Whether you’re planting a garden or just trying to keep your lawn in optimum condition, you probably know that you’ll want to look into installing a sprinkler system. All through my life I’ve always been involved in outdoor projects that have required a water source and sprinkler system. Here are some great lessons I learned while installing my own sprinkler that you can use to help make the process easier.
Know What Type You Need
What you need to irrigate will play a huge part in picking the right sprinkler system for you. For gardening you will probably want to use a soaker hose or the water efficient drip system, but for lawns or general watering most people choose automatic sprayers or rotor sprinkler systems. Soaker and drip watering devices are water efficient and allow water to be applied evenly and slowly to any type of plant that needs a larger amount of water. Automatic sprayers and rotor sprinklers are generally only on at certain times of the day and are good for any plant that doesn’t need constant water to thrive.
Sprinkler timers are an essential part of watering if your the type of person who likes to set it and forget it. I’ve had many experiences without a timer where I all but destroyed my garden because I didn’t pay close attention to how long I had left my sprinkler system on. The standard timer costs around $30 and is hooked between the hose and your water source. This way you can monitor exactly how much water you use and how much your plants are receiving on a daily basis. These are also useful if you go on vacation or are constantly working to keep your foliage healthy.
I’ve learned over the years that although many people think that buying and placing the sprinkler is the only thing they’ll need to do, but some maintenance and upkeep is required to make sure your getting the full life from your sprinkler. Here are some basic maintenance tips that helped me:
⦁ Run your entire sprinkler, one zone at a time if you have multiple hookups, and check for leaks, cracks, or uneven flow. Repair or replace parts as needed.
⦁ Clean clogged nozzles and sprinkler heads by soaking for an hour or two in a bucket of vinegar or hot water.
⦁ Make sure your water spray patterns are consistent and adjust accordingly. Make sure that you’re only watering your plants and there isn’t an excess of water being sprayed on sidewalks or driveways.
⦁ During the winter make sure to insulate any exposed pipes or hoses properly.
⦁ If you have a hose clog, disassemble system and let dry, and pour one cup of baking soda down the hose and gradually move it through the body until it has reached the clog. Next, take 2 cups of vinegar and slowly pour into hose making sure to hold the hose vertical so it directly affects the debris.
Store It Properly
At the end of the season make sure you properly store your sprinkler and hose system in a clean dry place. Make sure to only store your sprinkler when it has become completely dry. Any remaining water left in the system could freeze and expand, breaking fragile components or warping plastic. Make sure that your sprinkler is stored in good and working condition so you know it’ll be ready the next time you go to use it.
Following these simple steps will allow you to get the most out of your sprinkler irrigation system. Once you install a sprinkler system you’ll see how effective it is for maintaining any plants natural health. Happy watering!