DIY Projects

How to Make Sprinklers on Standpipes

I realized that I need a couple of portable sprinklers that I could easily move around, but they had to be high enough to clear small plants so I would get good coverage. Those tripod sprinklers that you can buy are nice, but they are expensive, and I had some that were made of steel piping that rusted on the inside and completely plugged up the stand to the point it was worthless.

I have a lot of used nursery pots and a big rock pile where we keep adding more and more rocks. So, I combined all of those ingredients, added a little concrete and some PVC piping and my problem was solved.

Step 1

Put some rocks, bricks etc. into the bottom of an old nursery container.

Step 2

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 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.

Step 3

After I had the PVC pipes in place, I placed more rocks or brick pieces on top of the pipes filling up the 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, we moved these inside where the floor was level and make sure they were nice an 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 to use a 360-degree pattern. On the ends of these PVC pipes, you must glue on a fitting that converts the PVC to a pipe thread and then onto that you must 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. Any hardware store should have the fittings.

I also did something wrong. I wish I had put one of those inexpensive fence posts in the pot next to PVC pipe. That would have supported the PVC pipe and protected it when you move it around. If a fence post had been placed in the container, then you could just grab the fence post and carry the container to wherever it is needed. Without the fence post it can be easy to accidentally 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 standpipe to the fence post and it works great.

Mike McGroarty is the owner of McGroarty Enterprises and the author of several books. You can visit his website at and read his blog at

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