Irrigation Repair & Installation

Parent Q&A

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  • Backyard drip irrigation

    (2 replies)

    My house came with a drip irrigation and lighting system with a box that programmed everything, even turned off the drip when it rained, etc. The system has broken down over the years. Can anyone give me a recommendation for someone to fix this? They don’t need to run new lines, it’s all hooked up, but I might need a new ”computer” box and some new hardware. Thanks!

    We have a wonderful handyman named Ricardo who came to replace our manual irrigation box with one of the new smart “Rachio” irrigation control systems and did a wonderful job! His number is (510) 798-4616. He is a true Swiss Army knife and also a skilled electrician!

    If the system is running during the rain, it might be a small, inexpensive piece that is easy to replace. It’sa sponge the expands in moisture, covering a sensor and shutting off the system until it dries out, contracts and uncovers the sensor.  You might ask at urban farmer for advice. 

  • Irrigation Specialist

    (1 reply)

    We need an experienced and reliable person to install drip and sprinkler systems as well as repair existing ones in our small garden. Our previous person moved out to the area. Thank you.

    I've used John Keeffer  jhk77 [at] 510-209-7501 to repair my irrigation system. He was recommended by a neighbor and he fixed a problem that my regular gardener couldn't fix. Friendly too.

  • Need drip irrigation help

    (2 replies)

    We're looking for someone that can help with a small drip-irrigation project, and we're looking for recommendations.

    First, our system's controller/timer needs replacement -- it's not a hose-end unit, rather it's the type that controls the system electronically.  Second, we want to put in another drip line.

    We are able to install the flexible tubing and emitters, but not confident about doing the upstream part ourselves.


    Someone had a question similar to this on NextDoor recently.  I think Larry the Handyman was recommended by a couple of people. 


    The Urban Farmer is a great place to start:

    I brought them a sketch of my yard with the plants I wanted to water and they helped me to create a plan to install my own drip irrigation system and then quoted me for all the parts.

    Good luck with your project,


  • We are looking for someone to level out our backyard in West Oakland and install a micro-clover/drought resistant turf lawn in a portion of it (along with irrigation). I don't need a landscape architect, just someone who knows how to smooth everything out and do some basic soil remediation plus the install.

    Please don't reply with tips on not having a lawn - I am well aware of the water needs of different landscaping options, which is why we are planning to use plants with low water requirements to have a soft play area that complements the native plants and vegetable garden in the rest of the yard!

    Kevin of Garden Sense in last few weeks put in a new irrigation system in my backyard. His crew cleared a privet and some irises that were taking up too much space, pulled weeds, and moved plants to more favorable positions. He is expert at perennial selection and pruning. He planted lower growing plants  to fill in bare spots in the garden and mulched the entire yard. I look forward to an amazing spring. You can reach Kevin at florere [at] he is practical, experienced, and straightforward. I recommend him and wish you luck! 

  • Irrigation System Repair

    (1 reply)

    Hi. I'm looking for someone to fix my irrigation system.  All the BPN rec's are >5 years old.  Thanks for your help!

    Christine in Kensington

    We recently used McGregor Bullard (mcgregorb007 [at] to fix a problem with our irrigation system.  He was responsive, helpful and reasonably priced. 

  • Garden Sprinkler installer needed

    (1 reply)

    Does anyone know a good reasonable sprinkler installer for small backyard gardening? 

    thankyou- DJ

    Yes we do. We have used Bob Goss for the sprinkler installation in several of our gardens. He is a gardener so he knows which type of sprinkler heads to install for each plant and/or area which needs to be watered. The timing device he installs for the system/s is quite reasonably priced and very easy to use. Bob has lots of experience, is friendly, honest and reliable. His phone number is: 510-654-2324

  • Water Usage Assessment

    (2 replies)

    Hi!  Our family is spending a fortune on water, but our yard is still full of dying plants and brown grass.  We don't want to keep ramping up the amount of watering, and we have 2 kids so would like to keep open grassy areas.  I feel like we need professional help to figure out what we can do to decrease our water bills and improve the efficiency of our outdoor watering technique.  Is there any such service that can do a water usage assessment?  I appreciate any help. 

    Is your irrigation on a timer? Do you have drip or spray for your plants? A timer and drip irrigation for all but the lawn is an essential component for using water efficiently. You could add some compost (get by the 1/4 yard at American Soil - specific one for lawn) and lawn fertilizer over the top and water in well. A good irrigation consultant can help you assess your current irrigation set-up. We have an Irritrol controller that adjusts to the weather (our max water adjusted for storms and cool weather). Shrubs and trees should be watered deeply but infrequently. 

    Visit a nursery for assistance.  Are you sure you have soil to support a lawn?  For the most part the Bay Area has horrible soil.  We watched as a realtor had sod installed on a house for sale.  The lawn looked great for a month or so, then over the next several months it died off.  There's a lot more to a good lawn then just watering.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Horticultural Expert and Irrigation

June 2014

In the two or three years since a major renovation of our Berkeley garden, a few large old plants have died and some of the newer planting hasn't worked out. We're looking for someone who knows plants well and works in varied styles to help us choose some new trees and other plants and integrate them into our garden. It would be a bonus if this person can help with installation. We are not looking to change the hardscape. Also, we are unhappy with the new irrigation system. Some plants get too little water while others (and the hardscape) get too much. We've made some adjustments, but it's still not good enough. So we're seeking recommendations for a plant-savvy, water-wise irrigation specialist. Thanks! cassis

Hello, I do not have a recommendation for a horticultural expert, but I can recommend an irrigation specialist. It might be difficult to find one person who is really good at both things. I used Bruce Sutorius for an urgent irrigation problem, and was very satisfied. He also does maintenance for clients. His number is (510)332-0076. He prefers a text to a call. espbp

Need budget lawn/irrigation installation

May 2014

We are looking for someone to put in a lawn and surrounding plants, including an irrigation system. We have a basic design already. Of course we want someone competent, but our primary concern is getting it done as cheaply as possible. Many thanks! Anya

Hi, We were in need of the exact same thing last year - small backyard redo and we needed someone very affordable to install the irrigation system (but at the same time, someone who truly understood what they were doing!) We got a referral from a friend and the job was done well, and at a very reasonable price. His name is Davey and his number is 510-501-7628. Kerri

Hello Anya: We would like to recommend you speak with Antonio Medrano about your lawn and irrigation system project. His number for calls or texting is 510 677 3950. His e-mail address is tonymedrano25 [at] We have been Kensington residents since the 1970s and have known Antonio for many years. We have relied on Antonio for many years to do all of our garden and landscape work as well as all internal and external home repair and maintenance. Everything that Antonio has ever done for our home has been of the highest quality and attention. He is thoughtful, sincere, polite, an excellent hard worker and a person of impeccable integrity. In addition to the garden and landscape work that he has done for us, he has done painting (internal and external),flooring, fencing, deck repair and construction,stonework, tilework, and garden work. We recommend him without any reservation whatsoever. jb

Dagoberto Garcia (Dago's Gardening) has done numerous jobs for us over the past few years. He has replaced a fence (beautiful work) and repaired another one, skillfully trims our trees yearly, keeps our irrigation system operating, and is generally wonderful at troubleshooting problems we may be having in the yard. He also installs French drains. His rates are fair. He's honest and great to work with. My husband and I highly recommend his work. You can contact him for free estimates at garciaysna [at] or (510) 233-1569 or (510) 604-7555 (cell) lmac

Irrigation Sprinkler Repair

March 2013

We are looking for someone who can fix some very minor problems with our irrigation/sprinkler system. Basically, a couple of our sprinkler heads needs replacing. The system is fairly new - about 2 or 3 years old. Most people I have contacted do not seem interested in such a small job or quoted very high fees. Anon

You should call Bob Goss at 510-654-2324 to have him fix your irrigation system. He is happy to take on small jobs and his prices are very reasonable. I have had him install and maintain several systems over the years and he is honest, friendly and easy to work with. Roger

I am a landscaper specializing in residential gardens and I occasionally run into an irrigation system problem too big for me to handle - I have recently worked twice with Bruce Sutorius and been very happy with the results. He can be reached at (510) 332-0076 and brucerd6int [at] In one case Bruce was able to diagnose a water-leak mystery that had stumped a previous guy and was costing the homeowner hundreds of dollars. He suggested a quality, economical solution and was able fix it quickly and for a very very reasonable price. He will spend the time to give you all your options, and yet not run up your bill like some contractors. In the second case, one of my workmen broke the PVC pipe running to the sump-pump (during a rainstorm, no less), and Bruce was able to come out with supplies in hand and fix it right then, much to everyone's relief. Again, very quick and economical. If you Google him you will note that Bruce is also a licensed realtor, but yes it's the same guy! JP

Repairing drip irrigation system

Jan 2013

Hi- We're looking for someone to update/fix/add to the drip irrigation that is currently in place in our yard. We would want a new controller, but would love to keep as much of the current setup if possible. The front yard was very recently updated, but unfortunately doesn't appear to have been set up to too well as when I manually turn it on, it sprays water into the sidewalk. The back yard is fairly old, and I'm not sure how functional as we haven't looked too far into it. Any suggestions for someone who really knows about drip irrigation setup and can hopefully fix ours? feeling bad for our plants

I've found Sherman McKay of Mckay Landscape to be dependable and knowledgeable. anon

I would recommend Alejandro Ortega for your irrigation update. He does quality work at a great price and will come give you an estimate free: Alejandro Ortega 510 517 0329 (speaks english and spanish) angel

I would highly recommend McKay Landscape. 510-502-4825. I was referred to Sherman by Lori Palmquist who is pretty much now teaching vs. being out in the field. ( He has come out to fix the irrigation system that our mow and blow guy improperly installed, as well as prune our existing trees which I was uncomfortable tackling. I wished we had spent the extra money to hire someone competent like Sherman to do the irrigation portion of our landscaping project from the outset. It would have saved me a lot of headaches over the last couple of years. Good luck. Irene

2011 - 2012 Recommendations

Irrigation system needs repairs

May 2012

Does anyone have any recommendations for someone good who works on irrigation systems? My irrigation system is making a loud banging noise on one of the uphill stations, and I am very worried. Any recommendations would be appreciated, and the sooner the better! I live in the LaMorInda area. leslee

I work with irrigation installers through my business (I design gardens) and found the value of working with people who specialize in irrigation. I can recommend two people who are licensed irrigation contractors and both spend a great portion of their work fixing other people's irrigation work. McGregor Bullard, 510.524.7059, or Anthony Mattison, 510.654.6357. I highly recommend working with one of these fellows. Sue

Irrigation person needed!

March 2012

I really need somebody to redo a badly done irrigation system which keeps breaking and also not delivering water properly. I noticed that many people use gardeners to do them. I am looking for anybody who can do a good job on the irrigation of my small japanese garden and also potted plants, and they can also be a landscape person also. Any suggestion will be really appreciated. tired of fixing own irrigation

Anthony Mattison does great irrigation work. Hard-working, reasonable and very pleasant to work with. Barbara

I used Jose Maravilla for my backyard. He does landscaping work, rock walls, irrigation, sod, etc. He was recommended by a neighbor who is a landscape designer. He had reasonable rates and was very conscientious about working with us and providing advice for turning our design into reality. He was fine with doing what we wanted and leaving some work that I could finish myself. I'm sure for basic irrigation he and his crew could quickly complete the work. His number is 510-381-0399. He is currently working on my neighbor's yard. bgros

Irrigation/sprinkler repair

March 2012

I have an older lawn sprinkler system as well as drip that is in need of serious repair. Any recommendations? ak

For sprinkler repair you should consider calling Bob Goss at 654-2324. He has installed, repaired and maintained our sprinkler systems for many years. He is honest, reasonable and reliable. Solid fellow. Roger

Dagoberto Garcia (Dago's Gardening) has done numerous jobs for us over the past few years. He has replaced a fence (beautiful work) and repaired another one, skillfully trims our trees yearly, keeps our irrigation system operating, and is generally wonderful at troubleshooting problems we may be having in the yard. He also installs French drains. His rates are fair. He's honest and great to work with. My husband and I highly recommend his work. You can contact him for free estimates at garciaysna [at] or 510 233-1569 or 510 604-7555 (cell) lmackenzie

Drainage problem with lawn irrigation

March 2012

I need recommendations for a gardener who really understands lawns, to trouble-shoot and repair a poor lawn installation I had done last year by a 'mow-and-blow'-type gardener. That gardener didn't realize that the slope of the lawn was going to create some serious drainage issues, and that the different sun/shade conditions of different parts of the lawn meant that the lawn has some very distinct zones. Right now one half of my lawn is lush and beautiful, and the other half is a half-dead swamp. I'm looking for someone who can help me figure out which things need to be done, probably including some of the following: 1. Rearranging the sprinkler system so its zones fit the natural zones of the lawn 2. Raising the level of part of the lawn 3. Changing the grass mix in some parts of the lawn to a hardier blend I really want to work with someone who knows what he or she is doing this time! Thanks very much.

I recommend irrigation expert Lori Palmquist (lpalmquist [at] If your problems cannot be solved with changes to the irrigation system alone you might also consider replacing the soggy parts with an area planted with plants that will perform well with the conditions in that area. I know I'm not supposed to recommend my own services here, but for that I would recommend a landscape designer 'like' myself. Claudia V.

Irrigation expert needed

Oct 2011

Our old and leaky irrigation system is in need of some care. The garden is small, so I don't need a big landscaping company- just an individual who is expert at drip/sprinkler systems, and charges reasonable rates. laura

I've been referring clients for years to Jennifer Smith. She offers a full range of landscaping services, but specializes in irrigation. Her phone is 510 301 1852. Molly B

2009 - 2010 Recommendations

Irrigation Installation

Oct 2010

I am seeking a professional, experienced, reputable, and affordable person/company to install an irrigation system for my large front and back yard--all of which is already landscaped. The only info I could find on BPN was pretty old. Please let me know if you have a good person! Thanks! thirsty yard

I work with landscape professionals on a daily basis and have used several companies for irrigation. The one I like the best for quality, price, professionalism and someone who won't try to talk you into more than what's needed is Anthony Mattison, 510.654.6357, amattis [at] You can find others who will give you a cheaper bid, but you won't find a better value. A great portion of his work is in fixing other people's work. In the long run its more cost effective to do the job right the first time. He's licensed and fully insured. However, he's leaving on vacation in a couple of days and won't be back until Nov. 8, I believe. If you can wait a couple of weeks, go ahead and email or call him and he'll get back to you upon his return. Sue

Irrigation specialist needed

Oct 2009

We had our backyard redone two years ago with new landscaping and an automatic irrigation system. Our irrigation system just broke and our previous contractor has relocated. We would like a reliable expert to assist us in fixing our system. SK

We recently used Sherman McKay to do some irrigation repair for us and I would highly recommend him. He was referred to us by an irrigation expert that I found on BPN, but who was now only teaching irrigation classes and not doing the actual work anymore. Sherman was able to diagnose our problem and quickly repair the system. He was knowledgeable and very pleasant to work with. I believe that in addition to irrigation work, he also does plant care, pruning and landscape lighting. His contact information is: Sherman McKay 510-502-4825, mckaylandscape [at] Good luck! Satisfied customer

I had a variety of irrigation problems and I was recommended to Sherman McKay by a staffer at Urban Farmer as someone who was very good and didn't mind working on a smaller project. Sherman was generous with his time in troubleshooting all that needed to be done and followed through with the fix in the amount of time he had estimated. He is very knowledgeable with a variety of irrigation systems and quickly figured out what we needed. I highly recommend him. He also prunes trees and I plan on asking him to do that in the future. He is reachable at McKay Landscape, 510-502-4825 and shermanmckay [at] Leslie

I highly recommend McGregor Bullard for all of your irrigation needs - he is a real pro and great to work with. (510) 524 7059 V. Bochat

Adrian De Jong did an excellent job installing our drip and sprinkler system. He was professional, reasonably priced, and he used quality materials. (Our lawn has great coverage without being overwatered!) Adrian also does landscaping and treework and can be reached at adejonone [at] or 415-774-6279. Alison

Irrigation specialist with a green focus

Sept 2009

Does anyone have a recommendation for an irrigation specialist? I'm really trying to go green with an efficient drip system, but also want to build in a rain water storage system, and/or want to learn how to use grey water for my garden needs. There a few names listed on BPN, but none of them seem to have a green focus. stacia

I use Jen Smith whenever I need irrigation stuff (I'm an arborist but don't do that work). She can definitely do drip installation, the electrical for a pump and storage tanks. Her # is 510 301 1852. She's pretty busy, but thorough once you get her booked! molly

We have a wonderful irrigation system that Matt Horn installed for us. It was part of a larger, whole-yard landscaping project, but I know Matt would also take on an irrigation-only project. Matt installed the traditional pop-up sprinklers for our small lawn and then drip irrigation to all of our other plantings. A year later, everything looks great and we haven't had any irrigation issues. The drip system is perfect -- no excess run off and water is delivered right to each plant. We didn't go the gray water route, but I'm sure Matt is very knowledgeable and would be a great help. We couldn't be happier with our yard. In a previous posting I put Matt Horn's old contact info by mistake (a 415 number from when he was in Marin). Please contact him at the following phone number: 510.658.6088. I would highly recommend Matt and his team for irrigation, hardscape, fencing and arbors, pruning, plantings, and basically anything landscaping related. Tamara

Hello Stacia--I would like to recommend Matt Horn, of Matt Horn Landscaping and Tree Care, to you. He re-landscaped my large North Berkeley Yard recently, including converting a pre-existing sprinkler system to drip. I could not be happier with the resulting water and time savings, as well as the way he conducts his business. I was excited to find out that he has recently branched out into working with all aspects of rain and grey water recovery. I have hired him for an assessment of my house's potential for installing such systems. Give him a call at 510-658- 6088 or email him at matthornlandscaping [at] Feel free to contact me for details as well. Rene

Irrigation system is shaking violently

June 2009

We got our sprinkler/garden watering system installed as a gift from someone who very generously installed it himself. So the tubes and pipes are in, and a timer, and fancy looking things on our outdoor faucets, but when we've gotten the timer to work, it doesn't seem to shut off proporly and the entire house shakes violently... among other issues. Can you recommend someone to look at our system and see what we need, fix it, and give us a tutorial for dummies on running the system? Thanks, We're brown thumbs with high hopes! Ann

The shaking you're experiencing is called ''water hammer'' and the only long-term guaranteed fix for it is to have a plumber install an engineered water hammer arrester.

I think you have ''Water Hammer''. If you search on line you'll find lots of ideas on how to fix it. It is a good thing to fix for the sake of your pipes. We had a similar problem when our system was put in. We solved it by turning down the supply of water to that line slightly. For some reason I can't recall, it worked. A plumber or fluids engineer could explain it, but I can't. Anhow. no more water hammer .....yeah! Happy gardener (and better morning sleeper)

Someone to install drip irrigation and sprinklers

June 2009

I am looking for someone to install drip irrigation in my garden and sprinklers for the lawn. Any recommendations would be appreciated. abby

I just worked with a fabulous irrigation guy -- Bruce Sutorious. He does everything concerning irrigation, has years of experience and is very reasonable. I just had him out to repair my irrigation system and he solved issues economically (tightening things rather that just knee-jerk replacing things) and when a small leak appeared a few days later (not his fault) -- he fixed it NO CHARGE... how great is that. He is local -- lives in Richmond. Best to call him on his cell 510 332 0076.

2007 - 2008 Recommendations

Oct 2008

I recently moved to a new house with extensive flowers, trees and vegetables, and I know absolutely nothing about plants! There is an automatic irrigation system with 31(!) different stations to set. I'm looking for someone who can advise me on how frequently and how long to water each station according to what's growing there, and how to adjust during the seasons. It would also help to be able to know if the hoses are placed correctly, where more hoses are needed, etc. Some plants are doing fine, others have died or are dying. I need to know how to water most effectively while minimizing water use and death. Would this be a landscape architect? A gardener? An irrigation installer? Clueless plant custodian

Any of the folks you mentioned should be able to help you out - landscape designer or architect, irrigation installer, landscape contractor or maintenance person (not the ''mow & blow'' ones). Pablo

We were in the exact same situation recently. And it didn't help that before the old owner left, she totally screwed up the system so that everything was practically dead by the time we moved in. Anyway, our neighbors use Lara at Bountiful Botanicals ( and so we hired her (and her team) to reprogram our system, repair some of it, and to install some bits wherever needed. We really like them a lot and they seem to be reasonably priced. Owner of a (finally) Healthy Garden

Oct 2008

Looking for sprinkler repair recommendations. I'm looking for a reliable individual or company to to come repair my irrigation system. Ideally I'd like someone who has been in business for a while so that when I need routine maintenance in the future I can use this person again. House is in Oakland Hills; system is fairly small, conventional (sprinklers, not drip) system. Erin

hi, i have a recommendation for a great irrigation person. her name is lori palmquist and she has been in the business for many years. she is a licensed landscape contractor but specializes in irrigation and really loves and has become quite the expert in the field. i am also a landscape contractor and arborist. my company is california landscape service. i have worked with lori on various projects and although i could probably handle your irrigation needs, she is the person i would turn to if anything unusual or challenging came my way with regards to irrigation. you can't go wrong with lori. her phone number is 510-528-3638
good luck, pablo

June 2008

anyone have a good person to repair a drip system in Berkeley? Andrea

Paul Mele Irrigation 510-612-2837 He and the folks who work for him are great - they do drip and sprinkler and will recommend what works for you, reasonable, on time, and they clean up after themselves. They also respond to emergency calls about leaks, something I really appreciated the day the garden was flooding. Nancy

Last summer we used Rafael's Landscaping and Maintenance for some major leaks. They were responsive and knowledgeable. Besides fixing the major leaks, they checked our whole system which is huge and then did some large, overdue pruning. They can be reached at 925-933-2218. I got their name off the BPN list. linda

hi, i would like to recommend my gardener/irrigation specialist of four years adrian de jong, who is wonderful. he is trained to build and maintain irrigation systems. he works on his own for $40. he does a great job and is very friendly and knowledgeable. he can be reached at 415-774-6279 (a 415 cell but based in the east bay on the oakland/berkeley border). tabatha

Oct 2007

We have a defunct irrigation system in the garden that needs an overhaul. Does anyone have any recommendations? Perhaps someone who's generally handy would do. Tired of Watering

Call Fidel Lopez at 510-812-7436. He is very good with irrigation and has helped a number of people we know with the same situation you have. He is reasonbly priced and is very reliable. Fidel Fan

June 2007

Re: Gardener, natives, pruning, upgrading irrigation
Francisco Mayo is your guy. He is a great person to work with all around. We had our front yard re-sodded and had the irrigation updated. Our irrigation system was old but worked perfectly well. Francisco used our existing system and it works better than before. All the other landscape people we interviewed wanted to tear out the old system (because it was ''old'') and start new. We couldn't be happier with the result. He also does landscape upkeep that incorporates design and knowledge of plants. Our yard upkeep did not require that level of skill and he pointed us to a more appropriate gardening service. We will be using Francisco for future landscape design. Francisco is professional and bids competitively. He can be reached at 510-527-1355 or cell 510-207-4974.

March 2007

If anybody is looking for someone reliable and affordable for irrigation system installation, I want to recommend Anthony daRosa. He also does repairs, which is how I originally found him. He replaced my cheap ''Home Depot Special'' valves with quality brass parts, rewired and reprogrammed my system and cleaned out and made sure the whole system was working efficiently. I haven't gotten my new water bill yet, but I know it's going to save me a ton of money just having efficient irrigation. He is extremely knowledgeable and didn't mind explaining what he was doing while he was doing it. His email address is anthonydarosa [at] Rachel

2005 - 2006 Recommendations

August 2006

We are looking for someone to re-sod our front yard and fix the existing sprinkler system. Everything is in place so we don't want anyone fancy - just hard-working and reasonable. The posts on UC parents are older and some phone #'s no longer work. Thanks for any assistance Rachael

I would like to recommend Maria for anything landscaping related. She and her son do sod and sprinklers. They do a beautiful job. They just put sod in the front of my house and I couldn't be happier. She also does other large jobs as well as regular maintenance, planting, pruning, and clean-up jobs. She is very reliable and has been doing landscaping for 15 years. You can reach her at (510)233-9261

For sod installation and irrigation systems, I had an excellent experience with Pablo Soto last Fall, (cell:685 1013, home 925 755 2937). Even though he lives in Pittsburgh, he does his work often in the Berkeley area. He seemed extremely knowledgeable and proud of his work. He was responsive and quick at the task. His crew was a joy to have around. His fees were reasonable. My lawn looks marvelous now

I highly recommend Juan Pablo Escalante for this kind of job-- this past spring he and his crew put in our front yard (involving laying sod)as well as installing both drip and spray irrigation system, and it's done really well over the summer with minimal effort on our part. He also constructed a beautiful stone retaining wall which gives us great pleasure, and simultaneously replaced the aging corroded pipe which brought water to our house from the street (his brother is a plumber). He's very nice, clearly competent, and quite reasonably priced. He can be reached at 510-385-5314

We used Vince's Landscaping in May of 2006 to level a small area and install sod. No sprinklers, though they do provide that service. Very professional, reasonable cost. I got his name from a friend who used him for a total yard landscaping. We were both very pleased. Web site:
Nicole R.

Fidel Lopez is an excellent gardener/landscaper for the basic type of job you are looking for. He isn't long on design details or innovation, but, if you know what you want, he is honest, reasonably priced and does a good job. He is also an excellent irrigation person which is where most ''basic'' gardeners fall down. I have used him for many years and he has done jobs for many friends and neighbors (he pretty-much has lock on the Upper Rockridge neighborhood for maintenance services). His cell number is 510-812-7436
Fidel Fan

March 2006

I'd like a referral for someone to put in a small lawn and install irrigation (none exists currently). Need someone who will do a thorough job with soil prep, weed control, etc. Any ideas? Thanks

I would like to enthusiastically recommend my gardener Luis Ramos for yard and lawn maintenance and general landscaping. Luis has taken excellent care of my front and back gardens for about 3 years. He (and his crew) weed thoroughly and do a great job trimming plants and trees artfully. He also did a wonderful job installing and maintaining my irrigation system. Luis has always been dependable and willingly tends to my special requests. He is reasonably priced and I couldn't be happier with his work. His phone number is (510) 967-2246 ljf

This is in response to the request for someone looking to put in a small lawn and irrigation system. Matt Horn landscaped our tiny Berkeley backyard and found a way to give our kids a small patch of lawn - along with other planter boxes and plants. Matt also built the planter boxes in our yard. He helped make our tiny space feel much larger than it is - and it's beautiful! He gave us a reasonable bid, always came on time and charged us exactly what he bid for the project. As a result of the excellent job he did on our backyard, we hired him back to take down a dying pine tree and to trim another tree on our property. Again, he was very reliable and conscientious. I highly recommend him for any landscaping or tree trimming projects. He can be reached at (510) 658-6088. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions regarding Matt Horn. Catherine

2004 and Earlier

Nov 2004

Any more recent recommendations (2004) for a small job putting in a new irrigation system in our front yard and revamping sprinkler system in back yard. The persons recommended in the archives are dated or too busy or we can't get ahold of them. Thanks Jennifer

I'd like to recommend the Accurain irrigation system to gardeners and landscapers, the website is It's been installed in my backyard for 3 years now, and is amazingly effective and versatile. Check out their website, you'll be impressed. pallas

I can wholeheartedly recommend my colleague, Lori Palmquist, 528-3638, for any irrigation work- new, additions, repairs, etc. Lori is a licensed landscape contractor, easy to work with, and her rates are very fair. She knows what she's doing! Cecelia

July 2003

Hi -- We're looking for someone to install an irrigation/sprinkler system at our new house. It's a large, sloping lot, with established lawn and plantings, not a simple job, so we need someone who's experienced and reasonably priced. Ideas? Chris

Call Patrick Cearley (pronounced ''Curly'') of Walen Construction at 510. 569.7959. He did one job at my house in Oakland in spring 2002 and another one in my new house about 6 months later. Both involved a new sprinkler system and some landscaping. He gives a very detailed quote and has lots of good ideas and will even select all your plants for you. His work is very high quality; he is very well organized, and extremely pleasant to deal with. I thought his prices were reasonable for the amount of work we had done. A plus for me was that he is also very good at dealing with neighbors, which can be an issue when you are having yardwork done. At my new house, my new neighbors were a little suspicious of us (they'd had a bad experience with the former occupants of our home, I suspect) but after Patrick talked to them they warmed up towards us appreciably! Fran

Several people in the last digest asked for recommendations for skilled individuals to either replace existing irrigation systems, install new ones, or do complete landscape overhauls. I've recommended him before, and I'll do it again: Andy Packer, Acorn Landscaping, 510/915-3720. You can see our back yard in Upper Rockridge if you want to view his work. The project included building three set of stairs, leveling large portions of the sloped yard to create three terraces, installing a complete irrigation system, laying sod, creating largescale planting beds, and more. To visit us, call Andy and tell him that I posted on his behalf, and that he has my permission to tell you where to find us, and his work! Darcy

We highly recommend Anthony Mattison ( 510- 654- 6357) for installing irrigation systems and repairing them. He is very responsible, efficient and experienced. We recommended him to many of our friends and they were all very happy with him. N. Berkeley resident

German (Herman) Dub\\363n will do a wonderful job of installing and maintaining a lawn, as well an irrigation system if you choose. He just installed these for us, did a beautiful job, and charged very reasonable rates. Call him at 510-536-0357. gearhart

March 2003

We want to install an underground irrigation system for our front yard. We have a fairly small front yard but the system will need to go under a sidewalk. Thanks!

I recommend Lori Palmquist, 510-526-3638 for irrigation design and installation. She is an experienced, insured, and licensed landscape contractor who especially likes doing irrigation projects. Cfl

Aug 2002

We just had our inadequate sprinkling system assessed and enhanced. After talking to many people who seemed like they just wanted to bilk us, we hired Paul Mele (a referral from Berkeley Irrigation Equipment Co.), and I was very impressed with him. He seemed very knowledgeable and honest. I believe his rate is $45 per hour. His number is (510) 536-6253. Please tell him that Lisa and Scott referred him.


We are looking for someone to repair our outdoor watering system. One of the major underground pipes burst, and there is also some electrical work involved. Any suggestions? Thanks! -Elizabeth

Call Irrigation Equipment Company in Berkeley on 8th and Greyson. The number is in the phone book. They will have recommendations. There is (was?) a man working there named Bruce Sartorius who did some work for one of my gardening accounts (when I was doing gardening professionally) who was very reliable and good at what he did. June

The sprinkler system in our yard was installed by Ramos Happy Yards (before we moved in). According to our landscape designer, Katrine Benninger (who is excellent, by the way), they did a good job installing the system. We also had them put in an extra drain, and they did a good job with that as well. One caveat is that they have also been doing regular lawn and garden maintenance work for us, which has been somewhat haphazard (it seems to depend on who actually comes out that week). They also did not seem to be able to make the fine-tuning adjustments on the sprinkler system. -Stephanie


Can anyone recommend someone affordable to put in a small yard's sprinkler system from scratch? I am taking a yard from rocks and concrete to bare dirt to, I hope, a paradise with grass and plants. I need an irrigation system before I put down the sod, etc., though. Thanks for any recommendations. Lynn

In the past I've recommended our stellar irrigation guy, Andy Packer: Acorn Landscaping (510) 915 3720
[Editor] phone number for Andy Packer updated 2/2004]

Call Irrigation Equipment Company (IREPCO) Their number is 841-9651. The address is 2818 8th street, Berkeley. There's a fellow who works there part time named Anthony DeRosa who does irrigation. I hired him to repair and replace irrigation at one of my jobs and he did a great job and did it when he said he would. If he's not available they'll probably have other referrals. good luck. June