Maintaining Irrigation Systems

Having a landscape irrigation system is important, but it is also vital that you perform a check up on it each year so that you can save the most amount of water possible and put your system in the highest functioning form to get the most out of it.


Most cities require places with really large or commercial lawns to get their irrigation system checked up on annually, but you may want to do so anyway to help your landscaped property look nicer and to save some money while you’re at it. Here are some of the things that you should do to maintain your irrigation system.

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is to do is inspect the heads of the irrigation pieces and look for missing spray heads, leaking lines or damaged pieces. You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway, but these are the wheels of your watering system and if they don’t work then you don’t have much. Make sure that no plant growth is in the way and that none of the heads are clogged either.
  2. Take a peak around your property and see if there are any dry spots or sections of dying, yellow grass. This is usually an indicator that the irrigation system is not functioning the way that it needs to and things will have to be fixed in order for it to work again. Some of the causes of a less than perfect system are low water pressure or a plugged nozzle.
  3. You will also want to investigate any wet spots or places on the property that look over watered and saturated with dampness and moisture. The cause of this is usually a leak in the nozzle head or just normal system drainage where one a zone gets all the water coming out and the rest hardly get any. If this is the scenario in your home you will likely have to replace the worn out solenoid and diaphragm valves.
  4. Another thing to look at is how much sun or shade your irrigated lawn gets, because it will determine what the water levels need to be in that area. For example, a spot in the shade will only require about half of the water needed in a sunny landscape, whereas a spot that is directly in the west and constantly full of sun will need twice the regular amount to stay healthy and keep from drying out.
  5. It is also important to group your plants near other plants that need similar watering patterns. For example, the ones that don’t need much water at all to sustain should all be placed in one area where you can regulate how much water is dispensed through your sprinkler system. Or, if you have a vegetable garden that is places in the sunshine on a constant basis you will have to adjust the amount of water they get to keep them alive and growing.
  6. If you live in a climate that is always getting precipitation, like Washington for example, you should definitely modify your timers to that your lawn and plants don’t drown from constant hydration. You can set up the timer system to make it work for all the plants in your yard, and the best way to tell if what you already have is working is to regularly check for dry, wet or rotting spots that don’t seem to fit in with what you want to be there. At the end of the day, moderating your irrigation system will not only save you time and money, but frustration with the progress of your landscaped plant growth.

Written by Clark Jones, owner of Tree Frog Complete Grounds Maintenance. Tree Frog is the best company for landscaping Columbia MO has to offer.

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