Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tips for Efficient Irrigation

 Greetings from a gray and dreary Northwest Iowa! The forecast is looking up and we should get out of this March-like weather and move on to normal May weather in a couple days.  A very strange spring we have had this year. Above average temperatures in April followed by below average temperatures in May. What in the world will June bring? 

Before we really need to water we need to look at how to water. People tend to over-water their yards  (A little is good so a lot is better, right? Wrong!). Providing more water than your yard needs is wasting a precious natural resource, wasting your hard-earned money and creating a disease prone yard. Over-watering your yard creates a shallow root system, makes your yard more attractive to insects, mold and fungus. Over watering causes the soil to become poorly aerated as the over abundance of water fills the soil's air pockets and makes it so little or no air can reach the root system. Lawns with shallow root systems are less drought resistant. So, watering too much creates a yard that needs more water and more care. 

Water wisely with this great information from the Irrigation Association:

Tips for Efficient Irrigation

Here are tips for reducing the cost of operating and maintaining an automatic irrigation system:
  • Know how to run your irrigation controller and change watering times.
  • Adjust the watering times (number of minutes) and the frequency of watering (daily, twice a week, etc.) based on weather conditions.
  • Change your settings to adjust for seasonal differences and reset the timer when needed.
  • Ask your contractor to install an inexpensive rain shutoff device or soil moisture sensor.
  • Regularly have a professional check for leaks, broken heads and other problems.
  • Make sure your maintenance contractor is certified and licensed (if required), is insured, experienced and reputable and is legally authorized to maintain irrigation systems in your area.
  • Only water after the sun has gone down or in the early morning. (Finishing just before sunrise is best)
  • Make sure your spray and sprinkler heads are properly adjusted to avoid watering pavements and other non-landscape areas.
  • Water areas in the shade about 30 percent less than sunny areas.
  • If possible use drip irrigation to water trees and shrubs.
  • To eliminate runoff, set your clock to cycle 2-4 start times (no longer than 5 minutes each), 1 to 2 hours apart to allow water to soak into the soil. For example: water three times for 5 minutes, instead of 15 minutes all at once.
  • Develop a separate drip watering schedule for trees, shrubs and flower beds.
  • Aerate in the spring and fall to loosen soil and reduce runoff.

 If you have any questions on how to implement these suggestions. Contact your irrigation professional.

Happy Watering!
Have a super week!


  1. Your blog is amazing. Thanks for those tips. I will definitely follow those and will do suggest my friends too. Thanks for sharing them. Irrigation Systems

  2. Thank you! You are certainly welcome. Delighted to hear you found it to be helpful!