Environmental practices that return your investment…
Irrigation Essential: Inspect, Test and Adjust
One of the keys to a beautiful landscape is to inspect your irrigation system, while it is running! Irrigation systems are made of many moving parts, buried in the dirt, and using water that may have a variety of impurities in it. It sounds like a science project, and it is! Inspecting the system is one of the a-b-c’s of protecting the investment in your property.
Start with the controller. Is it showing the correct time? Interruptions in power, or changes in programming that were meant to be temporary but were never re-set, are surprisingly common occurrences.
Also, check the back-up battery – is it there, and reasonably fresh? And, I’m going to take a minute to harp on the importance of writing down your schedules (programming), and making at least once monthly adjustments to the programming. See “Controller Programming” for more on this critical aspect of accurate irrigation. So, that said – is the schedule you have accurate, no more and no less than your landscape needs? Does your irrigation schedule avoid any run-off or puddling? If you are having chronic run-off issues, drop us an email—we’ll help you with this!
Lets move on to inspecting your sprinkler heads. An example of a dysfunctional condition is a head that is too low, or tilted to the point that it is not hitting the target. These are conditions to inspect for, and correct. Look carefully at the spray coming out of the nozzles, tiny bits of sand like material can affect a spray pattern. Unscrew the nozzle, inspect it, and look at the screen that should be under it. Clean as required.
Routine Inspections Save You Money
If you have drip irrigation, and mini-sprinklers – it is really important that you make inspecting this type of hardware a routine event during the growing season. The basics are to start with the filter, open it up and clean as required. I highly recommend getting an extra filter element for your filter. That way if something happens to the element, you are able to function without interruption. Inspect the tubing for breaks. Gardening, kids, pets, critters such as raccoons. All can -- and have undermined this type of hardware. Also, once you’ve finished inspecting the emitters and mini-sprinklers (if you have them), remove the end cap of the laterals, and briefly flush the laterals out. This is an act of preventative maintenance that can help avoid crop failure due to clogged gear.
There is no substitute for professional grade hardware. See your local irrigation supply house – email us, we’ll help you locate the right stuff!