When you have a Lawn Sprinkler System, you are giving yourself the opportunity to supplement the amount of rainfall, this IS NOT an excuse to over-water. When you have a properly installed sprinkler system and you use it correctly, it not only is an efficient way to water the lawn, but it can save you money in the long run. The problem with many lawn sprinklers is that they aren’t used properly, aren’t maintained properly or not up to date. With a little tweeking, your sprinkler system will be able to deliver the correct amount of water at the correct times.
Scheduling the correct watering days and times is very important for water conservation and to avoid over-watering the lawn. Most lawn sprinklers have rain sensors installed (required on all new installations in NJ) to avoid over-watering during or after significant rainfall. Watering your lawn properly should allow flexibility for the changing of weather patterns in order to compensate for those long, hot days of Summer with less need of watering during the shorter days of Spring and Fall.
Type of Grass
The type of grass you have will influence the amount of water needed to supplement natural rainfall. Fescue grass can survive on less water than a Kentucky bluegrass so it makes sense that watering times will vary from lawn to lawn and from sprinkler system to sprinkler system. The average lawn requires 1.0 – 1.5″ of water per week during the heat of Summer, while the Fescue grasses are heat and drought tolerant and have the ability to go dormant during this time.
This is a huge factor in the proper distribution of water to your lawn. A lawn sprinkler should be designed by a Licensed Professional who will know the proper spacing of heads, nozzle selection, sprinkler zone type and appropriate head-to-head coverage. Over-lapping the spray patterns evenly avoids fluctuations in root depth but wind and terrain also need to be considered in the design.
The type of soil you have will also factor into the amount of watering your lawn will need. Clay soils accept water in a different way than Sandy or Loamy soils. The type of soil will affect the times the sprinkler will need to run to supplement natural rainfall.
More Factors to Consider
- Be sure you have adequate water pressure to operate the sprinkler system.
- Ensure the correct sprinkler head and nozzle is used appropriately.
- Always repair leaks to avoid loss in pressure, wasting water (as well as your money) and wet spots
- Be sure your heads are at the proper level with the turf and that they are working properly.
A poorly designed sprinkler system can cause fungus to grown on your lawn, over-watering causing wet spots which damage the grass, brown areas due to lack of coverage just to name a few.
A properly designed sprinkler system, should not only water your lawn, it should supplement the rainfall. Your lawn sprinkler should promote deep root growth helping your lawn to survive any periods of stress. A lawn that has been allowed to be more on the dry side will be much more healthy and resilient than a lawn that is watered every day.