Drip Irrigation

It official, 2011 was the driest year on record and the second hottest.  It is estimated that throughout Texas we lost as much as half a billion trees. That’s 500 million beautiful living trees people. Tough to imagine it getting hotter than last year or losing that amount of trees on a yearly basis. Estimates come in at roughly 2-10% loss of our 4.9 billion trees.

..”an estimated 100 million to 500 million trees with a diameter of 5 inches or larger on forestland were estimated to have succumbed to the drought. That range is equivalent to 2 to 10 percent of the state’s 4.9 billion trees.” Full release here

The drought is obviously the main culprit in these deaths as these numbers cover our forest, which do not benefit from irrigation. There has also been a great amount of residential tree death as is apparent during almost any stroll or drive around town. I believe many of the tree deaths in residential areas could have been avoided if the right species were chosen and irrigated properly.

I have seen a lot of death in trees with higher water requirements such as the Bald Cyprus, Cedars and Willows. In addition we lost a great many Palms from the winter cold, especially those that were not suited for this area. Windmill Palms and those protected from wind did the best last year.

High water trees suffered greatly but what about the other trees that have died. Native and adaptive varieties still have to be watered regularly for at least the first 2 seasons. The most common mistake is allowing new trees to go without the proper amount of water. Gatorbags (those green sacs you see at the base of trees in the medians) can be used to water the tree during restrictions.

I have assessed several properties for damages this year and from the information I have gathered many of those deaths are the result of improper irrigation. In some cases the inhabitants mainly tried to save money by not watering as much or not maintaining the sprinkler system. Sadly the end result is that in most cases it costs far more to replace the plant material then what the water or maintenance would have cost, especially if it’s a mature tree that can be upwards of 20,000. If this is you – Do Not expect to get that deposit back

Links

Texas Forest Service: New video shows how and when to water drought-stricken trees. – Watering tips help you show your trees some love.

Dallas Landscape and Irrigation Contractor

So you want to get a sprinkler system but you can’t decide what to have installed, drip or spray. In some cases you actually might not have a say in the matter. New state regulations call for drip zonesto be used for foundations, flower beds and parkways that are less than 4-5 feet wide. These new rules have been changing and evolving over the last to years in an effort to conserve water and educate the public on proper irrigation practices. Below are the advantages and disadvantages for both systems.

Drip Cons

  • Drip systems in Dallas are more expensive per zone because of the additional cost of materials needed.
  • Maintenance  is a bit more intensive. The system has to been “flushed” 1-2 times a year
  • Because it’s sub-surface you cannot see whether the drip system is working until plants start wilting
  • When installing new plantings extra care must be taken that you do not cut the lines

Drip Pros

  • Water conservation--save time, money and water with this system
  • Even distribution of water
  • drip system is silent-no more waking up at 3am when your neighbors sprinklers go off
  • Drip is better for your foundation watering
  • Even distribution of water
  • Plants benefit from the water going directly to the roots and not on the leaves
  • Easier install for DIYers

Spray Cons

  • These systems can be really good at wasting water due to wind, sun and disrepair
  • They can be noisy especially if there’s a  leak which will make the pipes rattle
  • Over-spraying on sidewalks and roadways can lead to icy conditions resulting in pedestrian or vehicle incident
  • Sprinkler heads are often broken by foot traffic and mower damage. Un-repaired heads can lead to 1000′s of gallons of water waste and nozzles are usually in need of unclogging and re-adjusting
  • Spray systems are buried deeper than drip systems so repairs are more labor intensive

Spray Pros

  • Less expensive than drip systems
  • Easier for a homeowner to check, adjust and repair
  • Replacement parts are easily available and inexpensive

If you are installing a new sprinkler system you do not have much choice. New regulations require the use of drip in most cases such as in watering foundations, parkways, and flower beds. If you are amending a system you are more than likely not obligated to follow the new rules, however you can benefit greatly from upgrading your system. In the near future expect to see more municipalities giving incentives for using water conserving methods. In some cases it can be in the form of rebates,  fines, credits, etc.

If you would like an estimate on a sprinkler system or a Drip system please feel free to call at 214-257-8155 or you may leave a comment bellow and someone will get to you shortly. (License LI16405)

Other Articles you might be interested in:

how much to water your lawn(specific DIY)

How much to water (general info)

Watering new sod

Drip Irrigation

For more sprinkler information and tips like troubleshooting visit our new site, www.LawnSprinklersDallas.Com

Drip Irrigation

Water Is Our Most Valuable Resource. Unfortunately irrigation and drainage is often overlooked when installing your landscaping. On average, landscape water usage accounts for over 30% of your total usage. The Right Design and Equipment can Conserve Water and Save you Money. Call today and find out how we can help you save Up To 50% on your next water bill.

One of the easiest ways to conserve water and make your plants look their best is to add drip irrigation. Some of the reasons people shy away from drip is because they think that a soaker hose is the equivalent or that drip needs to be on top, or inside the mulch, making it difficult to hide. Those theories are both wrong. A soaker hose is not a substitute for a drip system nor is it efficient in it’s water delivery system.

We install drip line at 6″ in the ground. You want your water delivered at this height to encourage roots to grow deep into the sub surface. The emitters (holes) in the drip line are spaced according to the application, in 12″ -18″ increments. A soaker hose secretes water throughout it’s entire length making it’s water distribution uneven.

A correctly installed system requires the use of a filter and clean outs to insure that it does not get clogged, and that the water is not compromised by large particles. Drip systems have been used for years and are replacing traditional irrigation systems in the agriculture, greenhouses and nurseries sectors. Drip irrigation is not a system for the future, it’s for the here and now and will help to ensure that our children and their children will have the water that they need.

New legislature concerning irrigation is in effect 1/1/ 09. Some of the new standards include the mandatory use of evapotransporational controllers (smart Controllers), drip zones for sections of grass narrower then 4 feet and individual drip zones for flowers and foundations, to name a few.

Don’t trust your installation to just anyone. In Texas all irrigation repairs and installations are to be done by a Licensed professional. This is to protect the consumer from individuals who are not up to date on code compliance, water conservation methods and proper installation techniques.

I know a good deal can be hard to pass up but with fines staring at $500 in most cities, in the end that “Great Deal” can cost hundreds more when you factor in fines, water waste and repairs. Have your system installed by a licensed and reputable company