5 Easy Steps to Set up a Garden Sprinkler System

A few months back, we purchased a house in the Dundee area. My partner and I were delighted with the gardening area, as we love gardening and fostering animals. During our housewarming party, my friend suggested setting up a garden sprinkler system as it is a great way to free up some gardening time. She further explained that just by putting an hour or two of getting your ducks lined up in a row, you can save watering days. Her reasoning was quite convincing, but there came the important question from my partner: How to set up a garden sprinkler system? 

I knew what was coming next, so without wasting any time, I started with my research. I came across many well-written articles published by websites like Primrose, Easy Garden Irrigation, and many others. I also viewed some YouTube videos from popular channels like Grow It! Proper DIY, and several others.  

Soon enough, I realized that there are more people like me, and that is when I decided to share my experience to help people who struggle to set up their garden sprinkler system. I took the subject seriously, consulted my friend, who knows the odds of garden sprinklers precisely and tried several methods to develop a simple guide for you. 


Let me spill out the truth; I didn’t successfully set up a garden sprinkler on the first attempt due to a lack of planning. Soon after the failure, I thought it was better to approach my friend, who gave me the idea of setting up the sprinkler in the first place. She was very generous as she agreed to come to my house and help me with the planning. 

Garden Planning

From my experience, I can say that planning and preparing for the installation process is essential. If you skip this part, there are high chances that you, too, just like me, will end up wasting time and money on the wrong system. So, before moving to the setup steps, let’s discuss the planning steps.

Determine the type of system:

 My friend explained that there are commonly two types of garden sprinkler systems. But to understand both types better, I came across a great article published by Garden Squared Underground Sprinkler System VS Above Ground Sprinkler System – GardenSquared, which gave me a heads-up my friend and I needed. According to the article, there are surface and buried networks in use.

Piping to setup sprinkler

The first one is above-ground systems which are less expensive and simpler to install. However, you must know that they attract more attention to themselves and, in some cases, won’t be the best choice.

The second one is the subways and tunnels below the ground. By my understanding, this type costs more, and you should probably have an expert to set it up for you. This was the same type that I brought and struggled with for around two days. Eliminating such systems also have advantages. They will help your garden disappear into its surroundings. The precision with which you can water your plants is another cool feature.

Both are made keeping different requirements in mind. You can select anyone based on convenience, aesthetics, and accuracy.

Create a garden layout plan:

It is very important for you to create a garden layout plan before the execution. Just like me, you too might wonder, “Why sketching a garden layout is important before installing garden sprinkler systems?” Well, I read an article published in Wiki How How to Install a Sprinkler System (with Pictures) – wikiHow to find my answer.

Garden diagram to plan the pipeline routing and sprinkler head placement

According to that article, you can save time and money by starting with a diagram to plan the pipeline routing and sprinkler head placement before making any purchases.

Choose the appropriate sprinkler heads and placement:

While pop-up sprinkler heads are ideal for lawns, rotary or spray heads are suitable for garden beds. Before setting up, consider the spacing and placement to ensure full coverage and select the sprinkler head accordingly.

While conducting the research I understood that overlooking the sprinkler head could be a mistake. The sprinkler heads are available in different types, sizes, and shapes which are suitable for different purposes.

Rotary garden sprinkler

Process for the Installation:

Step 1: The first step is to arrange tools and equipment. Most commonly, you will need a shovel, a mini trencher, a pipe cutter, PVC pipes, control valves, backflow preventers, sprinkler heads, and a timer.

Step 2: Use a trencher or shovel to dig water line trenches. Ensure the channels are deep enough for pipes and sprinkler heads and wide enough for future installation and maintenance.

Tools and equipment: a shovel, a mini trencher, a pipe cutter, PVC pipes, control valves, backflow preventers, sprinkler heads, and a timer

Step 3: Install control valves and backflow preventers near the main water supply. Run mainline pipes through trenches to control valves and backflow preventers. Now, connect pipes and fittings with PVC pipes and connectors.

Step 4: Connect the sprinkler heads to the pipes and adjust the water pressure to ensure each head gets enough water.

Step 5: Watering schedules can be automated with control valve timers. It is wise to install a rain sensor to stop sprinklers from watering during rain.

Throughout my setting of garden sprinkler system journey, I understood that a sprinkler system is an easy way to keep your garden healthy and beautiful. So, from my experience I believe I can say that you can easily set up a garden sprinkler system all by yourself if you put your focus properly. Do the planning beforehand and follow the steps that I have mentioned. However, if you are not very confident about your DIY skills you can always take professional assistance.

Also read,

Best Motion Activated Sprinkler in the UK

Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson has over 10 years of experience creating beautiful landscapes and perfecting plant care. She shares honest reviews that benefit gardeners in different ways. Charlotte showcases both practicality and passion for nature through her writing in The Readers Time reviews. Charlotte is a gifted writer who aims to establish an eco-conscious gardening community dedicated to protecting nature.

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