What is irrigation?

Basic Irrigation System

To help you better understand what your irrigation system is made of, and how it will operate, take a look at the following diagram. The following components will bring your system to life. This guide will focus on drip irrigation.


The controller is the “brains” of the system. It determines which watering zone operates, when it turns on and how long it runs for. External controllers are fine to be mounted outside in the weather, but should be mounted close to a 240 volt power source.


The manifold/valve box is a sealable box that is mounted in the ground on a bed of pebbles. The valve manifold sits inside this, with outlets to all of your watering zones. Manifolds consist of a PVC or poly manifold and multiple solenoid valves. These are the gateways of water to your zones and are controlled by irrigation cable that is run from the controller. The manifold/valve box can be mounted in the most convenient location for your installation, but should be located centrally to all your zones.


Tap timers offer basic operation to your irrigation system. They don’t require any additional valves or wiring so are often considered an easy way to get into automated watering. They can be connected to a standard garden tap and often come with 25mm/20mm adaptors. You can remove the bottom 12mm hose connector and add tap nuts, directors or pressure reducers. They don’t offer as much individual programming so may not suit complicated watering setups.


Pop-up sprinklers are designed to distribute water evenly over lawn surfaces. The spray mimics a soaking rain. Pop-ups normally have 15mm inlet threads and come with variable arc nozzles or fixed spray nozzles. Both have various throw characteristics. Pop-ups should be placed evenly apart with the spray reaching from the head of one sprinkler, to the head of the next sprinkler. This ensures full coverage and no dry spots.


Drippers and sprays are two different ways to water small parts of your garden. A dripper will slowly release water over time that sinks deep within the soil. This is better for established plants with deeper root bowls, in windy areas. Sprays involve spraying water over a small area in an uncontrolled manner. This is great for getting leaf and top soil coverage. Perfect for ferns or other plants that have leaves built for catching water droplets.


Drip Eze tubing is the most efficient way to water garden beds and other small areas. It is made up of inbuilt drippers at fixed flow rates, which are placed at fixed spacings to give even coverage throughout the garden bed.

Water automation

Automating your watering is an ideal way to ensure your garden gets the amount of water it needs and avoids over watering. In many regions automating your garden watering can assist you in complying with water restrictions. You can automate your garden watering using manual tap timers, automatic tap timers or with a fully automated watering system.


After choosing your type of water automation, find out which irrigation system will suit you.

Select the type of area that you want to irrigate: