Simple Do’s and Don’ts of Landscape Irrigation

Landscape irrigation is an essential component of lawn care in North Central Florida, particularly because our soil drains quickly here and does not easily retain water. Because landscape irrigation water accounts for approximately 60% of a residence’s overall usage, using it accurately and efficiently is crucial, and watering the wrong way can be just as bad as not doing it at all. Follow our easily actionable do’s and don’ts to irrigate the right way and keep your lawn looking beautiful and healthy year-round. 

What To Do

Check for Leaks

Although our winters are relatively mild, any occurrence of freezing temperatures can cause cracks to form in your irrigation system’s pipes. Checking for these will allow you to replace the pipes as needed not to interrupt their function. 

Less Is More

While many people think frequently watering for short amounts of time works well for landscape irrigation care, the opposite is true. Shorter watering times, particularly during the hottest season, can lead to the water evaporating before it benefits the soil. Instead, your lawn should be watered less frequently but allowed to soak into the ground for longer. 

Optimal Landscape Design

Your landscape design should be planned and installed with optimal irrigation in mind. Include Florida-friendly plants and trees that do not require as much watering, but for those that do, sprinkler heads should be placed in ideal locations spaced appropriately apart to disperse the water spray evenly. Incorporating beneficial mulch properly placed will also help the soil surrounding your trees and plants retain moisture. 

Consider Upgrading

If your irrigation system is no longer operating the way it needs to, is very old, or your landscape has changed and now has different watering requirements than it once did, it may be time to consider upgrading it. Upgrading may not require a complete overhaul of the irrigation system but can rather consist of replacing the following. 

  • Sprinkler heads 
  • Valves
  • Wiring
  • Diaphragms 
  • Controller

What Not to Do

Allow Run-Off

Irrigation runoff is a waste of energy, water, and fertilizer and may be subject to fines. Local codes require inspection of existing and higher standards on new irrigation systems to reduce runoff. When designing a landscape system, the potential for irrigation runoff should be mitigated by planning for soil types and plant needs in your yard.  

Ignore Ordinances 

In Alachua County, irrigation restrictions limit the time of day and inches of water permitted, as well as the functioning of irrigation systems. Be sure to check your own local ordinances to ensure your watering schedule does not violate these. 

Neglect Thirsty Plants

If you notice that your plants look parched even after being watered by your irrigation system, they are unlikely to be getting the proper amount of moisture. If you don’t fix your irrigation issues, your trees and plants may not survive. 

Avoid Irrigation Irritation With SkyFrog 

Don’t wait until the hottest seasons of the year to ensure your Gainesville, Florida irrigation system is in proper working order. The professional technicians at SkyFrog Landscape perform expert inspection, maintenance, and installation services for all of your landscape components. Request a free quote by contacting us to schedule your landscape irrigation appointment today — we’ll have you saying, “H2Oh, my yard looks great!” in no time.