Tips on Maintaining a Perfect Irrigation System While saving water

Tips on Maintaining a Perfect Irrigation System While saving water


When it comes to watering your yard you do have options.  You can grab the old garden hose and put your thumb over the end to create a spray.  You can drag the hose from plant to plant, bush to bush until you think they have enough moisture.  Other options would be to purchase a sprinkler for the end of your hose or to install an above ground sprinkler system.  Or you can do the right thing, hire a professional and install a complete underground sprinkler and/or drip water system.

Should you follow our suggestion and install a good underground system you will want to make sure to make the system as efficient as possible.  To do that you will want to install rain or soil moisture sensors to override your automatic watering system when necessary.  The difference between the two is obvious.  Rains sensors, sense rain and are a little less accurate than moisture sensors, which determine moisture level at the root system.  Although rain sensors are less expensive, moisture sensors are more accurate and will save you more in the long run.

No matter which system you use there are three stages to watering your landscape.

  • Determine the amount of water your lawn or plants need
  • Learn how much water irrigation system distributes
  • Adjust your water distribution system to your plants’ requirements

Water-Wise Lawn Watering

  1. Determine your lawns watering needs:  You should water your lawn infrequently buy deeply to reach the roots.  The secret is water enough to reach the roots.  A rule of thumb is to apply 1″ of water to reach a depth of 6″ to 10″ of soil.
  2. Determine your sprinkler production:  Here is how to achieve that.
  • Put five to ten tuna cans around your yard.
  • Turn your sprinklers on for about 10 minutes.
  • Measure the water collected in every can
  • Total up the numbers then divide by all of the containers used to determine the average
  • This is your average sprinkler production for 15 minutes
  1. Determine length and time to run your sprinklers:  Now that you have run the numbers you can determine the amount of time to use your sprinklers based on a chart or by calculating 1″ in 15 minutes.  If your average number came out to .5″ then your watering time would double to 30 minutes and so on.  If you have to water longer than 15 minutes and you start suffering water runoff you will have to divide your routine into two sessions of 7.5 minutes each about an hour apart to avoid runoff while at the same time reaching the roots.  Your soil will determine if this is necessary.

How often you water will depend on when your lawn looks dry.  Place a foot on it and if there is a distinct footprint or the grass does not spring back it needs water.  Applying 1″ of water weekly (including rainfall) will normally maintain a green lawn during the summer months.

By following these simple rules and formulas you should be able to maintain a sufficiently watered landscape and beautiful lawn.