Be Water-Wise with These Outdoor Watering Tips


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Today’s irrigation systems include sophisticated controllers that allow you to easily adjust watering schedules to fit different needs.

Don’t Send Water Down the Drain

The type of soil you have will determine how quickly water can be absorbed without runoff. Exceeding that limit will cause runoff and water waste. Watering too much and too frequently can also result in shallow roots, weed growth, disease, and fungus, so try to only water when it’s needed. 

Be sure to set your sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings. Keep in mind that different zones will almost always need different watering schedules, so be sure to schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for:

  • The type of sprinkler used
  • Sun or shade exposure
  • Soil in that section

Consider Timing

Water at the best time. Watering during the heat of the day may cause losses of up to 30 percent due to evaporation. To prevent water loss, water when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool — typically between the evening and early morning.

Water more often for shorter periods. For example, setting your system to run for three, 5-minute intervals lets the soil absorb more water than watering for 15 minutes at one time, reducing runoff.

Always adapt your 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.