The fall colours are spectacular in Alberta right now as we make our way through what has been a lovely September. We are currently helping our residential and commercial landscape maintenance clients shut down their yards and properties properly for the winter so they can have a head start on spring and summer outside. One of the landscape construction services we provide is your annual underground irrigation blowout, which is essential for the long-term life of your system.
Why is an underground irrigation blowout important?
It’s extremely important to leave all your pipes and junctions completely devoid of water before the winter to help prevent problems such as burst and cracked pipes. When water freezes in your lines, it will expand and can often cause weakening and damage. When you start your irrigation up again in the fall, that damage can become a major problem, with pipes even completely bursting and causing a mucky mess. You may not notice a smaller cracked pipe right away, at least until enough moisture has built up underground to create soaked and sunken patches, and by then you have probably wasted a lot of water. The City of Calgary estimates that breaks in underground irrigation lines can waste up to 1,200 cubic metres of water a month in the city.
A properly installed underground irrigation system should have drain valves at junction boxes that will allow for some water to release from the system “naturally.” With an underground irrigation blowout, a compressor is hooked up to force air into the lines to ensure the water that has settled in sprinkler heads, stem pipes, and back flow devices is completely removed. This needs to be done carefully by professionals to reduce the chance of harming delicate components. When we perform your underground irrigation blowout, we can also perform a thorough inspection to ensure you have no broken sprinkler heads and water is being directed where and how it should be.
Give everything a good soak first
It’s still warm enough to give your yard and gardens a nice good soaking before your irrigation professional arrives to blow out your system. Do this before temperatures begin to drop below zero consistently at night, otherwise there won’t be enough time for the water to sink in properly and roots could be damaged from too much moisture.
Your trees, shrubs, gardens, and lawn all appreciate a heavy watering in the fall. Since the soil is still nice and warm from all the hot and sunny days we had in the summer, a fall watering allows your newer plants’ less-established root systems to penetrate more deeply in the soil and provides your older plants with enough moisture to be sent throughout their entire skeleton. In fact, plants like shrubs and perennials use the fall to build up their root systems after a summer of expending their energy growing flowers and leaves. Run your underground irrigation system for about 10 minutes, turn it off, let the moisture sink in for about 30 minutes, and repeat as necessary. North-facing plants, as they tend to be more in the shade, will require less water than south-facing plants.
Fall is a good time to install an underground irrigation system
If you are considering an underground irrigation system for your yard, fall is a great time for installation. As your trees, shrubs, and gardens are entering their dormancy stage and your yard is spic and span from your fall clean-up, an underground irrigation installation at this time of year tends to be less disruptive to landscapes. The only problem with installing underground irrigation in the fall is that it may not make sense to test your system (why run your sprinklers to only have to blow out the pipes immediately after), but at least you know that come springtime all you will have to do is turn on the water and set your timer.
Trust Lane’s for your underground irrigation installation
If you have been convinced of the benefits of an underground irrigation system, which saves time, money, and improves the health of lawns and gardens, Mirage Landscaping has the expertise to install your system and the equipment to get the job done right. Nothing guarantees the healthy future of your lawn quite like an underground sprinkler system that delivers consistent, accurate watering. Mirage Landscaping will map out your property and identify the correct number (and type) of zones required for full coverage and even water application for your lawn and garden beds. Once your system is mapped and installed, we will take the time to ensure you fully understand how your irrigation system works for optimal performance. Contact us for a quick and easy quote.