Spring is quickly approaching, and the new season is the perfect time to start making landscape changes. Before you invest in landscape improvements, though, you should ensure that your irrigation system is prepared for the new season as well. If you don’t currently have a system, it’s a great time to install one to ensure your new landscaping stays watered and healthy. Irrigation is a vital part of keeping your plants healthy and lush. Here are some ways to ensure your irrigation system is ready for spring.
De-Winterize the Irrigation System
Did you have your irrigation system winterized before the cold weather? Winterizing an irrigation system involves making sure all of the water is completely out of the system. This is typically done by shutting off the water supply and blowing out all of the water with an air compressor. As it gets closer to the time when you’ll start using your irrigation system, de-winterize the system and flush out all the air.
Wait Until the Freeze is Over
You should wait to start up your irrigation until the freezing weather is done for good. If you live in the northern part of the state, you may need to wait a little bit longer, but most New Jersey residents would be safe starting up their irrigation systems in mid- to late-April. While it is something you could do yourself, sometimes it is easier to have an experienced irrigation service company come turn it back on for you. Experts can ensure that the water doesn’t get turned on too quickly, the timer and stations get adjusted to the proper settings, and all of the sprinkler heads are working properly. Irrigation techs can also check for leaks, ensure that any debris gets flushed out of the system, and adjust the spray heads to achieve optimal coverage and spray pattern.
Replace and Install Sprinkler Heads
Throughout the winter, sprinkler heads can get clogged and damaged. To get ready for spring, check all of the heads, and replace what is necessary. To clear out a clogged sprinkler head, simply pop up the riser of the sprinkler head, unscrew the top, and remove the filter. Then clear out any debris and rinse the filter before reassembling the sprinkler head.
Cleaning Sprinkler Heads and Adding New Features
To replace a sprinkler head completely, unscrew the sprinkler head, clean out any debris, and screw on the new head. Sometimes this is the best way to go with your irrigation system. If you add new landscaping features in the spring, it’s a good idea to have a professional come and take a look at your irrigation system’s design to ensure your new landscaping has sufficient water. By taking a look at exposure, slopes, landscape features, and patios, an irrigation specialist can determine where additional sprinkler heads are necessary, and then adds them to your existing irrigation system.
Determine the Proper Irrigation Type
There are a few common types of irrigation and sprinklers, and an irrigation specialist can help you determine which one is the best for your landscaping and yard. Drip irrigation delivers water to the soil at a slow, steady rate and focuses on the roots to help reduce water loss through evaporation or runoff. Hose-end sprinkling is what you’re likely most familiar with, and it is the type used with sprinkler systems.
Spray and Rotor Sprinklers
With sprinkler systems, you have the choice between spray sprinklers or rotor sprinklers. A fixed spray head delivers a fan-shaped spray of water, similar to a shower head. The nozzle type used will determine the spray area and shape. Rotor sprinklers work by rotating a stream of water back and forth or in circles over an area of the landscape. An irrigation professional can take a look at your yard and landscaping that you need to be watered and determine, based on size and shape, what type of sprinkler head will best suit your needs.
Ensure Proper Drainage
The last thing you want is to step into your yard and feel like you are in a swampland. Additionally, you don’t want water to back up into the irrigation system. An irrigation specialist ensures your yard and system is properly drained to avoid any issues.
Keeping it Lush and Healthy
Proper irrigation is necessary for a healthy, lush yard and beautiful landscaping. However, irrigation systems can be complex, and if they are not prepared for spring properly, you may run into big problems, waste a lot of water, and have a damaged system.
An experienced irrigation specialist can ensure you have the proper amount and type of sprinkler heads, perform any necessary repairs, and get your system ready for the warmer weather. If you don’t currently have an irrigation system, spring is a great time to install one to ensure you have a beautiful yard all summer long.
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