About 30% of a home’s water goes to outdoor uses, which means that come fall and winter, it’s imperative to learn how to adjust your irrigation system to suit the weather and changing climate. However, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t usually change much about their landscaping routine come fall, then this post is for you. From winterizing everything to figuring out when to stop watering, here’s how to adjust your irrigation system for fall weather.
Don’t Stop Watering Completely
First, you’ll want to make sure you stock up on gloves and rakes so that you’ll be able to keep your lawn clear of debris and leaves. Then, you’ll want to remember that it’s never a good idea to stop watering completely. Your lawn still needs moisture, even when the weather cools down a bit. Sure, it’s not as dry as it might be in the summertime, but it’s still in need of water up until the first frost. Not sure how much to water it? It should be getting about one to two inches of water per week, but if you’re unsure how to gauge that, think about our next point.
Think About Installing a Rain Sensor
In areas that get a lot of precipitation during the fall and winter months, a rain sensor can help ensure that you’re not adding too much additional water on top of the natural rainfall. Overwatering can actually overstimulate your lawn and cause excessive growth just before freezing weather, which is the last thing you need to preserve your precious lawn until the spring. Installing a rain sensor can also help ensure that your lawn is getting enough water if you live somewhere more temperate (think California, Arizona, Texas) that doesn’t receive much precipitation in the colder months.
Make Repairs Before Winter
Part of adjusting your irrigation system for fall means preparing it for the winter, and that means dealing with repairs before the freeze sets in. It’s a good idea to check the pipes, sprinklers, and anything else that might need repairing before winter. Having solvent cement on hand helps with PVC pipe repairs, but it’s best to hire out irrigation services to let an expert work their magic for anything else that’s a bit more complex.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
To winterize your sprinkler system properly, you’ll need to take care of it all before the first freeze. The idea is to drain all of the water from the pipes before they have a chance to freeze (which, hopefully, you don’t know from firsthand experience, leads to busted pipes). Seeing as you invest lots of time and money into your irrigation system, you’ll want to winterize it properly to prevent and costly damages. Turn off automatic timers and drain the pipes. Some systems have a manual drain valve or automatic drain valve. If yours has a drain valve, use that; if it doesn’t, you might need to blow out your pipes.
Insulate Your Irrigation System
When we talk about insulating your irrigation system, we’re talking about insulating the main shut-off valve that connects the water supply to your sprinkler system all over your lawn, along with other above-ground pipes that can freeze and burst. All you need to insulate your irrigation system is some foam insulation and a trash bag, but you can also purchase backflow bags for certain areas of the system. Don’t forget to also insulate the piping that’s located above-ground. Basically, anything that can freeze, burst, and damage your system needs to be insulated properly.
Year-Round Irrigation System Assistance
Not sure how to properly carry out any one of the tasks above or have you waited too long to adjust your irrigation system in time for the winter weather? Get in touch. We offer a variety of irrigation and landscaping services that you can check out here. Or, just send us a quick message about what you need.