Strawberry Irrigation Drip Irrigation Using Drip Tape

Strawberry Irrigation Drip Irrigation Using Drip Tape


Strawberry Irrigation

Components Layout For Strawberry Drip Irrigation Systems Cont'd

We will now look at the components commonly used to connect Drip Lines to zone manifolds for a Strawberry Irrigation system using Drip Tape.  Drip Tape is likely the least expensive method for Irrigating a Strawberry Field it is also the least durable of the methods you can use.  

Things to consider when using Drip Tape

Drip Tape is commonly used for large areas and or seasonal crops.  It's relatively inexpensive cost make it a good choice for seasonal crops or temporary farming sites.  Prior to choosing Drip Tape for it's economic benefits you should be aware of the dissadvantages that may affect your decision:

  • Drip Tape emitters are non-compensating make it difficult to provide uniform watering on long runs or undulating ground.  This can be a factor when requiring precision watering.
  • Drip Tape is made to last 1-3 seasons (Drip Emitter Tubing can often last 10 years or more) which should be factored into your budgeting.  If you are growing a crop that is seaosnal in nature, or that requires frequent soil turnover this will likely be okay, however if you are growing permanent plants you may want to consider Drip Emitter Tubing.
  • Due to its fragile nature, Drip Tape can be difficult to remove and roll up without causing damage to the tubing walls.
  • Drip Tape is operated at between 6-12 PSI, as opposed to 6-60 PSI for some Drip Emitter tubing.  This narrow pressure range can make water delivery a more complex issue than for other methods.

 3  Connecting Drip Irrigation Lines For Each Zone Using Drip Tape

One thing to note when using Drip Tape is the flow rate is usually presented in gallons per minute per 100 ft (GPM/100ft). If we use an example with a  common output for Drip Tape is .34 gpm/100ft, this would equate to 20.4 gallons per hour (.34 x 60 minutes).  Using our example of 450 gallons per hour available we should be able to water 2,200 ft of tape at one time (450 gallons per housr / 20.4 gallons per hour per 100 ft).

There are several ways to connect Drip Tape to Solid Drip Tubing and we will now illustrate the most common methods as well as other options for connecting Drip Tape.

Connecting with Barbed Fittings

Connecting Drip Tape with Barbed Fittings is the most common method used for small to medium sized drip tape systems.  Connection is made by simply punching a hole into the solid drip line, inserting the barbed fitting and connecting the dirp tape.  This is a permanent fitting and cannot be removed after installation, but is cost effective and simple.  

Connection Components

Barbed Fitting As you can see from the illustration there are 3 common fittings used to connect Drip Tape to Solid Tubing
DT-TO250 The DT-TO250 is a 1/4" Barbed Fitting for 5/8" Drip Tape.  This fitting can be used with both 1/2" and 3/4" solid tubing.  The maximum flow rate for this fitting is 80 gallons per hour, which must be taken into account when calculating your row length and flow rate of the drip tape you are using.
DT-TO400 The DT-TO400 is a .4" Barbed Fitting for 5/8" Drip Tape.  This fitting can only be used with 3/4" solid tubing.  The maximum flow rate for this fitting is 160 gallons per hour, which makes it a better choice for longer Drip Tape lines.
DT-FCV250B The DT-FCV250B is a 1/4" Barbed Fitting which also provides flow control for the drip tape line.  Maximum flow rate is 80 gph for this fitting.
TLS6 Hold down stake for tubing up to 3/4"

DT-EC58
 

or 

DT-TSE

End Cap for end of each drip line.  Removable cap for easy drainage and winterization.
 

Alternatively a DT-TSE can be used to fold the drip line over to seal the ends.  This can be removed when draining the lines.

Connecting with Threaded Fittings

Connecting Drip Tape lines with threaded fittings gives you the advantage of easy removal of lines and also will increase the potential flow rates for individual line due to the larger opening over barbed fittings.

Figure 1 - This illustration demonstrates a simple method for connecting a drip line to a saddle T and also provides the added benefit of flow control.

Figure 2 - This illustration is a variation with an additional swivel component to allow for easy removal of the drip tape line.

Threaded Fittings The most convenient method installing threaded fittings to a 3/4" line is using Saddle T fittings.  This eliminates the need for cutting lines at the intersection points of the line.
KT070C Dawn Saddle T's come in a variety of sizes for different tubing sizes from 3/4" to 1.5".  They can be installed in seconds.
Figure 1
DT-FCV50MP The DT-FCV50MP is connected to the T fitting via a 1/2" Male Pipe Thread and provides flow control for the individual Drip Tape Lines.
Figure 2
DD-FH4 The DD-FH4 adapter serves 2 purposes.  Firstly it converts from Pipe Thread to a hose thread, and also provides a swivel adapter for easy removal of the lines.
DT-MH58 The DT-MH58 is a male hose thread drip tape fitting that connects to the female swivel of the DD-FH4.  This will enable easy removal of lines.  
DT-FCV58 This is a mid line flow control valve (optional, but recommended)
TLS6 Hold down stake for tubing up to 3/4"

DT-EC58
 

or 

DT-TSE

End Cap for end of each drip line.  Removable cap for easy drainage and winterization.
 

Alternatively a DT-TSE can be used to fold the drip line over to seal the ends.  This can be removed when draining the lines.

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