Beginning Farmer: We will be setting up our 2” drip irrigation headers this week and I need to make a decision about which type of header to use. What is the difference between “lay flat tubing” and “oval hose” and are there special tools for installing the drip connectors?"
Farmer Mentor: “Lay flat” is the heavy blue tubing that is super tough. “Oval tube” is the black poly tubing that is typically used for drip headers. There are special tools for each type of tubing and the lay flat requires a special fitting that screws into both the inside and outside of the tubing. The oval tube is rigid so you simply punch a hole and push in a "barbed" connector. I would recommend using oval tubing for your header. It is a lot less expensive and it is easier to install the drip connectors. With the oval tube you just need to punch out a hole with a special punch that is sized for the diameter of the connector that you are using.