An efficient irrigation system will make it easier for water to reach the hard-to-reach areas of your lawn. Installing a good irrigation system will help keep your yard and plants healthy.
An irrigation system can consist of a top hose assembly or a buried sprinkler pipe. Regardless of the system, you should do accurate and careful planning to ensure there is equal coverage.
An irrigation company will send plans for the right system after you’ve sent it dimensions for your lawn or garden. However, you can also come up with a design and install an irrigation system on your own.
In this article, we discuss two types of irrigation systems and how you can install each. The two types are the sprinkler system and the drip system. Both are good for your plants, and you can install them yourself.
Sprinkler Irrigation Systems
Sprinkler irrigation systems are traditional irrigation systems for a broader landscape than your small garden. However, with some specific steps, you can install one so it will only water where you want it to irrigate.
With this system, the best time to irrigate your plants and lawn is in the morning and evening. If you use it during the day, most of the water will evaporate. This will leave your plants dry and will require you to give them more water.
Sprinkler Irrigation System Set-Up Process
- Accurately measure your yard, lawn, or the area where you want to install the irrigation system. Draw a basic map using the measurements that you have collected. The measurements and the map will include the trees, the house, and any other obstacle in your space.
- Determine the pressure and flow rate of your water system. You can do this with the help of a water pressure gauge. Fasten the gauge to an outdoor faucet to make sure that you have adequate pressure. Once you have done that, remove the pressure gauge and start filling a 5-gallon bucket with water. Measure how long it takes to fill the bucket. Use the measurement to calculate the flow rate in gallons per minute. If you notice that it takes two minutes to fill the bucket, the flow rate is 2.5 gallons per minute.
- Compare the sprinkler heads. The information you got on the flow rate should tell you which sprinkler head you should use. Sprinkler heads have their coverage areas documented on them. This makes it easier to find out which one will suit you best.
- According to the map you drew, mark out your lawn with paint. Make sure that the starting point is close to a water source and an electrical outlet.
- Create your zone valve assembly based on the number of loops your irrigation system has. In the process, make sure that the valves are facing the correct direction. This assembly contains special valves that connect to a timer and pipes that connect the valves to the water source.
- Dig out a series of trenches. The trenches should be deep enough, so the sprinkler head is level to the ground when placed inside it. Dig out more trenches near your water source for the valve assembly.
- Lay the pipes for your irrigation system and, then, install the sprinkler heads where you drew them on your map. To make sure the hoses fit over the ground, hold them in place with U-shaped garden spikes.
- Turn off the power and water to your house and disassemble the outdoor faucet. Add a connecting pipe for the valve assembly. You can install a control box and a wire directly from the breaker box.
- Connect the valve assembly to the faucet and the valve wires to the control box.
- Initialize the irrigation system by turning on the power and water to see if there are any leaks. If there are no leaks, you can now bury the irrigation pipes.
Drip Irrigation Scheme
This is an option many gardeners will go for, especially if they have different plants to look after. With the drip system, you will know how much water your plants need and at what specific periods.
Since other plants mostly cover them, you will find that there will be little evaporation. A drip irrigation system also guarantees that you water every plant efficiently. This system waters plants from their roots. As a result, it is the perfect system to use to grow plants. Here are the steps you can follow to set up a drip irrigation system at home.
Drip Irrigation System Set-Up Process
- Start by mapping your irrigation system by precisely determining which plants you need to water. With drip irrigation, the whole system should provide water to the plants as close to the roots as possible.
- Put the main drip irrigation line where you want to water your plants. Depending on your needs, connect the lines that came with the irrigation kit to the main line.
- Put the tubing around the plants with the emitters facing downward.
- Run the hose from the central irrigation system to the faucet. After that, link the hose to the timer and, then, link the timer to the faucet. This timer enables the drip system to run for specific periods that you have preset. It also prevents water from being wasted just in case you forget to turn off the whole system.
When setting up an irrigation system, try to consider your needs. For instance, if you have a big lawn, the drip irrigation system may not work for you. However, the sprinkler can correctly water your plants over a large area.
On the other hand, the drip irrigation system will work perfectly for a smaller lawn. You will need to make sure you can dig trenches in your property, however. Contact your local authorities for more information. If you fail to take this step, you may incur fines and have to make repairs.