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Southern Inspirations Garden Design

A family-run business since 1997

Southern Inspirations
Help on Garden Irrigation System Installation
Garden irrigation system installation is not complex or as difficult as it may seem, and can be successfully implemented if a few practical aspects are kept in mind. Better irrigation will be achieved if these aspects are taken into account during the garden irrigation design phase.

Taking shortcuts will often result in additional work or repair and is not worth it. Some of what follows will be common sense for the practical minded, but sometimes could easily be overlooked. Nothing will beat a job well done, so pay attention to the detail!

Practical Irrigation Design

Garden Irrigation System To get it right you need get a proper garden and lawn irrigation system designed. Before designing the irrigation system It is essential to determine the pressure and flow characteristics of the water supply. More of this can be found on our lawn irrigation tips page.

A few practical aspects of a good irrigation and garden design would ensure that sprinklers spray away from buildings so that walls do not become wet. The capillary action of water on masonry will lead to damp inner walls. Some light spray against garden walls is not to serious. Where the garden is fencedin , care should be taken to avoid overspray into the neighbor’s garden. Keep the water lines designed to be as short as possible keeping in mind that labor costs will far outweigh the cost of irrigation pipes.


Plan carefully the route of the trenches in which the irrigation pipes will be buried before you start digging. A large number of pipes can be buried in a single trench, so try and route pipes together to reduce trenching. The one of the most practical routes is to dig the trench just inside flowerbeds and right next to the edge of the lawn. By designing it this way only annual border plants are affected by the digging and the lawns remain unaffected.

Try to minimize damage to plants and roots of large shrubs and trees by taking the shortest route to the sprinkler position inside the flower beds. Plan to keep a good distance between the trench and the tree trunks. A sprinkler’s spray pattern will be blocked by any tree trunks close to it. By moving the sprinkler to a better position away from close to a tree may be better, even if the rest of the spray pattern is negatively affected. Try and find the best compromise, always remembering that with a good garden irrigation system, sprays will be positioned to spray head to head.

You can learn more about trenching through lawns on our lawn irrigation tips page.

Preserving Plant Life

Existing plant positions should be carefully noted before digging inside a flower bed. Try and design the trench around plants to minimize the number that has to be removed. If you have to remove plants, they should carefully be removed with sufficient soil attached to their root balls. Place the plants you have removed on plastic sheeting preferably in the shade. Try to walk in the trenches when installing the garden irrigation system to prevent undue damage to plants.

Place plants back into their original positions after the pipes have been installed and the trenches have been filled. It is a good idea to put some compost and other essential fertilizers to the soil at this stage. Remember to water the plants well after replanting especially if it has take a few days to complete the installation. It may be tempting to wait until the garden irrigation system can do that for you, but please be considerate of the plants!

Protecting an Irrigation System against Freezing

A few simple steps will protect your garden irrigation system against freezing. Take care to ensure that the trench bottoms are graded correctly and sufficiently, to enable the lines to drain out after each irrigation cycle. This will help to prevent the water freezing in the pipes. Depressions will remain filled, and if a pipe happens to bursts at that point, it will be extremely difficult to find the leak. Constructing a suitable drainage sump at the position of the flush valve will allow water to flow to drain away freely.

Your Garden Irrigation System and Animals

I have seen many garden system installations been chewed up by dogs, and by garden forks while digging up the garden bed after installation. To minimize this occurrence, trenches must be dug to a depth of at least 400mm (1and 1/2 foot) plus the diameter of the pipe. A good practical idea is the use of popup sprays that are not easily accessible to pets. Dogs love to chew on leaking sprinklers! This is another good reason why you should drain your system immediately after each irrigation cycle.

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