As one of the Plano area's premier landscaping companies, we understand manual sprinklers can be a chore. Keeping track of where and when and how much we have already watered is a luxury many of us simply don't have. Besides that, sprinklers are flimsy. They get knocked over, moved, and your hose can only stretch so far.

Because of this, many homeowners opt away from manual sprinklers, preferring instead to go with an irrigation system. When installed correctly, irrigation systems are great. The systems are the closest we can get to mimicking natural rainfall, and can be fully customized to meet the needs of each section, or zone, of your lawn.

Whether you prefer wide, green stretches of turf or large, soft beds for planting, an automatic sprinkler system has you covered. Want to nourish the creeper vines up your favorite tree? Covered! Want to water that weird dog legged section of grass around the side of the house that's drenched in shade where the hose won't reach? Covered!

When an irrigation system does its job well, the results can be beautiful. 

So what happens when it doesn't?

Irrigation Systems Are A Complex Machine

As you might imagine, an automatic sprinkler system is a complex machine. Like an organism with a lot of moving parts, it all needs to work together to do its job well, and if one of those parts isn't doing its job well, your lawn can take a turn for the worse. 

Water is one of the most erosive forces on earth. Take a look at the Grand Canyon, see that? Way down at the bottom? That's water, cutting through rock for millions of years. Add to that fluctuations in the climate and changes in the look and layout of your lawn, and you've got a system that might need a checkup.

Below, you will find a list of some of the most common problems homeowners encounter with their irrigation sprinkler systems.

Problem: Dry Turf, Drowned Beds

Sometimes, homeowners decide to make changes to the look of their lawn. As a landscaping company, we get it! Aesthetics, taste, and family needs change over time and what is your lawn but a reflection of the family enjoying it?

Major landscaping overhauls are a good time to reevaluate the zoning of your lawn and the type of sprinkler installed in each zone. A properly installed irrigation system takes into account the layout of the land, so to speak, and utilizes the right sprinkler head for each section.

Bed zones, turf zones, and drip zones for boxed, contained plants all have different watering needs.

A proper irrigation sprinkler system will take this into account, and water each zone appropriately. Many systems can even be programmed so each zone operates on its own schedule, ensuring that it receives exactly the amount of water it needs, at exactly the right time.

Problem: Uneven Spray

As we mentioned before, automatic sprinkler systems are complex machines. No piece of that machine works harder for your lawn than the sprinkler head.

Sometimes, you might notice that a certain patch of lawn isn't getting the coverage it used to. It may have some brown patches, or sizzle marks. Most likely, that's because the sprinkler head isn't doing its job.

As a homeowner, your first move should always be to check for blockage. It is not uncommon for mud, dirt, or other lawn debris to get caught in the nozzle, and carefully cleaning the sprinkler head might just solve the problem.

If not, it might be that the sprinkler head will need to be replaced, a job a proper landscaping company (like ours) can accomplish quickly!

Problem: Irrigation System Running in the Rain

No one likes wasting water, and no one wants to be the one the neighbors quietly castigate for running their irrigation sprinkler system in the rain. Besides, overwatering can be just as harmful to plant life as underwatering, as anyone with a succulent knows all too well.

For this reason, many of our customers choose to install a rain sensor. Rain sensors work by detecting measurable rainfall, and shutting off the automatic irrigation valves accordingly. This allows your system to work directly with nature to ensure your lawn is as healthy as possible.

Problem: Pools of Water, and Not the Good Kind

Sometimes, water can pool on our lawns. Pooling is not good as it drowns grass and can uproot seeds and healthy topsoil and replace it with debris and sediment.

If your irrigation sprinkler is the cause of the problem, it most likely has something to do with a water valve. During the course of operation, your system opens and closes valves to allow water to flow through. But when a malfunctioning valve gets stuck in the on position, you can be left with too much water coming through. With no place to go, it creates a pool.

As with most problems, prevention is easier (and more cost effective) than mitigation, and we recommend installing an automated, emergency shutoff device.

These handy little devices work by shutting off the water supply to the malfunctioning valve in the system, protecting your lawn.

Problem: Time-Consuming Container Plants

Container plants look beautiful. Often, they are the first thing a guest notices as they look at your house and your lawn. But elevated off the ground, sprinkler systems can't reach them right? Wrong!

These days, irrigation sprinkler systems can be installed to water your hard to reach plants. They utilize drip technology, a slow, steady watering method designed to work magic on small sections of landscaping. Drip irrigation is 20% more effective than sprinklers, they are easy to install, and, as valuable upgrades to your existing system, are relatively inexpensive.

Plano Irrigation and Watering Best Practices

Of course, even a perfect system can lead to problems if used improperly, so it is important to remember some best practices when it comes to using your irrigation sprinkler system.

Remember that plants love breakfast, and it is always best to water in the morning. This will lead to healthy, happy plants and a reduced likelihood of your lawn contracting disease and fungus.

As the seasons change, your system will require small tweaks. No matter what climate you live in, summer is hotter than winter and spring is wetter than summer. Ask your system installer for tips when it comes to tweaks you might need to make to ensure your irrigation system is doing exactly what you need it to do.

Remember that most of the time, you'll want to run your system in soak and cycle mode. This is a method of irrigation that uses shorter bursts of watering, which allows the water to soak into the ground or garden before it is watered again. This is the most efficient method of irrigation and should be easy to program.

Who is College Fund Landscaping and How Can We Help? 

Here at College Fund Landscaping, we pride ourselves on giving our customers the lawn of their dreams. If you have any questions or concerns about your lawn that aren't listed, give us a call! We're always happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you!