July is “Smart Irrigation Month”
If you’re lucky enough to live in a perfect climate with approximately 1-inch of rainfall per week, you are on your way to a picture-perfect lawn! For most yards to look lush and inviting from spring to the peak of summer, watering will become a necessary part of your lawn care and maintenance practice.
As we know, forecasting the weather a day, week or season at a time may be as easy as picking next week’s winning lottery numbers! If your area tends to heat up then your grass may dry up and if yard games were on your summer wish list, The Grounds Guys has some irrigation system installation tips for you.
Irrigation System Installations
The Grounds Guys can help you design a custom irrigation system, by considering the following factors:
- Shape of lawn
- Type of lawn
- Size of lawn
- Reducing water runoff
- Effective drainage
To effectively water your lawn, timing is everything:
- Timing is everything: Water your lawn during the coolest time of day – typically early morning to avoid evaporation
- If the wind is too heavy, hold off until it settles
- Don’t overwater – as plants and grass can lose nutrients this way
- Abide by local city ordinances to ensure watering is unrestricted
Don’t get overwhelmed by the variety of irrigation options available. There are four primary systems most homeowners and commercial properties include to maintain a healthy lawn. Below are general descriptions and benefits of common irrigation options:
1. Sprinkler Irrigation: this method mimics rainfall and allows even application of water and fertilizers if needed.
2. Drip Irrigation: Narrow tubes direct water directly to the plants’ base. It’s ideal for flower beds, vegetable gardens and hanging plants.
3. Subsurface Irrigation: Similar to the drip irrigation method, this option also uses tubes which are buried below ground. This irrigation approach lessens evaporation and is ideal for hot and dry climates or for sandy soil.
4. Surface Irrigation: This process is the most common as it covers a lot of ground quickly. It is also the least efficient as water is simply allowed to flow into an area and is known as flood irrigation.
If you’ve experienced drought conditions in the past or fear an increased water bill, there are options to harvest rainwater for irrigation purposes. The most used option is purchasing a rain barrel system.
The U.S. Environmental Agency estimates 500 gallons fall on a 2000-square foot house for every inch of rain measured. Ideally, the system could collect nearly 1,300 gallons of water during summer! This water could easily supply a typical yard’s irrigation needs.
Another option is simpler than it sounds – xeriscaping! This landscaping concept works with dry conditions to retain water. A few tips to embrace this conservation technique include:
- Improve soil conditions by incorporating compost and organic matter to enhance water retention and drainage.
- Mulching protects soil from high temperatures and arid conditions by slowing the speed moisture evaporates.
- Check your ideal plant zone and use native plants, which are proven to resist drought for your area.
Check out The Grounds Guys guide to low water landscaping for regional best practices and native shrub, tree and grass recommendations.
Lastly, technology can help reduce the tendency to overwater. With an irrigation system, you can install a tensiometer to sense dry soil and activate sprinklers as needed, versus on a timer.
With a general understanding of smart irrigation systems, you have enough information to further investigate the best options for your home or business. If you need assistance customizing a lawn care, landscaping or irrigation solution for your yard or with seasonal or on-going maintenance, contact The Grounds Guys or call (888) 929-8188 for a free consultation.