Using Your Sprinkler System
If you have just had a system installed and your lawn is already well established, follow the following rules:
1. Do not overwater. Overwatering can be just as harmful to your landscape as not watering at all. Turf may at times become brown, but is quite resilient and will "bounce back" when your watering schedule is adjusted to accomodate. Overwatered landscapes, however, can become permanently damaged.
2. Water everyday for the first 1-2 weeks. We suggest watering your lawn every night to be sure the fresh cuts and trenches receive adequate water and do not brown out.
3. After this period water only once at night, 2-3 times a week. Rotor zones should run for about 20-30 minutes and spray zones 5-10 minutes.
4. Keep this schedule unless it becomes very hot and dry. If your yard seems to be dry or brown increase the frequency or duration of your watering. It may be better to water less frequent, but adding more run time to your zones. Your can run your rotors up to 45 minutes per zone and sprays up to 15 minutes per zone. This depends on your soil type and slope of your yard. You do not want to overwater and have runoff.
5. Check your lawn. If only certain areas of your yard are dry or brown, only increase the zones in those areas.
Existing Shrubs and Annuals:
Water existing shrubs 2-3 times per week for approximately 15 minutes per spray zone and 30-60 minutes for drip zones. If you have a lot of annuals, you may have to increase watering frequency. Annuals may need to be watered as much as daily or every other day. However, reduce zone running times to 5-10 minutes for sprays, and 20-30 minutes for drip zones.
It is very important to keep new sod wet for at least 2-3 weeks. It takes a lot of water, especially if the weather is very hot and dry. Follow these instructions to be sure that your new sod is watered properly.
1. Water Thoroughly: Rotor zones should run for about 30-40 minutes per zone and spray zones 10-15 minutes per zone.
2. Water Frequently : Sod areas should be watered at least 2 or 3 times daily for the first two weeks.
3. Stop Watering: After 2-3 weeks, when your lawn seems to be very saturated and the sod is growing long, turn the sprinkler off. Let the lawn dry out for a good 3-5 days. This is usually a good time to cut the grass, while the lawn is dry and not swampy.
4. Once the grass is cut, we suggest just watering once a day, during the early morning hours. Beginning after midnight and finishing before 8 am is best. During this time, run rotor zones 20-30 minutes and spray zones 5-10 minutes.
5. If the yard still seems very wet, reduce run times or frequency. If there are dry areas, you may have to increase run times or frequency for zones in those areas. It may take some time to figure out exactly how much to water, but you do not want to waste water or drown your sod.
New Seed/Hydro seed:
Seed and hydro seed watering procedures are very similar to watering new sod. You want to water it frequently, but do not run the zones as long as you would for sod. Following the same frequency as new sod, you should only run rotor zones for about 10-15 minutes, and spray zones about 5 minutes. You only need to keep the seed and top of the surface wet. Do not overwater, as the seed and soil will wash away in the resulting run-off.
Plantings are very different than sod. Plantings can drown very quickly if overwatered. Planting zones should be on a separate program and watered less frequently than sod.
1. Water Thoroughly: When new shrubs are planted, it is recommended to soak them in. We suggest watering spray zones 30 min per zone, 3 times per week. Run this schedule for one week only. After one week, water plantings only 2-3 times per week for about 10-15 minutes per spray zone, and 30-60 minutes for drip zones.
2. Check Soil Moisture: It is very important to touch the soil in the planting beds to see how wet it is. If the soil is wet and saturated, reduce watering. You may have to dig under the mulch slightly to accurately measure how wet the soil really is. Plants will wilt and turn yellow if they are overwatered (just as they would if they were underwatered), so it is important to feel the soil to ensure they are not being drowned.