It’s that time of year again when we start to install new irrigation systems. We started with fixing up an old one.

Initially, it divided the entire property into just four zones. Two lawn zones and two garden zones. This didn’t work at all. The client was watering his micro drip line and his bushes the same amount! Not to mention that ALL of the zones were running at near 90 psi. So we divided the whole property into 10 zones to better reflect the flora and the micro climates of the property and added a pressure reducer.

Now we have zones for lawns (3), bushes (1), Gardens (4), Micro drip (1), and Small Trees (1). This system makes sense and accounts for the varying micro climates of each garden and the amount of water required by that particular plant.

To control this revamped system we used the new Hydrawise Controller. What a great piece of kit this is. It hooks up to your internet, locates the nearest weather centre and then irrigates your various zones based on the ET (evapotranspiration) rate for that area. To this, you can add information on whether the zone is exposed to sun all day or not, what days not to water, what time you’d like to water etc. It is so far ahead of the other timers that it pretty much makes them obsolete. And best of all, it’s easy to use. You can control it right from your mobile device or your computer.

Add to the system a flow meter and you’ll be notified of line breaks, zones not starting or stopping and faulty electrical connections. These notification can be automatically sent to your irrigator company and they can have the whole system fixed prior to you coming back from vacation. Now that’s piece of mind.

The water savings alone over a 2-3 year period will pay for this system and unlike 90% of the old controllers, this one upgrades itself via the internet just like your mobile devices, so it will change with the future as opposed to being obsolete next year.

You’ll see from the photos that we only use Blu-Lock for installing new systems. It’s so much more user and environmentally friendlier than the white PVC product. No harsh/toxic glues, no stink, no purple primer that seeps into your skin. It is easily repaired or replaced. It can be recycled and it will probably outlast your home ownership. In the future, should you decide on a new driveway, you can pull up the Blu-Lock, fold it back on itself and then rebury it when the work is done. It’s great stuff.

Did you know that we don’t use waterproof marrets? In fact, we don’t use marrets at all, we solder all our electrical connections and then heat shrink them. Sure it takes a few more minutes, but those minutes are saved on mass when something stops working a few years down the road. Loose wiring, even in waterproof marrets are a leading cause of zones not working properly.

Lastly, MnR Hardscaping Inc is now a Certified Irrigation Technician Level I and Level II. A great way to learn how to irrigate properly and responsibly. We are waiting for some new courses to be offered so that we can complete them as well.