Summer is in full swing and, thanks to your irrigation system, your lawn looks lush and inviting without you having to do a thing. Or do you? Irrigation maintenance in Rockford are designed to be low maintenance, so it’s tempting to simply ‘set and forget’ them. But no equipment is invincible. Periodic inspections throughout the irrigation season will prevent and/or minimize problems so your lawn will stay looking great.

Inspecting your irrigation system is not difficult. Here are some irrigation maintenance tips and tricks:

1. Check Your Irrigation Sprinkler Heads

Every week or two, or once a month at the very least, be prepared to walk through your property and check all of your sprinkler heads to be sure they are still in good condition and working properly. Most sprinkler timers that are at most 10 years old have a test cycle, which makes this task easy. Just set your timer to run on ‘test’ and it will run for just a few minutes, one irrigation maintenance in Rockford at a time.

When running on ‘test’ the timer will leave enough time between zones for you to inspect any heads that don’t appear to be working properly.

2. Look for Tell-Tale Signs in Your Turf

In addition to physically inspecting your irrigation maintenance in Rockford, you will want to be sure your sprinklers are running long enough to do the job right. If you pay close attention, your grass itself will tell you whether your sprinklers are running long enough and, if not, how to adjust your system.

Brown areas in your yard indicate not enough water. Look for a pattern. If it’s just brown in one area, you’ll want to check for a clogged or broken head. If you have many brown areas, your sprinklers may not be running long enough to properly hydrate your lawn.

On the other hand, really wet, swampy areas indicate too much water. If it’s localized, it’s probably due to a major leak or broken head. Otherwise, you may want to cut back on watering times.

3. Use The Cat Food Can Test

If you are not sure how much water you’re giving your lawn, the Cat Food Can Test is an easy way to find out. Just place a couple of empty cat food or tuna cans on your lawn. Then turn the sprinklers on for 30 minutes and measure the water. A rain gauge will work, too, but the cans are simple and accurate enough to show how much water is going onto your lawn each half hour of use.

As a rule of thumb in the Rockford area, we recommend putting down 1/2” of water every couple of days throughout the summer months. As temperatures drop in the fall you can perform irrigation maintenance in Rockford.

We don’t normally recommend watering every day because doing so encourages plants to develop shallow roots. You want your roots to be deep and strong for optimal resistance to drought and disease. Also, plants get oxygen from their roots, not their leaves. Keeping the soil constantly wet can deprive them of this nutrient.