Self-Audit Irrigation System
Proper seasonal scheduling of your irrigation system is just as important as the condition of the system. Perform system evaluations on a regular basis looking for proper coverage. Install a rain sensor if you don’t have one. Follow these simple steps to apply just the right amount of water your landscape needs:
Get to know your controller. Most controllers have multiple start times, multiple programs and seasonal adjustment capabilities. These can be used to your advantage, but watch out for accidental excessive scheduling. Controllers often run at night when you can’t see if a sprinkler head is missing, or cycle times are excessive.
Start low and, if needed, increase incrementally.
Infrequent, deep watering helps increase root health; make sure your schedule is in line with the current water restrictions. Base your station times on plant material, sun exposure, and what type of emitter is watering that area.
Hand water stressed areas and high water need plants. Even the best irrigation systems apply more water in some areas than they do in others. Use a hose to put water where you need it.
Match your watering to the season. Plants will need less watering in the spring and fall, and almost no additional watering in the winter when most plants go dormant. In fact, it’s a good idea to turn your irrigation system off in the winter months.
Always confirm the watering restrictions for your address.