Landscape Irrigation – Manual or Automatic Irrigation?
Keeping up with landscape irrigation can be a constant struggle, especially in the hot summer months. Irrigating your landscape manually can make it even more challenging as you have to make time in your busy schedule to do it.
This might have you thinking about installing an automatic irrigation system, but you’re wondering if it’s really the best choice for you. You will want to evaluate the benefits of both manual and automatic landscape irrigation and how they apply to your particular landscape before making your final decision. You may even decide that a combination of both is the best option.
Manual Landscape Irrigation
Simply put, manual irrigation is watering your lawn, flower beds, trees and shrubs by hand with hoses and sprinklers.
More affordable than installing an automatic irrigation system, manual irrigation also requires very little maintenance, which can be performed by most homeowners. While it is more time intensive than automatic irrigation, there are some things you can do to make manual watering easier and more efficient.
Always use a spray nozzle or watering wand with a shut-off valve when hand watering. This will allow you to turn the water off when moving from area to area.
When watering flower beds, vegetable gardens, shrubs, and trees, drip irrigation or soaker hoses are the most efficient choice. Both of these manual irrigation methods can be connected to an ordinary hose and will effectively deliver water to the plant roots.
Quick connectors can reduce the time spent connecting and disconnecting hoses. Leaks at the point where two hoses are screwed together can also be reduced by the use of these connectors.
It may be possible to attach a timer valve to your outdoor faucet. This will allow you to run soaker hoses and sprinklers for a set amount of time and shut them off automatically.
Automatic Landscape Irrigation
One of the main benefits of automatic irrigation is it saves you time. You can be lounging by the pool or playing golf while the lawn and landscape is being watered. An automated system can be set up to water at times that are normally inconvenient, like early in the morning when you’re getting ready for work or on your day off when you’re sleeping in.
Along with being an obvious time saver as compared to manual landscape irrigation, automatic irrigation can also conserve water as well as prevent over and under watering. It could be the key to a perfectly lush lawn and healthy vibrant flower beds.
While having irrigation set up to be done at certain times is convenient, newer state of the art irrigation systems use smart controllers with soil moisture and weather sensors to determine when your lawn needs water.
If it has recently rained and soil has been sufficiently irrigated naturally, the smart controller will keep the system from turning on. If the soil could still use a little water, the smart system will only provide what is needed. Initially a bit more expensive, this technology will save you money in the long run.
While an automatic irrigation system will be more costly in the beginning, it could save you money in the long run. Besides cutting down on water usage and cost, the preservation of your landscape will prevent the cost of replacing sunburnt areas of lawn or dead plants and trees.
An automated irrigation system can also help increase the value of your home should you decide to sell. The benefit is two-fold. The system itself will be a valuable feature for buyers and a beautiful and healthy landscape will definitely boost the curb appeal.
You, your budget and your landscape can benefit from a professionally installed irrigation system that takes into account your climate, landscape and time of day.
Decide Which Irrigation System is Right for Your Landscape
The size of your lawn and how extensive your landscaping is will be the biggest factor in deciding if manual or automated irrigation is the best option for you.
If both your lawn and gardens are small and easily maintained with manual irrigation, it may not make sense to install an automated irrigation system. This also depends on your schedule and lifestyle. If you travel for work and are away from home a lot, or if the landscape in question is for a vacation home that is often vacant, then an automated system would make sense.
If your landscape is expansive and takes a considerable amount of time to water properly, an automated irrigation system could be the perfect solution. It will prevent a missed watering because you had to work late or because you just wanted to go out and have fun with the family on your day off.
In some cases, you may find using both methods works best for you. Maybe your lawn is large but your flower beds are minimal. The solution might be an automated system for the lawn but hand watering the flower beds. This will only take a small amount time, and with different varieties of flowers, you can give each the proper amount of water.
In making your decision you may want to consult with a professional. David Ash, Jr. Landscaping Contractors can guide you through all your landscape irrigation options and choose the one that’s perfect for you. Contact us and together we can get started on creating a health and preservation solution for your landscape.