An automatic sprinkler system can help you use less water, which is both an environmental and a money-saving win. But simply installing the sprinklers isn't enough to reap the benefits. You also need to plan out your system and tweak it for most efficient use. The following tips can help you with this process.
Tip #1: Measure and adjust
Output can vary in each zone of your sprinkler system due to emitter adjustments and water pressure. An easy way to measure output is to place a shallow can, like a tuna or cat food can, in each sprinkler zone. Then turn on the system for 10 minutes. After it is done running, use a ruler to measure the depth of the water. This is the amount of water your sprinkler system provides in that specific zone in a 10 minute window. Most healthy lawns require 1 to 3 inches of water every two to three days to grow well. If the can collected 1 inch in 10 minutes and you want to provide 2 inches of water, increase watering time to 20 minutes. If it provided 2 inches of water in 10 minutes and you only want to supply 1 inch, reduce watering time to 5 minutes.
Tip #2: Add some drip lines
Drip irrigation lines provide water directly to plant roots, which minimizes moisture loss from evaporation. This results in lower water usage. Drip lines work well in perennial flower beds and around shrubs. If you have been using overhead or pop-up sprinklers to water these garden beds, consider switching out the old sprinkler heads for new drip lines with emitters. You can guide the lines so that an emitter is in front of each plant that needs water. Then cover the exposed lines with a small amount of mulch to camouflage them.
Tip #3: Invest in a rain sensor
The best way to save water is to not use your sprinkler system unless it's absolutely necessary. Yet, it can be difficult to assess whether the soil has retained enough moisture from rainfall or if it is still moist due to cooler temperatures. This is where a rain or water sensor becomes helpful. These sensors are connected to the sprinkler controller and are inserted in the soil, where they measure soil moisture. If the soil is still moist, the sensor prevents the sprinkler system from coming on unnecessarily.
For more help, contact a sprinkler repair and installation company.