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Outdoor Craftsmen lead designer Chris Holthouser contributed his expertise and advice in a recent article published in The Denver Post. The article Broken sprinkler heads are bad, but you can’t see most problems with irrigation systems sought out experienced landscape professionals to recommend solving the problems with landscape irrigation systems.
According to the article and Holthouser, “a really good irrigation system with all the bells and whistles won’t be the be-all end-all if the landscape is poorly designed.”
Holthouser emphasized that beginning any landscape project with a professional landscape design is key. Everything you need to manage your outdoor property is accounted for in a good design, so you have more ease in managing it long term.
He recommends grouping plants together – placing those that like hot dry conditions in full sun and shade loving plants in protected areas. The article goes on to say “in existing landscapes, rezone sprinklers to accommodate the needs of mature trees and shrubs, and ensure you’re getting head to head coverage on lawns.”
To be sure, all of this is easier said than done if you don’t have experience and a good design to work from. Irrigation systems are complicated and can be temperamental to set up and properly use. In many instances, you have to know what you may not know, and this can cause your landscape to fail to thrive.
For example, lawn zones that get inadequate water become susceptible to spider mite, and that area of the lawn begins to look very dry, yellow, and dead (which just keeps spreading). But throwing more water at the problem actually exacerbates it (causing the mites to reproduce like crazy).
You get what you pay for when you hire the professionals and skip on trying to DIY something as important to your home as the landscape. The long-term advantages (and cost and sanity savings) are too numerous to list here, so we encourage you to talk with professionals first, and proceed from there with more knowledge and understanding of what you can expect before diving in.