UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page


SKIP navigation


How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Irrigation design

To design an irrigation system that works efficiently for your lawn, draw a map of your yard and follow the steps below.

Steps for designing an irrigation system

Roll your mouse over each step for an illustration.

Illustration of a button 1. Measure your yard and map out the lawn area as close to scale as possible. Include all areas of the yard such as trees, planting beds, or other plants. These plants have different water requirements from turf and must be separated into zones.
Illustration of a button 2. Indicate where the pipe and control valves would be placed.
Illustration of a button 3. In the lawn area, mark the placement for each sprinkler head; be aware of slopes or obstructions that may hinder good coverage.
Illustration of a button 4. To obtain uniform coverage, place sprinkler heads so that the output of each one overlaps a neighboring one by 50%; spray should extend from sprinkler head to sprinkler head. Square or triangle-shaped patterns are common.

Consult a professional to go over your design before implementing it. Installation of an irrigation system can be difficult and it may just be easier and more effective to hire a professional installer.

Illustrated map of yard

When your irrigation system is ready for use, it should be set up so that each zone is watered separately according to its particular water needs. While standard lawn sprinklers may be adequate for the turf area, low spraying sprinklers may be better for trees and shrubs. A drip system wastes very little water and may be desired for vegetable gardens.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   Contact webmaster.