Spring is now officially here (according to the calendar anyway!) And while some of the United States is still putting up with snowstorms and harsh weather, other parts of the country are beginning to see signs that a new season filled with the lush green hues of plant life and the beautiful array of colorful flowers is soon to be upon us!
Here in Texas, we are starting to feel the humidity in the air and the warmth of the summer starting to edge out the bleak and cold memories from the strange and abnormal winter season we just endured.
For those of us who have lawns and gardens to care for, it’s time to put away the snow shovels, and sidewalk salt and get out those lawn mowers and gardening tools.
It is also time to reset all the sprinkler controllers! That means going through and removing the watering times for each zone and resetting them to the appropriate spring settings.
Not surprisingly, each year we receive questions from people asking about “how long should I let me sprinklers run?”…”how often should I run my sprinkler system?”…”what is worse; too much water or too little?”
The biggest points to know and understand is that your grass needs less water at the start of the season, a lot in the middle and less towards the end. So it’s appropriate to change the watering schedule each month during the summer months.
The chart provided here is only a suggestion. Because the country is so large and diverse climatologically in addition to the wide variety of different grass types, you should consult your local nursery or watering authority to find out what is best for your needs. Many manufacturers provide calculators to help, like this one by Rain Bird.
For those of you who are reading this and thinking to yourself…“I have never changed the run-time on my sprinklers, they have always just run for the same amount of time regardless of the season! — I don’t even know how to change them, I’m afraid I break something or mess them up somehow!” You don’t have to worry! There are solutions that make changing the run-times simple and easy to do! The first thing to look at is to read the owners manual for your sprinkler controller. If you don’t have a manual and cannot locate one, It may be time to upgrade your controller to a digital internet-enabled controller. These controllers are the absolute easiest of all to setup and manage because they have a user-friendly online program for managing all the features and functions of your sprinkler system. Their are a handful of different types of controllers you can get such as Irrigation Caddy, Cyber-Rain, and BlueSpray. The good news is that these new-age controllers are simple to install and surprisingly affordable! It’s one investment that will pay for itself with the money and time it saves you!
Additionally, if you live in a place where drought conditions prevent you from frequent watering or you have to pay for the water you use best to NOT water during the daytime hours of the day (10am through 6pm) The sun is just so hot during these hours that a majority of the water you apply to the lawn will never even reach the plants due to the high rate of evaporation.