For gardeners, the spring season is a sight for sore eyes. This time of year sees the end of cold and dark days and the beginning of warmth and life. Gardens and lawns become a riot of color as trees, flowers, and grass all reach their peak growth. However, if you want the best results from your garden, you must put in some effort yourself. You must ensure your plants get as much water and light as possible. To accomplish this, you must properly configure your sprinkler system. This is especially important to do after a long and cold winter. To help you do this, we are going to give you a few pro tips to prepare your sprinkler system for spring.
1. Determine the State of the Soil First
Before you start looking at the sprinkler system itself, it is a good idea to take into account the present temperature and weather conditions. While the calendar says it’s spring, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. When you initially turn on your irrigation system, be sure the soil on your property has fully thawed. In the absence of such measures, the water in your irrigation pipes might freeze, leading to cracks and eventual pipe failure. This most often happens when people fail to properly winterize and de-winterize their sprinkler system.
2. Clear Debris from Sprinkler Heads
The winter months can lead to the accumulation of debris around your sprinkler heads, such as leaves, dirt, and other materials. To ensure optimal performance during the warmer months, clearing away this debris as soon as possible is important. Start by turning off the irrigation system and using a stiff brush or hose attachment to remove any material on top of the sprinkler head itself. You can also use a trowel or shovel to carefully remove any that has accumulated in the surrounding area.
With regular maintenance like this, your sprinkler system will be ready for the summer season. However, since the experts at fairfaxtransfer.com believe that most people relocate during the spring, we should also mention that this step is even more important if you are moving because you have no idea of the condition of the sprinkler system in a new home; you need to be especially careful once you get there.
3. Check for Damage and Leaks
Checking your sprinkler system for signs of damage or leaks is an important part of regular maintenance and can help extend the life span of your irrigation system. Look for cracks or broken pipes, and inspect pipes that may have been moved or disturbed during winter freeze-thaw cycles. Pay special attention to joints, valves, and connections, as these are often weak points in the system. If you find any signs of damage, you can use repair kits to replace broken parts or seal small leaks. Regularly inspecting for damage will also save money on water bills in the long run.
4. Adjust Sprinkler Heads
If you wish to prepare your sprinkler system, you have to properly align the sprinkler heads. If you do this, you will ensure optimal coverage from your irrigation system. Adjusting the position of the heads can help direct water to specific areas, while adjusting their flow rate can ensure that they are providing just the right amount of water. To adjust the position, rotate the head about its base until it’s pointing in the desired direction.
If you are making a spring relocation, don’t forget to double-check your sprinkler heads before installing them into your new yard. People often don’t pay much attention to outdoor furniture, hoses, and sprinklers when packing for a move, which can cause the issues we have mentioned. Therefore, don’t neglect these pieces, and make sure you prepare them properly. For flow adjustment, simply turn the top of the head until you reach your desired setting. With a few simple tweaks, you can ensure that your sprinkler heads are giving you maximum coverage.
5. Test the System
Testing it is one of the best ways to prepare your sprinkler system for spring. This way, you’ll ensure it runs properly and provides adequate coverage. Start by turning on the system and observing each station’s performance. Make sure that all of the heads are coming up as they should, and watch for any patterns, such as overspraying or dry spots. In addition, keep an eye out for any signs of leakage. Once you’ve confirmed that everything is in order, you can proceed with regular maintenance on a regular basis.
Another important step in testing your irrigation system is to measure its water pressure. You can do this using an inexpensive pressure gauge, which will give you an accurate reading of how much pressure is being delivered through your pipes. A reading below 20 psi is considered low, while readings above 35 psi indicate over-pressurization. Adjusting the pressure accordingly can help ensure that you get optimal coverage from your sprinkler system. That being said, if you notice that the water pressure in other areas of your home is lower while your sprinkler system is activated, contact a professional to investigate.
6. Set a Schedule
Setting a regular schedule for watering your lawn or garden is essential for ensuring it receives the right amount of water. Start by researching your local climate, soil type, and plant needs in order to determine how often and for how long your system should run. Then consider the types of sprinkler heads you’re using and the ideal spray distance from each plant or crop. Once you have all this information, you can create a schedule that ensures your system works well and that your plants get all the water they need.
With these pro tips to prepare your sprinkler system for spring, you can make sure that your system is going to work at max efficiency and keep your lawn and garden looking healthy and green. By taking the time to clear debris from your sprinkler heads, check for damage and leaks, adjust the position and flow of the heads, test the system, and set a regular watering schedule, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a beautiful outdoor space all season long.