Program your controller start times so that it does not water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. conserves water since it is the hottest part of the day and more evaporation occurs. If you are experiencing standing water and/or runoff, program your controller to cycle/soak; reduce the run times for affected zones, allow a soak in time and have that same zone run again at a reduced run time. Run times are determined by the type of sprinkler head and landscape condition preventing run off and conserving water.
Head Placement and Check Valves
Sprinkler heads should be installed to achieve head to head coverage; meaning each sprinkler head sprays water to the next sprinkler head. This practice matches the precipitation rate throughout the zone of heads. If the landscape slopes and water is seeping out of the lowest heads after that zone of heads has turned off, installing a check valve in those lower heads will prevent the water in the lateral piping from draining out.
Tree Bubbler and Micro Bubbler Zones
Newly planted trees and non-drought tolerant trees require more water than the lawn sprinkler heads can provide, so installing tree bubblers on the root ball of the trees will give the needed additional water to the root zone of the trees. Micro bubblers can be installed above the root ball of each plant targeting the root zone of each plant in bedding areas.
Custom designing an irrigation system around your landscape design may cost a little more money upfront, but can save a great deal of water usage which will result in monetary savings as well. A prime example of custom zoning is herb and vegetable gardens. Newly planted herbs and vegetables require more water initially to become established; the herb and vegetable gardens have different watering requirements than established turf and bedding areas. Zone full shade areas separate from full zone areas since either areas will have different water requirements. Custom zoning conserves water.
Annual Color Zones
Annuals are replanted two to three times per year; they require more frequent watering to become established. Depending on the type of annuals and the time of year of the replanting additional water could be required during their entire growing season, therefore designing a system with separate zones for bedding can save water as well as your time.