Mistakes People Make When Setting Up Their First Irrigation System

Author: Robert Reeve  Date Posted:20 July 2020 

Automated irrigation systems offer homeowners and gardeners a really effective way to water plants, flowers and vegetables and see them flourish. More and more gardeners are making use of automatic irrigation to ensure that their yards get the supply of water they need, particularly when they are unable tend their lawn on a frequent basis. Yet, while automatic irrigation systems can be inexpensive and provide a low cost way to maintain your garden, you could face a few common problems when setting them up. Read on to find out the top mistakes to avoid when installing your automatic irrigation system.

Not Irrigating Flowerbeds and Lawns Separately

Many people think that, to conserve on water usage and save money, your lawn and flower beds can be irrigated at the same time. However, contrary to popular belief, taking this approach means that you will in fact be wasting more water because of the difference between their root systems. Whereas the roots of your trees and plants are bigger and need less water, your lawn will require approximately double the amount of water to thrive. So it makes more sense to irrigate these areas separately in order to both save on the cost of water and give your plants and lawn the right amounts of water.

Inaccurately Measuring the Designated Irrigation Area

You might, or might not know, that each irrigation head can encompass a certain maximum distance. This is important when it comes to irrigating your garden. By selecting the incorrect nozzle you can risk limited cover of your chosen area. Taking this into consideration, it’s essential to measure the area accurately and make sure that you are purchasing the correct irrigation head for the particular area that you intend to cover. Don’t opt to waste water on irrigating the wrong parts of the garden if you have mistakenly purchased the incorrect irrigation head – choosing to replace them is the cheaper option.

Irrigating Plants at the Incorrect Time of Day

The timing of your automated irrigation can be crucial, for many different reasons. If you choose to run your irrigation in the course of the evening, you may find that your plants become damp during the night. This encourages a few issues such as diseases, problems with fungus or even freezing. Similarly, choosing to irrigate during midday might mean that you’ll notice such problems as an increased amount of evaporation and drier roots due to the heat of the sun and the strength of the wind. Instead, you should try to run your irrigation system throughout the early morning, which will ensure that your garden benefits from getting the right amounts of water and reduces these potential hazards.

Failing to Install a Rain Sensor

In spite of the time it takes to install rain shutoff devices, and the fact that they are often overlooked by many gardeners, making use of these can be a low cost way to save even more money when making use of an automatic irrigation system. Rain shutoff devices are, as the name suggests, tools that switch off your automated irrigation system when there is heavy rainfall that temporarily renders your system obsolete. Invest in one of these to save approximately 15% on your water costs for the year and avoid overwatering your garden at the same time.

Selecting the Wrong Spray Pattern Nozzle

It’s important to know that selecting the incorrect spray patterns might mean the difference between adequately watering your plants and vegetables and wasting a lot of water on the pavement. Try to make sure that you analyse, measure and analyse again to be certain that the correct areas are receiving the benefits of the automated irrigation system’s spray pattern. If not, as in the case of using the wrong irrigation head, you should replace the nozzle rather than waste the water. Your plants and lawn will reap the rewards and you will notice the difference financially too.

Making Use of Various Irrigation Heads For the Same Zone

Another common mistake made when installing automated irrigation systems is using various nozzles on the same area. It’s fundamental to realise that the different types of irrigation heads are specifically designed for an array of functions. From rotors to drip emitters and micro-irrigation, there are a range of nozzles that have various strengths or rates of precipitation. Making use of the incorrect nozzle can mean that your plants and vegetables are either over or under watered, so always ensure that you’re using the correct nozzle and for the right area of your garden.

Remember, even though installing an automatic irrigation system might present a few challenges, you can still have the perfect garden. Just make sure you save yourself some of the extra water costs, avoid overwatering your plants be aware of the most common problems by following these tips.


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