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The Cup Test

Two rain gauges rest in a bed of green Kentucky Bluegrass.

If you’ve been noticing brown spots, or generally want to make sure your sprinkler system is running efficiently, a great way to do that is with the cup test! This entails setting out various containers of the same size, plastic cups will work or rain gauges, in different locations around the yard. Place two cups in each sprinkler zone, one closer to the sprinkler head and one farther away, and run the sprinklers. This will help determine how much water is falling in each zone, and if it’s falling evenly. Often times brown spots appear because sprinklers are clogged, not property adjusted and watering your yard unevenly.

Dry or brown spots can be caused by several different sprinkler problems. Low pressure in your sprinkler heads can cause the water stream to be thin and not reach as far as needed. Alternatively, high water pressure can cause the stream to spray too far and miss the grass immediately surrounding the sprinkler head. Pop-up sprinklers can sometimes get caught in the ground and not emerge fully, only watering part of the area that they are supposed to. By performing the cup test you can check your sprinkler system and see what could be causing the lawn problem.

The cup test is pivotal in making sure your sprinkler system is running as efficiently and effectively as it can be. By performing regular sprinkler maintenance and consistently checking that everything is up to snuff, you can cut down on your water usage while still making sure your lawn is getting enough water to keep it thriving.

 

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