Bonsai Drip Irrigation

Irrigation systems allow you spend more time playing with your Bonsai's, and less time watering them. So now it's time for me to look at building a system. After attending a local club meeting, I have in my posession, a catalog from Harmony Farm Supply. They do not currently have an online ordering forum, but they say they will soon.

First, I am going to catagorize my plants by water requirements. Twice a day, Once a day and every other day. This will be important to know when designing the layout. Next, place the order for the equipment. Here is a list of what I am going to order.

4 Zone Rain Bird type system control
Solenoid - 12 Volt with pipe threads
Pressure Pop-Off - Drains the System when the pressure drops.
Back Flow Preventer
Black Flex Pipe - 200Ft.
Spagetti Pipe 1/4 " 200Ft.
Spagetti Pipe 1/8 " 200Ft.
1/2" Gang Valve
1/2" 90 Degree
1/2" Splice 1/2" T's
1/4" T's
1/8" T's
1/4" Goof Plugs
1/8" Goof Plugs
45, 90, 180 and 360 degree mist plugs
1/4" Pipe punch tool
1/8" Pipe punch tool

Total cost for these items was around $150.00, This included enough material to water at lease 20 plants individually, and about 750 square feet. Extra material is good to have around as your system will require some maintanence.

OK, The GOODS have arrived! As I said, all material, except the Timer, came from Harmony Farms Supply. The order was placed on Monday, and the product shipped the following day. They are very helpful people.

First, make the connections at your water source. I purchased equipment to come right off of my water spicket. You could have a plumber come and put a back-flow valve off the main water feed, which would provide the most pressure for the system. The prices on this vary, but expect to pay in excess of $300.00 for labor and materials. At any rate, I began with a "Y" connection at the spicket, so I could still connect a garden hose. After the "Y", I installed a PVC T connector to feed two ZONES. Each Zone then had the Filter and the backflow preventer installed. The Backflow Preventer keeps any residual from entering back into the city water supply ( It's the LAW in many counties). After these items were connected, it was time to connect the 1/2" Flex. The 1/2" Flex can be laid on the ground, and held down with "U Stakes". After getting the perimeter of your area covered, you are ready to begin installing the various water fittings . Here are some pics of my system after completed. I will add more doccumentation on how I got here, and what not to do, shortly.

This bed was fed with 1/2" Flex pipe along the front of the bed. The corners of the bed ( Left Arrow ) are fitted with 1/4" Flex pipe coming off of the 1/2". a 3 to 5' 1/4" Flex fitted with a pipe nipple on one end and a low volume 45 Degree mist head on the other. ( Right Arrow ) 2 Fog heads are used here to provide extra water to the Bald Cypress and Redwood. This setup provides good coverage for this bed.

The same strategy was used here. Yellow arrows indicate Mist Heads. The edgess of the beds have 45 or 180 Degreee fitting on rigid 1/4" pipe coming off of 1/2" Flex. Various plants have either 1/8" or 1/4" Flex feeding them specifically to insure a more consistant watering or more volume.

Here you can see how easily the heads can be hidden but still be functional

This Five Needle pine benefits from a direct misting. 1/4" Flex with nipple fitting on one end and a Stake mister on the other.