DIY Landscape Irrigation System

DIY Landscape Irrigation System
by Kent Higgins

An irrigation system is a vital part of any good landscaping design. A successful one requires careful planning. There are two types of irrigation systems:

* sprinkler irrigation

* drip irrigation

Sprinkler Irrigation System

This type of irrigation system is where water is pushed out through holes or nozzles under pressure. The water that is forced out forms a spray.

The process of laying out a sprinkler irrigation system can be complicated if you do not get the basic ideas correct. Read up on how to do it before you start.

The most important thing to consider when planning your sprinkler irrigation system is consistency of water spray. All areas should receive an equivalent amount of water over a period of time. This minimizes water wastage and prevents pooling or lack of water in some areas.

Before you lay any pipes, use the basic landscape design plans and carefully draw in the irrigation system. Once this is accurately completed, you will need to choose your sprinkler heads (do you need fixed heads, rotating heads etc) so that the area is covered properly. Then you will have to select a nozzle on which you will place the sprinkler.

Do It Yourself Project

The correct placement of a variety of sprinklers is necessary in wider areas of the garden. Determine the spacing based on the radius of the sprinkler. If the sprinkler radius is 10 feet, then the sprinklers should be ideally spaced at 10 foot intervals. Spray pressure is also important – you do not want the water sprayed so thinly that is is lost to the wind, nor so heavily that it is wasted.

Drip Irrigation System

Drip or micro irrigation provides water to the plants under slow pressure and uses plastic tubing that is placed at the base of the plant to ensure that the minimum of evaporation or fertilizer run off occurs. This system also helps to prevent pathogens and will reduce undesirable grass growth.

Micro irrigation is relatively easy to install and maintain in comparison to sprinkler irrigation. The component parts are readily available and inexpensive.

You only need the following components to create a drip irrigation system: U shaped pins (to secure the pipe), PE tube with T-connectors where necessary, emitters and an automatic timer if considered necessary.

To begin the process, lay the PE tube (preferably made more flexible by laying it out in the sun’s rays for a time) in a line through the garden, making sure that the pipe passes between all of the plants. Strategically placed T-connectors will help with this and the U shaped pins will secure the pipe in place. Once you are happy with the layout, you can then poke a series of holes along the pipe and install the emitters. These should be placed under the plants at their base. You can then bury the pipe under some mulch so it is not visible.

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