When Should You Turn Your Sprinkler System Back on after Winter?

Cold WeatherThose who have read my Quick Tips and our blog entries over the years will probably recognize this is a trick question.  You should never completely stop watering your lawn and landscape.  Your soil still loses water when it is cold outside. Granted it won’t lose it as fast as in the summer, so you can water less, but you should always employ a seasonally appropriate watering schedule.  Watering issues are the second biggest problem I see in lawns, second only to shade issues.

What happens when you turn your sprinklers off in the winter?  We end up seeing a lot more weeds in Bermuda lawns.  Why?  Our pre-emergent only prevents weeds if it’s watered in.  The water pushes the product into the soil and spreads it evenly.  That’s why we recommend watering within two weeks of our visits – after that the product disappears and weeds appear.  The same thing goes for St. Augustine but since it’s a tropical plant, it needs damp soil to protect its roots from freezing weather.  After the severe freezes last year we saw a lot of damage to St. Augustine lawns (the ones that were damaged the worst hadn’t been watered.) Even lawns that were watered were damaged but they bounced back within a few weeks of warm weather so by late spring they were back to normal.  As I’ve said, lawns need three things in this order – sun, water and food.  I’d love to be higher in the pecking order but Mother Nature continues to tell me I’m not.

My final point is that if we’ve had a lot of rain, you can obviously give your sprinkler a break.  Just remember that it’s important that you remember to turn the system back on!If you need more help please with your sprinkler system please don’t hesitate to contact us at 972-495-6990 or [email protected].

We’d be happy to answer any of your questions. For those who want more advanced help, we offer affordable sprinkler tune-up packages that will keep you lawn healthy and looking great year round.  Click here to get a free estimate on what it would cost for your lawn.