With the heat of the summer upon us, it is essential to regularly check your irrigation system. Ideally, each zone is checked to make sure the system is working efficiently. Under the current drought conditions, the best way to save water and money is to carefully check your entire irrigation system.
Since lawns require the most amount of water, there are a couple tricks to help the system work properly. Each sprinkler head should be cleared of any obstructions. This includes the lawn that can grow over the sprinklers heads and cause the sprinklers to not pop-up correctly. (See photo above).
Afterwards the sprinklers should be turned on again and check and make sure they water is being distributed to the proper location. Turned nozzles towards the driveway or other planters are not only a waste of water but brown spots will begin to show up in the lawn areas.
Planting beds are just as important to check to make sure the water is being distributed correctly. Broken lines or nozzles are a huge loss of water and can damage the plants close to the broken head by over-watering.
Lastly, drip irrigation, which requires the most amount of maintenance in the garden. If your system has drip in any part of the garden I highly recommend you check it very closely. Missing emitters, broken lines, loose fittings are all common and a huge loss of water. Water that can be used in other portions of the garden to keep the plants and/or lawn properly hydrated.
My last tip for everyone is to look carefully for rabbit, squirrel and rat damage to their drip system and sprinkler nozzles. With the drought conditions odd situations will begin to take place that you may have never experienced before. We are already starting to see “holes” in our systems. Nozzles being completely chewed off. Clients are complaining of water shooting straight into the air. These critters are just searching for a drink but in the meantime they are causing havoc to the sprinkler s systems.
A little maintenance goes a long way, especially this summer. Saving water and keeping our gardens beautiful is the ultimate goal and this can be accomplished with just a little extra effort by checking all the zones within your garden.