Months before this project had gotten underway I asked irrigation contractor Vinny Catoggio to meet with me on the site to review the landscape plan. This meeting is the first critical step in planning an automatic sprinkler system that is customized to the planting plan as well as to the unique characteristics of the site. Vinny and I spent almost 2 hrs. together discussing each aspect of the design. We consider the exposure, grades and plant types of each area, and then mutually agree on an irrigation strategy. From there an irrigation plan is drawn for the project and a budget prepared.
Vinny and I both know that there will be modifications to the irrigation design once the project is far enough along and the irrigation phase begins. It is the preliminary discussions a landscape designer has with the irrigation contractor, along with the tactical changes made while the system is being installed that makes for a truly “site-specific” and efficient automatic sprinkler system.
Of all the things to consider when planning an irrigation system, there is one key point that all should follow: Always separate the lawn sprinkler zones from the planting area zones. This universal rule deserves a thorough explanation of what goes into a professional, well-designed automatic sprinkler system. And yes, this will be another report I look forward to writing for LandscapeAdvisor.
Above you’ll see one of three manifolds being built. This particular one has 4 valves – each of which controls a sprinkler zone. These manifolds are built below grade and are housed in plastic valve boxes with covers for access. This project has a total of 14 valves (zones) and they are divided almost evenly between lawn zones and planting zones.
In the second picture a technician is installing a sprinkler head for a lawn zone. Notice he’s working in front of the plantings where he’ll position the head. When installed, the coverage of the head can be adjusted to only water up to the grass edges and not the nearby planting areas.