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Are Underground Sprinklers Right For Your Northern Virginia Lawn?

When watering your lawn during the hot Northern Virginia summers, you may have wondered if you should consider an underground sprinkler system. The initial expense may seem off-putting but the benefits of underground sprinklers extend beyond the time saved either watering by hand or moving the stationary sprinkler around the property.

Underground sprinklers are extremely beneficial with large lawns. Installed beneath the soil – hence the name underground sprinklers – the sprinkler simply extends beyond the surface of the ground to water the grass and then returns back underground when watering is complete. This feature extends well for routine lawn maintenance such as mowing, but typically does require professional assistance if failure occurs.

Underground sprinklers are considered to be the most “heavy duty” watering systems available, which may present problems for some Northern Virginia homeowners. Since underground sprinklers are high pressure, and the stream has such low trajectory, water may be dispersed at a rate faster than what the soil can absorb. Also, the low trajectory prevents much water from evaporating as it flows through the underground sprinklers, which also leads to over-watering and pooling in some instances.

An alternative to underground sprinklers is fixed-riser spray head sprinklers. This type of underground sprinklers also is considered a “heavy duty” watering system, but is typically less expensive than fully underground sprinklers. This model of underground sprinkler features buried water lines, but the sprinkler heads are fixed aboveground. The sprinkler heads are unattractive to some Northern Virginia homeowners, and can be especially difficult to mow around – usually leading to extra time spent on lawn care as trimming around the sprinkler head is required.

Since the Northern Virginia area experiences changes in the amount of rainfall that occurs each year, combining underground sprinklers and rain water is the best approach for watering your lawn. Experts suggest grass needs approximately one inch of water per week. To measure the amount of water your underground sprinklers - or sprinkler of any type – produce hourly simply use a rain gauge or an empty container. Place the containers in three different locations around the lawn. After one hour, pour all of the water into one container, measure it and divide by three. This will tell you how much water is being doused on your lawn per hour, which you can then add to the rainwater from the week to determine how long the underground sprinklers should operate.

Lost Creek Landscapes is an award winning Northern Virginia landscape design and landscape build firm that has been offering quality landscape and masonry services to the Northern Virginia region for more than 10 years. For more information on the right type of underground sprinklers for your home, contact the landscape experts at Lost Creek Landscapes for your consultation.