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Tuesday, May 29th 2012, 11:14am

Options for watering a garden using sprinkler system

I have an Irritol 18 station system that has 18 stations running, i.e. no spare capacity. Some years ago I ran a line off one of the zones to our garden and put a spigot, to which I attached two sprinkers. When that zone (with 4 rotary heads) runs, the garden gets watered.

As the garden grew, I find that I need more coverage. I bought a pressure gauge and found 18-22psi at the spigot, which of course is while that zone is running with the 4 other heads.

I see several options:

1) Install low-pressure popup heads on the edges of the garden, that allow coverage of my 45' x 25' garden. Given growing corn and tomatoes that get quite tall, would either require me to setup a raised system that rains down, or put in a system that runs around the perimeter and likely also down the middle (to deal with blockage by the tall plants).

2) Make the assumption that the water pressure is 18-22 due to the 4 heads running. Since I don't need to water the lawn when I water the garden, I could change my approach and install a manual switch (since my controller is full) that is easy to turn that allows me to select the 4 lawn sprinkers OR the garden. I'd have to change it's position multiple times a week since I water the lawn 2 days a week and the garden every other day. Not ideal.

3) Evaluate the sprinklers and see if I can shut one of them off by replacing it with a plug, that would give me more pressure at the garden and therefore more coverage. Since they are in the very back, it's likely that I can live with at least one of them being turned off. Of course if this doesn't bump the pressure up enough it' in vain.

4) Change to a 24 zone system. I seem to have extra wiring, and the panel in the system goes up to 24 zones, but the controller is an Irritol 18. So I'd have to spend hundreds on a new controller. Not going to happen.

Ideas welcome.


Tuesday, May 29th 2012, 1:04pm

IF your pressure is high enough you might try running two low head count/volume zones at the same time by wiring two zones onto one terminal. This would free up your controller to add a true zone for your garden.

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