Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home Irrigation Management

Home lawn sprinkler systems, when used properly, can certainly help to maintain a beautiful green lawn.  However, often times, homeowners make the mistake of setting the clocks, and walking away.  Putting your system on “auto-pilot” like this can lead to the sprinklers doing more harm than good to your lawn.  Here are a few suggestions to help get the best out of your irrigation system:


·                    Be aware of the changing water requirements of your turf.  As the days grow shorter and evaporation rates drop, you can reduce your irrigation.  Even during beautiful fall days, the turf loses less than one-third of the moisture it does during a summer day.

·                    In the heat of the summer, water deeply and infrequently.  For most lawns this means watering 2-3 times per week.  This process will help promote a deeper, healthier root system.

·                    While watering deeply is good, it does not mean to the point of run-off.  If the water isn’t staying on your property, it’s not doing your lawn any good!

·                    Take the time to watch your system run, or have your contractor inspect the system on a regular basis.  Sprinklers can often get hit by mowers, or get clogged with debris causing them to stop spinning.

·                    Make sure your rain sensor is set properly.  We often see homeowners’ sprinklers running again less than 24 hours after a significant rain event. 

·                    Don’t be afraid to shut the system off for a few days.  (If you walk in your yard and sink to your ankle, this really may be a wise idea.)  If your lawn starts to turn brown from heat stress, it is not going to die.  This state of dormancy is nature’s way of protecting the plant.

·                    If it’s brown, it must need more water.  Wrong!  Brown turf may be caused by drought stress, but can also be a sign of insect damage or turf disease.  In the latter case, more water can often exacerbate the problem.  


By following these tips, you can improve your lawn, and save money by using less water.  Remember, you can't just "set it and forget it."  If you  have questions, seek professional help in properly setting up your system.
Water runoff from a lawn is even causing damage to the golf course.

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