As we get close to spring, it’s time to get your sprinkler system ready for the rigors of summer use.
So you may wonder what steps to take. The following is a checklist we use to get our clients systems ready for summer.
Now a word of caution, we live in inland Southern Ca. It freezes once or twice a year here so we do not fully shutdown our systems.
Its not rare to have a week or two of high 80 degree temps in our “winter”. So our startup process is much less involved than if you live in a cold climate.
- Check controller for functionality. Make sure it turns zones on and off and that the schedule is appropriate for spring. I have to insert here that this is a great time to upgrade to a Rachio smart controller. We fully believe the Rachio 3 is the best irrigation controller ever made. In our area state rebates range from $85-$550, so check with your water agency for rebates.
- Check control valves for problems. Look for leaking water especially near the solenoid or on the ground around valves.
- Check sprinkler heads for leaks, proper spray pattern, spots not getting wet and proper head height. The greatest inefficiencies can be in the lawn so look closely, Just think one sprinkler wasting 1 gallon per minute if ran for the average of 50 minutes per week is about 200 gallons per month and that’s if its just one head that bad! Irrigation is all about applying water consistently so pay attention to how wet the lawn gets.
- Check your planter drip systems. Check to make sure each plant is getting water and please make sure your drip system is pressure regulated!
- Now your ready to roll, so the million dollar question is how often and for how long should you water? The answer is easy: Just enough. The explanation is mildly complicated.
Watering is really a supplement for when rain cannot keep your plants and lawn alive. So water only when needed. The general principle we go by is to water deep into the soil to encourage roots to go down, then let it dry out, this is
important because if you keep the soil wet constantly your plants WILL develop disease and fungus. So for us it means spacing out waterings to 3-4 times per week. Never water everyday unless your in extremely hot weather ( Over 105 degrees). And usually its only turf grass that MAY need it everyday in this type of weather. Please note our turf grass is Tall Fescue so it requires more water to survive heat than say Bermuda or St. Augustine.
Now your on your way to being efficient and looking good this spring. It is a good idea to check your irrigation every three months so put it on your reminders. Thanks for reading.