View Full Version : Irrigation Advice

09-26-2001, 11:26 PM
Alright Fellas....

I tried a search but didn't find the info I wanted. Some relatives of mine want me to design/install an irrigation system. Just a few questions......
The whole yard is about 20,000 sf. I'm going to renevate the front yard this fall followed by the back next year. Here are my questions....Should I tear out an redo the landscape before the irrigation goes in, or vice-versa? And do I install a valve for back yard now or tap into the supply line when the back yard is ready?
Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can give me!

09-26-2001, 11:36 PM
If doing a drip system, just run the main stuff first(valves ect...)
If you are going to put in plants or lawn, do the irrigation first. Just keep a layout handy of all your pipes.

Basic, do the irrigation first, then the plantings.


09-27-2001, 12:31 AM
thanks for the info John...really appreciate the help.

Hardy Enterprises
09-27-2001, 01:17 AM
I would agree with John. Do your irrigation before planting, but I feel you need to layout your beds before installing the irrigation. To irrigate properly you will need to irrigate you turf and bed areas seperately. Thus you will need differentiate where each of these area are before you can install your irrigation. Also if your planning on sodding don't forget to allow for the sod thickness on you sprayheads otherwise your heads will end up below grade.


09-27-2001, 09:27 AM
Get a good do it yourself design book like the one from Hunter Industries you can download on the web.

Follow the directions.

Follow the directions.

If your gonna do a lotta ripping and tearing, do it all first. Then plant all or most of the landscape, do the sprinklers, then the lawn, mulch, little bed stuff last.

You don't need seperate zones for beds and turf unless you must split sprays and rotors or shape and size configurations.

09-27-2001, 11:11 AM
also check out www.jessstryker.com

Great advice on layout etc..etc..

09-27-2001, 08:10 PM
Jay, Harold, Jim......thanks for the help and advice, I think I'm headed in the right direction now.......Kevin

Hardy Enterprises
09-28-2001, 01:12 AM

Watering requirements for turf and bed areas are different. How are you going apply the correct amount of water to each if you don't distinguish between the two areas?


09-28-2001, 01:24 AM
Good Point, Jay. I see more dead shrubs from overwatering by irrigation systems. Many people keep the turf green at the expense of their shrubs. The water requirements certainly can be very different for shrubs compared to turf.

09-28-2001, 08:57 AM
So does it rain differently on turf and beds? Of course not and you don't worry about it. Why? Because rain is evenly applied.

The reality is that turf and beds don't have different watering requirements at all. The evapotranspiration rate is what it is for the landscape under given climatic conditions.

What's different is the amount of root system under differnet plants and their access to available soil moisture.

Not everything in a bed would have the same watering need under your premises, so where would it end?

The key to irrigation is to replace what is lost daily through evapotranspiration via an eveny applied, measured amount of water.

I've seen stuff overwatered more often because the turf and bed irrigation can't be adequately separated because of physical site and landscape configuration. Overlapping coverages of the 2 zones because it's imposssible to define a line and say this waters on this side and the opthe is watered by something else.

Overwatering occurs when people design shoddy systems not using matched precipition nozzles, poor spacing, mixing sprays with rotors and poor layout yielding dry, uneven coverage that people try to overcome by running the sytem longer.

Customers and many contractors don't know or understand precipitaion rates and evapotranspiration. Master those 2 things and you have control. Many people over or under water out of total ignorance because it's the easiest way.

Design a system to mimick the eveness of rain and schedule operation accoeding to need and the need to separate areas is not a big issue.

09-28-2001, 09:13 AM
Harold, that's got to be the best post I've ever seen here....:D


09-28-2001, 09:59 AM
I need a spelling and grammar checker here. I'm answering the phone, printing out work orders, giving out the days work to the crews and I'm mentally fragmented.

Did I see a tongue in the check of that little laughing face??? I guess you must pretty much agree since you didn't take me to task.

09-28-2001, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by HBFOXJr
I guess you must pretty much agree since you didn't take me to task.

I absolutely agree with you. I have found that designing and building a complex system to be easier than a simple one. For example A designer/builder can throw alot of unecessary junk into a system without thinking about it, but to build the right system for the application takes more thought.


09-28-2001, 10:39 PM
What do some of you charge for a typical irrigation design on residential account about 20,000sf?

09-28-2001, 11:06 PM
Customers and many contractors don't know or understand precipitaion rates which wouldn't be that bad if they hadn't gone and ruined the bussiness for those of us that do. :-( Almost everyday I see systems that have a mister stuck onto a rotary zone to cover some obscure little corner or nook or cranny, but around here no one wants to pay the price for a system that is designed properly when there are so many guys out there willing to put in garbage for dirt cheap..


09-29-2001, 08:58 AM
You mean they install "cheater sprays"?

Hey, I did that once or twice. I mean no one gives you a perfect landscape so it's hard to build a perfect system. The soil was sandy and forging. I do draw a line sometimes. I just don't have the guts to build a one head zone for some obscure little corner. Thats going from excellence to neurotic perfection.

I guess I draw a line between excellence and perfection. Excellence is attainable and perfection is like chasing the end of the rainbow.

With the introduction of low angle rotors, particularly Hunter I20 with their great assortment of nozzles, design and problem solving has become easier.

We've even used a "cheater rotor" on a spray zone. You can come pretty close to your spray zone precipitation by carefully selecting the proper low angle nozzle.