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How to Schedule Watering of Your Sprinkler System


May 25, 2016

It can be quite tricky to incorporate the right irrigation schedule. Some landscape professionals have yet to master this. By far, the direct loss of plant-related materials during a landscape project results from inappropriate irrigation scheduling. It may surprise you to learn that less water or too much water is not the most common issue with irrigation scheduling. Frequent watering is the obvious problem. Most of the common shrub diseases and turf grass in landscaping is worsened with frequent watering.

Understanding Your Plants
Once you can understand how much water your plant needs, it will aid you in preparing your irrigation schedule and sprinkler system. To survive, the roots of the plant are going to need a combined amount of air and water. If you don’t’ wet the roots as needed, the plants could die. However, irrigation scheduling should start with examining the plants that need to be watered before you actually water the plants. There are some plants that just love water, no matter how much. For that reason, an irrigation schedule is easy. You could even check with your local nursery to see which plants can take more water and which ones cannot. If you are uncertain about how to schedule your irrigation, it may be recommended that you consult an irrigation expert.

Arm Chair Technique
An irrigation expert will use the arm chair technique, which is an easier method because it employs an irrigation control system. Sprinkler timer is the name for the irrigation controller system. There is an initial set up, after which the controllers are adjusted automatically to turn on or adjust to the water requirements of the plant. If you reside in an area prone to drought, it is advised that you invest in one of these irrigation control system, sprinkler timer or smart controller as it is also sometimes called.

Different Soils
It is important to understand what it takes to handle plants that can tolerate drought. You will find these growing in different kinds of soils including clay and sand. Sandy soils will usually drain fast and cannot hold onto moisture that well. Sandy soils are the ideal setting to grow plants with tolerance to drought, especially with an irrigation system in place. Clay soils, on the other hand, are able to hold moisture for longer periods, but will result in problems if you over water the plant. With clay soil, you should water less frequently, giving the soil enough time to dry out in between the irrigation schedule.

Wet Soil
If the soil is already wet, irrigation scheduling is all a matter of closely observing the plant and dedicating your time to the process. In an ideal situation, the clock that administers irrigation control should be adequately adjusted, at least on a weekly routine, conforming to the existing weather conditions. Even using a monthly adjustment routine will create happy and healthy plants.

Sprinkler Cycle
If your irrigation schedule includes a sprinkler, the water may begin to run into your gutter or a low lying spot, prior to the moisture of the soil going six inches deep. Why is this so? It is due to the fact that sprinklers channel more water than the soil is able to absorb. Technically, the rate of precipitation of the sprinkler system is greater than the rate of soil infiltration.

For this reason, it is wise to set a sprinkler cycle:
1.     Run
2.     Stop
3.     Wait
4.     Run

Most sprinkler systems have to go through a cycle phase to enjoy proper irrigation.

J&R Sprinklers is the irrigation and sprinkler system professional that can help you to ensure that your landscape is in top shape, all year through. Call J&R Sprinkler today to discuss your irrigation scheduling needs. We are the experts you need so call us today!
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