According the Irrigation Association (IA), “Smart Irrigation Month is an IA initiative to increase awareness of the value of water use...and grow demand for water-saving products, practices and services.” In the “Water Wisely” article below, the IA shares some simple tips to improve water efficiency for your turf.
Today’s irrigation systems include sophisticated controllers that allow you to easily adjust watering schedules to fit different needs.
Get in the zone. Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and soil in that section. Different zones will almost always need different watering schedules.
Consider soil type. Type of soil determines how quickly water can be absorbed without runoff. Watering more than soil can absorb causes runoff and waste.
Don’t send water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.
Water only when needed. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus.
Water at the best time. Watering during the heat of the day may cause losses of up to 30 percent due to evaporation. Prevent water loss by watering when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool - typically early morning.
Water more often for shorter periods. For example, if you have 4 zones and you typically water for 15 minutes each zone with a start time at 5 AM, you might change your system start times to 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM and 6:00 AM and have each zone only run 5 minutes. In both scenarios, the system runs for a total of 60 minutes that day, however, using shorter intervals lets soil absorb more water.
Adapt watering to the season. Familiarize yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller and adjust the watering schedule regularly based on seasonal weather conditions. Or invest in a smart controller so your system can make these changes automatically.
Contact CM's A Cut Above today for an evaluation of your sprinkler system!