One common factor that is overlooked when buying a house is the amount of work and money that can go into maintaining a healthy lawn, and the bigger the yard - the more responsibility. Additionally, many new homeowners take over a new yard, but don't know how to maintain it. Since your yard is one of the most visible aspects of your newly acquired property, it is very important that it stays healthy and hydrated. To do this, there are some common lawn irrigation mistakes you'll need to avoid.
"A lot more goes into maintaining a lawn than just cutting the grass," says John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. "In order to have that lush lawn, you have to properly practice lawn irrigation, which is more than just spraying a hose over some grass."
Avoid These Common Lawn Irrigation Mistakes
- Watering at the Wrong Times - You may have seen your neighbor kick on his lawn irrigation system during the middle of the day, but this isn't ideal. Every above ground irrigation system can have its watering patterns altered by wind, and when does wind blow the most? During daylight hours. It is also warmer during the day, which increases evaporation rates. If you water during the day, chances are you are wasting water and not watering your grass throughly. The best time to run your lawn irrigation system is during the early dawn hours or right before dusk.
- Over Watering - Be careful not to overwater your lawn. This is commonly done when you are watering with a hose or if you have different types of irrigation heads in the same irrigation zone watering at the same time. This basically means you have different sources shooting water in the same area. Over watering your lawn can smoother your grass, create flooding and lead to an expensive water bill. Try placing your sprinkler heads in locations that will prevent overlapping water. Hiring a lawn irrigation professional to map out your system is the best way to address this issue.
- Watering Shrubs and Plants - You may think it is just quicker and easier to water your shrubs and plants with the same lawn irrigation system you water your grass with, but you are wrong. It is important to irrigate grass areas separately from your shrubs and garden beds. Virtually all of your common landscaping plants (trees, shrubs and ground covers) have vastly larger root systems that your grass. This means your plants generally require half as much water than your local grass.
- Overspraying - When you install your lawn irrigation system and the sprinkler head throws water outside of the landscaped area (onto sidewalks, driveways, neighbor's property or on the side of the house), you are wasting a lot of water. Just one half circle head could easily waste the same amount of water that there is in an average spa or hot tub in one year. Having your sprinkler heads professionally relocated is a quick fix for this problem.
- Creating Runoffs - Certain areas of your lawn might have compacted soil. This condition can cause water to run-off onto sidewalks or driveways without giving it enough time to seep into the soil. Installing a smart controller with multiple programs and start times allows for shorter, precise periods of watering, which prevents runoff. A high-quality rotary nozzles can also help by delivering water at even and slower rates, so the moisture can penetrate the soil.
"Properly irrigating your lawn can seem like a huge burden, but once you have everything set up correctly and a routine - the rewards are huge," says Minor. "Hiring a professional to come in and asses your lawn irrigation needs is the best way to ensure that you avoid the common mistakes of lawn irrigation. It is also the best way to guarantee your new home is dressed with a beautiful lawn."