Automatic sprinkler systems are convenient and allow you the time to enjoy your beautiful yard. However, it is important to use these systems efficiently to not only protect your landscaping investment, but also to maximize the water you use.
By applying the following smart irrigation tips, you can maintain an efficient automatic sprinkler system and save water.
- Start with a good design: Consider the water supply (gallons per minutes) and also keep in mind that different areas have different water requirements (lawn, open bed, containers and hanging baskets).
- Consider drip irrigation system for open beds: This provides localized, low volume watering and cuts down on weeds and minimizes water waste.
- Measure the size of your lawn: Consider spray heads in areas up to 15 feet and rotors for areas up to 40 feet.
- Work with your irrigation system: Become familiar with your irrigation controllers. Newer models are becoming increasingly user-friendly!
- Water budget according to the weather and season: Adapt watering schedule to current weather conditions and seasonal changes.
- Schedule each zone separately: This takes into consideration the type of sprinkler, the soil and sun exposure for each area. Each zone will almost always have a different water schedule.
- Deep soak water: Deep soaking and less frequent watering will train roots to go deeper into the soil for moisture. Remember that healthy lawns need no more than an hour of watering per week.
- Install a rain shut-off switch: Helping compensate for wet weather, these devices ensure your system turns off in rainy conditions.
- Monthly system checks: Inspect your automatic sprinkler system once a month for leaks, heads that are not aligned and potential changes in sprinkler locations.
- Water in the early morning: Water early in the morning (between 3 a.m. - 6 a.m.) when temperatures are cool and there is no wind. When the sun rises, it dries the foliage, but the soil stays moist.
For more smart irrigation tips, visit the Irrigation Association online.
For information on how to save money while watering, visit Outdoor Water Saving Tips.
Last edited: November 29, 2019