CO-Horts

CO-Horts

Monday, July 23, 2018

Lawn and Order: Special Horticulture Unit

Posted by: Alison O'Connor, Larimer County Extension


"Ripped from the headlines...."

In the landscape management system, irrigation-based offenses are considered especially heinous. Low heads, titled sprinklers and inefficient control clocks are all violations we see on a daily basis. The horticulturists who investigate these vicious landscape crimes work hard to keep water waste to a minimum. These are their stories, as told by compelling photos and video.... [BOM BOM]

Episode 1: The Rock
Episode 1: Putting in new landscaping is a great idea! It adds to your personal enjoyment and should increase your home's value. But putting in new landscaping without taking inventory of where your sprinkler heads are located is a sure way to waste water and get brown spots in your lawn.
Episode 2: The Low Head
Green circles = sprinkler heads!
Episode 2: Low heads are a great way to water a very small circular area in your lawn! The smushed, flattened turf is a great piece of evidence to find a low head as the culprit. Raise 'em up! Make sure the head is up above the surface of the turf.
Episode 3: Drip irrigation springs a leak. I think everyone can agree that while drip irrigation is one of the best ways to use water wisely, when the line breaks or emitters pop off, it's a great way to waste water. Check your drip lines often!
Episode 4: Clogged heads lead to brown spots. Sometimes the cause of the crime seems so obvious, especially when you turn on the sprinklers. The last sprinkler in this video is clogged and spitting out water, leading to the brown spot. Just like drip irrigation, check your heads at least once a month, especially if you run them at night.
Episode 5: The Stuck Head.
Maple the beagle knew it was an irrigation problem!
Episode 5: Seeing green and brown stripes in your lawn? Check to make sure your rotor heads are moving! I had a head in my backyard that would work until it reached one side (see photo with Maple, above). Then it would get stuck and not move again during the cycle. And this horticulturist wondered why the giant brown spot in the turf resulted. (Sometimes even horties need help.)
Episode 6: The Geyser
Episode 6: The geyser. Yeah, sprinklers shouldn't shoot 20 feet straight up in the air. Plus, think of how this completely ruins your water pressure! (Short episode.)
Episode 7: Tilted Heads.
Episode 7: I'm not the best person at understanding physics, but a head pointed at this angle will lead to overspraying and will leave a brown spot directly in front. Heads need to come up perpendicular to the surface of the turf at a 90 degree angle. Making sure your heads pop straight up and down will greatly improve your irrigation efficiency!
Episode 8: While we are all supporters of wildlife, your lawn shouldn't tag-team as a duck pond. Fix the heads!

4 comments:

  1. Good reminders, all. Thanks so much, Alison ! I especially got a laugh out of the duck pond. If the ducks are swimming around your turf, it's a sign ! Karen H

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  2. I think these are Canada Geese, which are even bigger than most ducks.

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  3. Excellent writing!! Thanks for keeping it funny

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  4. Great article! Very funny and true.

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