Most homeowners want a beautiful, thriving landscape. However, many also try to save money where they can, minimizing costs while maximizing beauty. To minimize costs, many people try to carry out lawn care and landscaping on their own. This includes mowing their own grass, planting their own plants, and installing their own ground cover. While all of these tasks can be complicated, one task seems to be simple, straightforward, and foolproof: keeping your lawn and landscape watered.
Watering your lawn and landscape seems as simple as walking outside with a watering can or water hose. However, many are blind to the exact benefits of irrigation. Some homeowners do not even consider irrigation because they are worried it will cost more than manual watering in the long run. This assumption is wrong, as irrigation can actually save you money for many reasons. By having a landscaping professional install a sophisticated irrigation system, you could end up spending less long-term than you do when manually watering your lawn. Read more to find out why.
What is irrigation?
Irrigation is the application of water to a property, whether it be to planted beds, your lawn, your trees, etc. Irrigation systems are often automatic, turning on and off at certain times of the day. These watering times are scheduled for the time of day when watering will be most advantageous to your plants.
Irrigation systems are also programmed to deliver the correct amount of water to your plants. Overwatering and underwatering can both cause damaging effects to your plants, and you must maintain an equilibrium to promote your plants’ best health.
How Irrigation Can Save You Money
One of the greatest benefits of irrigation is convenience and efficiency. However, in the long run, these two qualities can actually save you money for many reasons. The top ways in which irrigation saves you money are:
- Less water consumption
- Saves time
- Promotes plant and grass health
To learn more about how irrigation can provide these benefits, keep reading.
Since irrigation systems provide scheduled watering, you may think that they will end up using more water than usual. However, if you’ve been manually watering your plants, you’ve likely been using more water than necessary.
Many homeowners water their plants or lawn until it simply “looks right.” It’s not that simple, though; think about the equilibrium we discussed earlier. Each plant has an amount of water that will promote its best growth, and irrigation systems are programmed to provide this amount of water. Additionally, different areas of your lawn require different amounts of water, depending on their location. If you are manually watering your lawn and simply guessing the amount of water, you are likely to overwater your lawn and landscape. This is especially true since areas like Pageland, Jefferson, and Monroe experience hot weather in the summer. If you are feeling hot when you do your watering, you are likely to subconsciously overwater.
As mentioned before, many homeowners try to find the perfect balance between having a beautiful property and spending as little as possible. Since watering your lawn and landscape seems like a straightforward and foolproof task, many people think they can handle it independently without messing it up. However, while manually watering your lawn and landscape may save money in the short term, spending all that time watering could be of an even greater cost.
Let’s say you spend 30 minutes watering your lawn and landscape 4 times per week. This means that every week, you are spending 2 hours outdoors watering your plants. If we assume you religiously water your plants and grass weekly during the warm part of the year (mid-March to mid-October), that adds up to 56 hours wasted on watering your grass per year. There are so many more useful ways you could have used this time, including spending time focusing on things that matter. By installing an irrigation system and dedicating those extra 56 hours per year to focusing on work, your business, or your financial situation, you could end up better off financially than ever before.
Although you can save money on water by watering your lawn and landscape yourself, your time is invaluable. After having a landscaping professional install an irrigation system, you will be amazed at your productivity and accomplishments.
Saves Your Plants and Grass
Irrigation can help to alleviate water imbalances, whether you are overwatering or underwatering your plants.
Overwatering has negative outcomes other than just wasting money. It can also have negative effects on your plants and grass. If you are manually applying too much water to your lawn and landscape, you could drown your plants’ roots. This leads to the plant lacking oxygen and dying.
Having irrigation can help to ensure your plants are never overwatered. However, you must remember (depending on your type of irrigation) to turn your sprinklers off on rainy days to avoid overwatering.
The reason why underwatering is harmful seems obvious. It’s because the plant needs adequate hydration to survive, right? Most people know their plants should not be underwatered, but they don’t know why plants need water. Plants are autotrophs, meaning they make their own food for survival through a process called photosynthesis. There are two “ingredients” that must be present for photosynthesis: carbon dioxide and water. Therefore, if plants do not receive water, they cannot make the food they need to survive.
By having a professionally installed and programmed irrigation system in your lawn and landscape, your plants will never be short of water.
How To Save Water (and Money) With Irrigation
Although irrigation systems are already made to save water, there are small adjustments you can make that will encourage even further water saving. In turn, this will save you money each month.
Adjusting Irrigation for Differing Seasons
Your grass and plants are going to be a lot thirstier in the summer than they are in the spring or fall. Therefore, you should make sure to program your sprinklers to deliver less water to your plants and grass during these seasons. This will save you a significant amount of water and money.
The time of day you choose to water your plants makes a huge difference in how much water you use. In the summer months, the temperatures reach their peak during the middle of the day. If you program your irrigation to turn on during these times, a lot of the water will evaporate and go to waste. In the warmer months, the best time to water your lawn is in the morning. This will give your lawn a chance to absorb the water and use this hydration to perform photosynthesis during the day.
Adjust Sprinkler Heads
Many sprinkler heads can reach long distances. This can be beneficial, as they can reach many areas of your yard. However, this can also be harmful to your water bill. Have you ever driven past someone’s house and their sprinkler soaked your car? All the water they are spraying into the road is going to waste and costing them money. Make the most out of your water use by having every inch of sprinkler water going into your lawn and landscape.
Properly maintaining your irrigation system is important, as well. Periodically, you need to check for leaks that may be causing you to waste water. These leaks can easily go undetected, and they can run up your water bill.
Using Smart Irrigation
While automated irrigation can be incredibly convenient, it can also sometimes let you down. If you get accustomed to the irrigation’s “hands-off” nature, you may forget to turn off your system when it rains. As a result, your plants can become overwatered.
However, there is an option available that will alleviate this issue known as “smart irrigation.” Smart irrigation syncs to local weather stations and adjusts your watering schedule as needed. It can also adjust watering based on temperature (more watering when temperatures are higher) and wind speed (delaying watering when winds are high). While there are many options for smart irrigation, Hunter Industries’ Hydrawise is a state-of-the-art system that will prioritize your plants, save water, and save you up to 50% on your water bill.
Before you clicked on this article, you likely thought that irrigation would cause you to spend rather than save. However, it is our job to debunk common irrigation myths and inform you of the benefits of installing irrigation. Irrigation can truly transform your lawn, and it can help you save money in the process. If you are interested in investing in a high-quality, professionally installed, water-saving irrigation system, reach out to us for a free estimate. We at Rivers Lawn and Landscape are committed to providing the best quality service with the most value for your dollar.