People have been asking me how I water all of my plants. The best thing that I have found, and that all the nurseries around me use, is the Nelson Whiz Head sprinkler. (<– that’s an affiliate link)
It’s fairly inexpensive and it fits right onto a ½ inch fitting on a ¾ standpipe. I run 5 of these at a time with my water pump. I wouldn’t get enough volume using a ½ inch garden hose. All are connected by a 1 inch pvc line that comes up to a ¾ inch standpipe and then put a ½ inch fitting on top to attach the whiz head.
The opening is very small, but you want that volume. Each sprinkler can cover a 30 foot area.
I have installed a timer to regulate the watering times. I let it go for 20 minutes, then off for 40, then on again for 20.
Now I also have homemade sprinkling stands.
I had a lot of used nursery pots and a big rock pile that kept growing, so I combined all of those ingredients, added a little concrete and some PVC piping and my problem was solved.
Put some rocks, bricks etc. into the bottom of an old nursery container.
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 Standpipe
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.
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 and straight before the concrete set up.
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 like to use these during our plant sales when we have a whole bunch of plants in different sections of the yard. They each have their own garden hose, and it is just more convenient than having to water by hand.
I’ve also installed a frost free hydrant, the valve is 24 inches underground so it won’t freeze in the winter. I ran a ¾ inch line from the main water line at the house and connected it to this hydrant. I recently attached 350 feet of garden hose to reach the back of the property and I actually got some pretty good water pressure. The ¾ inch line gives me the volume that I need. The minute that you put a quick coupler on, it reduces the flow down to 3/8 of an inch and then everything beyond that point is restricted.
As water runs through a line or hose, there is some friction loss. So if you start with ¾ inch then run 300 feet of one inch, it’s kind of like the equivalent of ¾ inch due to the friction loss.
Here’s a video I did on how my entire irrigation system is setup at my nursery…