With spring once again upon us you may be wondering if this is the year you’ll get around to installing an irrigation system. After all, the best way to have a lush,green lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood is by applying the proper amount of water at the right time. Unfortunately, we can’t rely on Mother Nature to deliver water to our lawns at the exact time it is needed.
“It would be great if we could rely on the weather,” says John Coyne of UP Irrigation and Auto Rain Lawn Gear. “Normal precipitation is not always normal, and if your lawn goes dormant during a dry spell pre-emergent weeds will quickly sprout and be hard to eradicate.”
Watering with sprinklers has gone the way of the shoe horn. People just don’t, or shouldn’t be using sprinklers any more. Sprinklers not only waste water and drive up water bills, but people don’t have time these days to turn them off and on and hassle with kinked-up hoses and dysfunctional sprinklers.
An irrigation system will save you time and money, says Coyne. You can set up an irrigation system on a timer and water your lawn for a few minutes each night while you sleep.
Lawn irrigation systems have traditionally been a significant home improvement investment, similar in scope to paving the driveway. Now, there is a DIY irrigation system, called Auto Rain Lawn Gear, that can be installed by the do-it-yourselfer. It’s a system that ARLG owner and irrigation specialist Coyne says can be installed at a fraction of what it would cost a professional contractor.
“For many years people have been intimidated to take on a project like this,” says Coyne. “By installing an ARLG kit themselves, homeowners can save up to 70% over the cost of a contractor.”
The Auto Rain Lawn Gear irrigation system comes as a kit complete with sprinkler heads, clamps, and other attachments. It also contains instructional materials for set-up, including a DVD showing an actual installation. The kits contain name brand irrigation components that have been used by irrigation contractors for years, including Rain Bird sprinkler heads. The ¾” poly pipe needed to run the water lines is sold separately and can be purchased in any hardware store, according to Coyne.
Like any DIY project, the ARLG irrigation system may be beyond the skill level of the less than handy types. No worry. According to Coyne any reputable landscaper or a handy relative will be able to install an ARLG system. If in doubt whether to take on the task they can view a 5 minute instructional video on the ARLG website and decide for themselves.
“For anyone who decides to install one themselves there is a tremendous amount of satisfaction,” says Coyne. No permits or license is necessary to install the ARLG system, according to Coyne.
Before you buy a kit Coyne suggests you time the water delivery from your faucet. You need to have a water source that can deliver at least 5 gallons of water per minute. Place a five gallon bucket under an outdoor spigot and run the water for a minute. Make sure all other faucets, washing machine, etc. is turned off inside the house before you run your test. If your bucket fills to the top in a minute or under, you’re all set.
A round shovel is all that is needed to bury the lines and sprinkler heads. Dig a four-inch deep trench. When done laying the pipe, scrape the soil back into the trough and pull the sod over it. Within a few weeks spring you’ll be hard pressed to see where you removed the sod.
Self Draining System
Typically, irrigation systems need to have the water blown out of the lines before winter. This is an added cost to the homeowner. If this is not done, it can cause the lines to burst over the winter, resulting in further costs to find and repair the hole.The ARLG system is self draining, saving the homeowner the time and/or money of blowing out the lines in the fall.
ARLG kits come in different sizes to match the size of your lawn and can also be used to water a flower bed. They’re being sold at various Lowes stores around the state and various hardware stores. You can also purchase them online at www.autorainlawngear.com.
Instructional videos are available on the company website.