At Mirage Landscaping, we are huge proponents of underground irrigation for many reasons. To us, the most important reason for an underground irrigation installation is because of the amount of water they can save. Water is a precious natural resource, and we love the planet more. We know you can achieve green and lush gardens and yards with minimal water use.
Underground irrigation is far more efficient than the old hose and sprinkler technique. Not only that, they are far more safe. It’s very easy to slip, trip and fall when hauling hoses around. And, let’s be honest, nobody wants to spend the precious few summer days we have winding and unwinding hoses and setting inefficient sprinklers.
Consider investing in an underground irrigation installation to simplify your landscaping life. Trust us, both your yard and you will thank us.
We Begin By Zoning
Different types of plants need different amounts of water, which is why we will begin by separating your yard into zones. Your grassy areas need their own zone as they will require more frequent watering than shrubs and trees. So, we will start by measuring out your yard and by determining which areas will require more moisture than others. Then we will sketch out our design for your approval.
In addition to “zoning” your property, we will also suggest different types of sprinklers for grassy areas versus perennial gardens versus shrubs and trees. Grassy areas require lower sprinklers with a wide spread, and usually rotors. Perennials and shrubs require higher sprinklers in order to ensure water reaches behind and in between plants. Some areas might do best with misters, others may require a continuous spray.
Irrigation Boxes Come Next
Next will come the installation of your irrigation boxes. One irrigation box can control four zones. It can then be connected to another box to control another four zones, and so on. Irrigation boxes need to be placed judiciously so that they are unobtrusive but also able to reach each area of your yard. They also need to be placed at the right level for pipes to have proper room, but not so deep that they are unserviceable.
Laying the Pipe and Connecting the Sprinklers
Laying the pipe is the most arduous task involved with underground irrigation installation. Pipe needs to be deep enough for sprinkler heads to be at the proper level, which can be flush to the ground of a few inches above ground, depending on the type of zone and the type of sprinkler. Generally, pipe should be laid from eight to 12 inches deep.
Pipe must be laid in sections, piece by piece from sprinkler to sprinkler. This is because two ends are needed to connect sprinklers. Laying pipe is complicated, and it’s easy to make a mistake, which is where our many years of expertise comes in. If pipe is not installed correctly it’s possible it will have to be laid all over again.
Set and Measure
Once we have your pipe laid and your sprinklers all connected, the fun part starts. We will check each sprinkler to ensure it is working properly, and set each one carefully so that it only hits the areas it needs to and does not waste any water.
Then we will run each zone for at least 15 minutes to ensure there are no problems with pressure or leakage. At the same time we will gauge the amount of water hitting the ground with measuring cups, timing how long it takes to reach the ideal of two inches.
Setting Your System
After everything seems to be in top running order, it’s time to set your system. The great thing about an underground irrigation installation is that watering is fully customizable. We will set your sprinklers to run somewhere between the ideal hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., and set each zone for the appropriate amount of time to reach the ideal amount of water. We will also set up your rain sensor for you so that your sprinklers don’t go off when they’re not needed.
Although we do our very best to not disturb the ground too much with every underground irrigation installation, there is always a little but of repair work to do. We will put down top soil and seed where the seams from laying the pipe are, as well as around sprinkler heads. With regular watering, your yard will be looking better than ever in no time.
Fall Blow Outs Are Necessary
Underground irrigation systems are relatively maintenance free, which is great for owners. In the fall, however, a blow out is necessary. Draining your underground irrigation is a task that needs to be performed correctly. Even just a trace amount of water trapped in the pipes could cause serious damage. When the ground freezes, pipes start to get cold and become more brittle. Any remaining water in the pipes will freeze, expand, and cause pipes to crack. When you start your irrigation back up in the spring, water will be forced through the crack instead of to your sprinkler. Your sprinklers will obviously not work properly, and you will be stuck with a large underground leak. Don’t forget to schedule us in for your fall blow out to get the most you can out of your irrigation system