Your yard’s irrigation system is one of the most important components of your landscaping. Watering too much or too little can lead to unsightly, expensive lawn damage. Water used efficiently is also water wasted, contributing to higher utility bills.
As a good watering solution, many people have turned to automated sprinkler systems. These are actually great solutions. They save time and money, they help ensure a proper watering schedule, and they’re easy to adjust. Automated sprinkler systems, effective as they are, aren’t flawless, and they can still develop problems. Let’s look at some tips for proper irrigation system maintenance.
Know the Proper Watering Amount for Your Grass and Soil Types
In the U.S., there are three main “grass zones”: cool weather, transition, and warm weather. In each zone, there are different soil types, and different grasses thrive. Except for the coastal areas, North Carolina falls into the transition zone, and you might actually be planting different grasses at different times of the year. In general, the recommendation is to water grass deeply and less frequently, but the exact intervals and amounts can still vary by grass and soil type. Before you set a watering schedule, make sure you know what the recommended amounts and intervals are for what you have. Consult a pro landscaper if you have questions.
Adjust the Watering Schedule Seasonally
The season of the year can also affect the watering schedule. For example, in summer, when temperatures are hot, you probably will need to water more frequently. You’ll also want to water early in the morning or in the evening to minimize evaporation. Wasted water also means wasted money. In cooler or wetter times of the year, you can water less frequently. Also, be mindful of recent weather. If it’s been raining a lot, reducing intervals and amounts or shutting the system off for a while might be in order.
Make Sure Water Pressure Is Right
Ideally, the water pressure in your sprinkler system should be between 40 and 65 PSI. Before you start the system, check that it’s in that range, and check periodically to make sure it’s still there. When the water pressure isn’t right, there’s the risk of overwatering or underwatering the lawn. One sign of excessive pressure is misting from the sprinkler. The tiny water droplets go off in the wind, or there’s a cloud of mist at the spot. Either way, that location isn’t receiving sufficient watering.
Check Sprinklers for Leaks, Clogs, and Other Signs of Improper Functioning
Routinely (monthly) inspect the entire system for signs of trouble. Some of the things to look for include the following:
- Leaks, broken lines, and misdirected sprinkler heads. These can waste huge amounts of water, jacking up your water bills in the process. If you see areas with puddles while others are totally dry, that’s a sign one of these problems may have developed.
- When you find damaged or broken sprinkler heads, repair or replace them ASAP. These, too, can waste a lot of water and cause harm to the lawn through ineffective watering. Are sprinkler heads “watering” objects they’re not supposed to such as a tree or car? That’s one sign there’s a blockage or obstruction. Readjust the heads so they’re watering what they’re supposed to.
Install Rain/Freeze Sensors
Trying to be mindful about not wasting water but worried that you’ll forget to turn the system off when it rains or freezes, or that you won’t be home when it happens? To alleviate that concern, you can install sensors that will shut the system off right away when they detect rain or temperatures reaching 32 F or below. On a related note, if you’re expecting a cold winter and not needing to water much, it’s a good idea to winterize your system. Part of this is flushing all water out of pipes and sprinkler heads so that it doesn’t freeze and damage the system to the tune of possibly thousands of dollars.
Relax and Let the LandArt Pros Take Care of Things
One of the biggest complaints people have when it comes to lawn maintenance is that they don’t have the time for it. At LandArt Solutions, we understand that because we know how busy our clients’ lives are. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, we’re properly equipped to install, maintain, and repair irrigation systems. Our clients have the satisfaction of knowing that experts are on the job, and that’s helped us become the industry leader in the Fayetteville area.