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Irrigation: The Backbone Of A Healthy Landscape

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Sustainable Landscape Management

Late spring is the perfect time to take a good look at the overall landscape in your yard. The weather is warm, and the plants should be at their best. Are your plants beautiful and healthy or are they looking little worn? Is it time to update the look of your yard? Has it become too dense or are there empty emitters where plants have died and not been replaced? Also, changes in lifestyle can create a desire to change things up a bit. Maybe your kids will soon be teenagers or maybe you are now empty nesters and the yard could be designed to better fit your needs.

Transforming Your Landscape

A landscape consultation with a designer will take your ideas and vision and create a landscape that adds curb appeal and value to your home. Aaron Merkow, owner of Rosie on the House Certified Core Landscape, has a team that can suggest ideas based on a homeowner’s preferences. They can help identify the plants that achieve the desired look and are adapted to the climate. They will ask lots of questions that help to create a design that works for you such as: Are there existing features or plants that you would like to keep? Do you want a desert landscape or an oasis? Do you like a turf lawn or artificial grass? Do you want to overlay a patio with pavers or add hardscape features like firepit or pergola?

Can your irrigation system handle the changes?

Irrigation is the bones of a healthy landscape. Merkow says to begin a new project it is vital to perform an audit on the existing irrigation system. That audit should include:

  • A performance checkup of the valves, filters, regulators, control system, and more
  • Identifying the quality of the system components including mainlines and all drip/sprinkler hardware
  • Determining the age of the system and the frequency of repairs
  • A test of the irrigation clock to ensure that it is programmed correctly and set for the proper season to match current plant needs

At the end of the audit if a system is found to be stable, it can simply be repaired or upgraded if needed. Regular maintenance of your system to keep it in good working order with proper, leak free water distribution for each station, will not only save water and money, but it will grow healthier plants.

Irrigation Systems that are up to the task!

If the system is coming near the end of its life, it is best to replace it as will be hard to maintain. Typical poly systems (old big box store material) generally only last about 6-8 years. Fixing one problem area can lead to the blow out of the next weaker spot causing a domino effect. This generally occurs within close proximity to prior repairs. The good news is that irrigation choices have come along way. A good irrigation system is based on several factors including the type of soil, plant choices and location.

The best system for your home might be pop up sprinklers or drip systems or a combination of both. Merkow keeps up with the latest in sprinkler technology. His preferences include the most efficient and up to date commercial grade materials:

  • Pop Up Heads | Older pop up heads can waste as much as 30% of the water they distribute. The fine spray they emit can easily be blown away. New pop up heads are 30% more efficient. Instead of the water coming out in a fine mist, the new units deliver the water in droplets at half of the typical rate of a traditional head. The water is easily directed and less likely to be caught by a breeze. Further, water has a greater chance of saturation prior to run off.
  • Drip Lines | The emitters at the end of a drip line tend to calcify and clog the line. New drip line technology has inline emitters and is self-cleaning. No more clogged lines and less stress on your plants! Also, it is a more efficient method of watering your plants and trees as it allows water to penetrate the soil more effectively.
  • Irrigation Clocks | The thought of programming an irrigation clock can make some of us sweat! Each station has to be programmed to provide the right amount of water for the right amount of time for each season. To make this job easier, Merkow prefers the Hydrawise System by Hunter. This Wi-Fi compatible system gives access to the system wherever you are (provided there is internet service) allowing you to make necessary adjustments. These alerts can let the homeowner know there is a leak or send reminders to change the settings for the change of season.
  • Hydrawise Clients | Merkow offers a 5-year monitoring program for his Hydrawise clients. Homeowners gain peace of mind as the irrigation system is maintained and monitored by a professional with the first 5 years included with the purchase and installation of the unit. After that, an annual fee is established at very reasonable rates.

Moving Forward

A yard transformation is an investment but taking the time to plan and design your project can save money in the long run. Installing a quality irrigation system is the best thing you can do to ensure your plants will be well nourished and healthy and from there your yard will grow.

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Sponsored By Rosie Certified: Core Landscape

When you need landscape irrigation and sprinkler services for your home or business, Core Landscape is here to help. We specialize in residential and commercial irrigation with an emphasis on repairs, installation, and maintenance of new and existing systems. Our landscaping irrigation services include: Landscape consulting, 2d rendering when required or requested, Sod installation, Artificial turf installation, Pavers, Travertine, Planting installation, Low voltage lighting systems, Renovations and new construction, and more!

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