MAKING THE MOST OF AUTOMATIC SPRINKLERS

Your lawn needs 1”–2” of water a week. That is about 600-900 gallons per 1,000 square feet of grass. That’s a lot of water and you don’t want to waste any of it. The first step is to know when (and how) to turn your system off. That’s right. We see sprinklers going full blast in the middle of rainstorms sometimes and wonder if the folks are asleep or if they don’t have a master switch for their system. You need to know how much rainfall you’re getting to know when your system needs to run and when it can be turned off for a while.

Keeping in mind how much water your lawn needs, setting the timers on your system will determine how deeply you are watering. A big temptation with automatic systems is to water the lawn for a short time every day or two. This results in shallow watering and shallow, weak roots.

It’s also very important to be sure that the entire lawn is getting watered. Each type of sprinkler head has a different pattern and flow rate. If your system is properly designed, it is divided into zones that cover all of the turf and planting beds on your property.

Maintaining in-ground sprinkler systems

Most in-ground sprinkler systems today are efficient and precise. But regular, minor adjustments to these automated systems can lead to major improvements in how well they work:

  • Check sprinkler heads periodically to make sure none have been jostled and they are still aimed in the right directions.
  • Make sure sprinklers have an even spray pattern and that debris isn’t blocking the spray as your landscape grows.
  • Keep an eye out for any damaged sprinkler heads or poor filters.
  • Make sure your timer is adjusted correctly for the time of season.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for winterizing your system each year. For many systems, this means blowing out pipes so remaining water won’t freeze
    and cause damage.
  • Consider drip systems for deep roots. They deliver water very slowly so it will penetrate.

Have questions about sprinkler systems or watering?

Contact NutriGreen — your local fertilization & weed control experts.