Irrigation System: 4 Things to Consider Before Buying

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    You want a gorgeous, green, thick lawn, surrounded by gardens bursting with big, bountiful blooms. This result delivers an elevation in curb appeal and a yard you’re proud to own.

    But for a lush look, your plants have to be healthy, and one thing plants require is adequate irrigation, particularly during those hot, dry Kansas City summer days. That last thing you want when you achieve that perfect home landscape style is to watch it wilt and brown in the summer heat.

    As you move sprinklers around your yard, you can easily become frustrated. It’s certainly not the most efficient or precise method of watering. And as you’re trying to multitask, it’s easy to leave the water running too long in one place and move it away from another place too quickly. Not only can you easily waste water this way, but you might also be delivering an inconsistent stream of water to certain areas.

    To fix this problem and refine your watering strategy, you might want to look into sprinkler system installation.

    Professionally installed irrigation systems deliver the right amount of water to the right locations at the right times, keeping your lawn happy and healthy without using too much water. Plants that receive the right amount of water can also stand stronger against pests and diseases. What’s more, you can spend time enjoying your yard instead of standing with a hose watering it.

    As you consider a new sprinkler system install, you probably have a lot of questions.

    Let’s review some key things you should think about before opting for a new irrigation system, so you can better plan for this addition to your Kansas City home landscape.

    4 Sprinkler Lawn System Factors to Think About in Kansas City  

    Do I need an irrigation system? This may be a question you’re asking yourself as you care for your Kansas City lawn and landscape.

    The ultimate goal of an Irrigation system is to protect the investment you’ve made in your yard. During droughts and dry spells, it isn’t humanly possible to disperse the adequate amount of water to all plants and turf areas by hand. It also isn’t financially feasible to pay someone to hand water long-term over investing in an irrigation system.

    A sprinkler system installation could be that vital addition you need to keep your plants alive and thriving.

    Here are 4 important things to think about as you consider adding irrigation to your property.

    Consideration #1: Your Landscape Investment  

    You should consider a sprinkler lawn system as a tool that protects your investment in your Kansas City plants and lawns. This is important because irrigation systems are often the differentiator between plant loss and plant vitality.

    And if you think about how much you’ve invested in your lawn and landscape, it can help you gauge the importance of an irrigation system, which can ensure your investment is protected.

    The average cost to install an irrigation system in your yard is between $7,000 and $100,000, depending on the size of your home and yard, as well as the complexity of your landscape.

    And there are water savings you can enjoy with an efficient and professionally designed irrigation system, too. Kansas City residents who opt to have their irrigation systems professionally designed and installed can usually enjoy a decrease of 10% to 30% in water usage during the months of June, July, and August as a result of sprinkler lawn system efficiency.

    Consideration #2: The Age of Your Plants   

    Another important irrigation system install consideration is the age of your plants.

    If you have plants that are less than 5 years old or newly seeded lawns, they need consistent moisture.

    An irrigation system can deliver more watering consistently to help establish these plantings and deliver the water they need to thrive.

    Consideration #3: The Age of Your Irrigation System   

    If you have a current irrigation system, you might need to repair or replace it to ensure it’s functioning properly.

    Irrigation system install components can decline over time or stop functioning all together. For example, valves don’t often last more than 7 years.

    Some experts say the life of the irrigation system you have depends on how well you’ve maintained it over the years. Some systems that are meticulously maintained can work well for quite a long time – think 10 or 20 years. But old irrigation systems are often also inefficient as they’ve been perpetually “tweaked” to adapt to a growing landscape.

    Your landscape certainly changes over the years, too. A small shrub you planted 15 years ago is probably larger today. You may have also moved plants around or added an outdoor kitchen or patio. The point: Your current irrigation system may not be covering a zone adequately or may be hitting certain things too aggressively, while completely neglecting other areas.

    An irrigation expert can help you determine whether he or she can adjust your existing irrigation system or whether you’re better off with a new system to meet your current watering needs.

    Consideration #4: Your Average Water Bill   

    Have you taken a look at your water bill lately? Do you know the average water bills for properties that run irrigation systems on yards similar to yours?

    The recent Kansas City drought conditions might have you looking at your heightened water bills and reviewing your budget, looking at ways to bring these costs down.

    Luckily, today’s sprinkler lawn systems use much less water than those built 10 to 20 years ago. In fact, older irrigation systems can lose 50% of their water to runoff, wind, and evaporation. Those older systems also have overlapping designs that actually create sections of wasted water.

    Installing a water-wise system can certainly cut your water consumption and water bill.

    Newer technology factors in rainfall and soil moisture to avoid unnecessary watering. They can also enable a system to be monitored remotely so you can make quick changes when the weather unexpectedly shifts. Wifi-enabled controllers allow irrigation specialists the ability to maximize responsiveness, capitalize on weather patterns, and help eliminate waste.

    Emerging technologies include irrigation components, such as water-mapping heads. High Prairie is Kansas City’s only irrigation team experienced in using water-mapping technology to spray only where you want water with no overlap, wet pavement, or other common irrigation issues. Water-mapping heads are computerized to spray in whatever shape or points your irrigation technician programs, and they can save up to 80% on water usage.

    Questions You Should Ask When Hiring an Irrigation Professional in Kansas City

    There are also some specific things that can impact your irrigation strategy in Kansas City.

    As you’re considering hiring a sprinkler system installation professional, keep these questions in mind to review with irrigation experts to make sure you have all your bases covered and can get a precise quote for your yard.

    1. Do you have an issue with animals or rodents in your garden? Drip irrigation zones can be difficult in areas with active squirrels and rabbits.

    2. How dense are the tree roots in your yard? Established trees can make it difficult to install an irrigation system and often require a bit more strategy.

    3. Do you have shallow, rocky soil, or significant slopes?

    4. Is your water pressure adequate for irrigation? Your irrigation professional should help you determine this.

    Then, as you’re interviewing companies to hire for this job, these pointers can help you find the right partner to help you bring your irrigation system to life.

    • How much horticultural education do the irrigation technicians have at the company you’re considering? The entire purpose of irrigation is to help plants thrive, yet it’s rare to find an irrigation specialist who understands and can identify specific plants, micro-environments, potential fungal/disease issues, etc.

    • What type of training and education does the company invest in? This can tell you a bit more about how much experience the employees have.

    • How often does the company have employee turnover? If there is a revolving door, a company suffers from inconsistencies in quality and service.

    • How are the online reviews for the company? This can show you what customers’ experiences with the company have been like so you know what to expect.

    Is It Time For a New Sprinkler System Install?

    You want to keep your lawn and landscape green and growing, maintaining that amazing appearance you love.

    A sprinkler lawn system can save you water and work efficiently to boost your greenery and save you time and money by elevating your property value.

    But it can be daunting when you start this process. We completely understand; it’s a big decision. Let High Prairie Outdoors’s irrigation experts help. We can take a look at your landscape and give you an idea of the type of system that would work best for you, what it would cost, and how much water you can eventually save once it’s in place.

    Then your job is to sit back and relax, knowing you’re doing your best to protect your landscape investment and the environment.

    Ready to learn why High Prairie Outdoors could be your choice for professional irrigation in Kansas City? We’d love to learn more about you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a custom plan that meets the watering needs of your outdoor living space. 

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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