The Irrigation Series, Part 1

by Rick Ellis

Welcome to the first installment of The Irrigation Series. Just a few short months ago, we were hard at work maintaining our lush, green lawns while tweaking our lawn irrigation systems to meet water conservation guidelines. With the onset of winter, most of us have hunkered down to our catatonic semi-hibernation for the onslaught of polar vortices. The last thing on our minds is our lawns and landscapes. Right? 


winter snowflake
cardinal in snow

Well, this actually IS the season we need to plan for spring. You may not be aware, but there are not enough qualified landscape and irrigation contractors in the Twin Cities to handle the typical Minnesota summer workload. If you wait until May to begin calling multiple contractors, they are likely to tell you they are booked solid until mid-summer or later. Start planning now to get a design and contract in place for spring! 

Why is it best to design in winter and perform the work during the spring? First, it is important to get a jump-start on reserving your spot on the schedule of a quality contractor/designer. Second, anytime you plant or disturb the soil, you want cooler days with less evapotranspiration (see the next blog for this discussion). Then, you strategically water to get deep roots and healthy, hardy plants. Not only will you save water, your plants will have a better chance at survival. Makes sense, right?

Quality and Expertise Matter

As you look for someone to do your work, don’t skimp by using the least expensive plants or specialists. You get what you pay for. Some local companies may use inexperienced workers at discounted labor rates. By starting your planning now, you can choose quality companies with good reputations. You will value this decision for many years to come.

So….get out of hibernation, find a good contractor, start designing your quality landscape and irrigation system, and get a preferred contractor whom you can trust. Don’t procrastinate. Get ‘er done!  

Stay tuned for my next installment of The Irrigation Series, which examines the reasons why irrigation is important here in the Land of Lakes!

irrigation snow on lawn

Rick is a professional hydrogeologist, a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor, and operates an irrigation and water conservation company in Woodbury, MN called Save Water Inc. A father of two, Rick loves spending his free time exploring small towns, playing golf, and teaching folks about water-related topics. Please reach out to Rick through his web page to learn more!