How to Make Your Own Sprinklers on Stand Pipes.

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Last week I realized that I need a couple of portable sprinklers that I could easily move around but they had to be high enough to clear small plants so I would get good coverage.  Those tripod sprinklers that you can buy are nice but they are expensive, and I had some that were made of steel piping that rusted on the inside and completely plugged up the stand to the point it was worthless.

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

So I got to thinking.  Usually not a good thing, but I have a lot of used nursery pots and a big rock pile that we keep adding more and more rocks to.  So I combined all of those ingredients, added a little concrete and some PVC piping and my problem was solved.

Step 1.  Put some rocks, bricks etc. into the bottom of an old nursery container.

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

Step 2.  Put a hole or two in the side of the nursery container.  I just made a slit with my knife then using a small torch I softened the plastic and pushed the PVC pipe through the plastic container.  I probably didn’t need to warm or melt the plastic but it was a good reason to play with fire.

I made three sprinkler stands.  This one I put a Tee in the middle of the pot so I could actually hook a hose to each end so I could run two sprinklers on the same hose connection.  Usually a garden hose will only supply two of these oscillating, impact sprinklers.

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

 

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

 

Step 3.   After I had the PVC pipes in place I put more rocks or brick pieces on top of the pipes filling up  buckets almost to the top.  Then I added some ready mix concrete to hold the whole shebang together.

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

As you can see here after I put the holes in the pot I decided to put an elbow on two of these instead of a tee so I’d only have one hose connection.  But these are for the nursery so a little cement dripping out the hole just gives it character.  And yes, I do know this is crooked.  After I got the photo (for you folks!) we moved these inside where the floor was level and make sure they were nice an straight before the concrete set up.

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

Homemade Sprinkler Stand Pipe

 

On top of these sprinkler stands I can change out the sprinkler head if I want.  This is an impact type sprinkler head but I’ve also got Wiz Heads and Wobbler heads if I want a 360 degree pattern.  On the ends of these PVC pipes you have to glue on a fitting that converts the PVC to a pipe thread, then onto that you have to thread on an adapter that converts the pipe thread to a garden hose type fitting.  So you’ll have a few bucks tied up in brass fittings.  Your hardware store has the fittings.  Tell em Mike sent ya.  They don’t know me but it will get them to wonderin.

So . . . what did I do wrong?  Okay, I’ll tell ya.

I wish I had put one of those $4.00 fence posts in the pot next to PVC pipe.  That would have supported the PVC pipe and protected it when you move it around.  Had I put the fence post in, then I could just grab the fence post and carry these were ever I want them.  But without it, it would be pretty easy to snap off the PVC pipe because that concrete is heavy.

In the nursery I use the fence posts driven into the ground, then I just tape the stand pipe to fence post and it works great.

But that’s how we learn things.  I did it wrong, now you get to do it right.

I’m wondering, do y’all know how to work with PVC pipe?  You know cutting the pipe, removing burrs and ruff edges, cleaning the PVC and gluing it?  Do you know how to do all of that?  Do you need a video about how to do that?

Well, is this helpful?  Post your questions and comments below.

NOTE: Don’t forget to grab our free ebook “The Gardener’s Secret Handbook”, downloaded by 189,589 Gardeners!

Comments

  1. Toni says

    Use a 2 wheeler, hand truck, dolly, whatever they are called in your part of the country, to move them around with if you don’t put the post or something in the bucket to carry them. Or if you are like me and beginning to get some age and don’t want to or can’t carry them.

    I will definitely keep this idea in mind when I get my nursery big enough to need overhead watering.

    Working with PVC piping? Yeah, I know what I am doing but I bet there are others that could benefit from a video.

  2. Kaite Owens says

    I tell ya, Mike, you and your readers are full of great ideas, and right on time! I’m still working my way thru the composting letters you got, and now you’ve already answered my sprinkler question! This year I’ve decided to abandon some of my drip system because the dogs have taken great pains to bring me sections of it over the winter and will not tell me where they got it. It’s a mess. Expensive too. So, overhead it is…and this should work wonderfully! Thanks!

    • Mike says

      Kaite,

      At one time I thought about drip, but with a few overhead sprinklers I can cover a lot of ground. Drip is good in a flower bed where you are walking, digging or rototilling, but in an open garden I know it won’t work for me. And your dogs. Aren’t they cute?

  3. says

    So Mike, where is the video?? I got the picture ok, but not sure about the cutting, and finishing the PVC… Thanks for your ideas, I have looked at the standing sprinklers at the feed store, and you’re right, really expensive… Naoma

  4. marlow shubert says

    Mike, this is a great idea! I have tio move sprinklers around, and it will be helpful to just put a sprinkler in place and leave it alone thanks, Marlow

  5. Miguel says

    I don’t spend that much money. I just attach a small platform to the top of an 8 foot $2.00 treated post and attach a small based oscillating sprinkler to it with a hose attached, which i can extend with additional hose lenghths. I have old muck buckets where I stick the pole after nailing in 4 nails at the bottom for grab, dump the ready mix, add water and let it harden, while keeping the pole strait with a couple of boards set against the top edge of the muck bucket. I normally use soaker hoses, working of a somewhat complicated manifold system and the overhead sprinklers only while we go on a trip and have a friend tend to watering for a couple of summer weeks

  6. Sara says

    I love the idea but I am afraid if I ran a sprinkler over my garden spot I would encourage the weeds on my home sweet weed farm. as it is I use a soaker hose under mulch. keeps my city water bill down too.

  7. Sue says

    What about Tomatoes Mike? They don’t like overhead watering, or so I’ve read. Would you drip line those, or is this new thinking which means its ok to use these stands and overhead water the entire vegetable garden?

    • Mike says

      Sue,

      Lots and lots of people grow tomatoes and do not have drip irrigation. Water early in the morning that way the sun has a chance to dry the leaves and fruit. Wet leaves at night is not what you want.

  8. sue says

    As it happens, I learned to work with PVC when I bought my home. I finished several fun projects with good results, just not plumbing, this is better left to the professionals.

  9. says

    Another great idea! Will make a few.I do know how to work with pvc pipe- have built two of my own homes on acreage but some people who thinkthey know how to do pvc pipe don’t really (like my brother in law who didn’t do purple primer or take off burrs and had his sprinler system repair job fly apart). I think people would enjoy a video.

  10. Mark Kasz says

    Mike,
    I just found the video on misting beds:). I knew I overlooked it.Nice sprinkler stands and I agree with you that a post next to the pipe would add strength.
    Mark

  11. Sharon says

    I’ve watched and helped my husband around here doing things with PVC pipe BUT that is why I have a husband—–to do these things for me. I just have to beg a lot.

  12. shorts says

    I use the oscillating impact type sprinkler heads that have a stake in them to stick in the ground, my upgrade is 3/4 electrical metal conduit cut in half to 5′ and then a pair of 1″ hacksaw slits to key the sprinkler into, the easy way to install the conduit in the ground is make a water jet with a piece of 1/2″ black pipe with a hose adaptor on one end, if you want to get fancy you can use a tee and a couple of pipe nipples and a valve to make a t handle and shut off at the jet. assemble the jet, stretch the hose to where you ant the sprinkler, hold the jet upright with the open on the ground, turn the water on and push the jet down to make your hole, remove the jet and insert the conduit in your hole, it will tighten up with a little time

  13. Dave says

    As always Mike, your DIY blogs are timely and inspirational. PVC can be cut with anything from a fishing line or any number of hand or power saws but the best thing I’ve found to make clean quick cuts (no deburring/flying/sticking PVC chips or dust to deal with) is with a racheting PVC pipe cutter. I have one I purchased from Amazon.com (Wolerine PST002) but a similar cutter can be had at Harbor Freight for 6 bucks or less.

  14. Bill says

    Mike

    you didn’t mention that you should use a heavy schedule of pvc pipe for your upright or a brace of some kind to keep the pipe from vibrating with the impact sprinkler. maby schedule 80 or 40

    Bill

    • Martha says

      Love the videos..So what size and rating PVC do you use ? 1/2″ sch 40 and what size container..3 gallon ? TY

  15. Anne says

    Hi, Mike! It seems that the rest of these folks know what they are doing with pvc pipe, but I don’t. I use it to stake tomatoes, and various other plants around here, but when it comes to actually cutting it and utilizing it for a project, I’m lost. A video would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your ongoing encouragement and great ideas!!!!

  16. Mark says

    Great idea.
    Just a word of caution, cover them or put them inside during the Winter, otherwise the exposed plastic may become brittle.

    • Mike says

      Mark,

      Great point, when not using them keep them out of the sun and winter weather. PVC holds up pretty well, but eventually the sun will take it’s toll for sure.

  17. Madeleine Dewar says

    Great idea Mike, but not at all feasible here in San Antonio and South Texas. We are about ready to go to stage 3 water restrictions which means about 5 hours of sprinkler system watering one evening per week. (Can’t sprinkler water during daylight hours cuz almost half the water evaporates before it hits the plants) Given that and the fact that our pot plants dry out pretty much daily here and you can see where that would lead. I pretty much water by hand and/or use soaker hoses for all my watering needs. I am trying drip irrigation but due to the high mineral count in our local water supply I think the tiny holes may clog up too fast with calcium deposits, but I’ll keep experimenting.

  18. Franny says

    thanks for all your articles. they are always really informative. I like your sprinkler idea. I think I will make some to use in my garden.

  19. says

    Bingo, just what I’ve been trying to figure out how to do. Going to Lowe’s right now to get some PVC. Can’t wait for my neighbor to say “Where did you get that”. Might even make a couple extra and sell them.

  20. Carol says

    As always Mike, another great idea.. But I am not so good at picturing someting I hae never worked with before so a video woud do it for me. Love your site.

  21. says

    Forgot to mention that we installed a 1/2″ PVC pipe down the middle ,top of the Biggie and with 6 GREEN misting heads we got from Lowe’s that just screw into the holes in the pipe.
    A PVC valve at the hose connection regulates the water flow just as you want it.

  22. says

    We have an older made Carport or Boat cover unit made from 1″ metal angle that is 9′ x 16′ x 7′ high with two wheels on one end so tahe it can be moved if needed.
    We covered it with a free throw away white canopy which we rigged to roll up on the sides giving access to all the plants in containers on free wooden pallets in two rows inside and a 1 1/2′ walkway between them.
    We call it our Biggie Hoop House! If you have access to a welder and other tools you can make your own.
    I will takea photo of it if anyone is interested.
    Al n Gary

    Don’t know if I entered this correctly so here it is again.

    • mary plourde says

      would really like to try that. would appreciate the plans. live on a trailer lot ,sounds like a really great way to cover plants in the winter months,[numerous plants]thanks mary

  23. jason says

    great video again mike! That’s some farmer ingenuity there. Ducktape, baling wire and now pvc pipe in a rock bucket can fix most any problem.
    I know how to work with PVC. I don’t know if you need to make a video on it since there is a great plenty of them on Youtube. Couldn’t hurt to have another one showing how to make these and work with PVC.

    God Bless.
    Jason

  24. clyde w holmes says

    mike; i plumbed my house when i built it an not a leak
    since i did the job ( 35 ) years ago good luck.
    i knw how to do a lot of thingd but am not able now to
    do abnything. i sure enjoy you news an get a kick out
    of some of this mail you get just keep up the good news
    we may be 87 years young but i am nt too old to learn.
    GOD BLESS YOU MIKE

  25. Jan Vafa says

    Hi Mike,

    I am very interested in the things you teach. I am wondering one thing… Will your system work with houseplants? If so do you have wholesale sources for these plants? If so I will definitely be joining your excellent group of positive upbeat people.

    God bless,

    Jan Vafa
    Redmond WA

  26. Steve Messerschmidt says

    Hi All,

    You might be able to use a piece of steel rebar to support your sprinkler. Just drive a piece of steel rebar part way into the ground and tape the upright pvc pipe to it.

    Thanks and good luck,

    Steve Messerschmidt

  27. says

    Hi Mike!

    You know, this would probably work to make a sprinkler for the kids to run under, too! If you used a 360 degree head 1/2 of the spray circle could be for the kids and the other half could do the garden!

  28. Lori says

    Just posted on another thread but was wondering if anyone knew what the gpm (gallons per minute) are on the intermittent misting system if used the way Mike says. 10 seconds every 10 minutes from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. I only have a 165 gallon irrigation system so I need to figure out how many gallons per day I would be using. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I need to know if I need to upgrade to a 300 gallon sistern.

    God Bless,

    Lori

  29. Vicki says

    Mike,
    TSC carried a water sprinkler head last year that fit on top of a metal fence post. It had it’s own fitting for a garden hose. Drive the steel post in the ground, attach the hose to the coupling and fit on the top of the steel post. It looks similar to the yellow plastic caps for the farm fence posts. All in one piece and is easy to do and remove for other areas. It was also very affordable. Did a great job of spraying a small pasture area during the dry season. THe head is an adjustable head for the spray pattern. Leave the fence posts in place and move the spray head.

  30. Anonymous says

    Pam love, love the hat. You are a great woman out there helping your man and he is great for lowering the potting bench for you. I get a catch in my get a long from bending at the waste too.

    Mike great info on the sprinkler heads and I love the home made stands and your honesty about how to make it better with the fence post.

    I think there a lot of women out there doing the nursery by themselves who with a little direction on the PVC from you could do it without hiring someone. Thank you for all your information!

  31. frank battista says

    Great posted information mike, when you film your plant potting area can you tell us a little about what type of plant is growing in your containers . keep the mondays with mike posting going , we all look forward to them. frank in northern new york

  32. Gordon Polson says

    I love all the stuff you put out Mike. Ever since I first bought the book/DVDs I have saved them and now have 124. It is very comforting to have you make the mistakes so’s we can follow on and not do the same thing. I have been reluctant to join the club before now (couldn’t afford it being retired and on a fixed income) but now I have some support so next time it is offered – I’ll be there.
    Many thanks for all your enthusiasm – it generates more at this end.
    Gordon

  33. Gordon Polson says

    ‘Just had a thought after reading through other comments re. difficulty with moving the concreted buckets around.
    When you are making the holes through the sides for the piping, you could also make another pair of holes a little further away and slide in an axle to take a pair of cheap wheels (Harbor Freight). Then all you would need to do once you have disconnected the water, is to tip the bucket onto the wheel using the fence post and wheel it to the new location. I will check at Harbor Freight and see if I can come up with a suitable pair of wheels. This might do well for the ladies who are alone and don’t have the heft to lift a bucket of concrete.

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