Friday, December 16, 2011
Winter Project: Sprinkler Spacing - #17
As we all know by now, the biggest component of our success in having good summer playing conditions lies with the irrigation system. This property is challenging to start with: lots of elevation change, shade, rolls, hills, bumps, swales, clay soils, etc. And in the summer the number one thing grass needs to survive and be healthy is water. If our irrigation system doesn't put the water exactly where it's needed, in the most efficient manner possible, we have to make up for it by watering by hand. And let me tell you, 80 acres is alot of grass for two guys (our dedicated irrigators) to water by hand...daily. So we rely heavily on our irrigation system to do the bulk of the job for us during our nighttime irrigation cycles.
This past winter we focused on the functionality of the irrigation system: making sure it all works. We took inventory and fixed any leaks, or misadjustments in the arc of the sprinkler, a few nozzling and drive change outs, unburied sprinklers that were lost, raised and levelled many that had been knocked around. We made sure every sprinkler turned on, popped up, rotated properly, and turned off when we wanted it to. Everything now works and works properly.
While doing all this, we were also able to get the whole system GPS mapped, so we have an accurate record of where every component of the irrigation system is. The map also serves as a important tool in other ways: we can use a digital version of it to turn on sprinklers from a computer, iPhone or iPad and we use it during projects to make sure we don't trench through pipes or wires. Yet one critical example of the benefit of precise GPS mapping showed up right away: how poor our sprinkler spacing is in many areas.
Good sprinkler spacing should look like this: