Irrigation Landscaping Trends 2016

Beautiful residential landscapes that also conserve water is the top trend for 2016 (and 2015 and 2014). It’s not a new trend, but it remains consistently top of mind for home owners. With drought conditions continuing in parts of North America and the stress on aging infrastructure, water conservation will continue to be a hot topic. Here are some of the top trends for 2016.

Home Automation
The increasing popularity of smart homes (fully automated and remotely controlled) continues and your irrigation system is no different. As technology improves, the functionality of apps and other controls for your irrigation systems make new leaps every year.

While automating irrigation systems isn’t new, due to falling prices and expanded product selection experts are predicting this will become more popular in 2016 and 2017. Early options were “buggy” but newer versions are more reliable. Wifi irrigation is getting two green thumbs up from home owners so far. Smart controllers can monitor weather conditions, soil types, slopes, and specific plant types. These controllers will adapt for seasonal adjustments.

Harvesting Rainwater
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the added pressure on storm sewers and other city infrastructure caused by large homes on small lots and the prevalence of pavement and concrete causing water drainage issues. Home owners are increasingly looking at planting edible gardens (mixing vegetables with flowering plants) and composting, and want irrigation options that allow them to collect rain water and use it for landscape irrigation. Drip systems and root level irrigation systems are expected to gain in popularity.

This goal to save water can conflict with a home owners desire to have a low maintenance property, so look for automated and smart options for these water conservation efforts. These options range from low-tech rain barrels and rain gardens to high-tech smart controllers as mentioned above.

Water-Design Elements
There’s a growing trend to incorporate more water features into residential landscapes. Water features add ambiance and are visually appealing. This includes fairly simple options from rain barrels to water gardens, cascading ponds, rain showers, and fountains. These all require water being added which can put a strain on irrigation systems. Whether the desire is to collect water for irrigation purposes, to drown out ambient traffic or neighbourhood noises, options to make these elements efficient and recycle or conserve water will be a top priority.

Water Conservation
Some Canadian jurisdictions are testing irrigation meters and offering rebates offered to those who upgrade to more efficient systems (if performed by qualified professionals). Water saving upgrades to existing fixtures are increasingly sought after and are becoming more and more efficient. These are not being tested in Ontario yet, but this is a reflection of home owner and municipal governments increased efforts to conserve water.

Home owners are also continuing to seek out alternatives to water-hungry lawnscapes, opting for edible gardens, mulched plant beds, terracing, and native plant selections that are more drought tolerant. As well, home owners are increasingly looking to inground irrigation systems to prevent water waste.

The experts at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa Irrigation are able to help you with your unique irrigation needs. If you would like to learn more about our services, contact us today!