Without doubt, one of the biggest disadvantages of automatic irrigation is the cost of installation.
Another would be finding an irrigation installer that is suitably qualified or being capable of installing it yourself properly.
The next catch is being able to use the controller. As an owner of an automatic irrigation system, unfortunately, it is not a case of set and forget forever. You will need to have some knowledge of:
So, it is all true.
There is a significant upfront financial hit and
an automatic irrigation system does take time to plan, install and learn
If it is installed properly with the good quality products, an automatic irrigation system will ensure that your lawn and gardens receives a reliable amount of water at the right time for many years.
TIP * If you are having your irrigation system installed professionally, you should check that they will come back to reprogram it for you after the new turf establishment period (when you can safely change from watering 3 - 4 times a day to a normal seasonal watering schedule). It may also be worth considering asking them to include a handover lesson in your quote so that you can comfortably change the controller when you need to yourself.
A good automatic irrigation system will help you to be more waterwise as it allows you to water effectively according to the season.
When it comes to watering requirements, Townsville for the most part has two seasons: Summer or Winter.
It is our very broad recommendation that in Summer (approx. 25 August to 25 April), it is best to water your lawn – deeply, early in the morning, three times a week.
Did you know that it is better to give a good soak less often than just watering the surface frequently?
Deep watering encourages your lawn’s root to grow stronger and penetrate deeper into the soil to seek out moisture.
Short frequent bursts of water are detrimental to your lawn’s health as the roots will be shallow and weak. It is really just wasting water, as the lawn is not getting enough to be useful and will soon be hanging out for its next drink.
In Winter (25 April to 25 August), make a point to cut back to only one deep, early morning watering session per week.
It can be detrimental to your lawn’s health to over-water during the colder months (when Townsville has much lower humidity and evaporation rates).
Some quick visual cues of over-watering include:
The lawn will also give signals, such as:
Over-watering is drowning your lawn; it cannot breathe properly.
Over-watering can also occur during the wet season, it is important to turn off your irrigation system. In most cases, the easiest way to do this is to:
Depending on how much rain is received, give the lawn time to dry out and turn the dial back to ‘AUTO’ / ‘RUN’ and turn the backflow device back on. Don't forget to do this if the rain has cleared out and the weather is back to stinking hot.
Although, it may well be that it only just gets turn backed on and you are back out there turning it off again a day or two later because we have had another big storm. Don’t get too frustrated with this process, as rain is the best form of water for plants and it’s saving money too.
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