Be Water Wise – 8 Facts About Lawn Sprinkling You Should Know
When looking for ways to help our lawn excel even in the hottest months, why look further than lawn sprinklers? With these amazing devices, your lawn receives the water and nutrition it needs without having to do it manually. In fact, you could put your sprinklers on a timer and have your lawn watered even when on vacation and this is one of the many advantages.
This being said, people tend to rush into the decision to buy lawn sprinklers without really understanding the options and what they mean for your lawn. Therefore, we’ve decided to compile eight facts you should know about the process of lawn sprinkling!
Lawns Can Be Over-Watered
When you set the lawn sprinklers too often or if they stay on for too long each time, not only do you waste water but you damage your lawn too. According to many lawn services, more damage to lawns actually comes from over-watering than under-watering so you need to bear this in mind. Some people prefer to use a garden hose with a sprinkler on the end instead of a custom system for this reason.
When you over-water, the lawn is prone to disease, fertilizer will be washed away, and it can grow too fast thus increasing the risk of scalping during the next mow. In our experience, a simple soil moisture meter will do the trick perfectly because it takes the guessing out of the process. Once you’ve found the perfect duration for your sprinklers, you can set them into action without worrying about over-watering.
Early Morning Sprinkling
Have you ever wondered the best times to water your lawn? Well, we have the answer and it comes between 5am and 10am when the temperatures are relatively cool and the sun is low. Why? Because watering towards midday will see evaporation and lost water due to windy conditions. Ultimately, you use much more water than the amount actually required.
In the evenings, the grass doesn’t have enough time to dry out which leads to fungus and various other diseases. With early morning sprinkling, your lawn can dry throughout the day and prosper.
Adapt To The Seasons
As the weather and seasons change over the course of the year, you’ll need to adjust your sprinkler system. When the summer months come, your lawn will go through long periods of heat so it needs extra water to stay hydrated. When the rainy months come, the lawn receives the majority of its water from rain.
With a simple shut-off device, your system will actually detect moisture and rain so this is a great addition. Whenever it detects extensive rainy periods, your sprinkler will stay off and you don’t need to worry about over-watering or wasting water.
Check The Pressure
Typically, high pressure will yield the best results for lawn sprinklers because it allows them to cover a wider area more efficiently. Throughout the year, you should check the pressure according to the markings on your sprinkler head to avoid overpowering your pumps and causing damage.
When it comes to choosing your lawn sprinkler system, you’ll need to make a big decision as to which head you want between rotary and fixed. Since the amount of water they use differs, you can’t mix-and-match in the same zones otherwise you could cause serious damage to the whole system. As the names suggest, a fixed sprinkler head will be stationary while a rotary head will cover a larger area by rotating as it sprays.
Before making a decision, consider the size of your lawn, the placement of sprinkler heads, the terrain, the shape of your lawn, and more. If possible, speak with a professional and have them visit your home or see pictures of your lawn so they can help with the decision.
During the winter, the cold temperatures can wreak havoc for your lawn and for the pipes needed for lawn sprinkling. For this reason, you should invest in an air compressor since this attaches to the sprinkler lines. Once the primary valve is off inside your home, all water can be blown from the lines and this prevents it from turning to ice.
As we know, water turning to ice is an expansion and this can cause cracks and large damage to your lines. By making this small investment, you can remove the need to pay out hundreds of dollars to have the system fixed each spring.
Newer Is Better
If you’ve had a lawn sprinkling system in place for many years, you’ve probably developed an attachment to it since it has served you well for so long. Sadly, now could be the time to look for a replacement because the models available today are far more efficient.
Nowadays, you can invest in low volume heads that remove ‘misting’ and avoid run-off by allowing all water to soak into the lawn at a slower rate. If you’ve ever watched a lawn sprinkling system in the searing heat, you’ll see that most evaporates before reaching the ground so newer models can remove this issue and you can use water more efficiently.
Finally, we have another tip for those who already have a system installed and it’s to check the placement of your sprinkler heads. If you spray sidewalks and driveways, this has two main problems:
By aligning your sprinkler heads in the most efficient manner, run-off will be kept to a minimum and the water will only reach the lawn rather than being wasted elsewhere. Ultimately, the goal of your lawn sprinkling system should be to sufficiently water your lawn but with the least amount of water and perfect placement allows this.
As long as you follow these eight tips, you can really make the most of your lawn sprinkling system while saving water and keeping a few more dollars in the pocket. If you feel as though you can’t do it alone, don’t be afraid to get in contact with a professional service as they’ll visit your home and remove any inefficiencies whether it’s moving the heads, replacing the heads, or providing any other advice.
Although it requires a small investment, it should pay for itself when you use less water in the years ahead!
James is a garden enthusiast who loves to test the latest gardening tools and gadgets. He runs his own blog Lawn Mower Hut where he provides advice on the best tools to use to keep on top of your gardening and DIY jobs.