SFG : Irrigation Upgrade

In my post Situating and Filling the Beds I mentioned that I had acquired a drip irrigation system from Harbor Freight. After poking holes into the tubing, I placed it either on, or slightly below, the surface of the beds. You can see the black tubing in this picture…

Square Foot Gardening Irrigation System v1.0

I have the water on a manual timer and noticed after a couple of minutes of watering that there were jets displacing the soil and causing surface pooling. As I had plenty of black tubing remaining, I decided to try a different approach. I would replace the pieces that pass down the middle of each square, running from back to front. The biggest difference on mk2 was that I drilled the holes into the tubing rather can cutting them with a knife or poking them with needle-nose pliers which produced a wide (and mostly unacceptable) range of spray sizes shooting from somewhat random locations, sometimes upwards !

By drilling I was able to precisely control the location and hole size. The holes were placed at 0 and 180 degrees, ie. on the horizontal axis of the tube. I then dug a small channel in the soil mix, around 1″-2″ deep and buried the tubing. As there are already seeds planted and several with shoots emerging, care was needed to avoid disturbing them.

Square Foot Gardening Irrigation System v2.0

I tested the new system immediately after burying and it was obvious that this method was achieving far superior watering than the original implementation and there are no jets or pooling in sight.


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