Today, in our Inefficient Landscape Irrigation series, we will get a look at the problem with using standard size heads in turf applications.
A four inch spray-head is the most common head used in landscape irrigation turf applications but it is far from ideal. Warm season turf should be mowed high to conserve water during the warmer months. The higher turf cut protects the soil from the sun and wind. While mowing high is best for the health of the soil as well as the turf, it creates a real problem for standard heads as seen in the video below.
The head fails to break the crown of the grass which impedes the spray, disrupting uniform coverage and a matched precipitation rate and increasing run-off and water waste. This can lead to root-rot, brown patch fungus, stunted root growth, algae growth and anaerobic soil conditions.
The corrective action is to use taller six inch heads in turf applications. This will ensure the system activates and always delivers uniform coverage to the area it is watering. Note that bigger is not always better; twelve inch heads are too tall for turf applications and would have other negative consequences. The six inch head is perfect for turf applications.