Proper watering techniques are a critical aspect of lawn watering, equal in importance to the issues of when to water and how much to water. Water is a valuable resource and should be used as efficiently as possible. Several key factors impact proper techniques.
Avoid hand sprinkling because it cannot provide the necessary uniformity. Most people do not have the patience, time or “eye” to adequately measure what is being applied across any large areas of lawn. The possible exceptions to this guideline would be the need to syringe the surface of the grass to cool it, or to provide additional water near buildings or other heat-reflecting surfaces.
Each type of sprinkler design has its advantages and disadvantages. Select the type of sprinkler that best fits your needs and budget.
In-ground Irrigation Systems
In-ground irrigation systems require professional design and installation. They also require routine adjustments and regular maintenance to be most effective and efficient.
A professional irrigation specialist will conduct a thorough system check-up as part of the spring start-up service.
The greatest mistake made with most in-ground systems is the “set it and forget it” philosophy. This fails to account for the changing seasonal water requirements to maximize turf growth.
A preset in-ground system without an automatic rain sensor shutoff could even operate during or following a multi-inch rain.
Another frequent problem is when in-ground sprinkler heads get out of alignment and apply water to the sidewalk, street or house-siding, rather than to the lawn.
Larger yards take a lot of time to water by hand, especially if you grow fruits and vegetables. Depending on the plants you grow, they may need watering twice a week during the summer. Installing an irrigation system may seem like a costly endeavor, including the labor involved, but sprinkler or drip configurations have several advantages.
Prevents Disease and Weeds
Specialized drip irrigation systems direct water specifically to each plant’s rootball, rather than sprinkling the entire garden like a typical rainstorm. As a result, surrounding weed seeds cannot germinate, so you’ll have less weeding to do. Water at the roots also prevents leaf diseases caused by standing droplets on the foliage. Because the water does not strike the leaves or flowers, blight diseases have no chance of proliferating.
Conserves Water and Time
Hand watering with a hose or watering can takes substantial time and early morning and evening watering rituals take away from family and work. Both drip and sprinkler irrigation systems have timers that can be preset for daily or weekly watering so you do not need to monitor the watering because the timer shuts the water off when it has finished. Your water bill should be lower if the irrigation system is effective.
Preserves Soil Structure and Nutrients
Watering with a wide open garden hose may allow too much water to seep into the soil. As a result, nutrients leach out with the water runoff, leaving the plants with fewer nutrients available. The soil may also become compacted when you water with a hose. Plants may show signs of withering or root disease with suffocating compacted soil. Using either drip or sprinkler irrigation produces smaller droplets, helping to preserve nutrients and reducing soil compaction.
If you have a busy schedule, you’ll appreciate being able to work in the garden at the same time as the plants are being watered. While one garden section is being watered, you can plant and prune in another area.