Lawn and Landscape Irrigation

Residential Water Use Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

Lawn and Landscape Irrigation

Lawns and landscapes can be designed and maintained to be water conserving, prevent runoff of fertilizers and pesticides and good looking. To develop a landscape that is water efficient, build the landscape with good landscape soils, create water zones within your landscape, choose well-adapted water saving ornamentals and turfgrasses, and utilize the correct irrigation equipment for your landscape. Read on for more information to help you design and manage your landscape for water efficiency.

Beneficial Fungi and Tree Health

Micorrhizae

Tree health is often a reflection root health. Good practices to improve root health include properly applied organic mulch, good water management to avoid overwatering but providing water as needed during dry periods, and avoiding root damage from construction or changes in soil grade. The Image shows thin white fungal mycorrhizae on the roots of a slash pine by Paul A. Mistretta, USDAForest Service, Bugwood.org

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Avoid Traffic on Frozen Turf

ice on turf
As I walk around my yard with my dog, I wonder about the impacts it has on my turf for the spring. Walking on frozen turf can have detrimental effects. During the spring and summer, we can walk on our lawns and turf fields with no damage. During the growing season, turf plants can recover from traffic through active regrowth. However, during the winter the turf is dormant and cannot recover from the damage until the spring.

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Drought and Fall Irrigation

Lawn irrigation
Currently, most of the state is in at least a moderate drought, with many areas affected by severe, extreme, and even exceptional drought conditions. The Farmer’s almanac is calling for a cold, dry winter, again, so moving into that with drought conditions already could be devastating to our plants.

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Gaps and Overlaps in Lawn Irrigation

Dry spot due to lack of overlap in irrigation

All lawn sprinkler systems, whether they are in-ground or above ground, have flaws.  Some of the biggest are gaps and overlaps.

Actually, a well designed irrigation system, or the use of above ground spray heads utilizes overlaps in the form of “head-to-head coverage”.  This involves water from one head spraying all the way to the adjacent head and vice versa.  Since twice as much water is applied near the head as is at the end of the water stream, an even amount is applied if the system has good head-to-head coverage.

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Irrigation Audits Helpful

Irrigation audit
Lawns need about one inch of water per week. During the hottest part of summer, they may need one and a half inches. Do you know how much water your irrigation system applies? Lawns require uniform watering so one area is not under watered while another is overwatered. Do you know if your system waters uniformly? Lawns are best watered deeply but infrequently. Do you know what this means and if you’re watering program meets this recommendation?

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