‘Tis the season to enjoy a lush, green lawn and colorful backyard! But, that’s only possible if you set up a solid irrigation system to supplement the rain that Mother Nature sends your way. Before you invest, however, it’s important to properly assess your backyard and consider the unique needs of your property.
Know Your Soil Types – Understanding the soil beneath the grass is critical to making effective decisions about irrigation systems. Take the time to explore your yard’s soil type – if you see excessive puddling each time you water, then your soil likely has high clay content that doesn’t absorb water quickly. As a result, you’ll need to employ repeated, shorter waterings. On the plus side, soil with high clay content retains water longer than sandy soil that does not hold water and will require frequent watering. Loam soil, the most commonly used for agriculture, has very fine particles and contains plant nutrients.
What’s the Lay of the Land? Slopes or hillsides may need to be treated differently than flat areas or your lawn. Irrigation frequency and timing should be adjusted to include shorter watering cycles that are spaced out over time. This will reduce run-off by allowing the sloped area to absorb the water in small amounts.
Account for Shade – Generally, grass growing in shaded areas will require less water than a lawn that receives full sun exposure. The exception to that rule is grass growing in the shaded areas as the base of trees. Since it is competing with the tree roots for moisture, that area will likely require more water, not less.
New Sod or Seed – Dealing with newly sodded or seeded lawns requires significantly more water than established turf during the first few weeks. The goal is to keep the top inch of the soil consistently moist until it has been through at least two mowings. After that, the frequency of irrigation can be gradually reduced.
Not sure where to start with assessing your landscape irrigation needs? Reach out to the landscape professionals at Trace Lawn & Landscaping. Our irrigation specialists work directly with homeowners to design systems that are water-efficient and meet the unique needs of each property. And, the Trace Lawn & Landscaping team can monitor and manage your irrigation system as part of an ongoing maintenance package. Act now before those hot summer days take a toll on your lawn!