It’s been a beautiful autumn here in northern Nevada, with warm days and cool nights. The leaves are slowly changing, days are getting shorter, and pretty soon, it will be time to shut off sprinkler systems until next year. If this is the kind of service you like to have handled by a professional, don’t wait to book your appointment. Now is the time to schedule irrigation shut-off service in Reno and Sparks. If you’re comfortable handling it on your own, read on for expert tips from Harris Landscape Construction.
Tips for Winterizing Residential Irrigations Systems
Annual plants, trees, and shrubs respond to shorter days and cooler nights by settling into dormancy, which means their water needs decline. And since winter’s freezing temperatures can damage irritation systems, it’s important to shut them down properly. The general rule of thumb in Reno and Sparks is to shut down residential irrigation systems by Halloween. Some years, however, have a slower, warmer autumn, which extends the watering season. The best thing to do is watch both the weather and long-term forecasts if you’re planning on winterizing your system yourself. If not, contact Harris Landscape Construction today to get on our schedule for this service.
Before you turn off the water, make sure to soak your trees and shrubs to an 18-inch depth, and irrigate to the outer tips of the branches on your plants with soaker hoses or a sprinkler. This preps your trees, shrubs, and plants for a long winter’s nap.
Wintering your irrigation system usually has four parts:
- Shut down the controller. You can consult your owner’s manual, if you have one, for your model.
- Shut off the water supply. Wrap the main shut-off valve with insulation or pack it in pine straw to insulate it against freezing temperatures. If your system has any above-ground piping, that should be insulated as well.
- Drain the water from your system’s pipes. Otherwise, it may freeze and cause cracking. You can use a manual drain valve, an automatic drain valve, or a compressor blow-out method, depending on your system.
- Confirm that back flow preventers and valves are also insulated if they’re also above ground
It’s not too difficult to winterize your irrigation system, but there is room for error, especially when it comes to draining the pipes. If you don’t feel comfortable winterizing your system properly on your own, contact Harris Landscape Construction today to schedule an appointment.
Some trees and plants still need water over the winter months. That’s really important if three or four weeks pass without precipitation. In that case, use a hose to water the trees and plants that need it for healthier plants in the spring.