An experienced property manager knows that perhaps the most important aspect of maintaining healthy landscaping is irrigation. With the right irrigation system, it is significantly easier to keep landscaping lush and lovely—and as the lustrous gem of a property. But irrigation systems can also become a costly component, especially when you run into issues. It is beneficial to invest some time and attention in order to maximize the efficiency of your irrigation system. Doing so can result in an increase in savings, in regard to both water usage and money. Below, we examine some ways you can address irrigation efficiency within your properties.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Most property managers are well versed in the value of irrigation systems—those that allow for properties to be segmented into zones for scheduled watering cycles. Today’s advanced technology, however, has brought about a new wave of systems that allow for smarter irrigation practices. For many property managers, especially those with larger properties, it may be a wise move to install a smart irrigation system. These systems have controllers with settings that allow for input of various data parameters. These can include information such as zip code, allowed watering days for your particular area, the specific plant, grass, and soil types present on your property and among different zones, etc. All of your information, including data regarding your climate and its seasons, is factored into system settings. The result is a landscaping irrigation system that is highly tailored, allowing for the most precise watering.
In addition to the highly specialized smart systems available on the market, many property managers are also installing weather sensors. These devices integrate with irrigation systems, with sensors providing up-to-the-minute updates regarding weather conditions. Many also have access to data from local weather stations. The information from weather sensors allows systems to adjust the irrigation of a property based on rainfall and temperature conditions, providing a possible 20-50% savings in water usage.
Sprinklers and Beyond
Installing high efficiency sprinkler nozzles, especially on properties with expansive lawns, makes a lot of sense. These nozzles minimize wind drift, resulting in watering that is more even, with less evaporation and misdirected spray. High efficiency nozzles can lead to an estimated 30% savings in overall water usage.
For some property owners, it may be useful to utilize drip irrigation in specific areas. This can be a far more efficient option for flower and plant beds, as well as tree and shrub areas. Drip irrigation ensures that moisture is concentrated on the root systems of trees and plants, rather than the surface of leaves and petals, which can result in runoff and excessive evaporation. It can also foster disease and bacteria growth, leading to costly treatment or plant replacement.
Timing Is Everything
When it comes to water savings, timing is a critical factor. Aim to water properties deeply and less frequently, which encourages deeper root growth compared to frequent, light watering, which can often result in more evaporation than saturation.
It’s also important to set your irrigation system to water at the right time of day for maximum efficiency. Daytime watering allows for more evaporation. This makes sense, as temperatures are warmest during the day. Watering in the evening hours can promote fungus and bacteria growth. The period before dawn is typically the coolest, thus watering in the early morning hours allows for plants to make the most of the moisture they are receiving.
Head Off Any Problems
Any irrigation system needs regular maintenance to ensure that everything is in order and issues are quickly addressed. We’ve discussed before steps that property managers can take to minimize issues regarding irrigation. Regularly check for any problems: take stock of the condition of nozzles and replace as needed, and evaluate irrigation systems for any possible leaks and issues with water pressure. It can be helpful to bring in an irrigation specialist to help you assess your system and address problem areas.
The Advantage of an Experienced Landscape Maintenance Partner
Bringing out the best in your property can be an arduous job. Finding the right support for landscape maintenance can make all the difference. We are pleased to provide that assistance. We will work with you to develop a tailored maintenance plan that best suits your property’s needs. Please get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.