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My summer mixtape: Getting in the irrigation mood

July is Smart Irrigation Month, but smart sprinkler habits — like this water-wise lawn care playlist — are good all summer long.


“The making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art.” ­ — Rob Gordon (John Cusack), “High Fidelity”

A mixtape isn’t just a collection of songs. It’s a story, an expression of emotions and actions told through the poetry of song.

So, as summer is the time of year when sprinklers are in use, here is my water-wise summer playlist to feed your head — and your efforts.

1. Over my head – Fleetwood Mac

You’ll be over your head(s), and it sure feels nice. 

I like to start off my playlists with a classic but simple opening, and as a child of the ‘70s, Fleetwood Mac is a must.

An irrigation must is ensuring proper coverage. If you don’t, you will find brown areas of thirsty sod.

What exactly is head-to-head coverage? Basically, you want your sprinkler heads to create overlap, from one head to another.

2. You spin me round (Like a Record) – Dead Or Alive

Like a record, baby, right round round round.

From Dead or Alive, to a metal band called Dope, to Jessica Simpson, to a sampling by Flo Rida, many artists continue to put their own unique spin on this classic song. Just like manufacturers continue to put their own efficient spin on irrigation products to help you battle the heat of summer.

My playlist includes the new version of “spin me round” because we recommend getting new and efficient rotary nozzles.

Rotary nozzles provide many benefits over fixed spray heads. Rotating streams improve uniform watering coverage by 30 percent over traditional heads, by putting more water where you need it. And heavier water drops reduce the chance for wind drift and evaporation.

High efficiency nozzles also release up to 20 percent less water,than fixed spray heads, allowing the soil to slowly soak up the water and reduce run-off.

Note: Don’t mix and match your sprinkler head types. Make sure all your sprinkler heads match the precipitation rates and run-times needed for each type of head.

3. Digital Love – Daft Punk

We were dancing all night long . . .

By adding some technology to watering your yard, you’ll have more time to dance to this song’s techno beat.

From rain sensors and soil moisture shutoff devices to smart controllers, many high-tech devices can help homeowners water efficiently during the summer. Add them to existing systems, or buy them as stand-alone products to replace your existing control boxes.

It doesn’t mean you can just set it and forget it. Continual monitoring and maintenance throughout the irrigation season is a must. But these technologies will make your life easier and keep your water bill lower.

Smart controllers also include apps that put your sprinkler control panel in the palm of your hand so you can manage your system wherever you are.

And make sure you're familiar with how to cycle and soak your lawn.

4. Testing the water – Thompson Square

Oh Oh Oh, bring your bare feet . . .

We’re closing out our playlist with some good vibes, and the wisest tip of all — by “testing the water” — or moisture — in your soil.

Simply insert a screwdriver into the ground. If it goes in easily, you can hold off on watering. This comes in handy after a big rainstorm.

Hold off on restarting that sprinkler system until your lawn becomes resistant to a poke from the screwdriver.

So there you have it. A Smart Irrigation Month playlist to jam out during your backyard gatherings this summer, included with some subtle reminders on keeping a healthy and efficient yard.

Like the playlist? Listen to it on Spotify.