Water water everywhere …and Unfortunately Most Of It Is In All The Wrong Places!
With the hotter, dryer weather, everyone is cranking up those sprinkler systems. If you have the “typical” pop-up sprinkler heads and they are set to run in the middle of the day, hot and windy days are carrying most of your water away to either someone else’s yard, or the street in front of your house, or much of it is being evaporated into the air. The point is – you’re paying for water and where it needs to be is on your lawn and not up in the air.
Take a few minutes this weekend to give your sprinkler system a quick tune-up. It doesn’t have to be a long involved process – just a few items that will help your lawn and beds to be healthier and happier … as well as helping to conserve water and energy, which in turn lowers your household expenses!
- 1. Put on an old t-shirt, jeans and shoes – you’re going to get wet!
- Unscrew and remove the sprinkler heads, laying each of them on the ground next to the open pipe from which they came.
- Turn on the sprinkler system for about 30-60 seconds to blow out any dirt and debris from the sprinkler lines below ground.
- Fill a bucket with warm water and a small capful of bleach. While the sprinkler heads are off – rinse each of the filters in the water in your bucket to clean out the dirt and minerals.
- Replace the filters on each of the sprinkler heads.
- Now turn the water back on and take a good look at each of the pop-ups. Are they spraying in the right direction? If they’re watering your neighbor’s lawn or the street, turn them to the proper alignment.
- Make note of any that appear to have lost a battle with the lawnmower.
- Replace broken or missing heads.
- Check for overly “squishy” turf around each of the sprinkler heads. That might be an indication of a crack or leak in the PVC piping below ground. And it’s at this point; you might want to call in a professional for any necessary repairs.
Years ago, it seemed we had plenty of water and we would never run out, but as our population continues to grow at such a rapid pace, it’s becoming more and more evident that our water is indeed, a very precious commodity. We can’t make any more water, so let’s use what we have wisely.
Lynn Bryant, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service