Step 1: Dig the trenches

Digigng the trenches to install an in-ground sprinkler
Photo: Brian Smith
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Locate the pipe for the water source that you'll be tapping into. It might be at the water meter in the basement or buried underground.

Mark the locations of all the trenches and sprinklers with wooden stakes or plastic flags.

Then use a gas-powered trenching machine to excavate the trenches to a depth of 4 to 12 inches, depending on the recommendation for your area of the country.

Tip: Most rental dealers will drop off and pick up the trenching machine for a small additional charge.
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    Tools List

    • pvc pipe cutter
      PVC pipe cutter
    • 100-foot tape measure
      100-foot tape measure
    • trenching shovel
      Trenching Shovel
    • trenching machine
      Trenching Machine,
      rents for about $75 a day
    • adjustable pliers
      Large adjustable pliers
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • tongue-and-groove pliers
      Tongue-and-groove pliers.
      for tightening threaded PVC fittings
    • ratcheting screwdriver
      Screwdriver,
      for installing the wall-mounted timer

    Shopping List

    1. DRIP IRRIGATION TUBING

    2. MARKER FLAGS

    for marking sprinkler locations before trenching



    3. FLEXIBLE PIPING

    connects sprinklers to PVC pipe



    4. 3/4-INCH AND 1-INCH PVC PIPE

    5. ASSORTED PVC FITTINGS

    6. GROUND STAKES

    to secure drip-irrigation tubing



    7. ASSORTED SPRAY NOZZLES

    8. POP-UP SPRINKLER

    9. PVC CEMENT AND PRIMER

    10. ZONE VALVES

    11. VALVE BOX

    for housing the valves



    12. BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICE

    keeps irrigation water from flowing into home’s water supply



    13. GRAVEL

    for spreading under the valve box



    ] 14. BARK MULCH

    for covering the drip irrigation tubing