Many homeowners invest in a lawn irrigation system to save money as well as to conserve water. However, to reap the benefits of a sprinkler system it is important to adhere to the irrigation system design best practices as outlined in this article. The primary goals of any lawn irrigation system are to promote a healthy and disease-resistant lawn and protect the environment by using the least amount of water as possible while also minimizing water runoff.
Irrigation Zone Mapping
The first best practice element to implement when designing an irrigation system is to measure and map out the property. Once the area is properly mapped out the designer will then split the area into watering ‘zones’. Watering zones represent distinct areas of your lawn that will require different water needs. Correctly identifying watering zones is a critical first step in the design process as this important step ensures an efficient watering pattern that minimizes over-watering and water runoff. For example, a shady area of the lawn will require less water from the irrigation system than say a front lawn that receives direct sun during most of the day.
Irrigation System Capacity
The next phase of the irrigation design process will include a look at the system’s capacity. To determine the system capacity the designer will need to consider two variables – water pressure, which is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI and also water volume which is measured in gallons per minute or GPM. These two variables are important factors when calculating the correct number of zones and sprinkler heads per zone. Installing the proper number of zones and heads per zone allows the irrigation system to effectively cycle between each zone and apply consistent water application per zone. If an irrigation system is designed with too much or too little PSI or GPM the system will not perform effectively and your lawn, plants and trees will suffer the consequences.
Sprinkler Head Selection and Spacing
There are a variety of sprinkler heads to choose from, however the two basic categories of sprinklers used in residential irrigation systems are large area rotors and small area sprinklers. Selecting sprinkler heads for each zone is somewhat of trial and error and a little bit of science! The goal is to select the right type of sprinkler head for each zone to create consistent and uniform water coverage. Experienced irrigation and landscape designers will typically sketch out each zone with the proposed sprinkler head before installing to ensure proper spacing and coverage.
Soil Percolation Rate
The soil percolation rate is the movement of water through the pores of the soil and is measured and expressed in inches per hour. Another important measurement is the soil infiltration rate which refers to the movement of water into the soil. Excess water runoff is created when the irrigation system puts out too much water that exceeds the lawn infiltration and percolation rates. Effective irrigation systems should be designed properly by factoring in the lawn’s unique percolation and infiltration rates in order to avoid water waste and high run-off rates.
The irrigation system controller’s main purpose is to turn the system on and off at scheduled times and days, however there are many irrigation controllers to choose from on the market that offer a wide range of additional features. Advanced irrigation system controllers include ‘smart’ technology that obtains and uses weather data along with other external data points such as temperature and humidity to determine appropriate watering cycles. Smart controllers are most often EPA WaterSense certified and have become popular with homeowners as an effective means to save water and money.
We hope you have found this article helpful in understanding best practices for designing an efficient lawn and landscape irrigation system. Irrigation systems truly are the best way to keep your landscape healthy and thriving in a way that conserves water. If you are ready to get started on your new lawn irrigation system, give our design experts a call today!
If you live in a drier climate with very little rain in the hottest months, or you simply want to reduce your water bill and impact on the environment then a drip irrigation system may be just the ticket for your plant and garden beds. Many of us feel like we only have two choices – either be water conscious OR have a beautiful thriving lawn and garden, but not both! The really good news is that there is an effective alternative that lets you have the best of both worlds. This article will explain how drip irrigation systems work and the benefits of installing one for your plant and garden bets.
What is a drip irrigation system?
First things first, before you can understand the benefits of this type of irrigation system you need to understand exactly what it is and how it works. A drip irrigation system includes a system of perforated hoses or drip emitters that are connected by a hose that run along the top layer of soil throughout a flower or garden bed. Water drips through the small holes (or drip emitters) directly into the plant’s root system. Talk about efficiency! Your plants get exactly the right amount of water delivered directly to their root system. Home and business owners also love the fact that drip irrigation systems can run off of any outdoor nozzle so there is no need to spend additional time and money on reconfiguring plumbing. Speaking of time and money, did I mention that the cost of a drip irrigation system is very affordable? Based upon size and regional labor costs, a drip irrigation system will typically cost about $300 - $1000+ which breaks out to about $1.40 - $4.50 per square foot.
The Benefits of Installing a Drip Irrigation System
Now that you know exactly what a drip irrigation system is, let’s talk about the many wonderful benefits of installing one on your property.
The biggest benefit of a drip irrigation system is that it conserves water, especially in the hottest parts of summer when much of the water spread over lawns and gardens is quickly lost to either evaporation or runoff. Since a drip irrigation system serves up water directly to a plants root system very little water is lost and plants can access it much more efficiently. Water waste and high water bills are significantly lowered when utilizing a drip irrigation system and your plants are able to make the most of each drop!
Installing a drip irrigation system is a relatively easy installation process, however it is still best to hire a professional lawn care or landscape company to install it to ensure it is properly connected and placed so that plants get the maximum benefit. Plus the pros can also ensure that your plants roots are not disturbed during the process of installation – no one wants to install this system only for their plants to all die soon after! During the installation process, the irrigation lines are installed along the top layer of soil which significantly reduces potential damage to plant roots during installation. Good news for those gardeners that are always adding on or have a new vision for the layout! Drip irrigation systems are easy to move or expand.
This benefit of drip irrigation may just be my favorite! Less bugs! Bugs and pests seek out pools of water that form on the leaves of plants. This water source keeps them hydrated so they decide to make their home there and then invite all their pesky friends! However, with a drip irrigation system all of the water is directed straight to the plants roots therefore water doesn’t pool on their leaves. This leaves unwanted bugs and pests no other choice but to find another home!
Stress Free Maintenance
Finding a local team of pros to install your drip irrigation system properly is the first step towards stress free watering. You will get back more of your free time each day by no longer needing to hand water plants and flowers that your sprinkler system can’t reach. Soggy roots are also no longer a problem because a drip irrigation system delivers small amounts of water directly to the plant’s roots. All this extra time on your hands will give you time to relax and recharge in your beautiful and lush yard or garden.
Residential or Commercial Use
The benefits of a drip irrigation system are the same for either a residential home or a commercial building landscaping. If you are a business owner or property manager installing a drip irrigation system on the property will significantly reduce the amount of time and money needed to properly maintain the beautiful landscaping that adds so much curb appeal to your commercial property.
If you think you would like to install a drip irrigation system on your residential or commercial property give our team of experts a call today for a free quote and analysis of your yard. We can custom tailor a plan for your specific space to maximize all the many benefits of a drip irrigation system.
A healthy lawn is a happy lawn, and by following these steps you can be assured that your lawn is ready for spring. Installing an efficient irrigation system, performing a sprinkler blowout, and soil analysis effectively increases the health and vitality of your lawn, and properly assessing your lawn's overall soil condition helps you determine how best to prepare your lawn for spring.
Preparing your lawn in advance guarantees you'll pass any surprise spring inspection. Having a plan and knowing what needs to be done is crucial. These tips will assist you in promoting your lawn's total health.
Blowout your Sprinklers
Blowing out your sprinklers prepares your sprinkler system for proper operation. Performing a sprinkler blowout before winter safeguards you from having to deal with issues that may occur once your sprinkler system is active again. Winterizing your sprinkler system prevents pipes from cracking or bursting, saving you the time and cost of having to possibly install a new sprinkler system. Hiring a professional to blowout your sprinklers makes spring lawn prep even simpler, and they can also suggest additional treatments to ensure the health of your lawn before the beginning of the spring.
Analyze Your Soil
Soil analysis is highly beneficial for inspecting the health of your soil. Having a professional analyze your soil allows them to determine exactly what your lawn needs to thrive. If critical nutrients are low, they can be easily integrated back into the soil to increase future growth. Adding more fertilizer at the beginning of spring, prepares your lawn for the rest of the season and restores any missing nutrients, giving you the healthy lawn that you want.
Irrigating your lawn is vital to preserving the soil's nutrients and preventing weeds from growing and spreading. Installing an effective and efficient irrigation system ensures that your lawn will be evenly watered, saving you time, water, and money. An effective system for irrigating your lawn will also improve its growth, allowing it to thrive while conserving important nutrients. No matter what type of irrigation system you choose, watering your lawn is essential for its health and continual growth and is essential for passing a spring inspection.
Now that you've properly prepared your lawn for spring and summer season by installing an irrigation system, blowing out your sprinklers, and having your soil analyzed, your lawn is ready to pass any unannounced spring inspection! Now sit back with your favorite beverage and enjoy your beautiful lawn!
With summer right around the corner, it's time to get outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures. In addition to planting new perennials, landscape lighting enhances your home by drawing attention to flowers, well-maintained lawns and also makes your home more welcoming, especially for homeowners who like to spend time outside after dark. Here are a few tips to make your landscape to stand out above the rest.
Many homeowners tend to spend a bit of time in their backyard by sitting on their porch or deck, especially during nighttime hours. It’s important to have backyard lighting because it helps ward off any potential intruders and ensures your safety. The backyard is a thief’s main entry point, so cutting it off from them by adding lighting to your backyard is going to help in the long run. Burglary aside, having the proper lighting will add a certain aesthetic to your garden during the nighttime.
Frontyard lighting is what’s ultimately going to make your home more welcoming. Adding lighting along the walkways can add elegance to your home. Try using light fixtures that cast the light downwards. It creates ambiance and helps both and guests see where they’re going. If you want to save on bills, you can always try out low voltage lights or solar panels. With solar panels, you won’t have to worry about using any electricity at all. Powered by the sun, solar panel lights stay lit even after the sun goes down.
How Adding Lighting Keeps You Safe
Adding light to your landscape does more than simply keeping intruders at bay. It illuminates your path so you don't have to worry about falling into your pool or accidentally tripping over a rock. Burglars aren't the only intruders you should be looking out for. Having proper lighting also ensures your pet's safety.
Predators such as coyotes, raccoon, and other creatures of the night are a threat to your small pets. The motion sensor will make sure your small dogs and cats won't fall victim to a predator.
Landscape lighting makes a home warm and welcoming. It's also the perfect way to enhance your landscaping effort for summertime entertaining. There is a wide variety of lights to choose from. You can go with the traditional lights on the side of your door or you can install a post or two on your lawn.
Ahh, springtime is finally here all across the US! Flowers and trees are blooming, grass is greening and all feels right in the world! While April showers may bring sufficient irrigation it will soon be time to rely on an irrigation system to meet the demands of hot, dry summers. Now is the time to install your irrigation system or inspect and repair your current system.
Hi, Mike here! There is nothing better than lush green lawns and beautiful blooming plants and flowers, especially in the Springtime! However, in order for grass, trees, flowers and shrubs to thrive they must have an adequate WATER SUPPLY! That's where effective irrigation and sprinkler systems come in! This blog is a dedicated space to discuss best practices and most efficient methods of watering.