Water filtration is an important part of any irrigation system. Even sprinklers designed to spread solids will need a filter to keep out particles that are too large for the system.
A properly installed filter will help lower your maintenance costs and extend the life of your sprinkler system, especially the heads and valves. Drip systems also need a filter as foreign objects can clog the emitters. Did you know that just a few grains of sand can cause damage to lawn and make it look brown? It can also cause undue wear on components in your sprinkler system.
While sand is the biggest culprit that can clog your sprinkler system, organic materials like algae can also build up and caused clogs and breakdowns.
Now that I have convinced you to install a filter, lets look at a few different options.
The least expensive and most common style of filter is the screen. A simple screen filter installed before your water supply can catch a lot of sand. They are not as effective on algae or mold. These things tend to build up on the screen and clog it. They can also slip through a screen filter easier than sand.
You will need to clean the screen occasionally and this is done by flushing. A simple flushing outlet can be installed to wash all of the debris out of the filter. You can also backwash. This involves spraying water from the "back" of the filter to remove the debris. A second stream of water is sometimes used to sort of "vacuum" what the backwash stream removes.
Cartridge filters are also quite popular. They do not need to be cleaned, you simple replace them. A cartridge filter has a paper filter similar to a screen that can effectively remove algae and mold from the water supply.
Tomorrows's post will cover media, disk, and centrifugal filters. I hope to see you back then. Please leave a comment if would like.
In today's post I am going to cover a few tips to conserve your water. I hope these are helpful. Feel free to leave comments below.
1. Aerate your lawn. If you see dry patches or brown spots in your lawn it might need to be aerated. When the soil gets too compacted the water will not penetrate properly. This situation will require more water to nourish your grass and soil. Thatch build up is another concern. Build up around the grass blades may repel water. The amount of aeration or times you need to de-thatch depend on your type of grass, climate, and amount of fertilizer you use. Too much fertilizer can cause excessive thatch growth. To determine if your lawn needs aeration simply apply some water from the hose to the dry area and observe. It the water does not penetrate you may want to aerate.
2. Add a few inches of mulch or decorative rock around your shrubs. This will conserve water and reduce weeds.
3. Install a filter. Most sprinkler valve and head repairs are due to foreign objects in the water such as sand or insects. Most water supplies have these. Installing a screen filter before the valves can reduce the amount of water needed and save you money on costly repairs.
4. Replace the heads. If your system is very old you may want to consider installing rotary heads. The quality has increased a lot over the last 20 years on these. The old spray heads may use more water than needed.
5. Use drip irrigation for your plants and shrubs. This will save water as well as the other 4 tips. Just click here for more info on drip irrigation. We have a whole page about it.
I hope this information is useful to you and I hope to see you back real soon!
Today we are going to give a little info about fertilizer. This may not sound very sexy but it is necessary knowledge if you want a beautiful lawn.
16 essential nutrients are required for proper growth of plants and all of them are on the periodic table. It makes me wish I had not skipped out on science class so often.. Haha. All of these elements, except carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are obtained from the soil. A soil test can be done to see which elements your lawn may need for proper nutrition.
Fertilizers all come with a number like 10-4-8, or 16-4-8. Have you ever wondered what this meant? It simply refers to the amount of different elements in the fertilizer. A more detailed explanation can be obtained from The University of Florida IFAS Extension.
It is important to understand this process to some degree because if you use too much Nitrogen it can burn your lawn. Nitrogen is the most used element in the soil and so is included in fertilizer. What type of fertilizer and when to apply it must be determined in order to properly nourish your lawn.
The link above will give all of the current Florida guidelines. If that is a little more information than you would like, just leave it to the pros.
I hope this article was helpful.
Lawn Sprinklers are quite overlooked at times when we think of maintaining various components around the house. They may be the most overlooked. This is simply because they work when we are not looking. They come on in the very early hours of the morning or late at night. We may not even notice them until we see our lawn turning brown or notice excessive insects due to standing water.
Here are a few tips to check to make sure you lawn sprinklers are working properly.
1. Check the heads to make sure there are no leaks. This is an easy task but may require you to get up a little early. Most sprinklers are set to operate early morning so that the lawn and garden get water before the hot sun can evaporate it. If the heads are leaking they should be replaced. This is not a major job and can be done by the home owner if desired.
2. Check on the valves. They should be opening and closing properly and distributing the proper amount of water. You may want to check on city codes for how much water is allowed for irrigation. A general measure is 1 inch per irrigation.
3. Check to see that all of the sprinkler system zones are watering evenly and that there is no overlap. This will cause excessive water and we will address that in the next issue.
4. Check you lawn. This sound simplistic but your lawn will tell you if it needs water. Are the blades of grass folded over? Does the lawn recover from a footprint? What color is the grass? If the grass is grayish in color, folded, or does not recover well it needs water.
We will cover more topics later. I hope this was helpful. If you have any comments or questions just post them and we will talk.
Thanks, The Lawn Pro