Dandelion in a yard

Many factors contribute to your lawn's heath. Your lawn needs the right nutrients from the soil, it needs the right amount of light from the sun, and most importantly, it needs the proper amount of water from your sprinkler system.

The most common reason for a dying lawn is lack of water. Some people will notice some dry spots or brown areas in their yard and raise the amount of time they water their lawn by 25-50%, but this is NOT how to fix your problem! It might help in the short term but is a HUGE waste of money and water.

People who raise their water times will notice that some of the dry spots are gone, but now they have wet and squishy spots in their lawn. They will see their water bill will go through the roof, and they will still have some dry places throughout their yard.

They will often get frustrated and decide that it is not a watering problem and decide to fertilize their lawn.

When you fertilize a lawn that doesn't have enough water, it will burn up the lawn even worse and may cause irreversible damage and may let crabgrass and other weeds take over your yard.

The actual problem with your dry lawn is not the amount of fertilizer or the length your run your sprinkler system… but the state your sprinkler system is in.a fading lawn

Do you have any broken or clogged sprinkler heads?

Do you have any sprinkler line breaks?

Do you have full coverage?

Is your sprinkler system installed properly?

Are you over-watering or under-watering your lawn?

If you answered "No" or "I'm not sure" to any of these questions, then you might need to work on your sprinkler system… but don't worry! Sprinkler systems are easy to adjust and repair. You need to have the right knowledge and tools.

Step 1: Inspect Your Sprinkler System

First, you need to inspect your sprinkler system. You need to find each valve box and check it for leaks. The valve box should be completely dry inside. If your valve box has any water inside, you might have a sprinkler break.

After you have found the valve box open up each valve manually by turning the bleed screw or solenoid. The valve should open with ease and begin to let water through that sprinkler zone.

While the water is running through the zone, you should inspect each sprinkler head for any breaks or issues. If you notice water pooling up near a sprinkler head or a clogged nozzle that isn't spraying correctly, you will want to flag that head.

As you are inspecting each head for breaks, make sure to adjust and clean each sprinkler head. You want to make sure you have Full Head-to-Head Coverage. Meaning each sprinkler head should spray water to the sprinkler head closest to it. I

If your sprinkler heads only spray halfway to the other head, you are going to have dry spots.

To get you sprinkler heads to spray all the way to the nearest heads, you have a few options. If it is a pop-up sprinkler head, you can clean or replace the nozzle. You can also use a small screwdriver to adjust the distance the nozzles spray by up to 25%.

If you have rotor heads, you can adjust the sprinkler heads distance and spray pattern by using the sprinkler heads adjustment tool. You can also use different sprinkler nozzles to adjust the amount of water and distance the sprinkler head will spray.

Some sprinkler zones are installed improperly, and you won't have enough pressure to get full head-to-head coverage. There are only a few solutions to this problem. You can replace the sprinkler nozzles to Water-Efficient MP Rotor Nozzles. These use less pressure and less water, so you will be able to double the distance your sprinkler heads can spray. However, because you use less water, you will also need to run them for longer.

If you have a zone with rotor heads that doesn't have full head-to-head coverage, there is not much you can do. First, try to adjust your sprinkler heads using an adjustment tool or replace the nozzle inside the sprinkler head. If that doesn't work, you might want to consider upgrading that zone to no pop-up heads or replacing the zone entirely.

To adjust the sprinkler heads, you can read this article for more information HERE.

After you have gone through each zone and adjusted your sprinkler heads for full head-to-head coverage and you have flagged all the broken heads and sprinkler lines, you will want to fix and replace all the sprinkler issues.

Replacing sprinkler heads is quite simple; however, it can be quite messy. If you need help with this step, give us a call.

Start by digging out the area around the sprinkler head. Dig down until you see the black threaded elbow that connects to the sprinkler head. You will want to unscrew the broken sprinkler head from this part. Be sure not to get any mud or dirt inside this exposed line, or you might clog your new sprinkler head.

Once you have the sprinkler head off, take your new sprinkler head and thread it on to the threaded elbow. Make sure the head is on tight but don't over-tighten the sprinkler head. Before you bury the head and put on the new nozzle, be sure to open the valve in that zone to make sure any dirt or mud that may be in your line gets flushed out.

After you flush the line, take your new nozzle and screw it to the top of the new sprinkler head and adjust it to where it needs to spray.

Then take the sprinkler head and set it in the hole. Make sure it is flush with the grass and ensure that the sprinkler head is level. If it is pointing down or up, you will not be able to get proper coverage.

When you have the sprinkler head in the position, you want it to begin to bury it. Be sure to pack the soil down as good as you can because the heads will sometimes move. If there is not enough soil, you may need to bring in more dirt and make sure it is perfectly level.

You can put some grass seed down to make sure the grass grows back happy and healthy of you want. I recommend it, but it is an optional step.

After you have fixed and replaced all your broken sprinkler heads, you will need to start working on your sprinkler breaks.

Sprinkler line breaks can be hard to identify because they are 6-9" underground. The most common way to find a sprinkler line break is a large muddy area in your lawn. You might also hear running water while your sprinkler system is off. Another common symptom is if one suddenly stops working or has low pressure.