GLT’s Grow: Irrigation Irritation? Not Anymore | WGLT

GLT’s Grow: Irrigation Irritation? Not Anymore

Jun 15, 2018

All great looking landscaping has one thing in common: accurate and adequate water. During this edition of GLT's gardening program Grow, Mike McCurdy talks with ISU's Patrick Murphy about how to automate watering.


There are many different types of irrigation equipment and DIY kits that can be used for your garden. The number of choices can be very overwhelming and confusing.

Murphy recommends Mr. Landscaper as his favorite DIY kit. It's easy to use, relatively simple and doesn’t require a lot of work. You can also easily increase or decrease the amount of water produced by this equipment.


Murph’s first tip is to not use DYI irrigation systems for lawn care. Use them for ground-level planting beds, hanging baskets, or containerized gardens. Also, don’t worry about your house’s water pressure. Most of these irrigation systems require very little water pressure and will work just fine with a typical outdoor spigot.

An irrigation system will ensure a plant gets the appropriate amount of water, can save the gardener time, and save money by not wasting water. Make sure the water is set correctly to avoid overwatering.

There are many ways water is emitted through these systems, whether it be a mist, a spray, or a stream. Adjust the amount of water emitted so the plant gets just the right amount. Murphy recommends you get an automated valve timer. This will reduce water wastage and save time. It would also be a good idea to get an anti-siphon piece to make sure water doesn’t re-enter the houses water supply.

Murph recommends not using these systems for lawn care because these systems don’t produce enough water and don’t spread the water equally through the lawn. You also couldn’t bury these tubes because they would fill with soil particles and quickly become clogged. They also can’t be buried under the sod and operate effectively.


Irrigation systems can remain in place during the winter, as long as the water supply has been disconnected. The water from the tubing will just empty into your landscaping.

GLT's Grow is your source for sage gardening advice and down-to-earth tips. Host Patrick Murphy and co-host Laura Kennedy are ready to take on all your gardening questions, so submit yours today.

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