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Free Watering Tips

When should I water my lawn?

Water in the early morning (before sunrise) when water pressure is greatest, evaporation is minimal and the lawn drinks in the most water. Do not water in the evening because water will sit on the lawn and may cause disease. Do not water in the heat of the day because the sun will evaporate water before it can soak in. To water your lawn efficiently, you need to provide the right amount of water, evenly distributed, in the right places and at the right time.

How often should I water my lawn?


There are three things to consider: the weather, the type of soil and the depth of roots.

Weather is the most obvious factor. When it's hotter you'll need to water more frequently. In the summer you'll probably need to water every other day, if not every day (depending, of course, on where you live).

The type of soil affects how much water is available for the grass to use. Heavy (clay) soils hold the most water, meaning you'll probably water less frequently. Sandy soils do not hold water well, so you'll water them more often. Deeper roots mean there is more available water for the grass and, therefore, you'll need to water less frequently. Think of the soil as a sponge that holds water for the grass. The deeper the sponge, the more water it can hold. It is wise to establish watering practices that encourage deep root growth. This allows lawns to go longer between watering, cutting down on disease potential and, ultimately, the amount of water you'll use.

How much should I water my lawn?

This will be driven by the weather. Water is lost from your lawn through a process called evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration--usually referred to as "ET"-- is the combined effect of water used by the plant and that which is lost to evaporation. ET is expressed in inches (or mm) of water per week. Your watering schedule should be set up to replace the water lost to ET. Check with your local university extension for ET rates in your area. Many areas publish ET rates in the daily press.

How deep into the soil should water penetrate?

Water should penetrate to the depth of the roots (fill the root zone) or to the depth that roots are desired. This should be at least six inches. The next scheduled watering should occur when about half of the water is used via ET. Allowing much more loss could result in plant stress (see below).

What happens if I don't water my lawn enough?

If too much water is allowed to leave the soil, your lawn will not be able to extract what's left for its own use, leading to stress. This makes the grass weak and susceptible to physical damage, insect damage and disease.

What happens if I over water my lawn?

More lawns are harmed by too much water than not enough. Over watering causes nutrients to be flushed away, resulting in higher fertilizer requirements. Over watering also displaces oxygen from the soil, which leads to shallow roots and a lawn that is disease prone and weed infested.

What happens to grass during a drought?

If your lawn can't get enough water it will first go into a dormant stage, often marked by a bluish color. If the drought continues until the soil water is fully used, death will result for most cool-season grasses. Bermudas and other warm-season grasses will probably recover, however, the lawn's quality will not.

What are the elements of an automatic irrigation system?

Controller/Timer
The controller, or timer, is the brain of your system, telling your sprinklers what day, what time and exactly how much to water. 

Valves
Installed below the ground, usually near the water source, valves regulate water flow to the sprinklers.  

Backflow Preventer
Backflow Preventers prevent water from your sprinkler system (and therefore any fertilizer or chemical contaminants) from re-entering the clean water supply.  These are required by law.  There are different models designed for different scenarios.

Lawn Sprinklers
Installed in a special pattern for complete and even coverage, a properly designed automatic sprinkler system delivers precise coverage without gaps or runoff. 

Rain Switch (Optional)
A Rain Switch signals your system to shut off automatically when it's raining. There's no sense watering when nature is doing its part. The Rain Switch is a highly reliable and inexpensive option that saves countless gallons of water.

What kind of sprinkler should I use?

The type of sprinkler you use really depends on what's being watered. There are 3 basic sprinkler that JMG uses: fixed sprays, gear driven rotors and drip line.

Fixed-spray sprinklers produce a tight, constant fan of water ideal for small lawn, shrub and ground cover areas. Pop-up models pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use. Shrub sprays are mounted above foliage to water ground cover and shrubs.

Gear-driven, single-stream rotary sprinklers cover large lawn areas most efficiently. Some single-stream rotors have an arc adjustment for placement in corners. Like other pop-up sprinklers, they pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use.

Drip Line is layed on the surface if the ground.  The line is then braced to the ground with a stake designed to hold the line in place without affecting the flow of water.  Depending on the design and model chosen by our designer, water is dripped out through omitters installed by the manufacturer inside the line.

What are the advantages of an automatic sprinkler system?

Convenience.
How many times have you forgotten to water your lawn, then over watered--only to end up with brown spots and muddy puddles? Like many homeowners, you could be using up to 50% more water than your landscape needs. Which isn't good for your pocketbook or for your lawn. The solution isn't to use more water, but to water more precisely. An automatic sprinkler system can give you a healthy, green lawn--and more free time to enjoy the beautiful results.  An Automatic Sprinkler System takes the work and worry out of watering your lawn. You can forget about tripping over hoses or sprinklers, fixing leaky faucets and hauling hoses around the yard. While you're enjoying the ball game, your lawn enjoys the right amount of water, in the right spots, at the right time.

Greener lawns and gardens.
Hose-end products simply cannot match the performance of a properly installed irrigation system. Adjustable sprinklers allow you to fine-tune coverage and minimize waste.

More efficient watering.
An automatic system delivers gentle, even watering for a more thorough soaking. There's less runoff and wasted water. The system can be programmed to water at the best time, early in the morning.

Attractive.
Pop-up sprinklers stay out of sight when not in use. All you need to do is enjoy your lawn. 

Improves your home.
Installing a  Automatic Sprinkler System immediately adds value to your home. It also protects your gardening and landscaping investment and keeps it growing while saving time and water.