If you have noticed dry spots in your yard, turn your sprinkler system on and take a minute to see whether new growth on shrubs or trees might be blocking the water spray.

In early June I noticed that the grass in several areas of my yard was beginning to die. I watered more often, but to no avail. One day while the system was on, I noticed that the stream from one sprinkler head was spraying directly into an oak tree limb that had new growth almost to the ground. I cut the limb back with my extension tree saw, and like magic, the water sprayed exactly where it was supposed to spray– on the large area of dead grass.

Another sprinkler head was being blocked by a tulip tree that I had planted. In two years the little tree had grown just enough to prevent the water from maintaining its original path.

If your sprinkler system comes on before daylight, as mine does, take a minute to run through all the stations so you can see if any sprinkler heads are being blocked.

Adjusting a few sprinkler heads or cutting a few limbs may solve your problem.

Rene Mitchell, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Water Conservation & Drought