Mittleider Gardening Watering System

Today I built a Mittleider Gardening Watering System for my new garden. In this post, I’ll show you step by step how I made it. I use this system because of the advantages to watering your garden this way.

The Mittleider Gardening Watering System has several advantages

  1. It provides water directly where it is needed
  2. It conserves water
  3. It waters the garden quickl.y
  4. It reduces weeds
  5. It grows happy plants

Ok enough of that, you are sold on the system and you are probably ready to see how to make your own.

Supplies needed

  1. 3/4 in class 200 PVC – I got mine at Home Depot
  2. End caps, elbows, T-connections depending on your garden configuration
  3. #57 drill bits at
  4. and adapter at for
  5. a PVC cutter or hacksaw – at Home Depot for about $10
  6. Measuring tape
  7. electric drill

Step One

The first step to building the Mittleider Gardening Water System is to measure out your garden. Mine consists of two ten foot long 18 inch wide beds and one four foot square bed. Consequently, I purchased four ten-foot 3/4 inch class 200 PVC pipes, Three T-connectors, six elbows, and four end caps.

Step Two

Lay out the PVC and drill three holes every four inches. The reason the holes are drilled in this pattern is to provide water streams directly beneath the pipe and 15 degrees to either side of the pipe. Seems like a lot of drilling, and it is, but this is the magic behind the system.

To make the drilling easier, place a T-connector at the ends of the pipe. Drill one row of holes end to end. Then twist the pipe about 1/4 inch and repeat. Once you have three sets of holes every four inches your work here is done.

Step Three

After all the holes are drilled, it is just a matter of connecting the pipes and then adding a water supply. For mine, I never glue the fittings. You will find that you will eventually want to take the system apart, be it for winter or to clean out the insides. Either way, just pressing these fittings together is sufficient. Make sure you line the pipes up so the three holes are pointing down towards the soil.  The pipes need to be about 3.5 inches above the soil for good water coverage,  I used spare peaces of 2×4 to support the pipe at this elevation.

Step Four

Finally, test the system. It should look something like this:

Hope you found this helpful. Any questions? Use the contact info to  send me an email or comment on this post and I’ll do my best to asnwer.


Planning a Garden part 2

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about planning a garden. This is the second part of that series. If you haven’t seen that post, take a look here. I also wrote a post last year about things to consider as you plan your garden. You can see that here.

Planning a Garden Week Two

I built the raised beds and filled them with soil. Earlier this week, I got my seedlings started. There is a post about starting seeds last year so I won’t repeat myself here. You can read that post here.

The bed building project isn’t 100% complete yet. I still need to finish the cross bars for vertical support. The plants won’t be going in the garden until Mid-April though so there is plenty of time to get to that.

Before then I will need to build the watering system. There is an article I wrote about that the system I use and how to make it here.

Planning a Garden
Raised Beds

The two long beds are situated East West. The one in the back, on the North side, will contain the vertical growing plants.  In this bed will be the San Marzano tomatoes, the beef steak tomatoes, cucumber, and a summer squash (Calabacita). I have not grown this plant before, but love the squash it will produce. Unlike regular zucchini, this plant can be grown vertically.

In the Southern row, I will plant bush beans, eggplant, zucchini, and crookneck squash. In the square bed, I’ll plant my sweet potatoes.

These beds get full sun most of the day. The above photo was taken around 4:00 in the afternoon and you can see a shadow working its way across the beds. This won’t be a problem with the summer sun.   I expect to harvest about 400 pounds from this garden. It cost $120 in materials and three hours of my time to build it.