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When using an automated irrigation system, you must know how much water is applied to your lawn. In the paragraphs below, we will go over a few steps to identify your irrigation system and set your irrigation controller.

Identifying Your Irrigation Controller

The first step to controlling your irrigation system is identifying what type of irrigation head you have on the property.

Rotary Irrigation Head

A rotary irrigation head moves around the lawn, not watering the same spot the entire time. This is probably the most common and traditional head used to irrigate a lawn. The amount of water coming from this head type can vary, so it’s extremely important to measure. Typical run times range from 25-45 minutes.

Mister Irrigation Head

A mister irrigation head is a type of head that does not move. It also waters the same area the entire time it is running. Mister irrigation heads are commonly seen in landscaped beds and small patches of turf. Typical run times vary from 10-20 minutes.

MP Rotator Irrigation Head

An MP rotator irrigation head is one of the newest types of irrigation heads. It releases small streams of water simultaneously, and studies have shown it to be one of the best heads to conserve water usage. The typical run time is 25-45 minutes.

Gauge and Measure

After identifying your irrigation head, place a rain gauge in the center of the area you are trying to measure water application. Run this zone of irrigation for the time you currently have on your timer. When it is completed, you should have received ⅓ of 1 inch of water.

We typically recommend clients run their irrigation three times per week for a total of 1 inch per week. If you choose to run two times per week, you should apply ½ inch per run. However, we do not suggest watering one time per week for a total of 1 inch. This is typically too much water for the lawn to absorb at one time.

Next, measure all zones with the rain gauge individually as each irrigation zone can apply a different amount of water depending on how the heads are spaced and what type of head. As always, we highly recommend weekly mowing during the growing season to ensure the best results from proper watering. In short, watering properly is a must.

Adjust Your Timer

Lastly, adjust your timer based on your measurements from your rain gauge. Sometimes specific lawn areas may need additional water, but we suggest starting with 1 inch and consulting with a turf professional before applying extra water. For more on how to set your irrigation controller, contact our team today!