To drip or not to drip

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jrozycki, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. jrozycki

    jrozycki LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Should lawn irrigation ever be used to water flower beds??

    I have three large flower beds in the front yard about 75 from the house. Before the lawn was installed I had the builder dig three trenches and then I ran black poly from the beds to the outside spigot myself (poor mans sprinkler) to basically have extension spigots at each bed. I can then hand water each flower bed with a very short hoses attached at the three flower beds. I typically leave the hose in the beds. I also use these extensions to connect an oscillating sprinkler. Much easier than dragging a 100 ft hose around.

    I was then thinking of installing drip irrigation myself to make watering the beds more time efficient. Before I did that I wanted to talk with the co who I was planning on doing a lawn irrigation for me. I did not want to put in 200 bucks worth of drip (from LOWES) if that work would be for naught for some reason. He said I should just forget the drip and just use the lawn irrigation to also water the flower beds. All the drip systems that his co has installed, the homeowners basically shut them down.

    I like the fact that his quote for the lawn irrigation would be much cheaper because he does not have chip around the 3 beds, but is this the right way to go? I live in SE Connecticut.
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    If you have a annual border around a lawn then I would say yes, otherwise you might be able to get away with it ONLY if the water requirements are the same as turf. If they are not, don't use lawn sprinklers to water the beds.
  3. jrozycki

    jrozycki LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    No annuals. We plant mostly perennials such as Iris, tulip, lillies, black eye susans, mums, peonies, coreopsis, cone flower, creeping winter, flox, etc...
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Then don't use lawn sprinklers to water that area. May be a higher up front cost, but it will pay off in flexibility and water savings.
  5. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,168

    I would install a separate spray zone for the plantings, they have a completely different water need. Heads on five' centers should take care of
    any plant you throw in.:)
  6. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I will voice a dissenting opinion. I've had two systems where the lawn system was usded for the beds -- one professionally installed system and one I built myself. The pro that installed my first system suggested it, and it worked fine, so that is how I designed my new home's layout.

    I don't think you want full head-to-head coverage in beds -- just have one head that tails into the bed on its sweep.

    If you do opt for a separate zone for your beds, be very careful not to over water.
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,168

    That gets the dumbest post of the year award. In a planting bed you want equal application throughout the area; as plants grow (they do, you know)
    blockage will happen & stress/flood others. The only way to give them equal
    growth is 5' centers. Total b.s. using the turf to add anything to the plantings!
    Moisture meters are available at all garden centers. "Over water"? duh.:dizzy:
  8. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,199

    dude do it in drip....
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,746

    There are numerous old systems that just broadcast the water over lawn and beds, and neither one suffers for it. It's as imperfect as tossing water across a sidewalk, but the plants don't always notice.

    The size of the beds can figure into this. I see some dinky little beds cut into lawns, that aren't worth much effort to water separately from the lawn.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,168

    :: kicks butt

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