Install/Repair SprinklersIrrigation is paramount
A properly installed and maintained underground sprinkler system is essential to a healthy lawn. A poorly-installed or adjusted irrigation will not only hurt the health of your lawn, but also waste precious water.
Have your sprinklers installed and tested BEFORE ordering your turfgrass sod. A landscape professional can perform this service for you. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, many sprinkler stores will assist with a rough design if you measure and map out the area to be irrigated. Several major sprinkler manufacturers provide self-design tools, but this process can be time-consuming if you are not familiar with irrigation.
- Rain bird: http://www.rainbird.com/homeowner/design/designstart.htm
- Toro: https://media.toro.com/documents/irrigation/sprinkler-pig.pdf
- Hunter: http://www.hunterindustries.com/residential-system-design-guide
In an existing system, check for leaks and clogs at least once a month. While the sprinklers are running look for malfunctioning sprinklers, excessive run-off, over-spray onto sidewalks/driveways/gutters, disconnected or clogged drip lines, or any other problems which would decrease the efficiency and uniformity of the system. “Head to head” coverage helps to ensure uniformity. If your sprinklers are older models, consider replacing with more efficient rotor models.
If you notice dry spots, you can perform a simple audit of your system:
- Distribute several empty tuna cans around the lawn (or other containers without sloping sides), 2 feet away from each spray head.
- Run the system for 20 minutes and measure the water in the cans.
- Compare the amounts collected. Are some areas receiving significantly more water than others? Poor water distribution will result in either brown spots or wasted water.
- Make repairs and replace heads as needed.
Having an automatic sprinkler timer is highly recommended. If the timer does not automatically adjust with the weather, make sure to adjust your watering times monthly.