Sprinkle(r)s on Top

Brad and I are pretty negligent with our backyard lawn.  We keep hoping that all of the new work that we've done out there on the patio and retaining wall will inspire us to use that outdoor space, but with all of the dead grass in the back even our dog is afraid to go out there.  (And, I can't really blame her.) Our front lawn is looking pretty good.  We've revived it from the dead wasteland it once was in the past year and a half.  Still not perfect, but considering our black thumbs, we're proud.
much prettier front lawn
PS - Don't mind those ugly posts in front of it.  We have big plans for them, and I promise to keep you "post"ed.  (Ha.  Get it?) Anyway, back to the ugly backyard. When we put in the retaining wall, we also made sure to build in a hose for a drip kit.  Since the husband and I are both really bad at watering things, and we'd like to keep something alive in there, we hoped that would keep us on target.  Luckily, from the side of the patio we installed, there was quite a bit of loose dirt that we were able to move aside and dig a small trench to put the tube.

Although it probably would have been cheaper to purchase the hose and drip system parts separately, we had never done this before and wanted a kit that came with instructions so we didn't screw it up.  We purchased this DIG irrigation system from my second home, Home Depot.  (Side note - does anyone else know all of the employees at their local Home Depot?  I know all about the paint guy's cousin who works at a competing Depot down the street.  Oh yeah, Wendy?  In "Special Orders"? Every time I go in I see new pictures of her pug.  We're practically family.  It's a little weird.)

The instructions were super easy to follow, and the back of the box had pictures on it saying what all of the parts were, so that was super helpful.  (I'm thankful I didn't throw away the box before I assembled it like I usually do.)  It came with three pieces that connected to the spigot: the pressure regulator, swivel adapter, and the spigot attachment.  I screwed all of the pieces together...

... and then attached it to our spigot outside.  We also put the thicker tubing in the bottom and turned on the hose to make sure it wasn't leaking or doing anything weird.  At this point, we could have also added a timer, which everyone recommends, but I figure we can always add that later.  The timers were about $40 a piece, which cost as much as the whole kit, so we're going to try to turn on the spigot ourselves for a few weeks and see how it goes.  (In other words, see how negligent we are.)  We also could have added a filter onto the attachment, but we have a water purification system installed that affects the whole house, including our outdoor water, so it's already filtered.

Since we already had the tube going partially across our lawn to get to the retaining wall, we had a sort of brilliant idea.  What if we added a few hoses and sprinkler heads to also water our really terrible yellow lawn?  So, we went back to Depot and got a few "add on" pieces to make it work. Now, up to this point, I have been very involved in the drip/sprinkler system process.  But, after we got the pieces, Brad the Bobcat took over when I was at work one day.  So, I must say, I take no credit for any of the work done after this point... or any of the pictures.  While I'm thrilled that I didn't have to dig any trenches, and he did a really good job, there were quite a few "aren't there any wide shots?" and "why is everything white?"  comments being tossed out to the Bobcat later that evening.  Poor guy.  He is an artist, not a blogger.  And he deals with me giving him crap over the pictures that he so kindly took for me... as he was digging holes all morning so we can have a pretty yard (someday).  So, bear with me. The first part of the lawn irrigation process was Brad's favorite thing of all time: digging.  So, in went two more trenches along the lawn to make room for more tubing.

Then, he cut the tube going across the yard where the trenches met and added these fancy T-shaped fittings to allow for the long hose to go across the yard.

At the end of each of the new pieces of tubing, Brad added the end pieces which stops the water from pouring out the end and allows the pressure to go to the sprinklers.

In the irrigation kit that we bought, there was a little "hole punch" that puts holes in the large tubing.  Using that, Brad made little holes in the tube where he wanted the sprinklers to go.

Then, he inserted the "elbow" joint into the hole which holds the smaller tubing.

The smaller tubing is what actually connects to the sprinkler piece, which is placed above ground, around the corner from the big tube.

Not going to lie, it kind of bothers me that they stick up so far out of the ground.  I'm a little nervous about our lawn mowing person running them all over.  But, according to Brad, the heads need to be above the grass so that the water can spread.  I'm just preparing to have to replace a lot of sprinkler heads.

But more importantly, they work!  So, at least there will hopefully, someday, be not-dead grass to mow.

So, here's the cost breakdown:

Drip Kit: $40 (give or take... bad me didn't save the receipt.)

Extra coupling, poly tubing, end cap, and sprayers: $22

Special trench digging shovel that turned out to be a waste of money: $27

Total Project cost: $89

I feel like we spent way too much money on this project.  We haven't put the drip system fittings in the retaining wall yet, and since I'm counting that portion of the drip kit in this breakdown, that will count as "free" later.  So, that makes me feel a lot better about it.  My biggest problem is that we bought this terrible extra "trench digging" shovel thinking it would be better to use it for digging the trenches than the old-fashioned spade we have, but it didn't work out.  Bobcat used the spade anyway.  (I didn't even include it in the blog post until now because it was so useless.)  But, you live you learn.  And now we will have green(er) grass... hopefully... someday.

2 Replies to “Sprinkle(r)s on Top”

  1. Love your sprikler…..if you want to talk sod someday….we laid some last year and it turned out wonderful!!! I would do it again but then I had Willy to help heft all the heavy stuff!!!! Making plans to move to the country….think I’ll start a blog then!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! I may have to chat with you about that sod… my gardening dude says he’s really going to work on the backyard this winter, so we’ll see how he does, but if there’s still only dead grass by spring I may be giving you a call! Hope you enjoyed your trip to Phoenix!

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