For homeowners and property managers in Lakeland, Florida, maintaining a lush, vibrant lawn can seem like a never-ending battle, especially during the hot and dry seasons. While regular mowing and proper fertilization are important, one of the keys to sustaining a healthy, green lawn lies in your irrigation system.
An efficiently operating irrigation system provides your grass and landscaping with a consistent supply of water, helping it stay resilient even during heat waves. However, irrigation systems require regular maintenance and seasonal adjustments in order to function properly. Neglecting your system can lead to a myriad of issues, from brown patches to excessive water bills.
At Creative Edge Outdoor Solutions, we are Lakeland’s leading expert when it comes to irrigation system repairs, maintenance, and installations. For over 10 years, we have been providing comprehensive irrigation services to residents and businesses across the Lakeland area. We understand the challenges our climate presents and how to keep your system running optimally year-round.
In this comprehensive guide, we share five essential tips for maintaining your irrigation system in Lakeland’s unique environment. Following these best practices will help ensure your system is operating efficiently and providing your lawn with the precise amount of water it needs.
Tip #1: Regularly Inspect Your Irrigation System
Regularly inspecting your irrigation system is one of the simplest yet most important maintenance tasks. We recommend examining your entire system at least once per month. This allows you to catch minor issues before they become major problems.
During your inspection, carefully check:
- Sprinkler heads – Examine each head to ensure proper alignment and check for clogged nozzles or other blockages. Replace any damaged heads.
- Pipes and connections – Look for leaks and cracks. Tighten any loose fittings. Replace worn or faulty valves.
- Water pressure – Test spray distance and patterns. Poor pressure can indicate leaks or clogs.
- Timers and controls – Confirm schedules are adjusted for the season and all programming is functioning. Replace batteries if needed.
Catching irrigation system issues early on can help prevent more extensive damage. It also ensures your system is operating optimally and not wasting water due to leaks or misaligned sprayers. Be proactive and schedule monthly inspections.
Tip #2: Adjust Your Irrigation Schedule Seasonally
One of the most important aspects of irrigation system maintenance is adjusting your watering schedule across seasons. Lakeland has distinct wet and dry periods, with rainy summers and drier falls and winters. What is the right amount of watering in August is unlikely to be suitable in January.
As a rule of thumb, you should adjust your system to water less frequently during Lakeland’s rainy season (June – September). Scale back to watering just 1-2 times per week, mostly to supplement what mother nature is providing.
During the cooler months from November – February, you likely only need to run your system once every 7-10 days. Grass and plants grow much slower due to lower temperatures. Water only as needed to keep things moist.
Spring and fall are transition seasons when you will need to closely monitor conditions and strike an appropriate balance based on rainfall and temperatures. Be prepared to alter schedules if an unexpected heat wave or downpour occurs.
The specifics will depend on factors like sun exposure, grass species, and soil type. Observe your landscape and adjust run times and frequency appropriately to provide ample moisture without oversaturating. The key is staying flexible and responsive to Lakeland’s unique climate patterns.
Tip #3: Install a Rain Sensor to Prevent Overwatering
Overwatering is one of the most common issues we see with irrigation system in Lakeland. Not only can it lead to fungal diseases, but it also wastes precious water and drives up utility bills unnecessarily. That’s why we strongly recommend installing a rain sensor.
What is a rain sensor and how does it work?
- A rain sensor is a small device that can be mounted outside on your eaves or fence.
- It has a sensor that detects rainfall and communicates with your irrigation system’s control box.
- When the rain sensor gets wet, it signals your system to shut off automatically. This prevents the system from operating if adequate rain is falling.
- Once the sensor has dried out, it allows your scheduled watering to resume as programmed the next cycle.
The benefits of adding a rain sensor include:
- Prevents overwatering by not allowing watering during rain events
- Helps conserve water, saving you money long-term
- Reduces the chances of fungal diseases from excessive moisture
- Takes weather guesswork out of scheduling
Installing a rain sensor is one of the most effective steps for improving efficiency. Most sensors can be retrofitted onto any existing system with relative ease. The small upfront investment typically pays for itself within the first year through water savings alone.
Tip #4: Perform Preventative Maintenance
In addition to inspection and adjustments based on weather, you should also perform seasonal maintenance on your irrigation system in Lakeland. Preventative maintenance helps keep all components working properly and extend the system’s operational lifespan.
We recommend scheduling preventative maintenance twice per year – once in early spring before the rainy season begins and again in late fall as the dry season starts:
Early Spring System Tune-Up
As temperatures warm and your system begins running more frequently, have a professional technician perform a tune-up, including:
- Testing water pressure and output at heads
- Cleaning out debris or mineral buildup
- Adjusting spray patterns and ranges
- Lubricating valves and other moving parts
Late Fall System Winterization
To prepare your system for Lakeland’s cooler winter months:
- Fully drain pipes and backflow preventer
- Disconnect and store irrigation heads
- Clear debris from window wells or boxes
- Check timers and replace batteries
Performing routine preventative maintenance ensures you enter both the wet and dry seasons with your irrigation components functioning at peak efficiency. This helps maximize the lifespan of your system.
Tip #5: Leverage Professional Irrigation Services When Needed
While handy homeowners can take care of many basic irrigation maintenance tasks, some issues inevitably require professional equipment, expertise, and licensing to properly diagnose and repair.
Common scenarios where it pays to leverage irrigation professionals include:
- Locating and repairing difficult leaks or electrical problems
- Assisting with major upgrades or scheduled component replacements
- Redesigning systems for optimized coverage
- Checking valves boxes below frost lines
- Initial installation of new irrigation systems
- Safely winterizing and reactivating your entire system
There’s no shame in seeking professional support when confronted with complex irrigation system challenges. The right technician has specialized tools and expertise to efficiently resolve problems beyond the DIY realm. Trying to postpone repairs frequently leads to wasted water, money, and unhealthy grass.
In summary, a combination of diligent observation, routine maintenance, and knowing when to call for irrigation service backup is key to sustaining a lush, resilient lawn in Lakeland.
Keep Your Lakeland Landscape Lush with Proper Irrigation Maintenance
In the hot, humid climate of Lakeland, Florida, an efficiently operating irrigation system is essential for maintaining vibrant lawns and landscaping. By following the five tips outlined in this article, you can help ensure your system provides necessary moisture without waste.
- Inspect your system regularly
- Adjust your watering schedule by season
- Install a sensor to prevent needless watering
- Perform preventative maintenance
- Leverage professionals when needed
While Lakeland’s rainy summers may lull you into a false sense of security, your system requires year-round attention and care. Neglecting maintenance during the cooler months only sets the stage for problems when hotter weather returns.
At Creative Edge Outdoor Solutions, Lakeland’s leading local irrigation specialist, we can expertly handle any level of irrigation system maintenance or repairs. Whether it’s a simple clogged sprinkler head or a complicated valve replacement, let our experienced technicians get your system operating optimally.
For irrigation inspections, maintenance, or repairs in the Lakeland area, give us a call at (863) 880-1355. Our team looks forward to helping home and business owners maintain lush, resilient Lakeland landscapes!