Expert Advice

Uneven Irrigation

To install an irrigation system there is a great deal of planning involved. Proper head to head coverage is the ultimate goal on any property, to ensure our lawns gets enough even water supply. If you have an irrigation system but see drought stress patches on your lawn, it typically indicates that the greener areas of your lawn are receiving more water than the yellow patches, or your sprinklers overlap is not even. This is common when heads are spaced too far apart or are too few in number creating this uneven coverage.

If your entire lawn has dry patches, then it is not receiving enough water altogether. The best solution for a drought stressed lawn with an irrigation system is to increase the time on your program, not the frequency (number of days per week you are watering). We all know that an all-day rainfall will be very beneficial to our plants, vegetables and even our lawns. Watering every day for 10 minutes can actually do more harm than good because the water will not reach deep into the turfs root system to keep it moist and healthy. Weed germination also increases with watering frequency, so you will also see a reduction in weed growth when you space out the watering intervals.

Most controllers have a seasonal adjustment which can be increased to 120% or more to give your turf 20% more water during a time of extreme heat. Rain Bird ESP controllers are very simple to use and a homeowner can adjust it as soon as temperatures hit a season high. Just remember to set a reminder for yourself to bring it back to 100% around Labour Day weekend when the weather cools.

Another reason why there could be brown patches on your lawn is if your sprinkler height is incorrect. If they’re installed too low then grass will end up growing over them and the sprinkler head will not popup when it’s programmed to water. The area around the sprinkler will be green if the head starts leaking, but the surrounding area will be drought stressed. On the other hand, if sprinklers are installed too high then they can get damaged by the lawn mower and stop working. It can also be a safety hazard for anyone who walks on the lawn.

Some sprinklers are installed next to shrubs and need to be adjusted as shrubs grow to ensure they can water over them and have proper coverage. Irrigation systems are very beneficial and will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Plenty of systems have rain sensors that will water only when your plants need it, which ensures water is not wasted. Plants also grow faster and are healthier in favorable watering conditions.

If you have an irrigation system with a rain sensor, don’t forget to periodically check it to make sure it’s working properly and you’re not wasting water when it rains. We have 3 irrigation maintenance programs our customers can choose from, depending on their needs. If you would like to get an irrigation system installed, please contact our office and we will schedule a time to take a look at your property and provide you with a quote, prices start at $3,500.