Category Archives: Yard

How To Set Up A Lawn Sprinkler System

Setting up a lawn sprinkler system is not easy. It takes a lot of work and also costs quite a bit of money. Personally, I would recommend hiring a professional sprinkler system installer to take care of it for you. It will cost a bit more, but will save you a lot of hassle. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you might screw something up and that would end up costing you a lot more money.

lawn sprinkler system

If you do decide to install your own lawn sprinkler system, I will try to help you as best I can. I wll list the steps and give you a short description of each. Hopefully this will help you get your sprinkler system up and running.

Plan out your sprinkler system

Before you begin installing anything, you need to have a complete plan for your sprinkler system. The first step is to contact your utility company and figure out where all existing cables are buried in your yard. You want to make sure you don’t hit any of them when you start digging.

You also need to know the exact size of the yard, so go ahead and measure that out. Then you need to figure out the water pressure and the range of each individual sprinkler head. You need to know exactly how much area they cover. When you install the sprinklers, you want to make sure that the water from one head reaches the next one in each direction. This ensures that there are no dry spots in your yard.

Next, make a diagram of your yard on paper and add in all the locations of the sprinkler heads, including the type of head. Once you have your diagram, mark your yard with some yard paint or some little flags. Put one in the location of each sprinkler head.

 

Get access to water

The easiest way to get access to water is to tap into your existing main water line. You can also connect to an existing spigot, but it is more professional to connect to the mainline. Either of those two methods do require an anti-siphon valve. This prevents various lawn chemicals and fertilizers and plain brackish water from entering your sprinkler system.

Dig your trench

Next you want to dig a trench that will be about 6 to 8 inches deep. First, remove the sod and place it to one side. This makes it much easier to replace later. If you have access to a vibratory plow, this will make the job much easier. These are also sometimes known as a trenching device.

Install the valve manifold

You need to get the whole valve manifold box into the ground, so you need to dig a hole that is slightly larger than the box itself. One end of this needs to be attached to the main water line. Make sure to tighten all clamps securely, so no water leaks.

Lay the PVC piping

You want to use three-quarter inch PVC pipes for this. Attach the piping to the open end of the valve manifold. Then lay pipe all along the trench you dug previously. Anywhere where the pipe branches off from the main trench, used “t” connectors. Attach them to the line using 90° connectors.

Install the sprinkler heads

lawn sprinkler headBefore you install the sprinkler heads, run water through the line to make sure there is no debris. You also want to make sure all sprinkler heads are level with the soil.

Once you got them installed, fill-in all the dirt round the sprinklers and all of the trenches you dug. Replace the sod. Hopefully you won;t even be able to tell that you dug up your yard.

Install the controller

The sprinkler system controller includes a timer that will regulate when the sprinklers turn on and for how long they stay on. Controllers differ a lot among manufacturers, so follow the manufacturer instructions carefully when installing yours. The final connection you make should be to the main water line. Once everything is set up, test your system completely and make sure all the sprinkler heads are even.

As you can see, the work is not overly difficult, but it involves a lot of time. There’s a lot of digging and a lot of work laying all the piping and connecting everything. If you have children, this could be a good project to do together. It could be a learning experience for them and a fun thing to do with your family.

If you are busy, however, I definitely suggest you hire a professional. It will cost you more money, but the time savings more than make up for that. If you want to avoid the time and work, maybe just move your entire garden indoors.

For more detailed instructions, check out Lowe’s Hardware.


Top 8 Tips and Projects for Spring Gardening

Gardening is always an interesting and exciting thing to do. It can be really relaxing, you feel close and connected to nature. Early spring is probably the exact time when all the gardening work suddenly activates and you have to do much more than before and be your own professional manager. But what exactly is to be done and how not to get lost in the ocean of tasks and errands?

Your Spring Garden Guide

  1. Take care of fruit trees.
    If you have any apple, peach, cherry or pear trees in your garden a great idea would be to start your spring season with thinning them. Those trees like that and it makes it so much easier for you to harvest them later.
  2. Clean out the garden.
    That’s really important. After winter we have lots of mess in the garden, plenty of debris, annoying weeds with roots that are hard to get rid of. So it’s just the right time to dig your planting tools from the cellar, sharpen them if needed and get to work. Nothing can really be done before you start cleaning up the garden.
  3. Clean the greenhouse.
    Don’t forget about this one too. The greenhouse needs to be clean, ventilated, all the pots and other items need to be washed and dry and ready to go. It would be a good idea to use some kind of garden disinfectant and wash the greenhouse thoroughly inside to make sure no pests and disease survives to damage your seeds and plants.
  4. Don’t forget about the compost.
    You’ll have to prepare the compost area since it will be needed soon. Or maybe you have one, but check the fencing and make sure it’s all done and is in good condition.
  5. Trim the plants.
    Take care of your older plants before you start planting new ones. Many of them need to be pruned but make sure it’s not going to get cold again, so check the temperature. Summer plants are usually trimmed in the early spring, while the blooming plants are only trimmed after they bloom, so don’t miss anything.
  6. Help your soil.
    It’s tired after a long winter season, so make sure you revitalize it and use organic materials for that one.
  7. Old and new mulch.
    If you put some mulch for the winter, don’t forget to clean it and if needed – put some new one.
  8. Start planting.
    When you are all done and ready – take you seeds and get to planting. This is probably one of the most exciting moments of gardening. Make sure you plant some perennials since those are a better investment.

What’s Your Next Task?

Gardening is never over, to say the truth. Once you are done with early spring cleaning and planting, it’s time to think of new flowerbeds, maybe plant some more annuals, remove bulbs, etc.

Don’t be lazy and prepare yourself for the upcoming season. Right now, while it’s still not the time for cleaning up, you could consider ordering some seeds for future planting. Choosing some summer-flowing bulbs would be a good thing to do on a cold windy winter day, that would also help you to tune yourself into garden work and motivate you.