The intense summer heat can wreak havoc on your landscape, especially when drought conditions emerge and watering restrictions are in effect. Maintaining adequate soil moisture for your lawn when water conservation is required can be challenging, but it is achievable with the proper adjustments for maximum watering efficiency. Here are some sprinkler system tips to help your lawn survive the summer drought!
- First, test your zones one by one and inspect all sprinkler heads. Are the spray heads and nozzles turned the correct direction and spraying towards your lawn? Are there any leaks coming from the heads when you turn on your system? If there seems to be more water on your sidewalk than your lawn, then you can adjust the head or nozzle by gently turning it in the correct direction. Similarly, if a spray head is leaning off-center, try to manually adjust it so it is straight. If the spray pattern isn’t uniform, there may be a clog in the nozzle, which can typically be cleared with an old toothbrush or small tool that won’t damage the nozzle’s small spray opening.
- Second, check the watering times on your controller. We know it can be tempting to extend the time that you water during the hot summer months, but more water, especially during watering restrictions, is not always the best answer. The best time to water is before sunrise (5-7am); watering during the day results in more water evaporation (and waste), and evening watering can promote unhealthy fungus for certain types of grass.
- And third, instead of increasing a single run schedule (which increases water waste due to run-off) try “Cycle & Soak”! Soil can only absorb so much water before run-off occurs, so the ideal schedule is to water each zone for 4-6 minutes and allow an hour or so between the next watering of 4-6 minutes. This will maximize your watering efficiency by giving your lawn enough time to soak up the water before the second cycle. Even though you are using the same amount of water, the staggered delivery helps increase absorption rates and reduce run-off, which is better for your landscape and water conservation!
If you are still unsure how to maximize your sprinkler system during a drought you can always call in the professionals! We can evaluate your sprinkler system and discuss other options such as drip irrigation and smart controllers. Call Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage and Lighting! Don’t wait until it is too late!