Need a refresher on irrigation for your landscaping projects? Then this is the post for you. You’ll learn the basics of landscaping irrigation and why it’s an important part of every lawn. There are many features and functions you’ll need to consider when installing irrigation. You should make sure that clients understand how important irrigation is to landscaping. It protects their investment and removes watering as something the homeowner or your staff have to remember to do.
Benefits of Irrigation Systems
There are lots of benefits of installing irrigation for your clients. It will save them time because watering can be set to a timer. It will also, over time, save them money as the original landscaping will grow as intended. Plus, with timing, you aren’t overwatering and adding to your monthly bill. By installing the irrigation system before you work on putting in the actual plants and sod, it makes it much easier than installing post-design.
Types of Irrigation Systems
There are two main types of irrigation systems. A pump system moves water through the system from a stationary water source like a lake or pond. A metered water system is connected to the home’s water supply.
Components of Landscaping Irrigation
The system itself has multiple parts that must work together to achieve irrigation. These components include:
- Shutoff Valve: master shutoff in the case of a water line break or leak
- Backflow Valve: This is a very important piece. It’s an anti-siphon device that prevents water from sprinklers getting back into the main water supply. This water could have chemicals or other toxins not safe for water supplies.
- Main Line: These are pipes that move water to the main portion of the system.
- Sprinkler Zone: This refers to a group of sprinkler heads working together to ensure full area coverage.
- Zone Lines: These pipes deliver water from the main line to each individual sprinkler.
- Valves: These devices open and close, controlling the supply of water to each zone.
- Heads/Spigots: This is where water is unleashed from the system and then sprays an area.
- Controller: This is what controls everything; it sends commands to each zone when it’s time to water or stop. These can be programmed to fit the timelines of the homeowner.
- Irrigation Heads: There are different types of head for the sprinkler system, each created for a specific type of water application. There are rotating heads, which operate by rotating streams. Another example is the fixed spray head, which sprays in a particular pattern. This is best used for smaller areas.
Now that you’ve reviewed all the components, it’s time to talk installation.
Irrigation System Installation
Before beginning to dig anything, make sure that you identify any buried cables. This is a precaution you don’t want to skip.
Next, on to digging the trenches. This could be done manually or with a vibratory plow. The vibrating blade will cut through the ground, and you’ll soon be on your way to the next step. After all the trenches have been dug, it’s time to install the valve manifold to the main water line.
Once installed, tighten any clamps to prevent leaking. At this time, you would also install the backflow preventer. Then on to each PVC pipe to be laid. These will all connect off the main pipe. Once the pipes are complete, it’s time to move onto adding the sprinkler heads. Make sure you are spacing these out and that all areas will receive enough water.
The heads should always be level with the soil. Once everything is where it should be, you need only fill the trenches up with dirt. The last piece will be the controller with a timer. Then test everything to make sure it’s responding and working as it should.
While the process itself doesn’t involve too much work, it’s still recommended to always be up-to-date on what’s going on in the irrigation industry and if any new products are hitting the market. Keeping up with trends ensures you are always offering customers the best.
Irrigation Always Important for Plants
No matter where your region is, there is a good chance natural rainfall won’t be enough to keep plants green and growing. They’ll thrive better with an irrigation system. You’ll also be able to offer your clients a chance to be better stewards over their water choices, so they can have a green lawn but not feel as though they are using too much water.
With a well-designed and placed irrigation system, your customers should have no issues with the amount of space the sprinklers cover. Also, implore your clients to have you regularly check out the system to make sure it’s working properly and as expected.
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