Environment Magazine

The Water Wizard – a Green Guide to Home Irrigation Systems

By Gfl

Are you looking for a beautiful garden without the hassle? Watering a large garden can take up a lot of time, particularly if you are self sufficient and grow your own food. This is because it requires you to water multiple times a day in peak summer periods, meaning that a home irrigation system could be exactly what you are looking for.

A home irrigation system will not only save you time and water, it will also save a considerable amount of money, as these clever systems are now designed to focus specifically on targeting the roots of plants, rather than watering the broader area.

With an automated home irrigation system, you can now enjoy your coffee and your garden in the morning, rather than one or the other. Today, we’re here to tell you how.

Now, you may think that setting up an irrigation system at home has the potential to be relatively complicated, however worry not it is an easy enough process with the right support.

Before you purchase any irrigation supplies, there are a few planning steps you should go through to make sure the supplies are right for your garden’s needs. The reason being the equipment you purchase will be based on the size and type of garden you have, along with the water pressure available. These things combine will depend on how many units or sprinklers you require and also where they should be placed.

First Step

Work out where you want your irrigation system to go, take a walk around your garden and see which parts you want to water. While you’re doing that, suss out whether there will be any tricky spots. When you feel you’ve gotten to grips with the landscape, pull together a map of the garden, detailing the obstacles and measuring the parameters of the garden, as well as the length of pipework required to weave through the garden as you desire. Don’t worry the map doesn’t have to be NGV worthy, just accurate in your measurements.

Second Step

Now you have your garden measurements, the next step is to calculate the water pressure. You can do this by locating the outdoor tap and using a water pressure gauge to take a reading. By using a water pressure gauge, you will be sure to get a more accurate reading. Water pressure gauges aren’t overly expensive and the majority of them will display the readings in both kPa and psi for ease of use.

Another alternative, if you don’t have access to a water pressure gauge, is to use the bucket test to measure your water pressure. For this test, you’ll need a bucket, the stopwatch on your mobile phone and the bucket chart. If you don’t have the bucket chart, an easy way to calculate the water pressure is to divide the size of the bucket by the seconds it took to fill up, times by 60 to get your water pressure rating.

E.g. Bucket Size in Litres ÷ number of seconds it took to fill up the bucket x 60 = Maximum flow rate.

Third Step

Once you have noted down your water pressure, you are now set to look for the type and quantity of irrigation supplies you require. There are a number of different types of irrigation systems, therefore, it is a good idea to do some research into each of them before heading to a store.

The main home irrigation systems to consider are:

  1. Drip irrigation – these systems focus on distributing water to the roots as and when it is needed.
  2. Sprinkler system – these are generally used for lawns, and sprinkle the general area. They have been know to waste water due to water evaporating in the air.
  3. Rain water system – these are a great way to collect water and redistribute it to the necessary areas of the garden.

After researching your garden and the different irrigation systems available, it’s a good idea to purchase your irrigation supplies from a reputable supplier in case you need any further advice or additional support when deciding or fitting your irrigation system at home.

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