Drip Irrigation System Installation and Flower Bed Fixes Part 1

Posted by John on August 12th, 2011

Lots to do this week!!

We got 3 cubic yards of black mulch and four flower beds to go!

Weeds, weeds and more weeds

There are a couple of landscaping lessons we’ve learned since we moved into our new house.  The first and arguably the most important is the necessity of landscaping fabric on flower beds.  Unless you enjoy weeding, they are a huge time saver.  The second is the necessity for regular and frequent watering of all our shrubs and decorative flowers.  We’ve already had to remove several crimson pygmies because they’ve dried out and shed a ton of leaves.  We were hoping Mother Nature would take care of our flower beds, but that hasn’t been the case.  Luckily, our other shrubs, like our sky pencils and hollies have been relatively unharmed by the local dry spell.

To combat the natural heat waves and dry times, we’re installing a drip irrigation system.  For under $200, we can water every plant automatically, everyday, twice a day.  We purchased the components to the system from www.irrigationdirect.com.    The drip irrigation system primarily consists of a battery powered control valve, a 1/2″ main water supply line and some small nozzles.  The main water supply line just snakes around the plants you want to water and then connects to the control valve.

We’re coinciding our drip irrigation installation with our mulching and rehab of our dilapidated flower beds.

We’re starting this drip irrigation installation from the end of the line and working towards the house, but it can be done the other way around.

The 1/2″ line and cutters

The manufacturer recommends to let the 100′ coil sit in the sun for a bit to soften the plastic before you work with it.  Once it’s soft, we’re going to unwind it and run a length of it under the sidewalk to bring it over to our small detached flower bed.  Since this irrigation line is soft and kinks and crushes easily, it’ll have to be run through a PVC pipe or other conduit.  To learn how to get a PVC pipe under a sidewalk, check out our previous post here.

The 1/2″ line run under the sidewalk

Now that the pipe is through, I add an elbow fitting and run it along the sidewalk over to the detached bed.  I’ll then add a tee and another elbow and run a small length of 1/2″ line in two segments right past the pom-pom plant and the small hollies.  At the end of every run, the 1/2″ line needs to be capped.  I’ll add the actual nozzles at the very end of the project.

One of the nice advantages of drip irrigation is that it can be run over or under mulch, so it can be added to existing flower beds with relative ease.  I’ve actually run out of 1/2″ line, so I’ll just finish up as much of the mulch as I can until more of it arrives.

Now for landscape fabric, mulch, downspout extenders and stone…

To see Part 2, click here.

Posted in DIY Projects,Outdoors and Landscaping. Tagged in ,, , ,