November 22, 2016

We’re celebrating the long-awaited-for GROUNDBREAKING of the Drab to Fab Backyard Rehab landscape. Our winner, Lisa O., and her family have been patiently awaiting this day! The BIG lesson here? The steps leading up to the landscape install does take time and some good planning, especially if you want successful results.

As you will notice on the video, having a plan on paper and your design well thought out (thanks to designers from Waibel & Asssociates) makes a big difference on how you install your irrigation and hardscape. For example, you don’t want to install a patio and later realize that you needed to run an irrigation line underneath the new surface. Watch as the installation contractor, Blaine Mugleston from Integrated Landscape Management (ILM), takes you through the process.

Here are some important considerations during the installation process.


  • Placing sleeves (pipes) under any hardscape elements is important before installing them. Consider if you need to run water lines or electrical conduit under locations like sidewalks or patios.
  • Preparing a proper base is crucial for any paving stone project. Using the right amount of base material and a compactor will keep pavers from sinking or cracking. Consult your local dealer for guidance.
  • Consider how water will drain from the hardscape elements. Find ways to take advantage of the water that will drain off the site and get that water to plants in the landscape. Use permeable surfaces whenever possible.trenching-irrigation-line


  • Make sure your home irrigation is connected to a backflow preventer. This is required by city code because it protects our water supplies from contaminates. Reverse flows of water can happen when an unfavorable event occurs like a broken water line or a fire that causes big drops in water pressure. If this happens, pollutants like fertilizers or pesticides used in your landscape can be back-siphoned into the drinking water.
  • Install separate valves or watering zones to different types of plants with different watering needs. For example, trees will need different watering times and frequencies as compared to a raised-bed garden.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe was used for this project, but homeowners can use poly tubing instead of PVC if preferred. It is less expensive and can be easier to install for weekend warriors. However, it is much less durable than PVC and is prone to damage when doing other work in the yard.

It was also so exciting to see plants finally going in on this video. We’ll talk a lot more about proper planting techniques next time!

pl_Texas Sage Compact From Scottsdale demo garden Bill C

Find these helpful links to learn more about landscape install details:

If you missed Episodes 1 through 6 of our series, visit our Drab to Fab page to meet our winner and watch as she begins the processes of transforming her yard from Drab to Fabulous!