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Automatic Watering System Installation for Your Garden and Landscaping - Do it Yourself Installation

Updated on March 31, 2015
Automatic Watering Systems - You CAN Do it Yourself!
Automatic Watering Systems - You CAN Do it Yourself!

Save Money, Do it Yourself! Not as Hard as You Think..

Want to save hundreds, even potentially thousands of dollars on your automated irrigation / sprinkler system for your garden or landscaping? You can do it yourself, and it isn't as hard as you think.. I did it, and learned as I went.. Picking up easier ways to do things along the way.. Here's a step by step process on how you can do it yourself with your landscaping or garden irrigation project.. Oh, and I installed my automatic watering system for under $200.00.. With pretty extensive landscaping involved! No kidding..

Irrigation system plan for your landscaping or garden
Irrigation system plan for your landscaping or garden

First Things First, You Need A Plan..

You'll need to get out some paper and a pencil, and draw a layout of your garden or landscaping surrounding your home (more of an aerial view looking down at your home), much like the image to the right. You'll need to walk around your property to get a good sense of where your water spickets are in relation to your targeted landscaping or garden/s. You'll also need to get an idea of distance from the spickets to the targeted areas, in order to get a gauge on how much tubing and sprayers (which we'll describe below) you'll need (sometimes one irrigation system kit isn't enough). Also, if there are obstructions such as sidewalks or patios, you'll need to incorporate that into your planning. You'll need to determine if you need more than one spicket feed (i.e., if you have landscaping all around your house, you'll most likely need a two zone set up, as opposed to a one zone set up as shown in the picture to the right. Now, I'm not a big fan of drip irrigation (either soaker hoses or nozzles that drip water out), because I've had some bad luck going this route with soaker hoses breaking down, etc.. I will be describing how to set up a micro sprinkler irrigation set up (as seen in the top right photo). These sprinklers cover a broader area, and you can control how the water is being distributed more efficiently over a broader area.

Hose Splitter
Hose Splitter

Hose Splitter

If you don't have a hose splitter already, I recommend highly that you get one. This will allow you to have a free hose line in case you need to do other chores, while the other line is dedicated to the watering system. Most hose splitters have on/off valve levers, so that you can keep your spicket on, and control the flow of water with the valve lever, like the black valve levers in the picture to the right.

Sprinkler Irrigation Kit

The next, and most important thing you'll need is a sprinkler irrigation kit, like the one shown at right in the video. It typically comes with 50 feet of 1/2" tubing. Now, I was about to prepare a huge narrative on standard assembly instructions, when I stumbled upon the video at right. This walks you through how to assemble a typical micro sprinkler irrigation kit. Now, there are some bumps in the road for some assembly scenarios, which I'll address later.. You can also purchase what's called add-on kits, which provide more tubing connectors, nozzles, etc., to expand your irrigation down the road, or on your current project.

Electronic Water Timer

I highly recommend a water timer to run your watering on a proper schedule. The easiest one to use on the market, I have found, is by Mister Landscaper, shown in the video at right. Very simple to operate, battery powered, easy installation. If you don't get a timer, you will have to manually turn on and off the water on a daily basis (more so in the summer), while the electronic water timer eliminates that chore, and regulates watering automatically. So, even if you're out of town, the watering is taken care of.. Installation of a water timer is shown in the video at right.

Run Piping / Hose Under Your Sidewalk

Obstructions, Such as Sidewalks and Patios

This happened to me. A sidewalk or patio gets in the way of what you're doing.. What do you do? Well, you go under it.. I went under both a sidewalk and a portion of a patio, and how I did it I thought was genius, until I saw the Sidewalk Sleever (shown in video at right).. I basically did the same thing, using a length of steel rebar, PVC piping and a sledgehammer and rubber mallet.. But the idea is the same as shown in the video at right. You'll need to do a bit of digging and run your tubing through the PVC piping, using an L joint to help the tubing around and up out from the ground. I then ran my tubing along the edge of the sidewalk and patio, pulling up the sod, tucking the tubing under it and placing the sod down over the tubing..


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    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 5 years ago from United States

      We've done several watering systems in gardens in CA, FL and TX. My husband's current garden (and last!) is completely drip watered which does cost more to install but saves hundreds if not thousands every year in water bills. Basically the drip system just puts water on each plant--or for an easier type of drip you can use drip hoses which water a strip of land that you plant on. It does take some time, effort and planning as you point out, but it is worth it.

    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 6 years ago

      Amazing , and a great idea ! I voted up , awesome,interesting ! thanks for the read!:)

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 6 years ago from United States

      Very interesting hub. You explained all very well.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile image

      Sun Pen 50 6 years ago from Srilanka

      Thanks Brian. This is very useful as it explains every step, so that anybody can fix a simple system. up/useful

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      My son has a huge garden and I´ve wondered if there´s an easier way for him to keep it well watered.

      This was great information.

      Thank you

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks B. Malin and Tokigostudio1.. Appreciate the nice comments..

    • tokigostudio1 profile image

      tokigostudio1 6 years ago from Panama City Beach, Florida

      Great hub for a weekend project! Thanks Brian

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      Wonderful Hub Brian...We do have a "Gardener" and he has "updated" the system that came with the house we bought...But your Hub is so Informative I'm going to Book Mark it...Especially the "Side Walk Sleever". Thanks for Sharing, I look forward to Following your Hubs.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Great tips on how to get automatic water system! I don't have it now but I know it would save me time and well as the daily trouble with hauling in and out the garden hose. Your hub really inspired me to think about it again!

      Thanks for the great information and useful tips!


    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Nice hub. I think it is beyond my skills, though! lol

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks Eddie.. Appreciate the great comments..

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Hey Brian, Nice Hub, I use the same irrigation system for my flower beds around my pool and when I go on vacation in the summer, I gather all my pots and put them in one spot, I have a separate irrigation set I use to water my pots when I’m away. These systems work awesome. Good job.

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Seeker7! Appreciate the great comments..

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      This is really interesting. We have wanted to do something with our garden for a long time, but the money had to be spent on more essential things. And the prospect of doing it ourselves was a bit daunting. But your hub gives really great information in a very postive way and the money that could be saved is enormous. The two videos were great. Have bookmarked for future reference + voted up. Many thanks for sharing.

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Deborah.. Appreciate the comment..

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Nice explanation of how to set up a home irrigation system. Very helpful!