Irrigate Yard Wisely

first_img“Night is best,” he said. “From 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., you get the best water pressure andwater supply. And you don’t extend the wet period on the leaves.” No matter what system you choose, you have to manage it right. Trying to keep their lawn and garden beautiful under the hot summer sun, manyGeorgians are hauling out the hoses. But some get tired of constantly movingsprinklers. “Get a plan,” said Kerry Harrison, an engineer with the University of GeorgiaExtension Service. “Don’t just go out there and start pointing and putting in sprinklers.And don’t buy a system based completely on the cost.” “Of course as it heats up, lawns in full sun may need more than that,” he said. Thinking about installing permanent irrigation? Consider four points: design, quality ofmaterial, installation and management. Without any one of the four, Harrison said, thesystem can’t be its most efficient. “Excess water can cause disease and insect problems,” Harrison said. “Too much isalmost worse than not enough.” Grass leaves that stay wet invite disease organisms to invade and cause problems.center_img Harrison said a well-designed irrigation system will be expensive. “It’s going to bemore than you think it’ll be,” he said. “But that’s what it takes to get an efficient,quality system that’s installed correctly.” Evelyn Sturgis, a Tift County homeowner, based her decision on expense and is sorryfor it now. “Cost was a factor,” she said, “and I think if we had it to do over, wewouldn’t let that be top priority.” Irrigation systems with timers offer solutions to many watering woes. But prepare for abigger bill than you think. Georgia lawns require an inch to an inch-and-a-half of water every week. Harrison saidwatering half that amount twice a week provides the perfect amount of water for mostlawns and gardens. It also allows nature to provide some water. Rainfall could save youboth water and trouble. Harrison said the time when he sees the most sprinklers running — daytime — isactually the worst time to water. Permanent irrigation systems allow easy, complete watering any time you choose. Butthere is more to installing a good system than just hiring it done.last_img