Read the Landscape Watering by the Numbers guidebook to help you determine how long and how much to water.
Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top two to three inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water.
Set a kitchen timer when using the hose as a reminder to turn it off. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons per minute.
Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.
Timing is everything when it comes to irrigation. Learn how to set your controller properly.
Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case of malfunctions or rain.
Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
Signs of overwatering: Leaves turn lighter shades of green or yellow, young shoots wilt, and sometimes algae or fungi grow.
Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.
Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won’t run when it’s raining.
Water dry spot by hand instead of running the whole irrigation system longer.
Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots, where it’s needed.
Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops and mist often evaporate before hitting the ground.
Use a rain barrel to harvest rainwater from gutters for watering gardens and landscapes.
For hanging baskets, planters and pots, put ice cubes on top of the soil to give your plants a cool drink of water without overflow.
Remember to periodically check your sprinkler system valves for leaks, and to keep sprinkler heads in good shape.
Spring is a great time to give your irrigation system a checkup to ensure it’s working efficiently.
Pruning properly can help your plants use water more efficiently.