Irrigation: Too Much & Too Often

Very often we go to the irrigation control box when searching out why plants look inexplicably lousy. You know that tree or shrub that is just yellow and ‘failing to thrive’.  Or worse a magnificent, ancient Copper Beech, bark rotting off and declining rapidly.  Anthracnose, Root Rot, Needle Casts, and any number of fungal leaf or blade infections that ruin lawns and beautiful trees.  Big or small, plants suffer the same; when irrigation systems over apply, in the wrong manner, or at the wrong time of day, valuable plants look lousy and often die.  Let me spell out some of the dynamics at play.

Too Much:

Pro-Tip:  Most irrigation guys are more like plumbers or mechanics than horticulturalists–in short, most of them don’t know plants. They build their systems and they love their systems, they like to see those systems in action. . . all the time, for long periods of time, often at the wrong time. Rain or shine.

Things Change:

Newly installed landscape plants require a lot of water, established ones do not. If your landscape is 3 or more years old, it will only require supplemental water once or twice a week or during periods of drought–container plants are an exception given their limited root space. Often the settings that were created for a landscape when installed are never revisited as root systems become established. Don’t be afraid to dial it down, way down.

Timing:

We find a lot of bizarre theories out there about when irrigation should happen. Bottom line, water in the morning with the full day of sunlight ahead to dry off leaves. Moisture on foliage through the evening leads to  disease. The only special case would be 5-10 minutes of ‘syringe’ watering for sun stressed turf grass to break mid day heat.

Delivery:

Drip Lines in the planting beds, spray heads on the lawns–all else is foolishness. Woody plants need water on the roots not on the leaves. Wet leaves equal sick trees (and shrubs).

Conclusion:

Let Bransfield run the watering clock. We know trees & shrubs, we know lawns, and we know all the different irrigation systems out there.  We can rationalize the timing, frequency, and volume of water applied, saving water, money, and preserving your plants.  We are an outcome based organization. Let us focus on creating the best possible outcomes for you.

 

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