How to design an efficient irrigation system?

Once decided on the automatic irrigation installation in a garden, it’s very important to have all the previous information that allows us to achieve a good design in order to provide an efficient irrigation to all the plants. 

The required information is:

  • Plan of the garden drawn to scale with the existing plantations. 
  • Situation of the garden plumbing connection.
  • Water flow and pressure in plumbing connection.

According to this information, we can choose the irrigation elements (sprinklers, diffusers or drippers) most adapted to the existing plantation and to garden geometry and they must be laid out along the areas to be watered. 

Sprinklers have a coverage radius of more than 5 meters, and diffusers of less than 5 meters, so the last ones will be for small areas and sprinklers for wide areas. Drip irrigation is used for shrubs, trees or hedges.

Distribution of sprinklers and diffusers depends on their coverage (provided by manufacturers) so their locations will be such that the whole area of the garden is covered at least for two sprinklers. 

That is to say, if we have a sprinkler with a coverage radius of 6 meters, they must be placed at a maximum distance of 5.5-5.75 m between them, so that way, their irrigation areas will be overlapped. 

It's important to observe the places where may exist trees, because it's possible that they act as a barrier leaving areas without watering.

Once the sprinklers, diffusers and emitters are placed, a pipeline network will be set to provide water to each of them. To do that, we must know water flow and its pressure in the installation, in order to achieve a proper operation of the irrigation system.  

Water flow is the quantity of water that provides the plumbing connection to the garden. 

Depending on the flow, the irrigation system will be designed by more or less numbers of sectors. 

A sector is a group of sprinklers or diffusers that work simultaneously. Every irrigation element needs a minimal flow of water to work correctly. So the number of sprinklers in every sector will depend on the water flow in the plumbing connection.

For example, if we receive 80 liters/minute in plumbing connection and we have sprinklers which need 12 liters/minute, the sectors must be designed with a maximum of 6 sprinklers. 

A higher number of sprinklers is going to produce a non-proper working because of lack of flow. 

On the contrary, a lower number of sprinklers will work well but we'll increase costs in pipes, electrovalves and controller. 

Another factor to know is the available pressure in the plumbing connection. It can be measured with a pressure gauge. In general, for an irrigation system for a single family house, the needed pressure is between 2.5 and 4 bars. 

If the pressure is higher, we will need to install a pressure regulator and for lower pressure it will be necessary to increase it by means of a pump. 

Finally, the irrigation system will need the installation of electrovalves and a controller, which will allow us to manage the garden watering. 

The last operation to carry out is the setting of times of irrigation. These times depend on the kind of plants and on the climate. In accordance with the water requirements of each group of plants, we will establish irrigation periods that will provide the proper amount of water.

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We use materials and accessories of irrigation of leading brands, widely known for their high quality.


What can we do for your garden?

Landscaping maintenance tasks depend on the season. If you want to know the works that we could carry out in your garden throughout the year, you can download our gardening calendar in pdf file.