Well-established natural lawns are drought tolerant and able to let nature do most of the watering.  1-2” of water a week is generally satisfactory for established natural lawns, even in summer.  Depending on your preferences and turf grass uses, you might water more in the tough August heat to spruce up your grass.  Watering your lawn thoroughly and deeply, in as few watering’s as possible, fosters deep root development.  This helps your lawn stay green in the summer heat.

Irrigation maintenance is effective in reducing water waste on your property.  Properly designed systems use sprinkler heads and watering times tailored to work best in each area or zone within your unique lawn and landscape.  Efficient application of water throughout your system helps prevent excessive water evaporation caused by overspray and misting, reduces runoff, limits over-watering that can foster many diseases and maintains plant health by applying an appropriate amount of water to specific plant types.

Turf Clips can monitor your sprinkler system rain gauge and make adjustments to the watering schedule based on the rain fall on your property.  A well maintained and properly adjusted irrigation system helps you have a healthy and beautiful lawn and landscape.  A checkup for your irrigation system should be performed at least twice seasonally.  Typically, system checkups are performed during a spring startup and a fall winterization.  Ideally, your system is checked on a monthly basis as issues can arise throughout the summer months.

Irrigation repair is needed if you see sprinkler heads creating a heavy mist in the air, hard surfaces being watered instead of your lawn and beds, standing water or gushing water coming from a sprinkler head in the ground.  As systems age, parts break down and issues arise.  Irrigation upgrades may be needed in certain situations.

A spring startup gets your system ready for the watering season and consists of:

• Verify the proper operation of each zone valve by manually activating it from the controller

• Update the time and date on the control box

• Check the connection on all of the wires – make sure that rain, wind, or soil moisture sensors are connected

• Replace the back-up battery

• Change the schedule to reflect the current season and irrigation needs of the landscape

• Clean any in-line filters for drip irrigation zones

• Turn on each zone and look for system damage like:  leaking valves or pipes, broken or missing heads, clogged nozzles, seal leaks, sunken heads, tilted heads, misaligned heads, overspray and runoff, pressure problems, and incorrect spray arc

A fall winterization gets your system ready for winter and consists of:

• Blowing out or draining water from the system prevents the freezing of water and subsequent cracking of pipes and valves

• Each zone is activated until no water can be seen exiting the sprinkler heads

• Isolation valves on the backflow device are opened and closed numerous times to ensure that any trapped water has escaped from the upper areas

• The isolation valves are left open at a 45° angle (approximately 1/2 open) and the test cocks are opened

• Removal or covering of rain sensor to prevent damage from freezing