When drippers aren't necessarily drippers...

Posted on October 11, 2018


Thinking about putting in some drippers for your home garden then consider this.

Plants in a home garden are varying by size, type, micro climate and subsequently their water usage, whereas in a commercial horticultural application such as a vineyard or orchard the plant variation is generally less, and uniform watering over a large area is currently the prime driver (however that is likely to change with climate change and emerging technologies).

Anyway, lets get back to the point…

"For the avid home gardener flexibility in their watering system can be required so what do you choose?"

Well there are two basic choices:

  • Fixed Flow Drip or
  • Adjustable Flow Drip.

The general categories of micro irrigation drippers available to the home gardener are:

Fixed Flow Drip

(Common Antelco Brands: Agri Drip™ Classic, Pinch™, CETA®, Asta® Spike, Midi Drip™)

General Operation: Provides a consistent point source flow rate e.g. 2,4 or 8 L/h are common.

Flow rate often identifiable as Red (2lph), Black (4 lph), Green (8 lph).

Common Uses: Native plants with lower water usage requirements or in water restrictive environments.

Adjustable Flow Drip

(Common Antelco Brands: Potstream®, Shrubbler®, Mini Bubbler, Spectrum™)

General Operation: Provides flow and coverage adjustment by turning the top from 0 to 100 L/h. Covers the area that you set.

Common Uses: General garden use where plants water requirements may vary over time.

Adjustable Dripper

(Common Antelco Brand: Shrubbler®)

Technical Specifications: Provides flow and coverage adjustment by turning the top from 0 to about 40 L/h. Covers an area of up to 40cm diameter.

Adjustable Bubbler (Mini Bubbler)

General Operation: Provides flow and coverage adjustment by turning the top from 0 to 120 L/h. Covers an area of up to 0.3m diameter.

Common Uses: Good where deep watering is required. Often used for citrus, stone fruits and larger trees.

Adjustable Spray (Spectrum™)

General Operation: Provides flow and coverage adjustment by turning top from 0 to 80 L/h. Covers an area of up to 3.6m diameter.

Common Uses: Used for ground covers and flowering beds where watering from above improves the aesthetics of the garden.

Generally all types of micro irrigation, when correctly applied are efficient in watering. It should be noted that in the current water restrictions in California, micro irrigation is exempt from restriction.

This is something that we should consider for our local water restrictions when they are next applied.

Authorities generally restrict the watering windows to a reduced number of days per week.

An fixed or adjustable micro irrigation system means the application rate can be tuned to enable efficient watering within the available time window.

As an irrigation professional when providing advice to home gardeners it is important to offer product that is fit for purpose for their gardens as well as recommending the appropriate ancillary equipment such as pressure regulators and filters at the start of the systems.

Micro Irrigation Benefits

There are benefits in providing micro irrigation watering devices to home gardens:

  • Water application can be “tuned” to individual plant or micro climate zone requirements.
  • Varying application rates to suit soil conditions.
  • The watering coverage of sprays improves the look and feel of the garden.
  • The system can be varied over time to suit the changing needs of the garden.

Look and ask for Antelco product at your local watering stockist... Happy Gardening