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New Member


Monday, May 24th 2010, 11:14am

Rototiller friendly underground system for a vegie garden

Okay here's the story.

We uses to have a sprinkler system but after years of disuse it is now shot.

So I am going to make a new one now.

However we currently have all the PVC pipe we need in the form of 3/4" PVC schedule 40.

Now what I want to do is to set up a sprinlker system that is set just a couple inches bellow the soil level.

I plan to rototill the garden every spring.

I also plan to change my garden's design in the years to come, and maybe expand it.

So here is my question.

Is there anything I can do with the 3/4" PVC schedule 40 pipe that I already have that would enable me to disassemble at the end of the year and reassemble in spring, possibly into a different configuration?

Is that even doable?

Yes I know it will be alot of work disassembling and reassembing the system every year, but it will be worth it.


What kind of pipes/fittings can you suggest that I can do that with.


Supreme Member


Monday, May 24th 2010, 1:16pm

The first thing that comes to my mind is to NOT use a "sprinkler" system in the vegie garden and instead use drip irrigation. Basically, only use PVC underground to get to the leading edge of the garden. Then while still underground, transistion to copper (use a MALE PVC and Female copper) and then come above ground in one spot. End the copper (perhaps after a 90 degree elbo to get perpendicular to the ground) with another female. Then use that as the start of drip irrigation tubing. So long as the longest run of above ground 1/2" tubing is only around 150', and you're not using more that about 300 gph of water, the one source will be fine.

However, keep in mind that a drip irrigation system requires filtration and pressure regulation (can't be more than 50 psi, with something more like 30psi being desirable).

In my case, I installed a filter and regulator upstream of my drip irrigation manifold, use 3/4" PVC to get to flower beds undergrounds, transistion to copper to come above ground, then use standard 1/2" drip tubing for the various flower beds.


New Member


Monday, May 24th 2010, 2:12pm

I wasn't planning on using sprinklers actually.

What I am planning on doing is something along the lines of a drip irrigation system, but more like the aqua globe concept. It is kinda crazy and off the wall so bare with me.

I plan on using a couple 5 gallon jugs hooked up to the tubing to take it straight to what ever plants I'm planting that year. This year it's mostly going to be popcorn, which won't require as many holes as say tomatoes would. What I want to do is tailor my layout to what I'm doing that year. So I need something that is easy to change out, like from holes every couple inches for someting like carrots to one every foot for the popcorn I'm planting this year. The tubing is to deliver the water straight to the roots so it's going to be just barely under the surface of the dirt and some mulch to prevent the water from evaporating away.

It's kinda hard to explain what I'm doing, but hopefully you get the concept.

Okay, your saying to use poly tubing in the garden. However, my concern is it the connectors. I need use connectors that once I'm done with that section of tubing I can take that tubing off and replace the afformentioned section with a section of tubing that has less or maybe more emission points. Without harming the fittings of the tubing

To clarify I guess I should say my question is if regular poly insert fitting like this would allow me to easily change out a section of my system? And would poly tubing and insert fittings would stand up to being changed out so frequently(maybe 3 to 4 times a year)?

Do you understand what I'm saying? I know I am all over the place. If I'm not being clear just ask me to clarify.

Thank you.


Supreme Member


Monday, May 24th 2010, 4:34pm

When it comes to being able to change out the drip tubing, I use these connectors available at Lowe's: (Tee Connector) (Coupling) (90 Elbow) (1/2" female to drip tubing converter)

They basically have screw threads inside them that bits into the tubing just enough to hold the tubing on.

As for being able to modify the flow rate, I like to use things like these:
(Rotate the head to adjust how much water comes out the holes you see)
(same thing, but goes right in the drip tubing)

...paired with...
...and other spray heads like them.

1st note is that you don't want to place drip emmitters under the soil, but under mulch is ok. Now these things I'm showing you are mainly ment to spray water above ground... though the ones like the 1st set would work under mulch as well (just wouldn't get any throw on the water). But then again, the thing I like about using these sprays is that I can fertilize flower beds by just sprinkling water soluable plant food around the plants, then turn on the irrigation to water it in.


New Member


Tuesday, May 25th 2010, 12:40pm

I realized something!

Thank-you so much for sendig me to Lowes HooKooDooKu.

I went to Lowes today to check out those parts in person and from what I could see those fittings deffinitely are not ment to be changed out frequently and would tear up the poly tubing too much under repeated assembly and disassembly.

I stood there for about a half hour going through the price points in my head and looking at other fittings. Trying to decide if I should scrap my original system idea for a regular drip system or if I could some how salvage my vision.

I finnally settled back by the drip irrigation supplies, which was coincidentally right next to the PVC fittings. I was thinking about buying some PVC threaded fittings and adapters, but I realized that would put me up at the sameprice I would be for buying a whole new system.

So I continued to stand there and let my mind work through the problem.

While I was there I realized something PVC glue/cement is commonly used to hold PVC pipes and fittings together, duh I knew that. So I thought what would happen if I didn't use any glue. I asked a Lowes associate what was the worse that could happen. He said that it might blow appart depending on the pressure that it is put under. I explained to him that I was not going to be putting the pipes or the fittings through any significant pressure, just gravity, and explained a little bit about my project. He said the most I would have to worry about then was some water starting to slowly seep out.

I was so happy I very nearly skipped to the check out.

So for my purpose, for my little veggie garden, I think the best solution for me right now is to simply not use PVC glue/cement to bond the fitting to the pipes.

I am so excited to get started!

I already have my pipes, my fittings, my air valves, my jugs, my tools, and I don't have to give up my vision.

I just need to find the right drill bit.

Thanks again for all your help.




Friday, March 23rd 2012, 1:10am

RE: I realized something!

Ark1987, how did your plan work. I'm thinking of almost the same thing. Wondering if PVC underground with holes drilled would clog with dirt or roots and if you used the 5 gal buckets to gravity irrigate. Any tips would be great.


Friday, March 23rd 2012, 10:36am

I sent an email to Ark1987 asking for an update.
Hopefully we'll have something soon.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,331

Location: Metro NYC


Friday, March 23rd 2012, 11:34am

Union fittings are what's needed to make the OP's idea to work trouble-free


Advanced Member

Posts: 83

Location: Eastern WA


Friday, March 23rd 2012, 4:17pm

Old thread. OP probably solved his question. What I would do: Tilling depth+ about 8"=Trench depth.

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