Irrigating in Autumn
It's Fall. Well, according to the calendar anyway. In Central Florida, it's still hot and humid, but you may notice one difference—the rain or lack of it. Our soaking wet season is coming to an end, which means it's time to adjust your irrigation system. Here are a few things to do now that it's not raining every afternoon.
A lawn that's not getting enough water will tell you when it's in trouble. You just need to know how to speak its langue. Look for the following:
• Weeds—don't need as much water as grass.
• Color—green is great, blue is bad.
• Grass blades—curling is a sign that the lawn isn't getting enough water.
• Footsteps—take a walk on the lawn; healthy grass bounces back moments after it's stepped on.
• Bugs—chinch bugs, mole crickets, and sod webworms feast on stressed lawns.
The fall is the time of year to get more familiar with your irrigation timer. You remember what that is. That's the box with all the buttons in the garage. It's essential to adjust the unit every season. You don't want to waste any water in the summer or kill your lawn and landscape in the fall. It should be programmed to water two days a week, which days depend on your county guidelines. You or (your irrigation technician) should have changed the schedule in the summer.
Making sense of the rain sensor
If you haven't seen or heard your sprinklers turn on in the early morning hours over the last couple of months, it's because of the rain sensor. The small unit that's usually located near the roof is the watchdog of the system. If the sensor is wet, it tells your system not to run the sprinklers. That's why you don't (or shouldn't) see the head spraying water during a storm. Now, the rain sensor won't be getting as much action in the fall, so it's vital to make sure your timer is correctly set.
Irrigation systems can be complicated. The book that came with it is long and reading it isn't exactly a fun way to spend the afternoon. That's where we come in. ELT technicians know irrigation systems, old ones, new ones, and even models that aren't even out yet.
They are professionals and get further training all the time. They'll make sure your system is running from the timer to the sprinklers, check the pipes, backflow, and make sure the heads point where they should be.
We offer custom irrigation maintenance packages for homeowners across Central Florida. Contact us for a free estimate.