The Homeowner’s Guide to Landscape Irrigation

The Homeowner’s Guide to Landscape Irrigation

A home irrigation system can be installed to help supply water throughout your yard. However, there are other important benefits to an irrigation system, including creating a healthier landscape, providing a softer environmental footprint, and limiting runoff water from your yard. With this guide, you can learn about the additional benefits of a landscape irrigation system.

Why Choose an Irrigation System?

With an automatic irrigation system, your lawn, trees, and plants will receive the right amount of water at the best time of the day. These systems can be easily maintained and programmed. Most irrigation systems are programmable for specific site conditions and climates, such as plant and soil types, sun exposure, and sprinkler modes. You can even adjust your irrigation to deliver water at an exact pressure level to avoid damaging your sensitive plants and flowers. If you are used to watering your lawn by a hose, you could be missing several areas of your yard. With an irrigation system, your yard will have uniform coverage to provide water to your entire outdoor space. You can also choose the right drip emitters or sprinkler types to irrigate specific areas of your yard.

Your Landscape Details Are Important

If you are looking to manage your landscape and conserve water, you might want to change the way that you plant around your yard. For example, you need to choose plants and grasses that only require a low amount of water and can thrive in your local area. Depending on shade or sun, you should plan on how to use every section of your outdoor space. If you are looking at ways to improve your yard, you might want to perform a soil test. With a quick check, you can keep your soil healthy. As you begin to plant, don’t forget to cultivate the soil and add some amendments to improve the moisture. When you do this to the ground, your plants will develop a robust root system that needs less watering.

You might want to think about aerating your lawn to encourage root growth and water penetration. Mulching around shrubs, plants, and trees can also be beneficial to your outdoor space. With only a few inches of mulch, you can keep the soil warm, improve water penetration, control weeds, and decrease water evaporation.

If you want to make irrigation easier for your yard, you should consider “hydro zoning” your space. With this practice, you will want to group plants with similar moisture requirements together so that you can avoid overwatering those areas. Separate irrigation zones help you to program your landscape irrigation system to meet specific water requirements.

The seasonal planting time can make a difference. You want to avoid planting in the summer as the heat can dry out plants as they require more water. If you are adding grass to your yard, you should avoid hard-to-water spaces and steep slopes. It is best to add grass to those functional areas of your yard, such as play areas. Shade trees are vital for your yard. With natural shade, you can lower the soil and air temperatures to decrease soil erosion.

Finally, you need to keep up with the maintenance of your yard. At the very least, you should follow a maintenance schedule for your specific environment. Mowing, pruning, and weeding are all critical for any landscape. If you are looking for a way to improve your landscape irrigation, you can raise the lawnmower’s height to decrease water loss.

Irrigation Systems Are an Investment

If you want to irrigate your landscape correctly, you should think about installing an irrigation system. These systems are a great way to keep your lawn healthy throughout the year. With the right system, your irrigation methods will be more efficient than handling a hose and watering everything in your yard. When you are ready to install an irrigation system, you need to design one that will evolve with the landscape.

As you start to choose the design of your irrigation system, you need to select the right components. Your plants and trees will have different water requirements. Over time, these water needs can change. With the right parts, you can find a system that will allow you to water your yard effectively. Irrigation systems do not have to consist of a few sprinkler heads. You should think about a drip irrigation system. These systems can increase the efficiency of your water usage to keep your plants and trees healthy.

Many people are turning to smart irrigation systems. Like other smart products, you can automatically adjust your landscape’s watering frequency and water usage amounts. You can also change the irrigation schedule based on soil evaporation and rainfall schedules. There are many irrigation systems available, including those with Wi-Fi capabilities and soil sensors. You may want to choose a smart controller that can help you to make changes to the watering schedule from a phone app. If you’re going to stick to older technology, many irrigation systems have a dial or knob controller. With a turn of the dial, you can make percentage watering adjustments for every month of the year.

Considerations for Your System

When you are selecting an irrigation system, you need to check the water pressure. If you have too high or too low pressure, it can cause some issues with your irrigation’s performance. You want to choose a system that can handle the water pressure at your location. Most residential gear rotors will work best at the 40 to 50 PSI range, and some pop-up sprays operate most efficiently at 30 PSI. For those who have low water pressure, you may need to find a spray head to adapt to your location’s environment.

Zone watering is gaining in popularity. Every zone has its water requirements. When you water based on zones, you can schedule the irrigation system to water according to precipitation rate, sun exposure, slope and soil measures, and type of sprinklers. The soil type will also determine the best irrigation system in your yard. If you have a substantial water runoff area, you need a system that will not add more water to that zone.

With your irrigation system, you never want to waste any water. Your system should be watering trees, grass, and plants, but it should stay away from buildings, driveways, and patios. If you have a small space, you might consider micro-irrigation for those narrow landscaped areas. Along those lines, you should only water when you need it. You must allow your soil to dry out between irrigation sessions. When you water too frequently, it can result in weed growth, shallow roots, and disease. Some irrigation systems will allow you to add soil moisture sensors to the central controller.

For most homeowners, they may not know the right time to water their yards. You want to avoid watering during the heat of the day as it can cause water to evaporate. When the sun is low, the temperatures are cooler with calmer winds. These times are the best opportunity to water your lawn without the worry of losing water. Another efficient watering method is known as “cycle and soak.” You will want to set the system to run for five minutes at 15 minutes per cycle. With this method, you give the water adequate time to soak into the soil.

Before you install a landscape irrigation system, you need to check your local code requirements. Some towns will require you to use a backflow prevention device with any type of new watering system. These backflow devices prevent your irrigation water from mixing into the water supply for the town. Your town might even have standards for installing the system, including specific depths for the irrigation pipes. You will want to dig deep enough to protect your system from damaging lawn or aeration equipment.

While many people like the concept of mixing and matching products, you should never do this with an irrigation system. For example, gear-drive rotors can push out one-half inch of water per hour, and fixed spray nozzles will apply about three times that amount. As a result, if you mixed these products, you could be left with an oversoaked lawn.

Keep Up on Irrigation Maintenance

If you want the most efficient irrigation system, you need to perform regular maintenance on it. During the seasons, your system can be damaged from improper winterization or lawn equipment. With proper maintenance, you can spot those issues before they cause leaks or other problems.

With a monthly inspection of your system, you should check for broken sprinkler heads, water leaks, or any other problems. Screens and filters can get clogged, and you need to check them for any signs of water restriction. You should also check and adjust those sprinkler heads. If there are obstructions near the sprinklers, make sure to clear those areas for a more evenly distribution of water. These sprinklers can have their head and spray positions moved to avoid watering buildings and add clearance for water-hungry plants.

Along with maintenance, you need to prepare your system for winter. If you live in a colder climate, winterizing your system is essential. During this process, specialized equipment will blow out any leftover water that can freeze and create backflow issues with your pipes, device, valves, and sprinkler heads.

All irrigation systems need to have their pressure checked. Even after you initially checked your pressure, it can change over a period of time. With regular maintenance, you can keep your irrigation system operating at an efficient level. If you are looking for ways to regulate your water pressure, you should consider installing a micro-irrigation system for your lawn.

Upgrade Your Irrigation System

If you have narrow areas in your yard, you might want to consider micro-irrigation for gardens, trees, shrubs, and flower beds. With this type of system, you can apply water at a slower rate with a combination of bubblers and micro-sprinklers. These systems can help to reduce runoff, evaporation, and overspray. Subsurface is another consideration for your lawn and flower beds, and they can be installed near the root zone of trees and grass. When you use these products, water will be applied to the underground roots as the system is protected from surface intrusion.

Modern sensors are a great way to operate your irrigation system efficiently. You can install freeze, rain, or soil moisture sensors. When these sensors are wired to your central controller, it will send a signal so that the system can compensate for the local weather.

Finally, if you are looking to upgrade your irrigation system, you want to choose only quality products. With the right components, you will minimize any costs for future maintenance. In many cases, your products are covered under warranty so that you don’t have to worry about a defective product. Many new components also offer rebates or other savings for homeowners who use their products. Your water company might even provide a discount if you use water-efficient components on your property.

Choose a Professional Irrigation Contractor

If you want to install an irrigation system for your home, it might be tempting to tackle this as a do-it-yourself project. You need the help of an experienced irrigation installer who can professionally design and install the system. These professionals understand the latest watering techniques and technologies. An irrigation expert can also help you to choose the right plants, trees, and grasses for your climate and property. A contractor will make sure that your system complies with local building codes.

Charlestown Landscaping Can Help

At Charlestown Landscaping, we can help you choose the right irrigation for your home or business. We will assist you with the selection and design of your system. Our team will even professionally install the components and train you on operating your new system. Along with that, we can also help with all your landscaping needs, such as lawn care maintenance and outdoor space design. When you are ready to schedule a consultation, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

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