Managing Your Irrigation System

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Managing Your Irrigation System

Irrigation, also known as ‘Irritation’, a well deserved nick name, is the topic of the day. It is hard to install, hard to repair, and even harder to manage it correctly. What a lot of irrigation consumers run into, and do not even realize, are that an incorrect amount of water is being dispersed. Some consumers, because of the lack of education, do not know how to correctly apply run-times, which days to water, and more importantly how much water an individual plant or turf area needs.

It’s very easy to turn on your irrigation without knowing too much about irrigation in general. But you may not know that there is so much more to it than going to the main irrigation valve and turning on your irrigation controller (which probably has the original times set from installation). More than likely, when the irrigation company installed your system, they put in generic run times that they put in for ALL installations. They will apply 20 minutes for rotors, 10 minutes for pop-ups, and 20-30 minutes for soaker hoses. While all of that sounds great and uniform it doesn’t always work for all given plant material and locations. It also doesn’t take into account the special needs for your property or the change of seasons.

Your irrigation system plays a vital role in the growth and development of your plants and turf. It isn’t as simple as turning it off and on. A lot of plants are very picky about how much water they get, even turf. It is crucial that your irrigation system be regularly monitored and maintained for both the plant material and the conservation of water. We can claim to live in Northern Virginia, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s landscape is going to be the same. The climates can vary greatly from McLean to Leesburg . Your house may have tall trees shading your property, your neighbor could have no large trees around at all and everything is getting full sun, it could be that you have the same type of plants on either side of your house but one side gets morning sun and the other side gets afternoon sun. Based on that information one needs to adjust the zones of their irrigation system. The average home owner, and even the professional irrigation companies, may not understand what a plant needs or that there are micro-climates within your landscape.

Seasons need to be considered as well when monitoring your system. Your lawn and planting beds don’t require much water in the Spring, but will need extra TLC in the heat of summer.  Plants that are mainly in the shade require less water than plants in full sun, no matter the season.  Excessive watering at the wrong time of day can lead to fungal problems and root rot. It makes sense for you to have the people who are maintaining your lawn and landscape monitor your irrigation system.

Call Sunrise today to learn more about our irrigation programs. We offer programs to turn your system on and off for the season or even monitor it for you throughout the growing season. This ensures that your plants and turf are getting exactly what they need at the right time. You’ve already made a wise investment by installing an irrigation system. Now let the experts at Sunrise make sure you are getting the most out of your investment and protect your landscape from drowning and drought!

~The Professionals

Sunrise Landscape and Design 703-544-0028