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GREEN Education - Irrigation System Tips

Irrigation DO's and DON'Ts:

  • DO  irrigate during early morning hours when temperatures are cooler and there is less sun to evaporate the water and less wind to interfere with the spray pattern.
  • DO irrigate for short cycles to prevent water pooling and run-off.
  • DO keep grass height at 3” or taller to promote root growth and increase drought tolerance.
  • DO trim bushes to prevent interference with the spray pattern.
  • DON’T water things that don’t grow!   Reposition or replace spray heads that water driveways, sidewalks, etc.

Landscape planning:

  • Separate irrigation zones based on landscaping needs (turf areas and plant beds should be in different irrigation zones)
  • Use drought-tolerant landscaping where possible
  • Mulch plant beds 2 – 3” deep to help prevent evaporation and retain moisture
  • Install a rain sensor
  • Do not mix sprays, rotors and rotary nozzles in the same zone due to different  precipitation rates
  • Use pressure regulating sprays for optimum pressure and to prevent misting at the nozzle
  • Match precipitation in each zone by changing nozzles (a 360° head should apply 4x as much water as a 90° head)

System Maintenance:

  • Inspect heads regularly (adjust so they are straight and at the right height)
  • Replace leaking spray heads or valves
  • Adjust run times for each zone (shaded zones need shorter run times than turf in full sun)
  • Adjust controller for seasonal weather changes
  • Have an irrigation audit performed to optimize system efficiency