The summertime heat in North Carolina is no joke! Summer seems to start earlier every year, and the heat and humidity creep later and later into fall. The dry, hot weather can negatively impact your yard, garden, and plants. As the weather is getting warmer, now is the time to install an irrigation system if you don’t already have one, or if you do, it’s not too late to tune up your system to make sure it’s running at full coverage efficiency to keep your lawn and gardens hydrated during the torrid months of summer!
Irrigation systems have many benefits including keeping your property looking beautiful and saving you money on watering costs, but the catch is they have to be in great working condition in order for you to reap all the benefits.
Before calling in the pros to install a new system or help you get your current system all set for summer, consider what your options are and follow our checklist to make sure your new irrigation systems will serve you well and your older systems are up-to-date to efficiently keep your yard in the best shape all summer.
Types of irrigation systems to consider. There are countless types of irrigation systems and many varieties of sprinklers. You may have one or more of these already installed, but could benefit from an additional one being strategically placed–or from replacing an older one sprinkler for a more efficient, newer one. Some irrigation options are below, and the pros at Heffner Landscaping can determine which of these — or what additional options — may be best for your yard and garden:
- Above-ground sprinklers. As the most popular or traditional irrigation systems, automatic above-ground sprayers are are easy to install and program, and come in a variety of sprayer heads. Most types of above-ground sprinklers fit into one of three categories:
- Fixed stream are great for small, focused areas, but due to low pressure, can be less efficient due to evaporation.
- Rotating, or rotor, systems are great for areas with rounded edges, have a low-flow rate but high water pressure, and a cover wide radius.
- Bubbler/flood systems have the highest flow rate and apply water directly to one plant or specific thirsty area.
Each has its own purpose, and professional installers can advise on the best use of which above-ground sprinkler for which zones in your yard and garden.
- Soaker hoses. Soaker hoses let out water via a “sweating” manner all along the length of the hose. They’re best used in dense areas like food gardens or lush decorative gardens with many many types of flowers and bushes planted close together to avoid wasting water. Soaker hoses are largely efficient due to their water placement.
- In-ground sprinklers like drip line emitters. Drip emitters use a very small amount of water, and target the roots directly to avoid wasting water. In-ground sprinklers have less evaporation and are considered extremely efficient.
Now that you know a few types of sprinkler options, follow this checklist to ask the all the right questions and think about some additional factors you may not have considered to get the best system and maximum efficiency.
Ask questions about your current system, weather, and conditions. The first step to determining what new systems you should select–or in getting your older systems ready for the summer– is to both ask questions and answer the questions that your professional contractors or installers have for you about your yard. Some of the best questions to get started are:
- How frequently do you currently your lawn, garden, and plants, and how do the various zones in your yard respond to your regimen?
- Do you have any new grass, plants, or trees that you’ve just planted this season?
- Are there parts of your yard that seem dryer than others? Do these parts receive more sun?
- Are there parts of your yard that don’t seem to drain properly after heavy rain?
- What is your budget for installation, upkeep, and monthly watering?
- Do you have areas that you struggle to reach with irrigation systems, hoses, or natural water sources?
Consider additional aspects like:
- Soil conditions, local climate, and recent changes in your yard or climate.
- Water sources and access.
- Appropriate zones that take into account not only hearty trees, versatile grass, and delicate flowers, but also driveways, walkways, and external fixtures.
- Current drought conditions or water shortage warnings if applicable.
- Accessibility of professional landscapers to keep everything functioning properly.
- Warranties on equipment and installation; guarantees of service and satisfaction.
All these elements are a lot to consider, so whether you’re ready to install a new system or do regular maintenance on your older system, call the professionals at Heffner Landscaping to take the guesswork out of irrigation, and conserve water, energy, and money, all the while keeping your yard and garden looking lush and plush, even through the hottest, driest months of summer.