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Getting the Most Out of Your Lawn Irrigation System: An Interview with Jeff Giusti of JMG Inc. Professional Lawn Sprinklers

By Jeff Giusti

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

JMG Inc. Professional Lawn Sprinklers was established in 1987. To this day, we are proudly owned and operated by the original owner and hold the original company name. Our established business office, from which we conduct our daily business activities, is located in Warwick, Rhode Island. We specialize in the installation, service and repair of residential and commercial lawn sprinkler irrigation systems in the Rhode Island area. We are staffed by licensed, fully trained, knowledgeable professionals who have established backgrounds in the construction and irrigation industries.

Can you briefly explain some of main differences that homeowners will see in yards that have an irrigation system and yards that don't have one?

Water is essential to the health of a lawn. Water as an internal cooling mechanism in the really hot days of summer, and shade grass especially needs water as an external cooling agent.

More often than not, we see lawns that are watered too frequently but not long enough each time. Frequent, shallow watering encourages shallow roots and contributes to thatch accumulation, soil compaction and even weed seed germination. Lawns need 1" to 2" of water per week. And each time you water, the water should reach a depth of 6" down into your lawn.

An underground lawn irrigation system, when installed properly, will distribute water evenly on a schedule designed for the lawn's needs. Rain sensors will interrupt the watering system to avoid over watering. Therefore, a professionally installed irrigation system will definitely make a lawn stand out versus a lawn that does not have a system.

What are some of the basic options that people need to decide on for irrigation design?

It is important for the installer to go discuss specific needs that the homeowner requires. Some of the most basic options are lawn and lawn areas, (front, side, rear) shrubbery, flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Is there something that most homeowners don't know about lawn irrigation that they should know?

The most important thing for a homeowner is to make sure they are hiring a qualified irrigation contractor who can design the system properly the first time. I can't tell you how many customers we take over after a few years of having a system installed and we end up doing a major revamp. For any new installation, the irrigation contractor should meet with the landscaper to allow the heads to be properly placed prior to landscape completion. Irrigation controllers are a major component for an irrigation system and should not be compromised for a cheap model. Water conservation plays a major part in a proper installation. Every system should have a backflow preventer, whether on a well or public water.

What kind of maintenance do lawn irrigation systems need after they're installed?

In areas of the country where temperatures drop below freezing, a system needs to be winterized. That requires having the system shut down, drained properly and having the system blown out with a commercial grade air compressor. At start up, a qualified contractor will fill the system, check for leaks, and complete a test of the system. Maintenance to the grass around the head is important and the proper programming of the controller along with testing the rain sensor.

Do you have any lawn watering tips to help maintain healthy, green grass without an overly expensive utility bill?

Water in the early morning is very important. Do not water in the heat of the day because the sun will evaporate water before it can soak in. Programming the controller with a seasonal adjustment mode and having a rain sensor.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

The best way to contact JMG Inc. Professional Lawn Irrigation is the call our office at 888-860-2199. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. Emergency calls will be answered even after normal business hours.

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