June 8, 2016
Effective irrigation is important for not only maintaining the overall health of your lawn but also for supporting sensible use of water as an important resource. There are a number of different types of lawn irrigation systems each with different benefits. No matter what system you use, though, these five tips will help you improve your lawn’s irrigation and manage your water use more efficiently.
What Is Irrigation?
Irrigation is typically considered the supplemental addition of water to a plant when rainfall is insufficient to meet the plant’s needs. This practice is especially important in areas with little rainfall, but it’s also a consideration in areas with milder climates, like Ann Arbor MI, for controlling water use and maintaining the appearance of your lawn.
Determining appropriate steps for managing your lawn is relatively easy when you know what to consider. Follow these simple tips to learn how to make the most of the irrigation system in your lawn.
1. Use an Appropriate Dispensing Method
While it may be tempting to just take a hose to everything, doing so is an extremely inefficient way to water your lawn. A hose without a nozzle dispense water much more quickly that than grass and plants can absorb it, which causes excessive runoff and carries away topsoil. If you are not yet ready to invest in a sprinkler system, consider option for a hose nozzle with multiple settings or even just a watering can. Either option dispenses the water over a wider area, making it easier for the ground to absorb.
2. Water Deeply
The key to watering your lawn is to water deeply but infrequently. Doing so will encourage the development of deep roots. You’ll want to water your grass long enough that the water soaks to the depth of the roots. While the specific amount of time needed varies by soil type, a general rule of thumb is to apply no more than one inch of water. This amount should be enough to soak the soil between six and ten inches deep.
3. Water at the Right Time
Watering at the right time of day is another important consideration for effectively irrigating your lawn. It is best to water in the early morning. Watering midday can cause too much water to evaporate prior to soaking into the soil while watering late in the evening encourages fungal development.
4. Avoid Overwatering
Overwatering is just as much of an issue as under-watering, so be mindful of how much moisture your lawn has absorbed in the past few days. If your area has gotten ¾ to 1 inch of rain in a week, you should skip watering. A great way to monitor this is using a rain gauge in your yard. Likewise, attaching a rain sensor or moisture sensor on your automatic sprinkler system can help you avoid overwatering.
5. Prevent Runoff
Runoff is a significant contributor to water waste. The soil type and rate of application of water are the primary components that determine how quickly runoff will occur. To eliminate this issue, monitor your lawn before, during, and after several irrigation periods. Take note of how long the sprinkler runs before runoff appears, and then set the time for each cycle according to that observation.
Effective lawn irrigation is an important practice for maintaining its appearance as well as adequately regulating resources. Follow these tips to improve the irrigation in your Ann Arbor MI yard and enjoy healthier, fuller grass while using less water.
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