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Terrace Garden - 'Do it Yourself' Drip system
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camaroon123
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September 3, 2011 - 12:39 pm

After calling various so the called drip irrigation dealers who quoted exorbitant rates(ranging from Rs10k – 20K), I finally decided to check out myself by going to Parry corner in Chennai. My experience was mixed. It is very important that prior research is done before venturing into such places. I went through sites for Jain irrigation and Netafirm and was having those components in mind.

 

After getting down in Chennai beach station, I crossed the street and walked on Errabalu Chetty street. This area is a plumbers paradise. All sorts of plumbing items / motors can be got here. The important thing is which shop to approach to get the required stuff. Most of these guys do wholesale and may not entertain small quantities. I went to a shop in Sembudoss street who was listed in Jusdial for drip irrigation stuff. I inquired for about 100 meters of lateral pipe and all drip components. He was quoting exorbitant rates for what looked like cheap plastic stuff, nowhere close to Jain or Netafirm components. My lack of experience was evident even though I had good theoretical knowledge of the components. I visited various other shops who were not even ready to listen!. Some of them did not have idea of drip irrigation components. I did feel like a child lost in a fair. Finally inquired in one of the small shop who was willing to listen and give a proper quote. I was not willing to spend too much on this and finally decided to settle for the cheap stuff. Please PM if you want details of this shop.

 

Enough cribbing. Coming to the real stuff, following are some of the essential components. Please note that my bargaining skills are not up to the mark and I might have overpaid. But the intention of mentioning the price is to set a baseline for future negotiations.

 

I will be describing the components with the help of the photos form the following album,

https://picasaweb.google.com/108518627605551359848/DIYDripSystem?authuser=0'authkey=Gv1sRgCOme-NWAt4qbnwE'feat=directlink

  1. Drip lateral pipe – This is the pipe carrying water from the main line or can be directly connected to your water source. This comes in 12mm and 16mm sizes. I bought the 16mm pipe. I bought it for Rs8.50 per meter. (The first shop in Sembudos street quoted Rs7 for 12mm pipe and Rs11 for 16mm pipe). This is different than the normal garden hose (which is costlier) and is better suited for punching holes and for setting up drip stuff.
  2. Microtube – This is the one carrying water from the lateral to the emitter. I bought Rs5 / meter for 30 meters.
  3. Emitter – this is the one which “drips”. The end of this can be directly connected to the microtube. This is the cheap stuff and is not “pressure compensating”. However the flow of this can be controlled using another device mentioned below. Rs4 per component.
  4. 16mm connectors – for connecting lateral pipes. Rs4 per component (overpriced).
  5. 16mm tap – I bought this to fit at the end of the drip line. This ones leaks continuously near the tap and is pretty much useless. DO NOT buy this component. To stop flow of water in the later, just bend the tube fully and tie it. Rs4 per component (overpriced).
  6. 16mm L – if you want to have bends this may be useful. Rs4 per component (overpriced).
  7. 16mm T – I found this very useful to split the water pipes. Rs4 per component (overpriced).
  8. Microtube connector – Important component which connects the microtube and lateral pipe. Rs1 per component (overpriced).
  9. Mistake plug – If you punched holes in the wrong spot, then this can be used to fill it in.Rs1 per component (overpriced).
  10. Microtube tap – This is the best piece of component. This can be connected in between the emitter and the microtube to control the flow of water. If you are using containers, different pots/plants might require different amounts of water and this one is extremely useful. Rs1 per component.
  11. 20mm x 16 mm connector (optional) – this can be used to connect ¾ inch garden hose and lateral. I found some of these to be extremely difficult to insert into lateral pipe. You can get this in normal hardware shop.
  12. 20mm x 20mm connector (optional) – as name says. You can get this in normal hardware shop.
  13. This picture shows all the microtube sized components.
  14. This picture shows all the 16mm components. The orange one is a tap adapter to connect the lateral to tap
  15. The next picture shows the connections. Just insert the components into the tubes. 16mm components will be a slightly difficult to slide in. The small ones are easy. I did not have to use any heat (lighters / candles) to do this.
  16. Another photo of the same setup
  17. This photo shows how the microtube connector is used to connect the microtube to the lateral. I punched a hole in the lateral using a swiss knife star head component. Ensure the hole is not too big for the connector. Make a small hole in the lateral and push the connector until you get a 'pop'. This joint will always leak, unless you want to seal the leakage using mseal or other stuff which will make this permanent. The bigger the hole, bigger will be the leak.
  18. Picture of some containers in the terrace
  19. Picture of the lateral connected to Tap using adapter. If there is sufficient pressure, this one will come of frequently. A more permanent setup is required. You can get this in normal hardware shop.
  20. Picture of my terrace with containers. I did this just a few weeks ago and it has been raining ever since!!!
    I setup a feeder system just for the plants. I have a well which is not used and the water from this is pumped to the black tank. Water is fed from that to the laterals. I just switch on the motor when I want to water the plants. Initially I had planned on connecting the motor directly to the drip system. I figured that the system will blow at all joints, if I had done so. This tank can also be converted to a “fertigation” system if needed.
  21. The next few photos of the brinjal and Radish plants. The next one is tomato plant which is not doing very well. You can see how the mint is thriving in the latest photo. I thought mint and tomato are “companions” but looks like mint is growing at the expense of tomato.
  22. The last photo of my current seedlings. If there is sufficient pressure, a hole in the lateral will make it like a sprayer. Water will gush out like a spray. I use this to water my seedlings.

 

My current challenges in Terrace setup

 

  1. Either a pigeon or squirrel or rat chomps right in the middle of the stem cutting the plant into two. I have lost several plants like that. Any ideas to prevent them from biting?
  2. The rains fall on the plants and break them, especially the younger ones. I considering having a shade net setup, but have not considered it seriously yet. Any ideas about the cost?
  3. Can anyone tell the problem with the tomato plant in the 'last but one' photo?. Is it micro nutrient deficiency or leaf curl virus? Or is the mint sucking all the nutrients?

 


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Srikanth
Serilingampally, Hyderabad
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September 3, 2011 - 6:06 pm
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Camaroon,

 

The picassa link did not work.

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Thanks,

Srikanth

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camaroon123
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September 4, 2011 - 8:51 am

Thanks for letting me know. Please try this link,

https://picasaweb.google.com/108518627605551359848/DIYDripSystem?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCOme-NWAt4qbnwE&feat=directlink

Having some problems cutting & pasting into here. I am not able to edit the original post.

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sri
bangalore
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September 4, 2011 - 7:41 pm
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Hi,

Thanks for the pics.

I have got similar items in SP road, bangalore recently. I am yet to do the setup. I bought the 16mm for Rs 6/- a meter. I am still planning on how to get this connected from my water tank. And of course there has been continuous rains and didn't get a change to put them all.  I am doubtful of the water pressure since my tank is at a height of 4 feet from the floor. Will have to connect and see.. 

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camaroon123
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September 4, 2011 - 9:47 pm

The problem with connecting to main water tank is that the containers may eventually get flooded unless the water supply is cutoff. This is where automated timers and solenoids come into the picture. I am planning to look into the timer aspect of this to automate the process. Also there is a possibility of water contamination due to backflow and drip system contact with the soil. Another issue is the loss of water due to leaks.

Even here, ever since I installed the system, it has been raining nearly every night. Nevertheless I find this extremely useful on days when I come home late and don't have time to go to the terrace and water plants.

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gm_navy
New Delhi
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October 15, 2011 - 2:53 pm
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hi
that is a terrific post.

i have also decided to go in for drip irrigation in a big way and visited Jain Pipe Systems in Gurgaon. I have stocked up on laterals, spaghett tubes, connectors etc.

there were two types of emitters on offer (all made by HARIT) -types that work as a sprrinkler above the surface of the soil with flow control, and type tha provide a drip next to the roots (4 l per hr).

which would be better for container gardening ?

Ganesh

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camaroon123
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October 20, 2011 - 7:05 pm

Sorry about the late reply. Have been busy recently and unable to login. The drip system has proved to be extremely useful for watering the plants.

Regarding your question, by sprinkler which model do you refer?

I am looking at 

http://www.jains.com/irrigatio.....nklers.htm

If you get the mini sprinkers, then it would be better. But you would need to check the operating minimum pressure for these to work. Sprinklers might give a better wetting of the area than drip emitters. 

The biggest problem I face now, is the emitters keep falling off the pots. There are pigeons in the terrace which probably pull these off. You can get a stake for planting the emitter firmly then it would also be great.

http://www.jains.com/irrigatio.....ripper.htm

However I just bought some 1mm thick insulated wire available in hardware shop, bent them in U shape and planted the drippers. Now there is no problem.

Hope this helps.

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gm_navy
New Delhi
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November 4, 2011 - 7:36 pm
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The turbo stake drippers by Jain Irrigation are pretty good for containers and pots. There are three differently coloured ones for different flow rates.

 

I find womens' hair pins quite useful for holding down emitter tubes close to the soil.

 

The sprinkler I refer to corresponds to the micro sprinkler shown in the Jain website (http://www.jainirrigationinc.c.....8;Itemid=3)

 

I find the adjustable dripper good too. You can set the emission rate in steps from 0 to 12 gallons per hour.(http://www.jainirrigationinc.c.....Itemid=167)

 

GM

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camaroon123
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November 6, 2011 - 11:33 am

Do you mind sharing the approximate price of the Jain component so that it is beneficial to everyone..

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gm_navy
New Delhi
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November 6, 2011 - 7:11 pm
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Hi, sure

The turbo stake drippers came for Rs 3.25 each.

Vinyl tube came at Rs 6 per metre.

Poly joiners (which you use to connect spaghetti tubes to the lateral) -A set consisting (i think) of thirty costs Rs 60.

Jain makes a Plier type tool to make holes on the lateral pipes. It costs Rs 25.00

Of course, to all this a flat rate of 5% was added as VAT.

 

The lateral I got from "harita" at Rs 7 per metre.

 

Pearlite in Delhi is Rs 75 a kg.

 

GM

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Mac_gardner
Mysore
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October 2, 2012 - 7:28 pm
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Camaroon, this information is great, and so are the pics. Thanks a ton.

I have a small drip system set up in my balcony for about 15 containers, but am having trouble with a few leakages because of ill fitting connectors. I am having trouble with spares in Mysore. I guess need a trip to SP road in Bangalore. I'll try to share a few pics.

Any idea where timer valves are available in bangalore? SP road?

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camaroon123
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October 3, 2012 - 8:42 pm

Glad this was of help. Not much idea about Bangalore availability of the parts. I guess I have read in the internet that the parts are available in SP road.

I do not use timer through I have one unused bought for this purpose.  The system is connected to an overhead tank which is always empty. When the well motor is switched on, the tank is filled and feeds the system. The entire system is gravity driven. When the pressure is too much there is more possibility of leakages.

Can try m-seal water proof or similar product from dr.fixit to fix leakages.

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Darkstorm
Bombay
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October 15, 2012 - 5:12 am
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very helpful article cameroon, thx for putting this up & sharing your experience....

anyone know where these parts can be got for a reasonable rate in Bombay ?

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Darkstorm
Bombay
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October 15, 2012 - 5:12 am
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very helpful article cameroon, thx for putting this up & sharing your experience....

anyone know where these parts can be got for a reasonable rate in Bombay ?

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mpbadri
Chennai
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July 14, 2013 - 8:34 pm
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Cameroon and GM

Very useful information. I am from Chennai. I will launch this project for my terrace garden in the next couple of weeks, but then it could rain. Nevertheless the earlier the better. Now I have the plants on the terrace. Pl to set up stands so that they do not sit on the terrace floor directly. This will also help for drip system. I use a combination of pots, UV treated bags both rexene and polyester. Not sure about the exact name but plants grow in them that they give 3 years guarantee !
It will be great to exchange information with both of you on this subject.
MP

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camaroon123
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July 17, 2013 - 8:40 pm

I do not get to login into this site often, just do it when I get replies to the threads I subscribed. However my terrace gardening adventure continues. Are you using a commercial provider to do this setup for you?. Not sure what you mean by guarantee. Please email me if you need any help or info.

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hlratan
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July 18, 2013 - 7:13 am

thanks for this, after I read this I went around searching google and came up with these -

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-te.....505462.ece

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-.....tic-Bottle

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sans
Chennai
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January 7, 2014 - 5:17 pm
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Thanks for your post.. camaroon123..

 

It would be really great if you can tell me the shop details in Chennai. I would like to buy it from them...

 

Your help is highly appreciated.

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nitin71
mumbai
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January 29, 2014 - 5:32 pm
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Hi Camaroon123,

This was a great post and the replies were also very useful. I had setup drip at my farm around 100 kms from mumbai, which is working fine. However, when i set it up at home, I connected it to my water line, where the pressure is much higher than required. have a ball valve on the main line and then a poly tap on the lateral. Still, I am finding that the pots start dripping within 10 minutes, which i want to avoid as the pots are placed on the grill outside balcony on 5th floor and mess up the space on ground floor. second thing i noticed that as the water from the dripper fall on at a single point, it does not moisten the whole pot. My questions are:

1. How can I procure the micro tube taps as it seems nobody has heard of them in mumbai. this may solve my problem of smaller pots starting to drip faster than larger pots. Would some kind of four way connectors help in evenly distributing the water to the full pot? If yes, is anything like this available in small size for the pots... have seen them (and used them) for the farm. But am not sure such connectors are available in smaller sizes.

 

2. if water drips onto a single spot, will it be harmful to the plants? its little early days for me to judge (and i suspect my maid is continuing to water the plants in the afternoon 🙂 even after installling the drip).

 

For those of you who are interested, Kisan offers many of the drip irrigation components at a much more reasonable price, but has lesser outlets than jain.

 

rgds,

Ency.

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ranjithshantikumar
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April 20, 2014 - 8:49 pm
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Darkstorm said

very helpful article cameroon, thx for putting this up & sharing your experience....

anyone know where these parts can be got for a reasonable rate in Bombay ?

There is a kit from Ebay called "M Drip irrigation kit"(buy items loose instead of kit) which i think can solve your problems....
more over u can save tone of time and cost buy simply buying it cheaper online....

For the dripper water falling on same place, please use multiple emitters from emitter to distribute the moisture evenly

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