While southern Louisiana is a generally humid environment, the rainfall is not always something you can rely on. Both Baton Rouge and New Orleans have periods of drought, and during these times, it is difficult to keep your lawn healthy. A lawn sprinkler system allows you to control the amount of water your yard receives to keep your grass green and lush.
If you are considering a new irrigation system for your property, here are some important things to take into consideration.
The cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge usually do not pose any restrictions on how much water you can use to irrigate your lawn. Nevertheless, fresh water is a vital resource and should not be wasted. Some people see irrigation as a misuse of water, but it is actually more efficient to use than watering by hand. You should try to choose the lawn sprinkler system that is the most effective for your property.
Conserving water is not just an environmental issue; it also makes economic sense. Nearly one-third of all residential water use goes to lawns, which can account for a significant portion of your monthly water bill. A more efficient irrigation system could save you money by conserving water.
Regardless of what system you choose, you should tailor your watering schedule to minimize evaporation so your plants get the amount they need, and you do not waste water unnecessarily. You can do this by watering your lawn in the morning when it is usually cooler. As the temperatures rise, more water evaporates.
2. Type of Lawn Sprinkler System
The three basic types of sprinkler systems include a rotor head system, a spray system and a drip system. A rotor head system sprays less than an inch an hour to give the soil time to absorb the water and is appropriate for large lawns. A spray system sprays approximately an inch and a half per hour and is good for smaller areas that need more water, more quickly. A drip system provides water directly to specific plants or certain sections of your yard and is most appropriate for flower beds or vegetable gardens.
3. Aboveground Versus In-Ground
Each of the different types of irrigation systems can be installed either above the ground or in the ground. Each has its own pros and cons. For example, an in-ground system is appropriate if you intend to remain in your current location for many years. However, if you intend to move in the foreseeable future, an aboveground system makes more sense because it requires a smaller upfront investment.
An aboveground irrigation system is easy to install, and you can change it as needed, but water hoses lying around your yard are not attractive and could pose a tripping hazard. With an in-ground system, all the pipes are installed underground so you do not see them, and they do not pose safety hazards. They can be programmed to turn on and off automatically, meaning less hassle for you. However, once they are installed, it is difficult to remove them or change their location.
While it is easier to install an in-ground lawn sprinkler system during the initial construction of the building, do not assume that you cannot have one installed in an existing lawn. It is possible to install an in-ground system without severely damaging the grass by cutting open the sod and then closing it up again after the installation takes place.
4. Types of Sprinkler Heads
There are different types of lawn sprinkler heads. Most are compatible with either an in-ground or aboveground system:
5. Size and Shape of Your Lawn
The best lawn sprinkler for a particular yard is one that covers the entire area without spraying spaces that may not need water. Different types of sprinkler heads are more appropriate for lawns of various sizes and shapes. For example, a spot sprinkler may work best for small lawns of a regular rectangular or square shape. An oscillating sprinkler may be best for a large lawn of a regular shape, while an impact sprinkler may perform well for a large, irregularly shaped lawn.
6. Types of Soil
Baton Rouge and New Orleans often have alluvial soils consisting of sediment deposited by the Mississippi River. The type of soil can vary based on the sediment. For example, some soils in these cities are very sandy and require frequent watering. Others consist of clay and do not need as much watering because they hold onto the moisture more effectively. Knowing your type of soil is important to prevent overwatering or not watering enough.
What you plan to spend on your irrigation project determines the type of lawn sprinkler system you should choose. However, when you are planning your budget, be sure to factor in the cost of the water used with each system. While an aboveground system may save you more money upfront, an efficient in-ground system may save more on water use in the long run.
As the seasons change, your irrigation needs fluctuate as well. Choose a system that can adapt to your lawn's seasonal water needs. For example, during the hottest days of summer, your grass needs more frequent watering to make up for the moisture lost to evaporation. As the weather cools off during the fall and winter, your lawn no longer requires watering as frequently.
GreenSeasons Landscaping can help you choose the best lawn sprinkler system and install it for you. We also perform annual tune-ups and spring start-ups to prevent damage to your system after a long winter. Find out more about our irrigation services.