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Drip irrigation system in a raised garden bed.

Overview

If you’ve thought about growing veggies, or want to spend less time watering the garden, an irrigation system is an efficient way of supplying water to help keep your plants happy and hydrated. Follow our handy step-by-step guide to successfully plan your own irrigation system.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs, gloves and mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Steps

1Draw a plan

The first step in planning an irrigation system is to draw up a plan of your garden. This will help you to decide what type of irrigation system will work for your space and where it should be installed.

The main things to include in this plan are:

  • Water supply access
  • Areas of your garden and lawn that need irrigation
  • Power supply
  • Any structures or features that can’t get wet or that might get in the way of it being installed.
an irrigation plan drawn on paper

2Choose the type of irrigation

A drip system uses drip emitter tubes underground that deliver water directly to the plants’ roots. When using drip systems, space your tubes 30cm apart to ensure the soil doesn’t dry up, which can stunt root growth.

Sprayer irrigation mimics rainfall by using sprinklers to water the plants and the soil surface. Pop-up systems are similar to sprayers, but they are buried underneath the turf's surface and are completely hidden until turned on.

For sprayers or pop-up irrigation, it’s important to have a minimum of 50 percent spray overlap to ensure areas are properly watered.

A person holding punch spanner, drippers and some other materials.

3Test your water pressure

The next step is to test your water pressure. Checking this is important because if you have high-pressure flow, you’ll need to put a pressure reducer on your tap to reduce it.

To get an accurate water pressure reading, hook a pressure gauge onto a tap. You can also use a manual technique. Grab a bucket, turn your tap onto full pressure, and then count the number of seconds it takes to fill up the bucket. Divide the size of the bucket (in litres) by the seconds it took to fill it and multiply by 60. (Bucket size ÷ time in seconds x 60.)

A bucket kept under a running tap is getting filled with water.

4Select a tap timer

Lastly, choose a tap timer that is right for your irrigation set-up. There are several options to choose from, including manual, solar, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – it all comes down to your preference.
A person installing a tap timer to the tap.

5Ready to plan your irrigation system?

Come in-store and speak with one of our friendly Team Members about this project. We have all the tools and materials you need to get started!

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.