Tag Archives: irrigation

The Install

It started like any other home improvement project that we have tackled. Careful planning resulted in a materials list and one quick trip to Home Depot in our truck for the required parts. Sure.

Actually, our irrigation system HAS been a topic of discussion for some time. I just failed to spend much time planning. Ultimately, we woke up on Saturday eager to make the most of our three day weekend. Tired of the weeds and dirt in the front yard, the decision was made to install an irrigation system. I scratched a few things out on a sheet of paper. Took a few measurements, made a few more notes, and we headed out. The first trip wasn’t so bad. We ended up with most of the pipe that we would need along with several of the fittings. Notice that I did not say that we had everything. Ultimately, my wife had to make three more trips back to the store to get more pipe, additional fittings, and finally, one last trip for a $0.48 fitting that was required for the last step. The finished project exceeded our expectations and we cannot wait to plant some sod.

This project was a good reminder to me that it is important to spend time planning an irrigation system. We were fortunate – in addition to the fact that I have had a formal irrigation design course, this was not the first time I had installed a system. That saved us a lot of time and resulted in a final product that I am proud of.

Here is a blog post from my wife that has her take on the project: Make it rain, or how to install your own DIY irrigation system.

Here is a time-lapse video of the installation. If there is sufficient interest, I will create a “How-To” for installing your own irrigation system.


Save some money and do something good for the environment

I find it hard to believe that it is less than a week away from Christmas.  Where has the year gone?

Well, while I probably lack the ability to explain why time flies by so quickly, I can offer some advice that might help you save some money this winter.

Face it.  This is December.  Day length is short and temperatures have cooled off.  This all leads to a reduction in the amount of water needed by our lawns and landscapes.  In fact, if you live north of Orlando there is a good chance that you can turn your irrigation off for the next two to three months.  That’s right, turn it off.

The cool temperatures that we have right now will force our lawns into winter dormancy.  The turfgrass plants have been working hard all summer and deserve some time off.  How do you know if your lawn is dormant?  If the majority of the canopy has turned to a straw color the grass is in a state of dormancy and as a result, it does not require irrigation for survival.

Not only will shutting your irrigation of reduce the amount of water used on your monthly bill, it might pay dividends throughout the year.  You see, some utilities use your water consumption during the winter months to determine your wastewater charges for the remainder of the year.  Reducing your use now will save you money all year long!

Curious to learn more about irrigation requirements throughout Florida?  Check out the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) website for a variety of cool tools.  One that I think you will find valuable is the “Urban Irrigation Scheduler” which will provide guidance regarding the proper run times for various irrigation zones in your landscape.  Research has shown that many homeowners over irrigate their lawns.  Don’t be one of them!

Water Management District Adds Teeth to Watering Restrictions

Watering restrictions are not new to anyone living in Florida.  Particularly along the western coastline.  Earning much attention from the media due to the concern surrounding the potential damage that might result to lawns along with the argument that lawns irrigation uses too much of our fresh water supply.

It was common to hear through the grapevine that people would frequently violate the watering restrictions based on the low risk of being caught.  The system relied on violators being turned in by neighbors or others passing by since there were not enough staff members to canvas the streets looking for the errant irrigation sprinkler.  That is not the case any longer.

I came across an article in the Ocala newspaper that details plans by the St. Johns River Water Management District to hire a private company who will be responsible for monitoring a large portion of the district.  It will be interesting to watch/listen to this develop as I have a feeling that many people have been ignoring the rules for one reason or another.  That may not be safe to do from this point forward.