Thanks to regular watering, the garden will delight you no matter you come every day or a couple of times a month. In addition, automatic watering of the garden saves water and electricity, saturates the land with so much moisture as the plants require, switches off in rainy weather, provides comfortable conditions for the growth and development of garden crops.
You can program the watering mode for a day, a week, a month and even a year, and if necessary, make adjustments via the phone or the Internet. Using additional blocks, you can make dissolved in the water fertilizing and fertilizer or use regular watering with a hose and watering can.
The system does not require the presence of a person and special technical care. All you need after installing it is to check the sprinklers’ work in your spare time, clean them if necessary, change the irrigation sector if necessary, and blow the system in by the compressor in the autumn and thus prepare it for the winter.
Those who think about how to make automatic watering, turn first to specialized companies. Engineers make up the project, cheat the cost of equipment and installation works and make a price verdict. Most often this is quite expensive and can be thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity. And what if you make such a system yourself?
Design and Installation
Stage 1: Draw a scheme of irrigation lines
For proper installation, and in the future and the functioning of the system, a detailed scheme of automatic irrigation is needed. It can be ordered from specialists, but you can do it yourself. To draw up a project, you need to draw a site plan at a scale of 1: 100, that is, 1 inch should be equal to 1 yard. It should indicate the location of the house, outbuildings, terraces, gazebos, pergolas, as well as the location of lawns and garden crops: fruit trees, shrubs, flower beds, flower beds, beds with vegetables, berries, etc.
The best option is when the water source is in the center of the plot. In this case, the length of the irrigation channels will be approximately the same, and the pressure distribution in the system will be equal. When the garden is fully depicted in the diagram, it is necessary to choose in which area, what watering will be carried out. So, for lawns it is better to use microspray, and for fruit trees, bushes, berries and vegetables, drip irrigation is more suitable. Knowing where that is planted, we put on the line a line of drip irrigation, now we proceed to determine the places of installation of sprinklers. First those who will work in the corners of the site planned for irrigation – their sector is 90 degrees. Then those that operate in the sector of 180 degrees, lastly, we designate sprinklers, the sector of action of which is 270 and 360 degrees. So, the irrigation scheme is ready.
Stage 2: Determine the capacity of the water supply system
These calculations are necessary in order to determine how many sprinklers can function simultaneously. The program of the system’s operation will depend on this: will all irrigation channels act simultaneously or will they have to be launched one at a time.
To study the throughput of the water intake, we put on a crane a hose, 3 feet long, 0.75 inch in diameter. We take a stopwatch and fix the time for which a 2.5 gallon bucket will be filled. We calculate the distance from the crane to the farthest sprinkler, for every 16 yards add 2 seconds. Add all the values and check them according to the table that comes complete with irrigation systems. After that, determine the number of sprinklers.
Stage 3: Select the equipment
The automatic irrigation system will require: plastic pipes, their diameter depends on the size of the plot:
- for a garden of 0.37-0.5 acres the pipes with a diameter of 1 and 1.25″, for a garden of more than 0.5 acres – 1.5″ and 1″;
- Sprinklers, their number individually, for lawns it is better to buy retractable models;
- Drip hoses;
- Automatic shutoff valves;
- Water tank;
- Rain or soil moisture sensors;
- Programmable controller.
The equipment can be bought or ordered at any specialized store or agro-company. 4 stage: installation of the system – step-by-step instruction. We prepare trenches for pipes – irrigation canals. If the plot is not planted yet, there are no problems. Digging, we put the earth next to each other. If the site has a lawn, then at the edge of the future trench we put a film that will protect it. Accurately we make a puncture in the turf to the depth of the spade bayonet, we cut out the lawn with squares, so that later it can be “returned” to its place. The depth of the canal is 15-23″.
We collect the main pipeline, do its trial run, thereby check for leakage and wash at the same time. If everything is in order – lay irrigation lines. We put the plugs on the pipes so that they do not hit the ground. We mount the distribution manifold, as well as the box for the valves. Inside the room, in an easily accessible place we install the controller.
We lead the wires to the street, we put them in a trench under the pipe (so the risk of their damage is reduced to almost zero). We leave big enough “loops” (this will not allow their critical tension), and with the help of moisture-proof connectors we connect wires to the comb. We install sprinklers according to the scheme of their location. We mount automatic drip irrigation.
To do this, either we install watering devices-droppers in the main pipeline, or we supply them with additional pipes to each plant. It all depends on what area you plan to water drip. If it is a bush of a currant – to it it is better to make an extension, if a bed with carrots, it is possible to use the first variant.
The same applies to the type of droppers: the ducts are mounted in the pipeline rupture, and the end ones are mounted at the ends or the lateral surface of the pipes. The water flow and the frequency of watering will be incorporated into the program of the controller. For watering flowers and vegetable crops, you should choose a dropper with a minimum flow, for example up to 0.5 gallons per hour, and for fruit trees, bushes, berry plantations, droppers with a throughput of up to 2 gallons per hour are suitable. The number of droppers depends on the type of soil. Most of them will be required on sandy, less – on clay.
Bury the trenches. We program the watering time, its duration and periodicity.
We carry out control tests, we regulate the range of sprinklers. The system is ready.