Top Ten Lawn Irrigation FAQ

Warm weather and lush landscapes invite us outside into the yard. But your lawn also requires maintenance and must be trimmed, fed and watered on a regular basis to ensure healthy growth and an attractive appearance. Lawn irrigation comes in a wide range of styles and designs, from automatic sprinkler systems to rain barrels and drip irrigation. Check out these top ten lawn irrigation FAQ and discover the answers to your questions about optimum lawn maintenance.

# 1 - What Type of Lawn Irrigation is Better - Manual Watering or Automatic Irrigation Systems?

Both have their advantages, and the best choice depends on your lifestyle and property size. Small suburban yards are efficiently watered with manual sprinklers, as long as you stay on top of the task and avoid overwatering. Automatic sprinkler systems allow you to set it and forget it, actually conserving water by only irrigating the proper amount at the proper times.

Larger properties are better served by automatic systems, operated through underground piping and covering all corners of the yard. Moving your manual sprinklers around a massive lawn takes too much time and effort for most people.

# 2 - What is the Best Time to Water your Grass?

It makes the most sense to water your grass in the early morning hours, reducing the amount of moisture lost to evaporation and lowering the risk of fungal problems. Watering in the evening is not usually recommended, as it leaves your grass exposed to disease and fungus over night.

# 3 - How Can Rain Barrels Help With Lawn Irrigation?

Rain barrels capture valuable clean water running off of your eaves, collecting it for future use. Many homeowners use rainwater to keep their gardens and potted plants moist, especially during the driest months of summer. But rain barrels also play an important part in lawn irrigation, acting as a supplemental water source during municipal watering bans.

You may need to resort to handheld watering cans or use the hose connected to your rain barrel, but this free source of water should be put to good use on the grass, trees and flowers when required.

# 4 - How Do Rain Sensors Help With Water Conservation?

Homeowners must strike a delicate balance between responsible water use and a lush lawn. Rain sensors help to reduce wasted water used in your automatic sprinkler system. Mounted to the sprinkler heads and/or on your roof, these sensors measure the amount of natural rainfall and disable your sprinkler settings accordingly. Use rain sensors to eliminate unnecessary irrigation after (or during) a rainfall and achieve better balance between conservation and a beautiful backyard.

# 5 - What's the Difference Between Rotor Sprinkler Heads and Spray Heads?

Mainly used for flat areas of grass, spray sprinkler heads expel a large amount of water over a shorter period of time. Designed to pop out of the pipes or permanently set just above underground tubing, spray heads are efficient on flat grass.

Choose rotor sprinkler heads for hilly yards or sloping areas, since they dispel less water over a longer period of time, helping to avoid run off and encourage absorption. Rotor heads also apply water in a uniform pattern, ensuring every part of your lawn is properly watered. Some homeowners may look for a combination system, providing the best of both types around their property.

# 6 - What Are Drip Irrigation Systems and Can They Be Used in the Lawn?

Designed for water conservation, drip irrigation systems use small holes punched into the underground piping to distribute water directly into the soil. This type of system reduces the chance of fungal issues and disease, and allows gardeners to customize an irrigation system to their planting.

Perfect for trees, shrubs and perennial gardens, drip irrigation is better suited to the garden than lawns. It can be used for grassy areas, but may produce scattered moisture instead of the uniform coverage required by most grass species. Talk to your landscaping specialist about incorporating drip irrigation into your lawn irrigation system, possibly combined with another style of sprinkler in the grass.

# 7 - What Are Lawn Irrigation Zones?

Setting lawn irrigation zones helps you to distribute only the necessary water, based on the soil type and plantings in each zone. The watering needs of each irrigation zone are then programmed into your automatic sprinkler system, and only the proper amount of water is applied.

Gardens and grassy areas tend to be in different zones, as will certain kinds of trees and shrubs. Low lying areas and hilltops in a sloped yard may be considered separate zones, since each requires varying amounts of water. Consider the creation of irrigation zones when planting flowers and try to group those with similar watering needs together for better efficiency.

# 8 - Can Sprinkler Systems Be Installed as a DIY Project?

Sprinkler system installation requires accurate calculations and hard work, not to mention the necessity of dealing with municipal bylaws and standards. In most cases it makes more sense to hire the professionals. With expert installation you can expect a dependable system and professional service, including regular sprinkler maintenance and repairs. Leave the DIY jobs for digging out gardens, planting grass and setting up the rain barrels.

# 9 - Do Different Soils Require Different Schedules for Lawn Irrigation?

Every factor of your lawn will affect the lawn irrigation schedule, including soil type. Sandy soils often need more frequent watering with smaller amounts applied each time, while clay soils should be watered less frequently. Use only small amounts of water when working with clay soils, in order to reduce run off and wasted water.

Soils rich in organic matter tend to drain evenly, and should receive a generous amount of water on a regular basis - once per week should work in most climates.

# 10 - How Much Do Automatic Lawn Sprinklers Cost?

It's very difficult to answer this question, since the price of lawn sprinklers varies widely depending on your location, the size of your yard and the type of sprinkler system installed. Expect to pay anywhere from $1800 and up for the average-sized suburban lawn.

Lawn irrigation systems help to regulate and reduce yard maintenance for homeowners around North America. But many wonder if manual sprinklers are a better option than automatic or are curious about how drip irrigation, irrigation zones and soil types affect these system. Find out the answers to the top ten lawn irrigation FAQ and call your landscaping specialist for more details.

Posted by: diana
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