Lawn Maintenance: Irrigation Systems

One of the easiest ways to ensure your lawn gets the water it needs to grow healthy, green and dense is an automatic irrigation system. Irrigation systems run on timers that automatically activate watering based on a lawn maintenance program customized for your lawn.

When to Set Your Sprinklers

As a general rule of thumb, irrigation cycles should wrap up their watering right around 6 a.m. This gives your soil more time to absorb the water because it won’t evaporate right away as it would around midday.

An irrigation program typically divides your lawn into zones and waters each zone consecutively as the previous zone finishes watering. Be sure to take all zones into account when setting a start time so that the final zone finishes watering right around daybreak.

You can also individually program each zone to target problem areas, providing more or less water throughout the growing season as needed.

Lawn Care tips for Troubleshooting Your Irrigation System

There are two typical problems that crop up with automatic irrigation systems:

  1. Poor coverage. Periodically adjust each zone so that your sprinkler heads are overlapping for full lawn coverage. Because most systems turn on at night, you may have to make an extra effort to check your sprinkler head coverage—and to make sure all heads are working.
  2. Shallow roots. Check to make sure that you are setting your system to water longer (deeper) once or twice per week, rather than shorter (lighter) every day. Deep, infrequent watering produces deeper roots. Lighter watering every day produces shallow roots and promotes thatch buildup. Water more efficiently by starting with your desired total weekly irrigation time and then dividing that up into once or twice per week for longer periods of watering.

Other common lawn care tips for irrigation systems address problems with the sprinkler heads and include:

  • Checking to make sure that they are all popping up
  • Checking that landscaping hasn’t grown to block coverage
  • Ensuring that sprinkler heads haven’t settled into the ground, thus changing spray angles and coverage.

For professional results year-round, the TruGreen® Sprinkler Repair and Maintenance Plan helps keep your sprinkler system in top shape.

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