In many gardens, the usefulness of drip irrigation is sometimes overlooked. While there are several options, drip irrigation is the most effective, efficient, and ecologically friendly method to water flower beds and keep roots moist.
It provides optimal efficiency by slowly and steadily applying water to plants. It also prevents water waste by delivering the correct amount of water to the roots wasting no drops.
If you buy the right product, installing a drip irrigation system is beneficial, as it can save you many gallons of wasted water. There’s a lot to choose from on the market, and while most are useful, there are others that can leave you feeling short-changed.
In our comparison reviews, we’ve taken the best and pitched them against each other to see which can really make your life easier.
By the end, you’ll have more information on what to look for and which drip irrigation system components are needed to keep water flowing around your garden. (Find the Best Water Hose)
You’ll have all you need to make the best purchasing decision for your new effective garden watering system.
Why You Need a Good Drip Irrigation System
Here are some of the reasons why you should use a drip irrigation system in your small garden. To begin, you use less water by directing it where you want it to go.
This means you should not over-water your plants as you deliver the proper amount. In addition, water evaporation will be minimized. It evaporates at a lower level and thus keeps the soil around your plants moist all the time.
The drip irrigation system attaches directly to your hose system, and a simple garden hose splitter can be used if you have one hose faucet. This allows you to use your irrigation system with another hose for heavy watering, where you need to deal differently with individual plants.
One of the most significant advantages is, you don’t need to water your plants manually. You can bury a small line under your mulch and run it around your many plants while out of sight as it applies water. (Read How To Replace A Hose Bib)
Drip irrigation systems offer lots of flexibility as plants grow in a raised bed garden, containers, row gardens, or simply watering trees and grass.
You can inhibit the growth of fungal bacteria by watering slowly and having the ability to alter the flow rate to smaller plants and to those requiring more water.
When water sits for extended periods, it is easy for bacteria to spread. Bacteria don’t like freshwater, and thus, when using the best drip irrigation systems, you will always have fresh water feeding your plants and enabling you to save water.
Top Drip Irrigation System Reviews
1. Flantor Garden Irrigation System, 1/4″ Blank Distribution Tubing Watering Drip Kit/DIY Saving Water Automatic Irrigation Equipment Set
Flantor Garden delivers a great garden irrigation system that sits perfectly in most garden types and does a stellar job of keeping plants watered with low maintenance.
You get a well-designed, complete package in the 1/4 ich garden irrigation system.
It offers practicality and functionality, and with low-pressure hoses, you can save around 70% on your water use compared to using sprinklers or your garden hose.
It’s simple to set up and run, and it’s all you’ll need. It comes with a hose connector, and after easy assembly, all you have to do is connect the water, lay the tubing around your plants, and adjust each nozzle individually for how much water you need for each plant.
You’ll find ten separate sections in the pack, including tubes, nozzles, barbed fittings, and casts.
- Great value for money
- Saves 70% water usage
- It doesn’t need any additional components to work
- Suitable for any garden types up to 25 square meters
- Pipes can pop off connectors under high water pressure
- Pack contains many unnecessary parts
With a guide price of just over $20, you get a great deal for your money. For any gardener who wants to control their watering in smaller gardens in one go, there isn’t anything that matches the Flantor garden irrigation system.
If you want to be totally hands-off, all you need is to purchase an automatic timer, and you can spend more time enjoying your garden rather than tending to it.
2. Orbit 69525 Micro Bubbler Complete Drip Irrigation Watering Kit
What distinguishes this Orbit irrigation kit from others is that it considers more than simply water. It’s designed to guard against water damage to small plants.
With an all-in-one drip system, it’s simple to set up and takes around 15 minutes to run the tubing around your garden. Unlike other kits, it needs stakes to hold the main 1/2 tube in position.
The water economy is increased in use, and you can save up to 70% more water than on a traditional drip irrigation system.
Protects plants using the micro-bubble head spray to ensure they are not directly affected by running water. (Read How To Turn On Sprinkler System)
The flexible tubing lets you position your pipework around trees, bushes, and flowerbeds without damage. The pack covers up to 250 square feet, and water will only flow in one direction from the hoses once in position.
- Bubble spray protects plants from water damage
- It covers a wide ground area for most gardens
- Flexible hoses are easy to move
- Easy installation
- The 1/2 inch tubing can make installation a challenge
- Needs stakes to hold tubes in position
Coming in with a guide price of a little under $40, you get one of the best drip irrigation systems you can find. If you have a smaller garden, you can comfortably water 8 plant locations or use the coupling to extend your drip system to run from one hose faucet.
3. Rain Bird DRIPPAILQ Drip Irrigation Repair and Expansion Kit
When you control your garden watering through a drip irrigation system, it is hard to know what to do with expanding the kit or repairing it. However, using the Rain Bird DRIPPAILQ, you can take care of any extension or repair.
The expansion kit is just what you need to increase the size and effectiveness of your drip irrigation systems.
Using the 250ft of 1/4 inch tubing and the countless other fittings included in the Rain Bird expansion kit, you can cover a larger area.
The drip irrigation kits components include drippers, emitters, couplings, plugs, and other accessories that you might require.
So, whenever you have any old parts, you have to replace them and select the replacement from the kit. You even get emitters rated at various GPH to cover many garden irrigation system types.
- Easy to operate
- Includes lots of emitters, drippers, and parts
- Suitable for any repair or expansion job
- Can repair many types of irrigation system
- No t-connectors included
The Rain Bird kit has a guide price of a little under $40, which makes it a great price if you need to repair or extend different system types without needing to purchase another kit of the same amount you have previously.
4. MIXC 226FT Greenhouse Micro Drip Irrigation Kit Automatic Patio Misting Plant Watering System with 1/4 inch 1/2 inch Blank Distribution Tubing Hose Adjustable Nozzle Emitters Sprinkler Barbed Fittings
This micro drip irrigation kit is good for a 160 square foot area. With 200FT + 26FT irrigation tubing, you can water all your plants at once.
Installation is simple and doesn’t require digging or plumbing knowledge.
The kit offers a revolutionary 4×6-Way Connector and divides water into 16 dedicated areas. It can boost low water pressure and address water shortages you often find on an irrigation system’s furthest end.
The micro drip irrigation kit includes three types of sprayers, each you can adjust separately to meet your plant’s needs.
The drip irrigation system is more efficient than using garden hoses and saves up to 70% water usage. The precision watering system slowly and accurately using the distribution tubing to deliver the correct amount to your plant’s root zone.
- Includes three nozzle types for different gardening needs
- Great build quality
- Unique multi-branch line connectors
- Resolves low water pressure issues
- Some connectors can easily clog
- Some sprinklers may not spray as advertised
With a guide price of just over $35, you get a unique system type that can deal with various demands of gardening irrigation in a single system. It allows you to adjust the flow rate for various plants’ needs regardless of soil type and watering methods, overhead sprinklers, or staked nozzles.
5. HIRALIY 50ft Drip Irrigation Kit Plant Watering System 8x5mm Blank Distribution Tubing DIY Automatic Irrigation Equipment Set for Garden Greenhouse Flower Bed Patio Lawn
The Hiraliy Drip Irrigation System offers the exclusive splitter for connecting and is made from solid brass; it is rust-free and durable.
The Butterfly-Shaped Switch can operate separate two drip lines but also adjust water flow in them independently.
The kit comes with larger Irrigation Tubing at 50 ft and is constructed from Pu Recyclable Materials. It is Durable and UV Resistant to withstand exposure to the elements.
You’ll find larger tubing can allow greater water flow, which is ideal for watering all plants at once.
Each nozzle or emitter can be individually adjusted using the 8 holes according to your garden’s needs to achieve precise watering for each plant and save up to 70% in water savings.
- Durable and can withstand sun exposure
- Effective adjustable emitters
- Dual faucet connector
- 70% water savings
- Short pipe length
- Only one size tubing
If you have a small garden and you need to emit water to up to 14 locations at once, or you need to run a system from one faucet without affecting your watering, the guide price of just under $20 is a steal.
However, the kit is smaller than some, which some gardeners may find restrictive. However, if you have a small garden, patio, or greenhouse, this irrigation kit could be all you need.
Best Drip Irrigation System Buying Guide
Sprinkler Emitter Drip System
To water plants, this drip irrigation system uses sprinkler heads. The benefit of using a sprinkler head is it delivers water to several plants with one head.
Your sprinkler head can be adjusted to produce a slow drip or large spray based on gardening needs. Because your emitter sits above the ground, the system will not become clogged.
Spot Watering Emitters
To water the plants, this drip irrigation system uses nozzles as emitters.
The benefit of adopting such a system is that the emitters may be adjusted at the root level for each plant.
A system like this can be buried beneath the soil; however, the emitters may become clogged after a while.
The water flow rate is fine so long as your water pressure is high enough; otherwise, a pressure regulator may be required.
A drip irrigation system comprises various components. Tube, emitters, stakes, fittings, risers, plugs, faucet connector. Ensure that the drip irrigation system you choose includes all the required components. If not, you’ll need to buy them separately.
The drip irrigation system should be easy to install. Many of these systems require no special skills, like plumbing or digging. So they should be easy to install up. Some come with good installation manuals.
The hose length of your drip irrigation system depends on the size of your garden. The length should increase with the garden size. The hose should also be flexible enough to move around your garden without breaking or changing your garden’s layout.
A decent drip irrigation system will allow you to adjust the entire system’s water flow. Many are programmable at the emitter. This allows you to tailor watering to each plant’s needs.
You need a long-lasting drip irrigation system. Invest in one with UV and chemical resistance. You can also choose a system that lasts a long time before changing filters or cleaning emitters.
Can you add drip irrigation to existing sprinkler system?
The steps to convert to drip irrigation are outlined here.
Step 1: Choose a spray head to serve as a water supply, then cover the other sprinkler heads.
Step 2: Disconnect the sprinkler and replace it with the canister from the pop-up conversion kit. Note that the canister’s filter and adapter top must be removed.
What is the average cost for installing a drip irrigation system?
It could cost less than $50 to install in a small backyard garden. The final cost is determined by the size of your yard, the quality of the materials used, and the difficulty of the project.
How do you size a drip irrigation system?
Depending on the size of the plant, there are one or two emitters per plant. Large bushes and trees may require more. Having two enables for a backup in case one becomes clogged.
However, additional emitters also wet greater soil area, which is equally vital—more roots result and a healthier, happier plant. If the plants are close together, you may need to use less than two emitters per plant to maintain the minimum spacing between them.
When testing, it was clear early on the Flantor Garden Irrigation System, 1/4″ Blank Distribution Tubing Watering Drip Kit/DIY Saving Water Automatic Irrigation Equipment Set would come out on top. (Read DIY Self Watering Planter)
It has many more components than its rivals, and you can water a larger number of plants on the entire system. The tubing is UV resistant, and the kit is suitable for all kinds of gardens, from raised beds, containers, and other garden areas directly on the soil.
Water pressure is stable, and all the emitters can water your plants; and the kit is effective as it helps save gallons of water being wasted into the ground and soil during use.