Drip or fixed spray

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by scott's turf, May 6, 2005.

  1. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    I put in an irrigation system at my house and my wife insisted on more flowers which led to a good sized flower bed that the sprinklers down reach. There will be some shrubs in there as well. I would like to irrigate it and I am unsure if I should use drip of some fixed spray pop up heads for the job. I have never done the drip so I am leaning towards the fixed spray heads. Any input?

    -Scott
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    It really depends on the amount of plants inside the bed.

    For flower beds, or any sort of annual, I'd be tempted to use rainbird 1800 popup sprays and ensure good coverage of the entire bed.

    Drip works great on plants that are never going to be dug up and moved, but flowerbeds usually get rearranged pretty often.

    If you do drip it, you might consider running .700 emmitter tubing in a grid shaped pattern every foot or so for even coverage, or just do 1/4" emitter rings off the plants fed by a .700 feed line.
     
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Flowering plants and shrubs don't like spray on their leaves,it can open them up to a variety of disease pathogens,and other problems ,and the water splashes spores around.It is much better to add a drip system and if installed properly they can be moved out of your way if you need to dig or transplant in the bed.It should have it's own valve and line but if that's not possible you can run one right from your sprinkler line.Just tee in at a conveninent place and bring the hard line to the back of the bed and stub it up so you can attach a filter and a waterpressure regulator and hook up your drip from that.
    You can do some research on the net and find sites that tell you how to install drip even ones with pictures of what you will need and what to do.
    Just remember if you do it this way,the shrubs and flowers will get the same watering time as the lawn and that's not always good.
     
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Thats a very good point, though usually in the systems I put in I make a point for the head to stay off the foilage and water the ground (when at all possible).
     
  5. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Posts: 143

    I am with Sheshovel. This is why I try to convert clients to micro/drip systems, not only becuase they water the root zone and not the foliage but because they are extremely water efficient. These types of systems are very versatile and can be easily changed/adapted as you add or subtract plants. This is also why when we install a new system we will only use a drip/micro for flower beds.
     
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Do you ever have problems with landscapers stepping on microsprays or punch-in emmiters and breaking them?

    We almost exclusively use 1/4" emitter tubing rings because we are tired of fixing microsprays.
     
  7. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Posts: 143

    The repair is all part of the spring start up. But yes, landscapers are a careless group in general. I can see how careless landscapers, homeowners, kids etc. can cause damage to micro systems. Overall, damage has been minimal for us. We bury the 1/2 line and anchor down the 1/4 tubing to the sprays, so you would have to be pretty rough to pull them out of there. I have broken a fixed sprinkler head or two in my day by just tripping over them like a moron.
     
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I usually watch were I am stepping when in a planting bed,I also pin down my sytems well with those jute net pins cuz they are strong and hold down the line better cuz they are shaped in a u not a J .I don't bury my lines but cover them with mulch.Gofers eat buried lines here.I also draw up a drip plan and leave it with the cust so they know where the lines are.I try to avoid 1/4"line and run my drip with the emittors(Shrubblers ,don't use emittors any more) punched right on top of the main driplin pinned to where I want it around the plant.Thats one thing great about shrubbler emittors they get all around the root area.
     
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I install a lot of drip and recomend it for all the reasons all ready listed. I usually install a base system of tubing w/ emitters. I get the best results using RB tubing with the emitters on 18" centers and .6gpm per emitter. I like the .6 vs the .9 for obvious reasons. We are trying to water slow and the slower the better. If your beds were very sandy, then I would recomend the .9gpm and 12" centers. For areas needing extra watering, I have fallen in love with the irritrol/toro 1/4" blue stripe w/ emitters. This is 1/4" tube with .5gpm emitters every 6". Install a barbed coupling into the main drip tube, connect the 1/4" and then tie the end. This allows a large increase in the water for perenial and annual plantings while leaving shrub areas standard. The 1/4" tubing is also easy to move or just flip out of the way when re-installing the annuals.

    On the subject of drip and annuals, one other recomendation. Water at the tail end of the days heat. This provides a cool rush of water to the root zone as the plants stress peaks. This allows the plants to cool themselves w/ ET just prior to the PM rest cycle. Your blooming annuals and perenials will love you for it.
     
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    bicmuddpuppy have yuu tried Shrubblers Dial-A-Flow?
     

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