A lot of people are under the illusion that they don’t need irrigation for their lawns, since rainfall takes care of it for them. This is a half truth. In a lot of circumstances you need to supplement your lawns water. These circumstances can include newly planted grass that needs a little extra attention or periods of drought and heat, which is especially applicable in Miami and South Florida where we have recently recorded droughts and now precipitation.
But irrigation is not as simple as it sounds; it can become quite technical and if not approached the correct way, you could actually damage your lawn instead of helping it. So, how can you ensure that your irrigation truly benefits your lawn?
1. Water Timing
There is a myth going around that says the best time to water your lawn is at night. This is a huge mistake. By doing this you are only creating the perfect environment for all kinds of diseases, especially when you leave the sprinkler on all night. This can also kill your lawn by drowning it in too much water.
It’s a good idea to wait until your lawn is a dull green color and your footprints remain visible in the grass when you walk on it. The overall consensus is that the best time to water your lawn is between 6:00am – 10:00 am. This is the time when there’s less wind and sun to increase water evaporation which will keep your water lower in the summer time.
2. Creates a Healthy Lawn
Irrigation systems have become incredibly advanced in the last couple of years. If you choose the correct irrigation system, it will literally take care of your lawn for you. This is especially relevant to commercial gardens and lawns such as golf ranges. These irrigation systems are fitted with smart, software-programmed controllers that link with soil and weather sensors. This enables the irrigation system to analyze the exact needs of the lawn, decide when to water, where to water and how much to water. It has been proven that these systems are 30-35% more efficient than other irrigation systems. And although it might be a bit pricey initially, it’s well worth it, since you’ll be saving much more money in the long run and have the peace of mind that you will always have a healthy lawn.
3. Water Pressure
Who ever thought that pressure could have such an immense impact on your lawn when using an irrigation system? A lawn sprinkler with a nozzle of 30 PSI is the key to the perfect per-square-inch water pressure. But this is where the hiccup comes in, because most of our home systems water pressure is much higher than that. Thankfully there is a pretty simple solution to this often overlooked problem. A few basic pressure control valves (whether built into the sprinkler or just placed in-line) can prevent the wasting of water, caused by misting. This simple solution will ensure your lawn gets all the irrigation it needs with no waste.
4. The Bigger Picture
Yes, with the correct efficient irrigation system you will help your lawn “be the best it can be”. But there is a bigger picture here that is often overlooked. By taking good care of your own lawn, you are also playing a big part in conservation. There are many options that you can look at such as:
a) Sprinkler Systems
The good thing about sprinkler systems are that they cover large areas ensuring your entire lawn gets enough water. If you have chosen a manual sprinkling system, remember to time the watering yourself and to turn off the system when your lawn has had enough water.
b) Drip Irrigation
This is the perfect solution for a small yard or when you only need to water a few individual plants. Drip irrigation is a highly effective way of irrigation, since it can supply up to four gallons of water directly to the soil every hour with very little water loss caused by evaporation or runoff.
c) Hand Watering
The obvious perk with this method is that you are in complete control. It is incredibly simple, you can use very basic tools such as a hose or portable sprinkler and you can monitor the water intake closely. The rule here is easy; once the water stops being absorbed into the ground, it’s time to move on to another area of your lawn or garden. And if you really want to be extra cautious; plunge a screwdriver into the ground you’ve just watered to check whether the soil is moist to a depth of at least six to ten inches.
5. Know Your Lawn
The more you know about your lawn the better. Your choice of the perfect and most effective irrigation relies 100% on the knowledge of your lawn, garden and all its beautiful botanical inhabitants. Know your garden and lawn inside out and you will have no problem taking care of it to the best of your abilities.
6. Watering That Hits The Spot
Just watering your lawn and plants no matter how much love and care you put into it is not enough. Did you know that you have to water different species of plants and grass on different spots to ensure they get the correct amount of irrigation? This is where a lot of us make the mistake: don’t water tree or shrub trunks or leaves. None of these carry the water to the rest of the plant. The perfect spot is actually under the edge of the leaf canopy. The perfect way to irrigate your plants is by watering them deeply, but infrequently. Trees need more water, since they have deeper roots and can store more water. Small plants such as ground covers and grass only need about a foot of water. The same goes for shrubs.
By following our simple irrigation tips and tricks, you won’t have to worry about a lawn or garden that looks like it’s been wearing winter all year around. There are a lot more tips and tricks you can follow, and if you are an avid gardener it’s worth the research. If you need assistance installing or repair an irrigation system for your residential or commercial property in South Florida please give us a call today we offer free onsite consultations and very competitive prices.