My lawn irrigation system is now in its 3rd year. After a few conversions, I currently have 2 valve boxes with 6 irrigation circuits and a total of 18 sprinklers. So far I have used products from Hunter, Rain Bird and Gardena.
I am now planning to extend my existing lawn irrigation system to the lawn area to the east of the house. The office area needs to be more visually appealing while remaining easy to maintain. I would also like to water my hedges, raised beds and a greenhouse automatically in the future.
Do it yourself or use a specialist company?
I frequently receive questions about the installation of (my) lawn irrigation system. I have therefore decided to write a series of articles to complement my irrigation videos.
However, before I go into the questions, I would like to give you an important hint. Please note that I operate my system in the private sector and that my tips are not legally binding. If you are unsure or are planning larger, more complex systems, you should hire a specialist company!
Basically, you can read up on this topic and gradually optimize your lawn irrigation system through trial and error. Personally, it’s a lot of fun.
But this “hobby” costs time and money. In hindsight, I would have done many a construction differently, and I also made some modifications.
If you don’t have the time or don’t want to invest in such a system, I think you are better off with a company. But anyone who likes tinkering and simply needs to dig in the garden can easily build such a system themselves.
By the way, under the following link – Planning and installing lawn irrigation #2 – Is my water connection sufficient? – you will find the second part of my series.
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Preliminary considerations for planning a lawn irrigation system
I currently still get my water from my house connection, so I use normal drinking water. A cistern for the use of rainwater is currently being planned. However, I have already set up my system today in such a way that I could easily integrate a cistern or pump later on.
Basically, you should be familiar with the principle of a retractable lawn irrigation system. A pipe system is supplied with water from a central water connection. This pipe system is in turn connected to lawn sprinklers which eject the water over the lawn. That’s the simple theory.
In practice, however, there is much more to it than that:
- What type of lawn sprinkler should I use?
- Where should these sprinklers be placed?
- How should the pipes be laid – and how many circuits do I need?
- How do I separate the water cycles – and is it automatic?
- What happens to the system in winter when it freezes?
So you see, there are many questions.
I haven’t even mentioned topics such as water pressure, water flow rate or pipe cross-section – there is a separate article on this.
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Planning guide from Hunter
I acquired most of my knowledge from various books, brochures and YouTube videos. Over time, a lot more experience will be gained.
Hunter and Rain Bird – What about Gardena?
Alongside Rain Bird, Hunter is something like the Mercedes of irrigation specialists. I use products from both companies and am extremely satisfied.
Unfortunately, the availability in local stores for private use is rather poor. I therefore purchase my components more or less exclusively online.
But Gardena also plays on the grass. Although the company is now part of the Swedish Husqvarna Group, Gardena products can still be found in virtually every DIY store.
As I have only used Hunter sprinklers so far, I can’t say anything about Gardena sprinklers at this point. The pipes and connectors from Gardena, which I like to use myself, are absolutely recommendable in my opinion.
Incidentally, the connections to the various lawn sprinklers are standardized with 1/2″ and 3/4″. This means that nothing stands in the way of replacing it with another product at a later date.
Plan lawn irrigation online free of charge
Gardena offers a really good online tool for beginners. You can start planning your irrigation system at this link.
In this free online tool, you first record the layout of your lawn. Then indicate where the water connection is located. The program is self-explanatory and very beginner-friendly.
At the touch of a button, the tool now calculates the optimum size and placement of the lawn sprinklers.
You can now read through the results at your leisure in PDF format.
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Video – Planning a lawn irrigation system
I have recorded the entire planning process, the measurement of my lawn, the recording in the Gardena Online Tool and the analysis of the results in the following video.
You can find more videos in my playlist on automatic garden irrigation.
If you want to see more of me and my projects, feel free to check out my YouTube channel.
The result is here – what now?
After the tool has calculated the optimal placement for you, you can click directly on a suitable shopping list.
Gardena now offers you the option of ordering the individual components or all components directly with one click.
As the online tool comes from Gardena, this step is only logical.
If you want to install the Gardena sprinklers and components, you are already finished at this point. But if, like me, you’d rather go for the professional components from Hunter, Rain Bird or perhaps Toro, you’ll have to “translate” the Gardena product list.
However, as there is more or less a Hunter or Rain Bird equivalent for every Gardena lawn sprinkler, this is not difficult. You can find the details in my video above.
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