Are you looking for sprinkler programming tips? Ever wondered how long you should run your sprinklers? If so, you’re not the only one. However, there’s no “one size fits all” answer in this situation. There are far too many variables to make a blanket statement.
The good news is, there is some information you can use to ensure your sprinkler system runs at the appropriate time and for the proper length of time. While it may not be the precise answer, it’s a good place to start.
The first thing you need to think about is turf zones. There are several things to understand, to begin with:
- Lawns with taller grass need one to two inches of water each week through irrigation and/or rain. During the heat of the summer, it will need to be toward the higher end.
- For clay soils, there’s a percolation rate of about .25 inches per hour.
- It’s best to water infrequently and deeply.
- Deep watering is making sure the water reaches a depth of eight inches.
- To water eight inches deep, you need .5 inches of water.
There are exceptions to these rules, but these are general guidelines you can follow usually.
Calibrate Your Sprinkler
The process of calibrating your sprinkler (an in-ground system or hose) requires you to determine the amount of water it delivers over a certain amount of time. There’s an easy way to do this.
Put an empty cat food can or tuna fish can in the middle of the sprinkler’s water pattern. Allow that sprinkler zone run for approximately 10 minutes and measure the amount of water in the can. You want it to be .25 inches. Adjust the time until you deliver that .25 inches.
You have to repeat this process for each zone. For example, the smaller spray heads may only take three to four minutes with the larger full circle rotor zones requiring 30 to 45 minutes.
Use the rain/soak/rain pattern to ensure your plants and yard are watered deeply. When you turn your sprinkler system on, you don’t want over .25 inches an hour because the soil won’t be able to absorb it and it will start to run down the storm sewer, wasting money and water. It’s a good idea to water .5 inches each time you water your lawn to ensure the soil profile is wet to the eight-inch mark.
Get Help with Your Watering Schedule
Even with these sprinkler programming tips, it’s tricky to get the right schedule with your sprinkler system. If you need help figuring out how often and how much you need to water your lawn or garden, contact us. Our team can help set up your sprinkler system and ensure it is operating properly and efficiently throughout the year. Contact The IDL Company today to learn more.