March 1, 2016

The Grass is Greener

Curb appeal is important, and an irrigation system is an effortless method of increasing flower power and emphasizing the entrance to your home.

With the hot summer months just around the corner, now is the time to consider developing an irrigation plan as a supplementary part of your landscape design. A well-designed system is far more effective and eco-friendly than traditional manual sprinklers. Why go to the expense and time to install beautiful plants if you don’t take the additional step of installing irrigation to protect your investment?

“An irrigation system adds to your property's value and will help if you plan to sell your home at a later time.”

It’s difficult to establish healthy plants that will remain viable for many years without consistent watering. Even though we typically receive our fair share of rain in the spring, the extreme heat of the coming summer season requires increased watering on a regular schedule. This task is best performed by an automated system, complete with separate zones for beds, lawn and containers with individualized moisture needs.

Turf grass such as fescue, which is prevalent in the Charlotte area, requires more water than some other parts of the landscape. Since it is a cool season grass, it refuses to grow in the heat without enough moisture and depends heavily upon an automated system with designated zones of its own.

Container plantings also need their own zone. Many homeowners neglect to run irrigation to their container plants, but this is an essential component of a comprehensive system. Almost every family takes at least one vacation during the hot summer months, often relying on a neighborhood teenager to water and care for their containers. Often, upon return, it’s “Oh, no!” With irrigation of your containers, you won’t need to worry about the blazing sun destroying your investment in container plants. They are taken care of automatically and remain vibrant and green despite your absence.

For those with a mature landscape and existing irrigation system, late March to April is the perfect time to reactivate the sprinklers after winter hibernation. Ensure your landscaping professional checks each zone and its accompanying sprinkler heads to detect and repair any winter breakage. Now also is a good time to upgrade an existing system with a smart controller. Today’s technology enables homeowners to operate controllers through an iPhone app, setting each zone separately based on the app’s feedback about moisture levels in specific areas of the yard.

Overall, an irrigation system adds to your property's value and will help if you plan to sell your home at a later time. It presents your property in a healthier, greener way. After all, first impressions are everything. Many buyers see an irrigation system as a bonus; however, it’s viewed as a necessity in higher-end homes. Curb appeal is important, and an irrigation system, once installed, is an effortless method of increasing flower power and emphasizing the entrance to the house.

Be sure to contract with a North Carolina-licensed irrigation professional. A licensed irrigation and landscape contractor has experience in both areas and fully understands turf and plant needs. It is this kind of professional who realizes the importance of a well-designed irrigation system and its ability to save water. And remember, it’s often only homes with automated systems that are allowed to water their lawns and gardens when drought conditions come. 

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