The Irrigation Situation Keeping Your Landscape Green

 One of the things that attracts people to a condo or HOA are the beautiful  grounds and lush landscaping that surrounds the property. Because of the  topography of Florida, depending on where a home is located, water could be  plentiful or the area could be drought-stricken. It's almost always necessary  for properties to use irrigation technology to keep their lawns, trees and  shrubs healthy and green.  

 Anyone who has ever lived in a condo has probably seen the sprinklers go on and  off, and while you may not think it’s that big of a deal, using the proper system and controlling water levels for  all areas of the property can be a challenge. In the past, associations may  have relied strictly on sprinkler systems or gardeners who would water the  property with hoses, but irrigation systems have come a long way and today’s watering technology is cheaper, greener and much more sophisticated. Long gone  are the days when installers would drop pipe haphazardly into the ground  figuring that spraying around large volumes of water would make up for a  hit-or-miss installation.  

 “Fifteen, twenty years ago, your typical residential irrigation installation  didn't require more or less a design or simple methods of being able to  institute what's called for as an efficient irrigation system,” Gary Gleichman, project manager at Treasure Coast Irrigation and Landscape in Hobe Sound, says. “That pretty much allowed anybody to just throw pipe in the ground, not calculate  their water supply, how much water is available and at what pressure, the type  of material they're using, the sprinkler heads and their performance rates, and  then just simply throw a sprinkler head out in the lawn and expecting it to be  looking green evenly throughout the property.”  

 New and Improved

 Irrigation controllers have become extremely sophisticated, going as far as  adding computer technology to improve its timing and diagnostics. Unfortunately  for landscapers, this doesn’t end the need to connect the controller to every valve with a bundle of  dedicated buried wire.  

 The programmable valve is another innovation that uses no electricity and is  being sampled by some area landscapers. The valve can be programmed to open and  close in any combination of settings based on a cycle of every seven times the  water is turned on. It is small enough to be installed under a sprinkler head,  or in another version, can be used in a water line. This innovation means that  each sprinkler head can be programmed to open at different times than the  others in the same zone.  

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