Top Signs of Irrigation Issues for Sumner County Homeowners

June 17, 2024


As a homeowner, your to-do list is already overflowing. The last thing you need is an irrigation problem, which can turn your beautiful lawn into a headache. However, recognizing and addressing these issues early can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy, vibrant landscape.

Signs like thin or patchy grass, wilting plants, and dry spots may indicate that your irrigation system needs attention. Ignoring these signs can quickly turn your dream landscape into yet another chore.

The good news is that by catching these problems early, you can save time and money, ensuring your yard remains a place of enjoyment rather than stress.

How Regular Maintenance Prevents Irrigation Problems

Everyone knows the best way to keep a vehicle on the road is to not skip regular maintenance—that principle applies to irrigation systems, too. Having your system checked at regular intervals can avoid costly water leaks and also avoid damage to your turf by adding too much water. Even smaller irrigation problems like a clogged sprinkler head might mean a newly installed crape myrtle never gets to show off its blooms.

We recommend having a professional check your irrigation system. An industry pro can spot issues that busy homeowners might miss. At Puryear Farms, we perform a multi-point check-up during our Irrigation Start-Ups and Winterization Services, ensuring your system is ready for spring and protected against winter freeze damage. However, even a well-maintained system can benefit from additional attention. That’s why we offer separate System Checks throughout the hot months. These checks help identify potential leaks, inefficiencies, or areas needing adjustment, ensuring your irrigation system runs smoothly all summer long.

That said, other seasonal tasks help avoid irrigation problems:

Spring: Inspect and clean sprinkler heads. Adjust the watering schedule to increase frequency as Middle Tennessee temperatures rise. Check for leaks and malfunctioning parts and correct water pressure. 

Summer: Monitor water use and adjust the schedule based on lawn needs and weather. Reduce or pause watering after heavy rains (overwatering can cause fungal diseases). Inspect sprinkler heads regularly for clogs or damage.

Fall: Reduce watering frequency as temperatures fall and aerate the lawn (prevents soil compaction, freeing water to reach roots). Inspect the system for damage when adjusting the scheduling.

Winter: Winterize the system — drain pipes, and shut off the water supply. Monitor soil moisture levels. Warmer weeks may require watering, even in winter. This slow-growth season is ideal for planning an irrigation upgrade or expansion.

Summertime can be the most likely season for irrigation problems due to higher usage and heavier lawn traffic (mowers, weed trimmers, edgers, etc.). Puryear Farms’s mid-season audits can help catch these problems before they leave your landscape struggling in extreme heat without enough water.

Signs Your Irrigation System Needs Attention

The quicker you notice signs of landscape elements not thriving, the better chance you have to protect your entire landscaping investment. 

Spotty grass is one sign, but so is uneven grass growth. Possible causes are heads not popping up properly or not rotating fully to get complete coverage. 

Wilted or dying flowers are usually clear signs of an irrigation system issue. While a clogged sprinkler head can leave flowers thirsty and unhealthy, sometimes wilted plants may actually be getting too much water. When the roots are overly saturated, the tiny root hairs that absorb moisture can die off, leaving the plant unable to take in water despite its abundance in the soil. This condition is known as “wet feet.” Other things to look for are leaks, incorrect zone set-up, and not watering at ideal times (early mornings are best).

Lastly, dry patches in your lawn mean it’s time to take a closer look at your irrigation system before dry turf becomes dead turf. The issue could be low water pressure or an overgrown shrub blocking sprinkler water from reaching parts of the lawn.

What if You Don’t Have an Existing Irrigation System?

Sometimes, it’s a good thing to not have an irrigation system already. That might help you avoid dealing with an outdated system that causes those landscape letdowns. Modern irrigation is miles ahead of older systems, mainly due to Smart Controllers, highly efficient devices that save precious water and cut down on utility bills. 

Homeowners can save up to 30% on utilities because modern equipment wastes very little water by using remote monitoring and weather-based adjustments. Older systems may start watering at scheduled times, even if it’s raining. Plus, leaks are often only found by manually walking the property to check for soggy soil or turf.

Today’s irrigation has come a long way with a range of benefits and features:

  • Delivering water directly to plant roots reduces waste via evaporation and runoff. 
  • Smart controllers and sensors prevent over-watering by adjusting watering schedules based on weather, soil moisture, and plant needs.
  • Precise watering helps reduce weeds while producing healthier-looking plant material.
  • Liquid fertilizers can be injected efficiently through the irrigation system.
  • Creating healthy landscapes for curb appeal while conserving natural resources (methods below).

Efficient Water Distribution Methods

Now, let’s look at two different types of irrigation. 

Drip Irrigation: Typically uses hoses above ground but might be covered with mulch, rock, or pine straw. Drip systems work wonders in landscape beds and container gardens. They deliver water to individual shrubs and trees but can also benefit smaller plants. Drip systems are super-efficient, providing water directly to a plant’s base.

In-Ground Irrigation Systems: Lawns and landscape beds benefit from this type of irrigation. Many properties only have an in-ground system (no drip hoses). The reason? Sprinkler heads can cover virtually every section of the property, a great feature. However, unless the system was installed with precision, water gets wasted due to overspray landing on sidewalks, for example. Even with a precise set-up, landscapes change, so sprinkler coverage should evolve when beds are added, and lawn size decreases or increases.

Puryear Farms’ Commitment to Communication Minimizes Irrigation Issues

Over the past 33 years, our company has witnessed how crucial it is to get ahead of irrigation problems. No one wants to replace landscape elements like trees or shrubbery when those elements would have thrived if water had been supplied.

That’s one reason we implemented an unheard-of 48-hour Response Time at Puryear Farms. Prompt repairs save our clients money and hassles. We even offer Weekend Emergency Response, which our clients appreciate as much as our commitment to the highest-quality landscaping in the Volunteer State. 

Your property is as important to us as it is to you—even if you’re not a client yet. As homeowners ourselves, we know the hard work involved with keeping our own properties looking their best. We realize it’s a job—one that takes a great deal of time—time that homeowners often just don’t have.

Partner with Puryear Farms for Your Irrigation Needs in Tennessee

The good news is you don’t have to be an expert irrigation technician to spot problems. Your landscape will reveal clear signs of trouble. Now that you have the ability to identify specific signs, you can enjoy a healthy landscape and protect that investment in your property.

Contact us if you notice these signs. We’ll schedule a multi-point check-up of your irrigation system to get it working properly. For a convenient way to avoid problems altogether, please join our list of happy clients who get regular system check-ups.