FAQs

Why is DRI better than other irrigation systems?
Drip Irrigation revolutionized agriculture in the late 1960’s by efficiently confining water to a specific location near the plant, greatly reducing the amount of water wasted. It has proven to be sufficient in keeping crops alive, but at what cost in resources and plant health?

Now more than 5 decades later, the Deep Root Irrigation (DRI) system provides a monumental upgrade to drip by channeling that water directly underground, unimpeded by conditions of the soil, immune from evaporation, reducing even further the amount of water and fertilizers required to achieve equal or often better results. And most importantly giving the farmer unprecedented control over their irrigation management.

More efficiency, less water, less energy, less fertilizers, less weeds, less pesticides, less surface humidity, less fungus and disease, fewer pests, less loss to evaporation, less maintenance, more robust vertical roots, cooler water uptake, less plant stress, better soil health, better crop set, more uniformity and consistency within each block, better control, more profits. Did we forget anything? 😊

What is a DRI unit?
A DRI (Deep Root Irrigation) unit is a simple, affordable device with one end that attaches to a drip emitter, and the other end that easily inserts into the ground, conveying water and fertilizer DIRECTLY to the root zone.

What size DRI do I need?
Please see our Products page for recommendations.

How many DRI units do I need per plant?
For vineyards, one single unit per vine is recommended for the life of the vine. In orchards, a single unit can be used for saplings, but a second unit will always be added prior to third leaf.  When converting a mature orchard, two DRI are required to compensate for the poor root architecture that all surface methods create.  Some very mature trees, walnuts and pecans in particular, may require additional units depending on climate and soil type.

How much does a DRI unit cost?
Pricing varies based on unit size and quantities needed. Please call us at 707-963-8788 for a price quote

Can I just use a coupler instead of a flow regulating emitter to connect my DRI unit to the irrigation supply line?
No. Since DRI does not regulate flow, an emitter with the appropriate flow rate must be employed. Further discussion can be found in the installation manual found in the Resources section of our website.

Which emitter (gph) flow rate should I choose?
This will be determined by soil type. Heavier soils will require a slower flow and more porous or sandy soil will require a much higher flow rate to enable the DRI to fully saturate the root zone  Our expert field technicians will do a site evaluation and flow rate tests on your soil so all guess-work is eliminated and optimal results are achieved.

Can I use DRI with my inline emitters?
No.  In this instance, new blank tubing with woodpecker style emitters will be required.

What if I also use my micro sprinklers for frost protection?
Many growers are turning to DRI as their only method of irrigation but are keeping their micro sprinklers to use for winter season frost control. In this case, the micro-sprinkler line would remain but a second supply line with emitters would be run for the DRI.

What if I need new supply line & emitters?
One of the benefits of getting your DRI from Deep Root Revolution is the ability to purchase all of your supplies in one place and have them delivered together. Visit our Products Page to find everything you need to optimize your new system, then give us a call for a complete quote.

Can I fertilize through the DRI unit?
Absolutely. In fact, delivering nutrition and amendments directly to the root zone is really what Deep Root Irrigation is all about.  Channeling By allowing water and fertilizer deeper into the ground, to be stored at the same position for a longer period of time allows for a much more natural root architecture to be developed.  Those deeper roots can then tap into the reserve micro-aquafer that DRI creates, taking up the cooler water and nutrition stored there, requiring significantly less resource inputs.

Will DRI clog?
In 10 years of field testing of the DRI units at sites where all manufacturers specifications regarding installation and maintenance have been followed, continuing regular inspections have shown zero instances of clogging.

A. Calcification- Mineral build up is a by-product of evaporation. The DRI unit is not affected by evaporation because it is sealed off from air flow.

B. Silt- because of the positive pressure coming from inside the DRI unit from the water supply, silt is constantly pushed away from the pores of the DRI unit.

C. Root Intrusion- At the point from which water is released from the ¼” supply tube inside the soaker hose portion of the DRI there is a copper element which acts as a deterrent for capillary roots. Copper screening has long been used as root control for bamboo and other invasive landscape plants.

*best practices in chemical and amendment applications through the DRI must also be followed to avoid “clobbering” of the system.

What if I have low pressure? Will the DRI units still work?
DRI units perform optimally within the pressure range of 15-45 psi.  This also ensures that the flow from the emitters remains consistent with their rating.

Is it better to start a new orchard or vineyard directly on DRI or start with conventional methods and then convert?
It is unequivocally better to start new plantings directly on DRI!  Deep Root Irrigation promotes downward root growth. (See related photos in Why DRI:Roots) Therefore, starting new plantings on DRI allows the optimal root architecture to be established from the onset.

How do I install my DRI units?
A comprehensive installation manual can be found on our Resources Page. Once you purchase your DRI units, you will also be granted access to our installation video library which includes many additional helpful tips and tricks.

Are there any special considerations for installing DRI on a hillside?
Primarily in vineyards where only one DRI unit will be installed per vine, we recommend installing the DRI unit to the uphill side of the vine to promote downhill water flow. Additional recommendation regarding hillside venting and other considerations can be found in our Installation Manual

With sprinklers and drip irrigation I can see the water coming out, but since the DRI units are under-ground, how do I know if they are working?
With DRI, the fact that you cannot see the water coming out is actually a good thing because it means ALL the water is getting to your roots! But we understand the security that comes with a visual que. With DRI, once the pressure underground equals the pressure in the supply line the soil will be at full saturation and water will rise back up the insertion hole, forming a 4 to 6 inch wet spot where the quarter inch tube of the DRI enters the ground. That small wet spot is your confirmation that the system is working properly.

If I use DRI, will I need to change my irrigation cycle?
On independent blocks where only DRI are being used, then an adjustment to your irrigation cycles will almost certainly be required. As part of the “dial-in” process after your DRI system has been installed our expert field techs will help you determine how often and how long your irrigation sets should now be. Given that your new system will require less water and that deeper water will stay in the soil longer, the duration and frequency of your sets will change compared to your old surface method.

For trials where only a few rows or partial blocks of DRI are being installed without independence from other methods, we will work with you to optimize the trial as best as possible using your existing sets

How will a Deep Root Irrigation system save me money?
Less inputs + less maintenance = more profit and happy plants.

By accomplishing more with less. Direct, unimpeded delivery to the roots means you only have to put IN exactly what your plant needs, not more to account for run-off, evaporation and poor soil absorption. Therefore, less water, less energy to push the water and less fertilizer and amendments are required compared to traditional surface methods. In addition, less water on the surface means less weeds, less pests and less disease. No open emitters or sprinklers means no calcification or clogging.

How does DRI system reduce maintenance costs?
Once initial system check and optimization has been completed with DRI, the system becomes self-sufficient with very little maintenance required.  Weed and pest abatement are significantly reduced due to the lack of surface water (link to comparison photo).  Sprinkler checks and calcified emitters are no longer a concern as the DRI unit seals off the air to the emitter, allowing minerals in the water to remain soluble and easily pass through the system to be taken up by the plant.

How should I store the DRI units?
It is preferable that deliveries of DRI units are timed to arrive at the jobsite when you are ready to install them. If they must be stored for a period of time, they should be kept in their original boxes in a cool, shaded area. DO NOT LEAVE THEM EXPOSED TO UV LIGHT OR EXTREME HEAT SUCH AS IN A VEHICLE OR THE BED OF A TRUCK. SUN AND HEAT WILL DAMAGE DRI. Once installed underground the DRI units will last indefinitely.

Do the DRI units come with a warranty?
DRI units are simple and sound. They are made from materials which have been used in the irrigation industry for decades and in most cases outlast the vineyards and orchards that they are installed in. Nonetheless, all DRI units are warrantied against manufacturers defects for a period of 2 years from the date of installation. All storage, installation, dial-in and maintenance recommendations must be followed during the warranty period for claims to be honored. The warranty covers the units only and does not cover labor.