Tuning your irrigation system allows for a more efficient use of water and it's easy. It also helps prepare your plants for different weather shifts and you apply water based on that irrigation zones conditions. Both Hunter and Rainbird have free apps to set your run times more appropriately for established yards. Also we have set up links to help determine your yards conditions. Remember that new plantings their first year will need to be babied a bit more but they don't need daily water.
A link to Hunter's App
A link to Rainbird's App
Things to know as you tune your irrigation timer
-The soil type of your yard: Sand, clay, silt or a mix of the three (loam). This will help identify how your yard behaves in drainage and moisture retnetion. Sand has very good drainage and can handle longer run times of sprinklers but needs more frequent runs. Clay soils hold moisture very well however it does not take to long run times well, short bursts work best to prevent run off and water waste. How to tell soil texture by feel.
-The exposure of that sprinkler zone. Full sun, afternoon sun or wind exposed sprinkler zones dry out faster through evaporation than afternoon shade, mostly shade and wind protected zones. Thus as you adjust your sprinkler zone times based on their separate exposures. This can be determined by taking time to walk around the house a couple of times of day and observe what area is sunny and what area is in shade at what time of day and for how long. Do this on a lazy day off.
-Your type of sprinklers. Different sprinkles types throw out water at different rates. Common sprinkler types are rotors, impacts, sprays, bubblers and multi-streamrotors. Also if you have drip, what size of emitters are your using. Irrigation System Component Video can help you identify what type of sprinklers you have.
-The grade of the yard. Is it flat or does it slope up or down? The slope of your yard also affect how sprinklers work as well as how water will travel in the yard. Here is a video to determine slope.
by Alex Job