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How to Set Up a Garden Irrigation System for Plants with Different Watering Needs

A garden irrigation system can save a lot of time and effort in the never-ending quest to achieve the perfect garden. By providing the right amount of water at the right time to the right plants, you can enjoy a thriving garden that is worthy of a magazine cover. Plus, you will save yourself from injury since you won’t have to lug that heavy hose or watering can around your garden, risking destroying your plants in the process.

While an irrigation system is a great investment, it’s important that it’s set up correctly to ensure the water is distributed where it needs to be. For plants with different water needs, this can be a challenge. To help overcome that challenge, here are a few tips to help you set up a garden irrigation system for plants with different watering needs.

How to Set Up a Garden Irrigation System for Plants With Different Watering Needs (1)

Start at the Spigot

If you use your spigot to feed your irrigation system, you’ll want to start there to set up a system that will meet the needs of different plants. Something as simple as a two-way splitter can allow you to attach two different hoses that can then be fed to two different areas in your garden. You can even find three- or four-way splitters to add even more hoses, thus providing a large variety of watering combinations.

Different Attachments

If you want to get a little more involved with your irrigation system, you can use various attachments for different areas in your garden. Fed by a common source, these attachments allow varying amounts of water to be diverted to different plants in your garden. For example, a spray attachment can be used on a line for a plant with increased water requirements, such as a new tree, while a drip attachment can be fed to a plant, such as a tomato vine, that has normal water requirements.

Add or Subtract

Another way to control the volume of water that reaches certain plants is to use varying numbers of spray heads, depending on the water requirements of a specific plant. This ensures the perfect amount of water reaches each plant, even if you’re only feeding that specific area with a single line. Crucial to success using this method is to ensure your plumbing can push enough water pressure all the way to the end of the line to supply all the spray heads. Otherwise, plants at the end of the line won’t receive an adequate amount of water.


If you want the ultimate in control over the water your plants receive, then a multi-zone irrigation system is the best way to go. This system breaks up each of your garden beds into multiple zones that can be controlled using various types of valves and irrigation attachments. This allows you to select specific zones to receive water while others stay dry. If you have a large garden or if you have certain plants that are very picky about their water intake, this is the best solution.

Time to Enjoy

The ultimate goal of utilizing a garden irrigation system is to give you more time to enjoy the other aspects of gardening. Whether that’s constructing a new garden bed from scratch, pruning certain flowers to allow them to thrive, or simply sitting among your plants, enjoying the closeness with nature, you deserve the time that a garden irrigation system affords you.


Author Bio: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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