Watering the Lawn: Zones and Other Basics

Learn about everything related to installing a home irrigation system.

installing a home irrigation system

Improper lawn-watering methods can cost a homeowner money; not only can expensive lawns and plantings be ruined by receiving the wrong amount of water, but wasted water can run up bills astronomically. A home irrigation system serves not only to improve property values but also to protect a homeowner's time and money investment.

Lawn irrigation systems vary from the modest to the premium, which might feature hundreds of heads and miles of pipes and wires, as well as a remote control for the ultimate in efficiency. All systems, however, are divided into areas called zones; each zone is designed to water separate areas with very specific types of sprinkler heads.

Among the types of zones are the lawn rotor zone, consisting of both beds and lawns. In this type of zone, the angles of the sprinkler heads are specifically placed to hit just one area and avoid overspray. A flower bed, on the other hand, may have different watering requirements and would thus be in a different zone from the lawn and other beds. In this case a pop-up sprayer might be installed, often before the bed has been put in; because these sprayers can be 12" in height, installing them before adding plantings helps to keep digging to a minimum. If such a sprayer is required in an existing bed, another type such as a microspray can be added later.

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