May 20, 2012

Ghetto Sprinkler System Works For Me

If you didn't already know, I live in Idaho....Boise to be specific.  Boise is at the edge of the high desert plains, just where it meets the mountains.  While it is known as the City of Trees, the only natural greenery is along the rivers and streams.

Even though I moved around a lot, I consider myself to be "from" Iowa.  Iowa is a lush tropics compared to Boise, with the abundant rainfall and even more abundant bugs.

Coming to Boise one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is that I have to water my lawn.  Normally in the beginning to middle of June I have to drag out the sprinklers and begin taking care of my lawn or it will die.  It doesn't die outright, just turns brown and goes dormant.  With the early spring we've had I really needed to start watering last week.
Parts for my sprinkler setup

My house doesn't have a sprinkler system so I have to water it by hand.  Instead of simply using a garden hose I hacked together a somewhat ghetto, but effective sprinkler system.  I started with a well made garden hose, some Gardena connectors, garden hose mending kits and some sprinklers.  You don't want to forget about the teflon tape and some common tools (a good knife and some screwdrivers).

I laid out the hose first and then cut it where the sprinklers were going to be.  I teflon taped all the connections and put the appropriate Gardena connectors on the outdoor faucet and female end of the hose.  The mending kits allowed me to cut the hose and then connect it in to the sprinklers.  Once everything was connected, all I had to do is adjust the sprinklers and turn on the faucet.  I have to remove the hose when I mow, but I put enough slack in the line that all I need to do is pull up the sprinklers and set the hose back a foot.  The hose normally trails along the outside edge of the lawn and the sprinklers hose into the yard.

In the winter all I have to do is disconnect the hose and coil it into a large trash can for seasonal storage.  I've used this system for a couple years and after two years I had to replace the sprinklers.  I originally went with cheap plastic sprinklers and they wore out.  Newer all-metal spikes and heads work great.  This year I decided to go ahead and pull it all apart and replace the teflon tape and the hose washers.  The system is just about water tight.  Unfortunately the faucet itself has a bit of a leak when it is opened up or I'd attach a timer to the faucet and automate everything.

I'd like to get a sprinkler system installed, but there always seems to be a twice yearly maintenance.  Once in the spring either some heads have to be replaced or some pipe springs a leak.  In the fall you have to have the system blown out.  My neighbor just spent a couple days fixing his system.  He had to dig a 6' hole to get access to where the installer didn't do a great job.

For now I think I'll just drag out the hose.....

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