Irrigation Installation - Liberty Landscape

How to Install an Irrigation System For Beginners

Is your outdoor space often parched and drought-ridden?

Do you struggle to find the time to water your plants regularly or efficiently?

From maintaining a vibrant lawn to ensuring the longevity of your plants, adequate hydration plays a crucial role in the ecosystem of your garden or landscape. This is where installing irrigation can be a game-changer for busy homeowners and businesses.

Brief Overview of the Importance of Irrigation Systems

Irrigation systems are designed to address these very challenges, delivering water where it is needed most, at the root level of your plants. By automating the watering process, not only do these systems save you time, but they also conserve water and increase curb appeal. And the best part? You don’t need advanced landscaping skills to set up your own irrigation system.

Why Installing Your Own Irrigation System is Doable

Dig trenches, connect pipes, set timer.

Sounds complicated?

It’s simpler than you think!

Many parts of an irrigation system are, in reality, quite lightweight and straightforward to install. Even setting up watering zones based on the unique characteristics of your landscape is doable with some careful planning. What’s more, you can always adapt and extend the system as your landscape design evolves over time.

To help you visualize the process, check out this introductory infographic illustrating a basic irrigation system’s setup:

Basic Irrigation System Installation Process Infographic - installing irrigation infographic infographic-line-5-steps

Stay tuned for our step-by-step guide on installing an irrigation system that will not only quench your landscape’s thirst but also give your outdoor space the lush, vibrant look it deserves. Be it managing your water pressure or determining the depth for your irrigation lines, we have got you covered!

Understanding the Basics of an Irrigation System

Before we dive into the installation process, let’s get familiar with the basic components and functionality of an irrigation system. This understanding will not only simplify the process of installing irrigation but also assist you in maintaining the system in the long run.

Components of an Irrigation System

An irrigation system comprises several key parts, each serving a crucial function in the watering process. Here are the key components:

  1. Sprinkler Heads: These are installed just below ground level and pop up when activated. They distribute water to your plants and lawn. Keep in mind the mature size of the plants when selecting the proper height to install.
  2. Pipes: These are the carriers of water throughout your system. They are connected to the sprinkler heads and transport water from the source to the designated areas.
  3. Valves: Each watering zone has its own control valve. They control the flow of water through the pipes to the sprinkler heads.
  4. Controller or Timer: This device automates the system, allowing you to schedule watering sessions. Most in-ground systems come with a timer, making watering the lawn a hassle-free task.
  5. Backflow Preventer: This device prevents water from flowing back into your clean water supply, protecting it from potential contamination.
  6. Manifold: Located near the water supply line, this is where all your valves are housed.

Components of an Irrigation System - installing irrigation

How an Irrigation System Works

Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with the components, let’s understand how these parts work together to keep your garden watered and healthy.

Once the system is activated, water flows from the source through the main pipe. It’s then distributed to the different zones of your garden through smaller pipes. Each zone has its own control valve, which opens to allow water to the sprinkler heads in that zone. The sprinkler heads pop up and spray water onto your plants and lawn. The controller or timer automates this process, ensuring your garden gets the right amount of water at the right time.

It’s worth noting that an efficient irrigation system like a drip system or soaker hoses delivers water directly to the base of the plant, ensuring optimal absorption and reducing water waste. Moreover, these systems take into account changes in water pressure due to sloping areas in your lawn, ensuring even distribution.

Understanding these basics will make the process of installing irrigation less intimidating and more enjoyable. In our upcoming sections, we’ll guide you through planning and preparing for your irrigation system installation. And remember, at Liberty Landscape, we’re always here to help!

Planning Your Irrigation System

Before getting your hands dirty with installing irrigation, it’s crucial to have a solid plan in place. This involves understanding your garden layout, selecting the correct type of irrigation system, testing your water pressure, and choosing a suitable tap timer.

Drawing a Plan of Your Garden

Start by mapping out your garden. Note the locations of your plants, trees, and lawn areas. Consider the type of grass in your lawn, as some varieties require more water than others. Also, examine your soil type, as this affects the efficiency of irrigation. For instance, sandy soils absorb water faster than clay. This step is crucial as an irrigation system gives better control of the moisture content of your soil. Supplying more water than the soil can absorb will lead to runoff.

Choosing the Type of Irrigation System

Next, decide on the type of irrigation system that will best serve your garden’s needs. Consider factors like the size of your garden, the types of plants you have, and your local climate. Different plants have different watering needs and may require specific irrigation methods.

Testing Your Water Pressure

Knowing your home’s water pressure is vital when installing an irrigation system. You can find out your water pressure by using a pressure gauge that attaches to your outside faucet. This will give you a reading in pounds per square inch (PSI). Ensure that all other water faucets (indoors and out) are turned off when you take the reading. The water pressure will affect the performance of your irrigation system, so it’s important to get this right.

Selecting a Tap Timer

Finally, choose a tap timer that suits your watering schedule and local municipal watering ordinances. A tap timer automates your watering schedule, freeing up your time and ensuring your garden gets the water it needs when it needs it, even when you’re not home.

Installing an irrigation system is not just about laying out pipes and sprinkler heads. It’s about creating a system designed specifically for your garden’s unique needs. Proper planning is key to ensuring your irrigation system works effectively and efficiently.

If you need any further assistance or advice on planning your irrigation system, don’t hesitate to contact us at Liberty Landscape. We’re committed to helping you create and maintain a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space.

Preparing for Installation

Before you start installing your irrigation system, there are a few things you need to prepare. This includes determining the depth of your irrigation lines, gathering the necessary tools and materials, and taking safety precautions.

Determining the Depth of Irrigation Lines

The depth at which you bury your irrigation lines is crucial. You want it to be deep enough to prevent damage from lawn machines, but not so deep that it’s difficult to access for maintenance. Generally, the trenches for your irrigation lines should be 6 to 12 inches deep. This depth can change depending on your area’s freeze cycles and frost severity.

Gathering Necessary Tools and Materials

Installing an irrigation system requires certain tools and materials. These may include PVC pipes, sprinkler heads, a tap timer, and other items depending on the type of irrigation system you choose. It’s important to have all your materials ready before you start digging to ensure a smooth installation process.

Safety Precactions to Consider

Safety is crucial when installing an irrigation system. Always wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety goggles, and use tools properly to prevent accidents. If you are digging deep trenches, be mindful of any underground utilities. Calling your local utility company to mark any underground lines is a necessary step before you start digging.

At Liberty Landscape, we understand that installing an irrigation system can be a significant project. That’s why we’re here to guide you every step of the way. From planning to installation, we want to ensure that you’re equipped with the right knowledge and tools to make your landscape flourish. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing an Irrigation System

After careful planning and gathering the necessary tools and materials, you’re now ready to start installing your irrigation system. Here at Liberty Landscape, we highly recommend that you follow this step-by-step guide to ensure a successful installation. The goal is to create a well-irrigated landscape that promotes the healthy growth of your plants.

Digging Trenches for the Irrigation Lines

The first step is to dig trenches for your irrigation lines. Mark the sprinkler locations with flags or stakes as per your layout plan. The typical trench depth ranges from 6 to 12 inches. It’s crucial to follow the string you placed during the planning stage to ensure the pipe runs accordingly.

Safety Reminder! Before you start digging, ensure you know where all gas lines, power lines, and cable TV lines are located. Always call your utility companies if you need help to avoid any accidents.

If you have existing walkways, you can use water pressure to “drill” through them. Use a piece of PVC long enough to go under the walk. Attach a hose on one end and a Jet Spray Nozzle on the other. Turn on the water and work your way through.

To make the process easier, consider renting a “power trencher” from your local tool rental supplier. If you’re using a Poly Pipe, ask about a pipe pulling machine, which will bury the pipe without digging up your lawn.

Installing the Sprinkler Heads

Once the trenches are ready, it’s time to install the sprinkler heads. Position the right sprinklers and connectors at each stake based on your layout plan. Remember not to connect the sprinkler until everything is assembled. This will allow you to flush the system with water later to clear out any dirt that got into the pipes.

Connecting the Pipes and Valves

Next, it’s time to connect the pipes and valves. Assemble your valve manifold and connect the back-flow preventer if required. When working with PVC pipe, apply PVC cement to the inside of the fitting and the outside of the pipe, then quickly insert the pipe all the way, giving a 1/4 turn to distribute the cement. Hold it for a few seconds to let it set.

If you’re using poly pipe, slide a clamp over the pipe, insert the fitting all the way, then bring the clamp into position and tighten it.

Setting Up the Controller and Timer

The final step is to set up the controller and timer. This device will control the operation of your sprinklers, ensuring that they water your garden at the right time and for the right duration. Wire the valves to the timer following the instructions provided with your timer. Make sure to note down which timer “station” runs which zone and keep these notes near your timer.

Congratulations, you’re now one step closer to maintaining a healthy and beautiful landscape! If you encounter any challenges or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Liberty Landscape, we’re always ready to help you create and maintain your ideal outdoor space.

Maintaining Your Irrigation System

Great, you’ve installed your irrigation system! But the job isn’t over just yet. Proper maintenance is vital to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. Let’s dive into regular checks and adjustments, how to winterize your system, and when it’s time to call in the professionals.

Regular Checks and Adjustments

Regular observation plays a crucial role in maintaining your irrigation system. Don’t wait for brown spots to appear on your lawn. Instead, be vigilant for signs of clogged sprinkler heads or pipes.

Ideally, your sprinkler system should deliver 1 to 2 inches of water per week, depending on your vegetation. This can be measured by placing a container in each zone, running the system for a regular cycle, and measuring the water collected. Adjust your system’s runtime accordingly to ensure optimal watering.

Additionally, always check your water pressure at the start of the season. Your irrigation system requires water pressure between 40 to 65 PSI depending on the sprinkler heads in the system.

Winterizing Your Irrigation System

In colder regions, it’s crucial to winterize your system to avoid damaging pipes and connections when the ground freezes. This procedure involves draining the water from the system. If your system has auto-drain valves, simply turn off the water supply, open the valves and let the excess water drain out.

However, if you have manual drains, you will need an air compressor with a pressure between 50 and 100 PSI. Open the valve manifolds to allow any remaining water to drain, then hook up the air compressor and run air through each zone until all water is cleared.

In both cases, remember to turn off the timer to prevent additional water from entering the system.

When to Seek Professional Help

While much of the maintenance and winterization process can be a DIY job, it can be beneficial to hire a professional, especially for larger landscapes. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with any maintenance procedures, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

At Liberty Landscape, we’re committed to helping you maintain a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space. Whether you need assistance with maintaining your irrigation system, winterizing it, or even if you want to learn more about installing irrigation, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to ensure your landscape always stays in its prime condition.


In this guide, we’ve walked you through the step-by-step process of installing an irrigation system in your yard. From understanding the basics and planning your system, to digging trenches, setting up the controller, and maintaining the system, we’ve covered it all. The key to a successful DIY project is careful planning, patience, and the right tools and materials.

Just like anything else, installing irrigation can seem intimidating at first. However, with a little effort and commitment, you can certainly accomplish it. There’s something incredibly rewarding about knowing that you’ve built something with your own two hands, especially when it contributes to a lush, green landscape.

However, we understand that not everyone has the time or inclination to take on such a project. That’s where we come in. At Liberty Landscape, we’re more than just a landscaping company. We’re a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about helping you create and maintain the outdoor space of your dreams.

Whether you’re interested in installing an irrigation system, designing your garden, or simply need advice on maintaining your outdoor space, we’re here to help. Our team at Liberty Landscape has the expertise, experience, and passion to ensure that your outdoor space always looks its best.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with your irrigation system or any other aspect of your landscape. We’re always ready to assist and provide expert advice.

Additionally, we encourage you to explore our blog for more helpful tips and inspiration on everything from plant selection to landscape design. With Liberty Landscape, you’re never alone in your landscaping journey.

A beautiful, well-maintained landscape not only enhances your home’s curb appeal but also provides a space for you and your family to relax and enjoy the outdoors. So go ahead, roll up your sleeves, and get started on installing that irrigation system. You’ve got this!

Green lawn with installed irrigation system - installing irrigation