Irrigation 101

Summer in the south means days of drought followed by days of thunderstorms. This is why irrigation systems must be monitored. No one wants to see a sprinkler system running during a downpour! In fact, it is important to get the maximum efficiency from your irrigation system. Your plants and lawn will need different amounts of water throughout the season. Shrubs and trees could benefit from a drip line system while lawns and flower beds need more coverage from a sprinkler. In addition, we recommend rain sensors to prevent overwatering and to conserve water.

How Much Water?

So how much water is needed to keep your lawn looking good? Between irrigation and natural rainfall, it should receive between 1 and 1.5 inches of water each week during the summer months. Also, run between 2 am and 4 am, depending on length of cycle. You want to get it down before the sun gets out and allow it some time to percolate into the soil. Watering during the heat of the day is futile, since the extreme heat will evaporate the water before it reaches the root systems. In fact, experts estimate that 50 percent of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering. And while you may think that more water is better for your lawn, overwatering is a terrible thing that can cause plant disease. Some think that the evening is a good time to run irrigation, it isn’t. If there is moisture left on the lawn and plants overnight, it can lead to mold and disease. Stick to a morning irrigation schedule.

Raise That Blade

Another thing you can do to help your lawn is raise your lawn mower blade. Longer grass promotes deeper roots. This helps make your lawn more drought-resistant and will also decrease the amount of weeds in your yard. It is important to keep an eye on your lawn and plants. If you see that a patch of lawn is turning brown or some plants look lifeless, increasing your irrigation time may become necessary. However, first make sure that none of your sprinkler heads are clogged or defective. It could be that the area in question hasn’t been getting the intended irrigation.

Keep in mind that weather changes from day to day so the worst thing you can do is take a “set it and forget it” attitude with respect to irrigation. Your plants will thank you!

Irrigation 101