An Irrigation System Brings Your Garden to Life

An irrigation system takes care of the responsibility of watering a garden. Irrigation is essential for proper plant care. Get the information you need and learn how to design your own garden irrigation.

I have designed and installed many successful irrigation systems. In the process I have learnt many practical lessons . With time I will share them with you. Return to this page often to get the latest information. I will be writing many pages on the subject and will give some Tips.

Design Factors

A number of factors influence the installation of an irrigation design.

• Garden design
• Garden topology
• Environment
• Water supply
• Soil
• Plants
• Cost
• Degree of automation

Design gardens and irrigation systems together. With the design of the garden a lot of thought goes into grouping plants together according to their nourishment needs. An irrigation system designed at the same time will be in harmony with the overall garden design. This serves the needs of the plants.

Irrigation design can be quite complex. Many good intending garden owners buy some irrigation equipment and embark on a do it yourself exercise. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but care should be taken to do a proper design first. During the design you should consider the practical aspects of garden irrigation installation

Site Survey

Conduct a site survey before you start your irrigation design. This survey is similar to that done for a garden design. The difference in ground level is more critical for irrigation. The pressure differences in the water at different levels will influence the performance of your sprinklers.

Environmental conditions

Environmental conditions like wind and temperature affect the evaporation of water out of the garden. Wind will also affect the distribution of the water from the sprinklers. Proper watering of the plants is dependent on the allowances made for the environmental conditions.

Water Requirements

Do a proper pressure and flow test of your water supply. Water flow and pressure are interdependent. The water supply determines how many sprinklers can be operated at the same time. The more sprinklers you operate at the same time, the lower your water pressure will be.

Operating sprinklers at too high or too low pressure results in poor precipitation distribution. You end up having areas that are not watered properly. This is especially obvious on lawns. In the design of the system these factors are taken into account, and the system balanced.

Water quality must be compatible with the irrigation installation. For large rotors rough straining of the water is sufficient. Better quality water is required for sprinklers, and you need special filters for micro irrigation.

The water holding capacity and infiltration rate of the soil (the rate at which the soil absorbs water) determines the scheduling and time constraints for irrigation. Your garden also requires different amounts of water in different seasons. Your watering schedule needs to take this into account.


Install the irrigation system at the same time as you do the landscaping. Your garden will only get disrupted on one occasion. Proper installation of the irrigation requires the digging of trenches for the water pipes and electrical wires. This is best done after digging over the site in preparation for the plants. Minimum damage is done to the plants.

I always dig the trenches at the edges of the garden beds. This allows the correct positioning of the sprinklers, and assists in possible future maintenance.

Here is an excellent collection of Landscape Irrigation Publications

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