This time of year is the transition from the rainy season in Florida to a longer dry season over the traditional winter months. Coming out of the rainy seasons means a lot for your irrigation system, as during the rainy season your system will take a beating from weather and heat. November specifically is a great time to dive in and start considering what type of maintenance is needed this year. We have compiled a list of the most important topics to consider when tackling your irrigation system.
First, you’ll want to get the basics down and assess your current watering schedules. The best time to irrigate daily is only in the pre-dawn early hours of the morning. In fall we fall an hour back and so make sure to adjust accordingly. Heat causes evaporation so capturing the early morning cool temperatures will give your soil maximum time for absorption. On the other hand, you don’t want the water to sit for too long during the night because it will attract more pests, mold, and disease. Timing is critical for proper irrigation.
With timing comes, of course, amount and quantity. Everyone these days should be concerned with their water usage overall. Only a small percentage of the earth’s water is fresh and sustains life. How much water your irrigation system uses is dependent upon a couple of really critical factors about the area you are irritating. These factors include size, soil composition, and local water restrictions. In Florida, lawns tend to run a little larger than average, and soil tends to be composed of a larger percentage of sand which doesn’t retain water very well. Adjust the sprinkler heads and time watering should be done based on your soil and lawn size while making sure to follow any pertinent water restrictions. To get an idea of how much water is going through your system, you can use the cup and 15 minutes of run time to take the measurement.
Runoff management is another vital aspect of irrigation you’ll need to be educated on and keep an eye out for. Sloped lawns and areas can run into issues with uniformity and spillage. In these areas, you’ll want to run the sprinklers in shorter bursts spread throughout the day to let the smaller bits of watering soak in on the slope.
There are a couple of newer and more refined technological additions you can add to your irrigation system. One popular new trend is using smart systems that connect to wifi and give you control over the watering anywhere you take your phone. The other is rain shut-off switch. These relatively inexpensive sensors can be fitted to most systems. The best part of this is the compensation for natural rainfall and the potential for automatic reduction in water use.
Finally, always keep an eye out for leakage and pressure problems. These systems are constantly exposed to the natural elements and can develop leaks in unexpected areas. Pressure is also another thing to watching for. Leaks and blockage can cause pressure issues. Seasonal maintenance includes flushing, and if missed it will significantly affect pressure. Optimizing your irrigation is necessary since these systems often have weaknesses and are prone to the elements like any other humanmade system. Hopefully, this area that we have gone over will help keep your lawn and yard vibrant and green year-round.