Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Sprinkler Check-up

We made it to April! It certainly didn't feel like we would ever get to spring, but it has indeed arrived. The trees are budding, birds are singing and the grass is greening up.

Many folks around Siouxland are anxious to get their sprinkler systems up and running. We have a few reminders for you do-it-yourself folks.

A well-tuned sprinkler is much like a well-tuned car.  A car uses less gasoline when it is running at peak efficiency. A properly adjusted and maintained sprinkler will keep your grass and landscape green using less water. To have a well-tuned sprinkler you can't simply turn on the water, set the backflow and walk away. You should walk every zone checking for leaks and damaged heads. Check that your sprinkler heads are all still set in the ground straight. A misaligned head is not watering effectively. Also be on the lookout for debris or landscape growth blocking sprinkler heads.

If you start your system early in the season to water in your fertilizer, please be sure your sprinkler system is fully functional BEFORE you apply the fertilizer. It is especially important this year because we had so much snow and the plows were very active and not always accurate in their aim for the curb!

When you raked your yard on that first lovely spring day, I am sure you noticed large amounts of sand and salt along the curb. Sometimes sand has a way of creating problems for mist heads by clogging nozzles and reducing the effectiveness of their spray.Should this happen, unscrewing the nozzle and cleaning it out with a straight pin usually works. Remember to always make sure the plastic filter screen is in place in the neck of the head before reinstalling the nozzle.

Lastly, check your controller settings. With all the rain we had last fall, your sprinkler clock could still have settings that were appropriate for July, but not so much in early spring. Watering three times per week is common for this time of year. Your yard needs about 1" of precipitation per week.

Have a great week!

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