Upper District’s Gardening Tips, Video Series:
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Learn Your Controller:
- Look up your controller’s manual online if you do not have one.
- Note how many programs and start times are available.
- Determine which stations are active by manually running each station.
- Look for leaks, broken heads and/or runoff.
- Start with a one-weekly schedule in the spring.
- Short runtimes, with repeats, are most effective as it gives soil and plants a chance to absorb water.
- Determine best interval for watering based on one-inch of dry topsoil between waterings.
Learn About Your Zones and Group Plant Types
- If possible, assign a heavier watering schedule (or zone program) to water loving plants and a lighter watering schedule to drought tolerant plants.
- Utilize 3 minute start times in the early morning with an hour in-between for soaking.
- Lawns generally need watering two days a week in spring, and three days a week in summer.
- Shrubs generally need one day a week in spring and slightly more in summer.
- If plants seem to need more water, increase schedule by one day per week.
Keep your sprinkler system up-to-date
- Create a custom watering schedule and regularly adjust your sprinkler timer to a budget suggested by the published water index.
- Install a smart sprinkler timer that will adjust to changing conditions.
- Use rotating sprinkler nozzles for lawn and ground covers.
- Convert from spray watering to drop, bubblers, and microsprays for your shrub and flower beds.
- Install a rain sensor to automatically shut off sprinklers.
- Change or cap sprinkler heads in areas converted from lawn to shrub and flower beds.
- Repair sprinkler leaks and adjust for blocked spray and runoff to avoid water waste.