Winter is coming, very soon. If you believe your favorite weather forecasting system, it will be a rough winter, mild winter, snowy winter, rainy winter, short winter, long winter, frosty winter, and or breezy winter. Choose one or all, and you’ll probably be right. We rely on natural cues to forecast weather, but what if those cues had a sudden change? For the last year or two, sheltering at home has led to fewer emissions dumped out of every automobile commuting to the workplace. The office buildings of some substantial companies have been nearly vacant as people work from home. In big cities like Los Angeles, residents speak of seeing the blue sky for the first time in decades over their city and the neighboring ocean. All of these things indicate a disruption in the greenhouse gas emissions cycle. It all means that things might be a little different for a few years and harder to forecast.

Your lawn and gardens will reflect these changes. Cleaner air is better for plants, trees, and other living things. It means cleaner water helping your plants and lawns grow. And since Kansas weather can change fast, it’s time to get that water system ready for winter.

Pro Help? YES!

Have you taken part in the installation and maintenance of your irrigation systems? Do you know the ins and outs of how to turn the system on and off? Check the individual areas of the landscape to figure out what section or sprinkler head is leaking? You might not know these things, but your lawn and garden professionals at Divine Lawns know how to install and maintain irrigation systems and will make an appointment with you as they get your system ready for winter. 

The Steps

1. Evaluation

Sometime around the first sign of impending freezing temperatures, you can call and ask your Divine representative to confer with you about winterizing your irrigation or sprinkler system. It is so essential because part of the process is a little predictive. They will estimate the depth of the frozen ground and compare it with the depth of the irrigation system hoses and pipes. The water expands as it freezes. If it freezes inside your system, it can cause several problems, including split pipes. Let us just avoid that, shall we?

There is another danger, too. If the hoses and joints are not emptied, and there is a split, the water could backwash into your house water system and your drinking and wash water. Having this water in your house system would be bad since some of that water could come out of the ground surrounding the system. In addition, that water may include fertilizers and other additives that make your lawn healthy but are not suitable for you or your family.

2. Emptying the irrigation system

Your Divine team will determine the best way to empty your irrigation system. Gravity will propel the water to the lowest points in the system once the water is turned off. Some professionals open the valves in these lowest points and let the water drain. Some empty the pipes one section at a time till the final water drains out of the furthest point in the system.

Quite a few professionals do a “blowout” of the irrigation system to winterize it. This procedure entails using an air compressor to blow the water out of the system. Opening all the valves and sprinkler heads and applying the air pressure hose to the head of the irrigation system will help blow all the water through the pipes, hoses, and joints of the irrigation system. The water will exit the system through the watering points, giving your winter lawn one last watering. The blowout can be an involved process, and you may not want to do it yourself. It’s one of those lawn and garden chores that a professional is better done. Your Divine Lawns professional can do it quickly and without accidental damage to the system.

3. Turn the water to the irrigation system off.

Your Divine Lawns team will turn the system and timers off for the winter. You can ask them how to do this if you have not already done so. You may need to know how to turn the system off if there’s some kind of emergency. For example, the timers are probably changed when Daylight Savings Time changes. But they could also change, accidentally, if there’s a power outage. It’s good basic knowledge to have.

Other things you can ask your landscapers to do can help prevent damage to your system. 

  • Insulate the above-ground pipes. Your Divine professionals can do this job quickly and without a mess. Commercial insulation meant for preventing pipe freezing is widely available, as well as the kind of tape meant to be used with it.
  • Adjust the timers, so watering time and frequency are shortened. These are scaled back when the temperatures drop in the fall. You can ask your Divine professional if it would be a good idea to adjust them even further if it seems like your lawn or garden is getting a little too much water during the approach of the colder season.
  • Ask your Divine Lawns specialist to install a “freeze sensor.” These detect rain or freezing temperatures and prevent the system timers from turning on the irrigation system. 

Getting your garden and lawn ready for winter is a process involving many steps. From gathering your bulbs to store for the winter to ensure your irrigation system faces the freezing weather without damage, it can take some time to finish in time for winter. Make contact with your garden and landscape professionals in the fall to plan each step before the end of October. Once the schedule is in place, your lawn and gardens will be protected as much as possible. If winter starts early, which is a possibility for Kansas, the schedule can be adjusted. 

Have a Divine winter!