show the process we went through with the larger raised bed set-up:

Photo #1. The photo at the top of this post shows that we cut 4 lengths of Aqua Traxx to replace the pre-existing T Tape. It's sturdy but easy to cut with utility scissors or other cutting tools. Notice that the blue stripes face upward; there is a seam on the top from which the water weeps.
Photo #2: Adding grip sleeve end onto end of drip tape.

Photo #2. At the far end of the bed, I folded the Aqua Traxx tape twice, then slipped a "grip sleeve end" onto it, to keep water from leaking out of the end.

Photo #3. The finished Aqua Traxx set-up on the bed to the right. Very simple! Remember that you can click on any of the photos to view a larger image.

Photo #3: The completed drip tape system.
A nice feature of our new drip system is that it includes a pre-filter and pressure-reducing valve to provide even watering throughout the garden.

I should also mention that it's very easy to unscrew the set-up from each bed and put it out of the way while we prepare the soil each spring.