Now that the watering season is winding down, you might have tucked thoughts of your irrigation system away for the winter.
Not so fastYour irrigation system needs some attention before the snow flies. Preparing it for winter is critical here in the DC area, where freezing temperatures can quickly destroy an irrigation system that wasn’t properly winterized.
Let’s take a look at winterizing irrigation systems, and look ahead to irrigation trends in commercial landscapes you should think about for next season.
First, Don’t Winterize Too Soon
In a mixed climate like we have here in the Washington DC area, it stays warmer longer into fall than in areas further north. That means a longer watering season for your fall plants.
While the temperature has started to cool off, we could still get a warm spell or two, and fall plants and flowers still need water to prepare them for the winter ahead.
So don't be too quick to shut off your irrigation.
But the window between the last warm spell and the first freeze can be pretty small. Keep your eye on the forecast, and plan to shut down your irrigation system by about mid-November.
Winterizing Your Irrigation System
The number one priority is to get all the water out of the pipes, valves and sprinkler heads. If water freezes and expands, your pipes break, and that means a costly repair.
This isn’t a task you can easily do yourself. Call a professional, who has the right equipment and skills to remove all the water from your irrigation system.
Even if you’ve drained the water out of your irrigation system, some water remains and can freeze, expand, and crack the pipes.
Freezing water in the backflow assembly will damage the internal components and can crack the brass body.
A pro should also inspect your irrigation system one last time before winter. If it needs minor repairs, they can tackle the job now, so your irrigation system is ready once spring arrives. And if there are any major repairs needed, it’s best to find out now, so you can include it in your 2017 budget.
Looking Ahead: Irrigation Trends In Commercial Landscapes
Experts at the US Environmental Protection Agency estimate as much as 50 percent of water used for landscape irrigation is wasted because of overwatering caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems.
Chances are, innovative new products have arrived on the market since you had your irrigation system installed that can make your system more efficient. Often, they can be incorporated into your current system.
If you’re already a landscape management services client with Level Green Landscaping, our experts can upgrade your irrigation system with advanced nozzles, heads and smart clocks that weren’t available before.
Consider Smart Irrigation Controls
Smart irrigation controls take a huge load off your mind. They go beyond turning on your system based just on the time of day. These brainy controls use your local weather reports and your exact landscape conditions to tailor watering just for you.
And they automatically adjust for changes in weather and conditions, using as little water as possible while helping your landscape thrive.
Update Your Spray Rotors
Your irrigation system may not have the most up-to-date sprayers and other components. It’s usually easy to replace them with newer, more efficient ones.
Updated sprayers use less water, and spray water more efficiently. No sense watering your hardscape — new sprayers will target just your lawn and plants.
Count On Level Green For Your 2017 Planning Needs
The Account Managers at Level Green Landscaping are a great resource for our customers. Puzzled about budget numbers for the upcoming season?
They’ll take a look at the size and age of your current irrigation system and walk you through any repairs or upgrades you might need. Then, they’ll help you crunch the numbers so you can plan appropriately as you work on your budget.
One of the biggest irrigation trends in commercial landscapes is efficiency. Keep in mind there are upgrades you can add to your system that will actually save you money in the long run.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.