I've decided 3 day weekends are my jam. They are right up there with cheese dip and shoe shopping. Just down-right satisfying and good for the soul. While Brent and I took full advantage and did a whole lot of resting and relaxing last weekend, we also had time to fit in one very simple and super affordable DIY...
We installed our own irrigation system!
We got really lucky with our yard because the people that lived here before us definitely had a green thumb and we inherited some great plants, shrubs and trees. Over the past two years we have spent a lot of time, money and effort planting additional plants and trying to keep our yard up. However, while our yard is not huge by any means, we have constantly struggled with upkeep. We've got the whole "get inspired and go buy a bunch of stuff, spend a lot of time planting it and then don't touch it again until you notice it's dead" thing down pat. In order to even water our plants or our yard we had to drag out the hose, hook it up to the sprinkler, place it in the yard and then remember to come out and turn it off after a certain amount of time. Sounds simple enough, I guess, but the reality is it rarely happened and was always just too much of an effort. Terrible, I know...
With summer planting upon us we knew we didn't want to go down the same old road again so we did some research on installing our own irrigation system. And by research I mean we went to Home Depot, stood in the irrigation isle and randomly started piecing together what we thought would work. Let me start by saying I didn't even know this type of thing was possible to do yourself (DIY). In my mind I thought installing an irrigation system would require professional installation, major disruption to our yard and a lot of money. I was blown away to find that you can definitely DIY your own irrigation system and Home Depot has a whole isle dedicated to the parts and pieces necessary to make your DIY sprinkler dreams come true!
So, here is what we ended up with:
We began by hooking up the timer and hose to the water spout on the front of the house. We had to get the hose across the stone path into the flower bed, so we pulled up one of the stones and dug a small trench underneath.
Then, we placed the hose in the trench and covered the whole thing back up with the stone. Brent used mulch to cover up any exposed hose so the whole transition is completely seamless.
Once we made it to the flower bed we continued our trench digging and snaked the hose through the flower bed, around various shrubs and bushes.
We continued the hose up the whole right side of our yard (if you're looking at our house from the street) under the picket fence to the beds along the street, and back to the large flower bed island in the middle of the yard (where the Christmas Tree used to sit).
Once we got the main hose situated we ran the 1/4" hose to where we wanted each sprinkler to be located.
Then, we hooked up the sprinkler lines into the main hose.
All of the parts and pieces we used are Rain Bird and there are a wide range of sprinkler head and hose options available. We went with 360 degree sprays everywhere except in front of the fence, where we opted for the 180 degree version. Each sprinkler head is adjustable, so you can alter the pressure and range of the spray to ensure you hit your desired plants. It's great because you can literally customize each head to suit your specific flower bed. We turned the sprinklers on and walked around adjusting various heads until every plant was getting touched.
Speaking of customization, the timer has to be the best part. It allows you to set the specific time and duration of each watering cycle, meaning we basically do nothing, but sit around and watch our yard flourish. It's a dream really.
I'd say this whole installation took us about a day and cost around $150. Totally painless and 100% worth the effort. We definitely went into the project unsure, but hopeful, and I'm happy to report we are very pleased with the end results! I'm convinced my thumb is already looking greener....I just know this sprinkler system is going to make us look good and keep our greenery investments nourished and happy!
P.S. Wanna read more from me? Check out my articles over on about.com this week!
I've written about How to create a Patriotic Kitchen and The Beauty of an Outdoor Kitchen. Still need to think of my last topic of the month, only 3 more days until June!
All photos are my own, about.com logo from Google Search.