Reticulation systems are a wonderful time saving idea for home lawns and gardens. They can save us massive amounts of time in the job of watering our lawns. We can adjust the watering times of the reticulation as and when the lawn needs more or less water. Easily and precisely adding or lowering watering times by minutes or even percentages very quickly. Reticulation of our lawns and gardens also allows us the freedom of never worrying about moving the sprinkler at the necessary time.
So we can see the wonderful benefits that buffalo lawn reticulation can provide to us, and the people in Western Australia agree, and overwhelmingly use reticulation to water their lawns and gardens.
But from the use of lawn reticulation, we also must understand a bigger picture when using these watering systems. So lets take a look at some of the considerations we must understand prior to installation and for using these wonderful time and labour saving systems for our buffalo lawns.
Buffalo Thatch Increasing In Height
The number one problem we always see with reticulation systems in home lawns is that the homeowner often sits their popup sprinklers too high above the ground. And its when the lawn is mowed that these same sprinklers then go through the mower and get destroyed. Raised reticulation sprinklers also present a tripping hazard for children and adults. So be sure to place all reticulation sprinklers below the height of the turf.
The problem with buffalo grass is its thatch layer which keeps increasing in height year after year. With a reticulation system installed, eventually the sprinklers will no longer pop up high enough above the thatch layer to water the buffalo lawn effectively.
This problem is easily fixed by the lawn owner, by replacing the riser with a new riser which is longer in length, and thus raises the height of the sprinkler. The riser is the small plastic tube with threading which is used to attach the sprinkler to the below ground pipes supplying the water.
Risers are very cheap and easily replaced by the homeowner very quickly. Just be sure to dig away the dirt from around the sprinkler before replacing, and to use a small and cheap riser tool to help turn and remove the old riser.
Different Stations For Lawn and Garden
When installing our new buffalo lawn reticulation system, we're probably going to include our gardens within the same watering system, which is a great idea as well.
However, we need to keep one important point in mind when planning our new lawn and garden reticulation system.
We should never include lawns and gardens on the same watering station.
Different lawn areas and different garden areas will require different amounts of water at different times of the year. So if we had a waterwise garden with native plants - these would obviously require far less water than a buffalo lawn would.
So by giving the buffalo lawn the water it needs to survive, we would then be overwatering the native gardens if they were on the same watering cycle as each other.
The same would be true if we had a different lawn type which required far less water, but we then had plants in the garden which required a lot of water, and they were both being watered for the same amount of time and on the same reticulation station.
Regardless of the lawn, regardless of the plants, always keep all gardens and all lawns on different watering stations, no exceptions.
Avoid Reticulation Preset Controls
Before the days of rapid overpopulation growth began to explode in Australia, most people using lawn reticulation systems in Australia had their timers set to water the lawn for set times and on set days of the week. This is understandable as it takes away all the hassle out of watering a buffalo lawn… set and forget so to speak.
However, nowadays with permanent water restrictions across the nation due to this same overpopulation, and with new awareness and understanding of how to water lawns properly, its most certainly time to change our thinking and habits with lawn reticulation.
All set watering timers in reticulation control boxes should be shut off.
Switch On Reticulation Manually When Required
Instead, we should monitor the health of the lawn and its requirements for water as we would do if we were using standard sprinklers to water the buffalo turf. And its when the turf shows signs of needing another drink of water, that we should then use the manual controls of the reticulation system to water the lawn.
Most retic systems should allow the user to manually turn on the watering system for certain time limits for each station. So we should implement these systems and manually turn on the reticulation when the buffalo lawn needs another drink of water, and then adjust the watering times so that a very deep drink of water is given. Which in turn creates a deeper root system for a more drought and heat tolerant buffalo lawn.