Irrigation System Audits: Why Bother?
April 9, 2019 | By Roundtree Landscaping
Your irrigation system can make or break your landscape, which is why it’s important to audit, adjust, and renovate your system now. Irrigation inspections and audits are often overlooked, but doing so can result in plant death and big water leaks.
Winter left us weeks ago and lawns and landscapes have started actively growing, meaning it’s almost time to switch your irrigation system back on. Once rainfall subsides, your landscape will need some watering help. But, turning your system on, after a winter hiatus, can come with a few surprises. Pipes or head may have cracked over the winter, or your freeze/rain sensor might not be working properly.
Follow our checklist below in order to insure success in your landscape this summer:
1) Audit Your System
We highly suggest scheduling an irrigation audit by a licensed, professional irrigator. During an audit, we check for leaks, broken heads, pressure problems, and coverage issues. Each station is run separately to check for proper coverage, broken nozzles, and a fully operational rain sensor.
Irrigation audits make sure all of your irrigation heads are working properly.
2) Set Your Run Times
During an irrigation audit, an irrigator can also help you to adjust your sprinkler run times to run more frequently as we move towards summer weather. But, if you choose to do this part yourself, make sure you set the run times appropriately. Your landscape grows better & stronger root systems with less frequent, longer, deeper waterings, rather than short bursts of water. Frequent, shallow watering results in a shallow root system that is less able to withstand the heat & drought of summer.
Remember, always follow watering restriction guidelines for your area.
Also, be sure to refer to your city’s rules for water restrictions. Most cities do not allow watering during the hottest part of the day to help curb water waste and evaporation. Be sure to set run times for either before or after the restricted times.
Dallas residents, check your watering days and times here.
3) Add a Smart Controller
We are huge proponents of installing a Smart Controller on your irrigation system. With a smart controller, by entering your zip code, you can adjust the system based on plant needs, soil texture, and temperature each season for your local growing climate. Smart controllers help deliver the appropriate amount of water to your landscape, sometimes saving up to 70% off your water bill when compared to traditional systems.
The best part with smart controllers is you can easily control your irrigation system remotely from an app on your smartphone. If you are away on vacation & an unexpected storm rolls in, simply switch your system to off – easy!
With a Smart Controller, you can monitor your system directly from your phone - wherever you are.
4) Add drip irrigation
If you are open to a renovation of your old irrigation system, we suggest adding drip irrigation or low pressure nozzles. Instead of water spraying into the air, drip irrigation and modern spray heads deliver water more directly to the root zone of the plant – reducing runoff, evaporation, and using less water.
Drip irrigation is the perfect solution for container plantings and also for landscape plantings like trees, shrubs, and perennials.
Don't want to hand water your containers all summer? Add drip irrigation!
If you are checking tasks off your to-do list, give us a call for an irrigation system check-up. We’ll make sure your landscape is set for success!