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Inground Irrigation vs Above Ground Irrigation

Posted by Dave Schwarm on May 14, 2021 10:06:13 AM
Dave Schwarm

Choosing the right irrigation system will depend on a several factors such as cost, efficiency, water conservation, the size of your lawn, which types of grass you have, etc.

Having an irrigation system will improve the overall health of your lawn by building its resistance to fungi, diseases and weeds.  Which type of irrigation you choose, however,  will have to depend on what's best for both you as a homeowner, and your lawn. 

Below we'll go over both the pros and cons of above ground and under ground sprinkler systems:

 

What are the benefits of an in-ground irrigation system?

An in ground irrigation sprinkler system that is automated can save a homeowner both time, water and money.  This is a convenient option and the option that's often preferred by a homeowner. 

It can eliminate water waste via run-off.  There are add-ons available such as rain detectors - these will automatically shut off your system when it detects that you have had sufficient rainfall. Not to mention, an in-ground irrigation system can add up to 15% increased value to your home. 

Additional benefits of in ground irrigation include:

    • Eliminates nutrient loss due to leaching. 
    • It's less of a tripping hazard than above ground irrigation. 
    • The irrigation lines are safe from strikes of a lawn mower. 

 

What are the cons of an underground irrigation system?

    • Installation of an underground irrigation system will cause damage to your lawn and will tear up existing grass. You will likely need to top soil and re-seed that area of your lawn. 

    • Seasonal maintenance is required. 

    • Cost of installation - this is usually the more costly option up front but will save money over time. 

    • A stable water supply is needed.

    • The tubing in ground is prone to insects and rodents chewing on it.  This can cause leaks that require repair. 

    • Could result in over watering if you are not careful. Overwatering can lead to a higher risk of lawn disease. 

    • Must be aware of sprinkler heads when mowing lawn. 


What are the benefits of an above ground irrigation system?

An under ground sprinkler system is not always the best option for everyone.  Above ground irrigation can offer many benefits.  For starters, it's mobile and you can choose where exactly you'd like to water your lawn.  This makes your system much more customizable.

Above ground irrigation systems also offer simplicity - all you need to do is hook it up to your hose, turn it on and oil-a  - we are watering the targeted areas. 

 

What are the cons of an above ground irrigation system?

    • Requires more time and effort

    • Poses a trip hazard. 

    • Makes it difficult to evenly water lawn.

    • Time consuming - you must actually be there to set it up and get it going.  This causes you to have to water your lawn when it's good for you - not necessarily when it's best for your lawn to be watered. 

 

Bottom Line: A general rule of thumb - water when your grass needs it.  A lawn is an asset to your home.  Proper irrigation keeps our lawns happy and healthy & a healthy lawn is environmentally friendly and reduces the risk of weeds, fungi and other plant diseases. 

 

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