Return to Extreme Irrigation home/contents pageOriginally written and posted Friday, 7 July 2007.
Content last modified Saturday, 9 January 2021 .

State O’ The Gardens - 2007

Or, Why the Lawns Do Not Look Extremely Good

Let’s have a look at how the living plant life—the target beneficiary of the Extreme Irrigation renovation—is doing two years after all the important pieces were first in place. We’ll start in the front yard….

Plant gardens: lookin’ good. Lawns: not so much.

This is a view of our front yard, looking southwest. Where is the lush green lawn in the semicircle and beyond? Why do those parts look nearly dead yet the little strip on the left (east) looks good? What happened??

Well, several things. First, the little strip which looks nice has quite a few of the old Champion sprinkler heads closely spaced for proper coverage. Second, the brown lawn outside the semicircle is a Darwinian experiment: we don’t know if we want to still have lawn there, and it was mostly St. Augustine, to which i am allergic. So, we are intentionally not irrigating that section, so it is not surprising that it looks bad.

The surprise may be the semicircle: it is being irrigated, and one would assume that if it is properly irrigated, it should look like the little strip which is green. Yes, it should. Here are some reasons it does not:

  1. It takes more than just water to maintain a lawn: None of our lawns have been re-seeded, aireated, pest-removed, nor otherwise dealt with beyond mowing, weeding, and watering, for over 9 years as of 2007. Diagnosticians have determined that there is a serious infestation of some kind of bug which kills lawns.
  2. Sprinkler coverage should always be head-to-head. There is only one rotary head covering the semicircle, as no one has been able to give me a good answer as to how to sanely implement head-to-head coverage in a semicircle.
  3. The rotary head in use, a K-Rain Dial-A-Nozzle, is not a very good head: the spray distribution is not very even. A nice Toro or something else likely would do better.
  4. Per the CIMIS findings, we’re likely not using enough water on our lawns.
  5. We plan on removing this turf and replacing it with plant gardens and walkways when we re-do the circular driveway, which will be when we re-do the house plumbing (the water main runs under this area), which will be………… when we get around to itdunce smiley.

The K-Rain Dial-A-Nozzle seemed like a really good idea, especially for a person such as myself timid about making a mistake picking the one correct nozzle size for a normal rotary head. Well, with 5 of these heads in service since the 2002 part of the renovation (4 on the back lawn + one on the semicircle here in the front), i am prepared to state my opinion: they are inconsistent in performance, especially coverage pattern. One of them (in the back yard) seems very good; the others seem spotty, and in different ways. Some do better in close and others farther out. All are adjusted to one of the low angle nozzles and any which need them are using breakup screws, which does help even out the pattern slightly.

The better news in this picture is that the drip systems, feeding all the plants on the periphery, seem to be doing very well indeed… and saving gallons and gallons of water vs. spray heads.

roseAnother view of the front yard…