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Landscaping Ideas and Resources

lawn sprinklerLandscaping Sprinkler Systems - Introduction

Your landscape is the first thing that people observe when they enter your home so you need a landscape design that will bring out the distinctiveness and natural beauty of your yard and lawn.

Watering is one of the main components of maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn. Sprinkler systems are one of the best way to distribute precise amounts of water to specific areas.

Lawns can be watered with a portable sprinkler or an automatic sprinkler system. In whichever case, they need spray overlap for complete lawn and bed coverage. Manual lawn sprinklers are cheap and must be moved all over the lawn. Automatic sprinkler systems provide outstanding coverage and if used correctly, is the most efficient form of watering. They often operate on a computerized time clock that is fully customizable to personal requirements, although they can be turned on and off manually as well.

Water ought to be applied deep and occasionally to reproduce natural weather patterns. Extended intervals between watering promote the grass to develop deep, strong root systems which leads to a healthier lawn and increased drought tolerance.  Superficial and frequent watering leads to shallow-rooted grass and a weaker plant. Two deep watering sessions per week are usually better than watering a little every day.

It is important to note that sprinkler systems only serve to supplement for rain and therefore you should not overwater the lawn during the spring. Lawns are healthiest and most supple when thirsty, relentlessly looking for water and establishing a deep root system. Recurrent watering stops the roots from looking out for moisture and causes shallow rooting which is not well prepared for summer stress.

The perfect time to water the grass is in the hours between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM. If this is not practical, water as early as possible before the heat of the day. Watering when the sun is high will cool the lawn, but most of the water will be lost through evaporation and may even cause lawn burning in extremely hot locations.  Watering in the evening is satisfactory as a last resort, but this can lead to circumstances which promote disease.

Many people would ask the question do I really need a sprinkler system for my landscape.  The value of an automatic sprinkler system depends on the level of current landscape maintenance, artistic desires, time and budget, how complicated manual watering is and how strong your desire is for a highly manicured lawn and landscape.

Sprinkler systems have many advantages including:

  • Sprinkler systems save you time by not having to monitor and manually move the sprinklers
  • You do not have to roll up hoses and get all wet when moving the sprinkler
  • Once set up, a sprinkler system can require little attention
  • Set properly, they can eliminate overwatering
  • Sprinkler systems can provide perfect and efficient coverage

In short, hand watering is no match for automatic watering. A well watered lawn is better and less susceptible to stress, weed infestation and pests. 

The most fulfilling advantage of an automatic sprinkler system is the look of hearty, lush, and green grass. Once the times are dialed into the controller, you won't even recognize the sprinklers are there. Keep in mind though, lush, green grass needs to be cut more often and, if you live anyplace with colder winters, the sprinkler system should be winterized in the fall.

For initial installation it is strongly recommended that you hire a reputable, professional, licensed irrigation contractor. It might look easy but it's not worth doing it incorrectly and, in some areas, it may be required by law to have a licensed professional do the installation.

Sprinkler system maintenance

Though there are different types of sprinkler systems, they are all installed with the same basic principle. Here are some tips on how to start up the sprinkler system for the first time in the beginning of spring or first use:

  • Inspect visually the valve boxes for debris and rodent nests
  • Any fittings removed during the fall should be re-attached and secured with Teflon tape if need be
  • Make sure all valves and or drains are open and the water source is connected
  • Turn on the water source and gradually begin filling up the system
  • Any valves to the outside should be closed and the system should begin to be pressurized
  • Once the system has been pressurized, run through the stations one by one letting each of them operate for some time. Be sure to inspect for proper coverage, leaks, clogged nozzles and any other irregularities
  • Where necessary, make adjustments and repairs
  • Assess the sprinkler timings on the controller as necessary for your climate

Choice Landscaping Services can provide free no obligation quotes from pre-screened local landscaping contractors who can help in the design, installation or maintenance of your new sprinkler system.

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