To avoid water chores during the hot season and be sure to meet the water needs of plants and vegetables without waste, one solution is to develop an automatic watering system.
Buried or visible, the devices differ according to use and are triggered automatically when they are coupled to a programming station. It allows managing duration and hours of operation.
To guide you, you will find below a selection of tutorials presenting different types of montages of surface or buried.
Our advice before starting
- Install a timer to trigger automatic watering during off-peak hours (keep it out of the weather).
- Avoid watering in strong sunlight to limit evaporation.
- Limit the length of the irrigation pipes so that the pressure is not too low at the end of the line.
- When the water flow rate is too low and the area to be watered is large, create several separate circuits, operating one after the other (calculate the water flow available to determine the number of circuits to predict).
- Install a pressure reducer upstream of the garden hose to save water.
- Check that the irrigation range of the nozzles covers the entire area to be watered.
- Check the tightness of the installation before resealing the trenches.
- Purge the water in winter to prevent frost damage to the circuit.
- Place small curbs around the nozzles to prevent the risk of unintentional kicking.
- Surround buried burner pipes.
Good to know: some devices are equipped with buried and mobile watering heads, which come out of the ground only during irrigation. There is also solar equipment that operates entirely autonomously.
To save water by “reasoned” watering or to water even in case of absence, automatic watering is a blessing for the gardener! Very adaptable and varied, there is a system for each garden; for the most part, easy to set up except buried watering that requires a thorough study before installation.
There are four types of automatic watering with a programmer:
- the sprinkler irrigation,
- the micro-sprinkler,
- the micro-irrigation,
- the underground irrigation, more technical.
Beforehand, it is necessary to know your flow of water and the available pressure.
This can be set according to the periodicity chosen: every day at 21h, for example, as well as according to a specific period. Some programmers work with batteries, or even with solar energy, so they can easily be installed anywhere. Highly adaptable, they can manage a small installation with 1 or 2 channels as well as an extensive network of pipes thanks to multi-channel.
Generally, they are installed at the tap, but they can also be deported and fixed on a wall.
Depending on the watering mode chosen, the installation will be done at normal pressure or low pressure.
The best hours are night hours, which avoid evaporation.
Very useful in everyday life, the programmer is ideal in case of prolonged absence. On the other hand, it is appropriate and economical to couple it with a rain gauge or a humidity probe, which will adjust the watering according to rainfall or soil moisture content.
The used pipes larger diameter as the main pipe, which can, via connections, plug thinner tubes. This is, of course, the main pipe that is connected to the water supply after the timer.
This essential water jet is useful for large areas such as lawns, but it is not very water efficient. Vegetable gardens cannot be watered well; the leaves are wet, which favors disease development fungal.
The sprinklers at the end of the pipe can be mobile or fixed in the case of a buried watering.
- The oscillating sprinkler is the most commonly used. It provides a fan-shaped water jet, which is suitable for rectangular surfaces. Prefer the adjustable sprinklers for a better adaptation to your cover; it will save you from spending unnecessarily water.
- The rotary sprinkler is equipped with horizontal arms that the pressure of the water rotates. They are used for circular surfaces and can be adjustable, which is better for water consumption.
- The multi-surface sprinklers are equipped with nozzles and are adjustable to suit different types of surfaces: circular or semicircular, square, rectangular.
- The barrel sprinkler sprinkles in jerks. Professionals often use it, but there are models for gardens of “normal” size.
The fixed sprinklers are retractable models, nozzles for smaller turbines or larger areas.
It is a beautiful rain that waters a surface up to 3 meters. Delicate and economical, it allows watering a massif or a small grassed portion. By cons, as watering is over, it is not advisable to water the garden, you could create a humid environment that appreciates the fungi responsible for diseases. The pipe is fixed to the ground and connected to branch lines. These are terminated by micro-sprinklers enhanced by peaks. Sprinklers should be installed every 1 meter or 2 meters, depending on their range. The installation is at low pressure.
The porous pipes or micro-perforated, with a small diameter, allow water to pass at low pressure through their wall or holes located at regular intervals. Perfect for all online plantings, this method is economical and has the advantage of bringing water to the foot of plants.
The drip-dries slowly but regularly. The system is also low pressure. After the filter and the pressure reducer located after the programmer, the pipe is fixed on the ground and receives branches for the micro-pipes to which will be added the drippers for each of the plants. A plug terminates the network.
Very technical as to the installation plan, it requires most of the time a technical study done by a professional.
- A plan at the scale of the field must be done,
- on which will be drawn the turbines according to the zones to be watered. Compass these areas and complete the gaps with nozzles.
- The pipes are then placed, calculating that a network (the sum of the nozzles or the sum of the turbines) must consume less water than your pump provides.
- To avoid too much pressure loss at the end of the network, trace with the pipes of the shortest path.
- You have to dig the trenches, deep enough in a cold region!
- Install your equipment and test each part separately before filling it.
The principle of installation
To install your automatic irrigation system, start by making a circuit map on paper. Transpose the diagram to a real plan by providing stakes for indicating the sprinklers and ropes to trace the circuits of the pipes. Then trace the lines marked by the plaster rope. After that, dig trenches of 30 m on plaster lines. Place 5 cm gravel at the bottom of the trenches to continue.
Once the trench is finished, mount the drain on the tip of your pipe. The purge is necessary to evacuate the remaining water in the tubes at the arrival of winter. Then install your solenoid valve on the other end. Assemble the hoses with the corner fittings and T-fittings and attach the sprinklers to their respective positions. After assembling each piece correctly, connect the programmer to the central unit containing the solenoid valve. Then connect the supply hose to the faucet.
You must check the tightness of the hoses and the correct operation of the controller before resealing the trench. Also, place the safety fences indicating the routing of pipes underneath the first layer of earth that will be used to reseal the trench. Finally, completely reload the trench and replace your clods.