Building in flexibility for shrub watering system

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Juan if by land, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Juan if by land

    Juan if by land LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Hey guys, I managed to get myself into a tight situation on a job involving the construction of a new home on a very high end site,construction has been going on for 9 months with no end in sight.

    This entire job (meaning the construction and all trades) is just very unorganized,with changes being made on an hourly basis (for all trades).I couldn't begin to explain,never seen anything like it.

    I am very friendly with the owner and have his complete trust.He's been getting hammered from day one because of the way the job is run(the project manager).I give it to him straight,I'm the only guy on site dealing direct with him.I give him some advice on things when he asks,because of my experience in construction,building ,carpentry and landscape contracting(horticulture degree).

    Anyways,I was brought in to clear undesirable and thorny shrubbery in a wooded area at the front of the propery,we also selectively cleared some trees,to leave the better ones. It is about a 60'x120' area.The clearing reduced his privacy quite a bit,so we designed a woodland garden and began planting to get the major elements in before the end of the Spring planting season.

    An irrigation system is in order,however the scheme of the entire project are unclear.It's about a 500'x120' property.The scheme of the woodland garden will change with time as plants mature and smaller perennials and ferns are added.Some shrubs will mature at about 12' but are now 2' tall.

    He would like me to handle the irrigation,which is fine,but I would like to put together a plan that will handle the addition of plants and maturation without having to dig a whole lot in the future.The soil drains like a sieve,so it is going to need a decent amount of irrigation,with good coverage and future flexibility and of course be unobtrusive.

    As for the rest of the place,nothing can really be done at this point,final grade isn't done,tennis court has issues,drywell issues,driveway issues.And finally,I don't know where my water source is...I suggest to do the tap near the meter(located within the woodland garden) where I can count on about 13gpm.But others on site would rather tap where it come into the house Crawl space(???) then run it back 200' back the other direction,then feed a water fountain,then feed some zones(???)

    I'll eventually get the water source the way it needs to be,just help me with some ideas on watering plants and shrubs in this 6000sf area.Surprisingly,the digging is fairly easy in the wooded area.
  2. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    1. Can you get a meter JUST for irrigation? That solves your supply problem.
    2. If not, I wouldn't tap in inside, I'd "T" the line outside womewhere so it'll be easy to expand for future system.
    3. For today and tomorrow in wooded area: MP ROTATORS!
  3. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,606

    2 wire, would also be a good idea
  4. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Where is this site located that you only get 13 gpm on a new meter tap?

    If there is big money on this site then get the largest water main/meter that you can get. You should think about a separate irrigation meter (or two), along with booster pumps. With a lot of irrigation needs on an estate, people do not want to see their sprinklers running all day long. They want them done very early.
  5. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,179

    I would pitch a well...tough upfront cost but in the long run the system properly installed will pay for itself..
  6. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    :::CSR showing off some of that knowledge he's picked up from here!!:weightlifter::::
  7. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Depending on where the site is located he may not be able to have a well.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Design/Plant regionally appropriate landscapes and you won't need irrigation.

    If that is not an option, and you want the least hassles with the landscape as it matures, netafim is the clear winner.
  9. Juan if by land

    Juan if by land LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Checked my notes and have about 17gpm available with a 1" copper supply and a 3/4" meter,the existing service.

    The place will not have an overly large lawn area when all is said and done,maybe 7K sq.ft. at most.Not much left after the dwelling,tennis court,swimming pool,driveway,walkways,decks,etc.

    Maybe another 1K sq.ft. in shrub/flower beds.The woodland area,because of the obvious conditions should not need more than 2x weekly watering.

    A seperate irrigation service or well would be a tough sell,espsecially with the resistance I am having with others on site,with anything plumbing related.

    So...MP rotators on risers for the shrubs?

    Drip system looks good on paper,never installed one,should I be looking at one here?
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,407

    Drip on sandy soil? More work than on clay, since the water won't spread horizontally.

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