Grow Tips

Sprinkler Systems

Lawn watering is one aspect of maintaining a beautiful, healthy lawn all season in all weather conditions. 
If you are serious about your lawn and want to do all you can to maintain its attractive, green quality, an automatic lawn irrigation system may be the best thing.

Benefits of an Automatic Irrigation System

The reason people get lawn watering wrong is partly because it's so easy. How many times have you turned on the sprinkler with every intention of coming back in fifteen minutes to turn it off, only to remember the sprinkler is still running 2 hours later? Unless you're really careful about lawn watering it's easy to over-water or even underwater your lawn. Basic mistakes happen and can end up damaging your lawn.

How irrigation systems work

A typical irrigation system delivers water by a system of underground tubing to designated areas. The system consists of multiple control valves, each of which can stop and start the water to a particular zone.

The system is divided into zones so the entire system isn't running at one time. If all the sprinkler heads were turned on at one time, there wouldn't be enough pressure to operate all of the heads properly. It's like when you're taking a shower and someone flushes a toilet in the house and in some neighbors, it may be someone down the street flushing their toilet.

Depending on your water pressure, you may have 5 different zones to cover your lawn and garden area. The number of zones depends on the total number of sprinkler heads required to cover your lawn and garden and the total water pressure you have in your home.

The brains of the watering system

Each zone has a number of sprinkler heads attached to the buried tubing running from the control valve. Each zone has one control valve. These valves are controlled by wiring connecting to the main control panel which is usually located in the garage or some other protected area on your property. This is the brains of the entire inground lawn watering system.

Sprinkler heads

When the brain activates a particular zone, a control valve opens, the system becomes charged and the sprinkler heads begin to work. There are different heads available depending on specific requirements for a specific location. Sprinkler heads are arranged to provide uniform coverage to the area it covers without wasting water by spraying on sidewalks, driveways or into the street.

There are many types of lawn sprinkler heads, including sprayers that deliver a fine, mist-like spray, rotary heads that throw water in a wide circle, much like a portable rotary sprinkler does, and various drip type heads for specific landscape areas.

Spray-type heads are specified for systems when accuracy of coverage is critical. Rotary heads deliver water to larger areas, so fewer are required. Pop-up varieties of each type of sprinkler head, spray and rotary, rise several inches above grade level when water pressure is introduced. This ensures that groundcovers and low shrubs don't interfere with water delivery.

Is an automatic watering system worth the expense?

Automatic lawn irrigation systems may be expensive, but it completely erases all these watering worries. One of your central gardening chores disappears overnight. If you live in an area requiring frequent supplemental watering because of your climate, then an automatic system may well be worth the expense. If you only have to water your lawn a few times during the growing season, then this type of system may only be just a convenience. However, in those areas that do require frequent watering, the automatic system is definitely worth the expense and it is definitely worth the additional expense to get a system that measures actual rainfall to conserve our water resources. There's nothing worse than to see an automatic watering system running in the middle of a 3 day downpour.

Irrigation systems actually can save water

One of the main benefits of an irrigation system is that you do save water. Watering is carefully managed on a timetable so all parts of your lawn receive the right amount of water at the right time. You're sure the exact amount is going to the exact right place without waste. Combined with the inexpensive sensor option that measures Mother Nature's contribution, and you'll definitely be doing the right thing.

Get the right heads for the right location

A well-designed sprinkler system will deliver water evenly to all areas that need irrigation. Select heads that provide the right spray pattern for your needs but also avoid over spray. Avoid placing a sprinkler heads where it will spray directly onto the trunks of trees and maybe damage the bark. The sheer force of the water pressure can score the bark, and constant wetting weakens it, making it more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Installing and inground lawn sprinkling system is a job requiring careful planning, considerable wiring, and lots of excavation. Errors in design or execution will be costly to fix.