Did you know that the average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30% of which is devoted to outdoor uses?
Up to 50% of this water is wasted due to inefficiencies in irrigation methods, making it pretty important to have a working and up-to-date irrigation system. After all, proper irrigation could be the difference between a lush, beautiful spring lawn or a barren, dull lawn that your neighbors might have to eventually call you out on.
If you’re not paying attention to irrigation year-round, you’ll find that your lawn can also suffer from irreparable damage during the colder winter months. All this will do is create more work for you as warm weather arrives and spring starts in full force.
Wondering why simply fertilizing and watering your lawn isn’t creating the lush oasis you’ve always dreamed of? Read on for our top three tips for springtime irrigation that’ll lead to a green lawn you’ll be proud to show off.
3 Tips for the Best Spring Irrigation
Installing the right sprinkler system is your first step towards easy spring lawn maintenance. A correctly installed and perfectly positioned irrigation system will undoubtedly help with the retention of nutrients in the soil.
Why the emphasis on a sprinkler system? When you manually water your lawn, you run the risk of wasting water (just take a look at the statistic above!). This isn’t as much the case with a good sprinkler system. If you already have that installed, here’s how to achieve a beautiful, lush lawn.
1. General System Check & Slow Start
As a first measure, you’ll want to take a look at the current state of your irrigation system after winter. To do this, you might have to reprogram your system timer and check for any cracks in the pipes. If you do need to repair any PVC pipes, it helps to have some solvent cement on hand, or, in the case that the damage is pretty severe, you might also need to contract out the repairs.
Assuming that all of the pipes and valves are working properly, you’ll start slowly by turning the water on at a very low pressure. This will eliminate pressure surges that can break tees and elbows in a line (if your system uses them) or cause further damage to the sprinkler heads that may have suffered from frostbite. Letting water flow through your irrigation system slowly also helps clean out your sprinkler lines from any debris that accumulated throughout the winter.
2. Installation & Inspection of Drip Systems
Have a drip irrigation system? They can help you save water and actually help increase the effectiveness of your irrigation efforts. However, they might not work for everybody’s lawn. If you think they’re for you, it can help your spring lawn to install one before the weather gets too warm. If you already have one, then it’s best to inspect it first.
Check the soaker hose drip lines, sprinklers, and the entire system. Similarly, carefully check the pipe for cracks, cracks, or areas that have stopped working. If there are cracks, you’ll need to patch those up or replace the pipes and hoses entirely.
Checked the system? Great, now run it. This requires that you open the valve that is furthest from the water source. Open the valve to let out any air and possible debris. Then gradually increase the water pressure. Do this for each valve as many times as necessary and watch out for any that don’t appear to be working.
3. Check The Backflow Prevention Device
Our third tip is to check your backflow prevention device, which keeps contaminated water out of the system. If it’s not working properly, it could cause the water you’re using to nourish your lawn to be contaminated. That’ll obviously make it look less than lush.
You’ll find the backflow prevention device about 12 inches above the highest point in the system. After checking that, be sure to perform a general function test of your irrigation system. If it waters by zone, take a tour of each zone. Sprinkler heads that don’t open properly in a particular area can indicate potential plumbing problems and should be corrected as soon as possible to prevent more serious or future damage.
One simple check like that could reveal pipe damage or other issues that are causing your lawn to look dull and barren even well into the springtime.
Spring Watering: Essential For A Healthy Green Lawn
If your lawn isn’t as green as the other lawns on your street, it could be due to a mere lack of the proper amount of water. This is what makes checking your irrigation system such a crucial component of a healthy spring lawn.
Doing so will allow you to understand whether or not your sprinkler system suffered damage during the cold winter. Sometimes the pipes can freeze or crack in cold weather, which can lead to leaks in the spring and expensive water bills.
Similarly, it’s also a good idea to take a look at the sprinkler heads to see if there is any damage that may prevent your irrigation system from working properly. There’s nothing worse than wasting water due to irrigation issues(both for your lawn and the environment), so be sure to check yours for problems this spring.
In short, your irrigation system is the backbone for lawn care and maintenance. If you don’t check it before beginning to care for your lawn again after the colder months, you risk having all of your efforts go to waste.
Need more irrigation tips? Aren’t quite sure what type of irrigation system is the best for you? Get in touch with one of our experts and they’ll help you figure it all out.