Summer Water Schedule


Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TXAs the temperature gets closer and closer to the century mark, I get more and more questions about how to keep your lawn and landscape looking good in this Texas heat.  Not to mention during Stage 3 water restrictions. 

First, you need to water for about sixty minutes in the summer. That can vary based on a few variables (has it rained? Do you have a lot of shade?) But sixty minutes is a good basic guideline for our area.

The challenge though is this, the infamous clay soil in our area can only absorb about ten minutes of watering.  Anything beyond that is going to run off which is bad for your water bill and our environment.

Which is why Village Green usually recommends you schedule two mornings per week in three ten minute bursts (run your system with three starts times, 2am, 4am and 6am on each of the days.)  That will give you a total of sixty minutes.  

I said usually because since June 1st, many of us are under Stage 3 water restrictions which only allows us to water once per week.  

irrigation1If this is your predicament, then you need to quite literally change to Plan B, and water of 2am, 4am, and 6am.  Then add (Program B on most sprinkler controllers) water times of  6pm, 8pm and 10pm.   Most plants, including your lawn, will be fine on this once per week summer watering schedule. 

Customers with a larger property may not be able to achieve all of the desired minutes in the one day you are allowed under Stage 3 water restrictions.  If that is the case contact the city to see if it you can get a waiver.  Most cities will grant waivers for residents with large properties.  

One final point, if your sprinkler system has rotary heads (that turn out slowly and send out long streams of water) you will need to water those zones twice as long.  The reason being they are covering twice the area with the same number of gallons and need to run twice as long to put out an inch of water (which amounts to about two hours per zone in the summer.)

Visit the Village Green Resource Center for helpful links for your city watering guidelines as well as the downloadable Village Green Watering Guide.  If you need more help programming your sprinkler, or making sure your system is in top condition give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. We offer affordable sprinkler system inspections and tune-ups that will guarantee appropriate and adequate water coverage for your lawn. Our certified irrigation technicians can also install water-conserving nozzles and applicators so that water usage is as efficient as possible. 

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Winter Water Schedule for the Dallas Area

How do you protect your landscape from freeze damage?  Don’t turn off your sprinkler system in the winter

If you think about this, it makes sense.  Imagine filling a gallon bucket with water and setting it out in your yard.  If you came back and checked the bucket a week later, would there still be a gallon of water in it?  Some of it would evaporate, right?  The same thing is happening to the soil in your lawn and landscape.  If you skip watering for weeks or months at a time, the roots of your plants will be far more susceptible to freeze damage.  

Each week during the winter your soil loses about 1/4″ of water so you want to water about 10 minutes per zone per week, twice that if the zone has rotors (sprinkler heads that turn).  Some controllers have a “Seasonal Adjust” spot on their dial, if yours does and you originally had the schedule set to our summer schedule of 60 minutes per week, you can set the adjust to 20%.

Most plants like water all winter long – if you have St. Augustine grass, watering in the winter may be more important than your summer watering.  It’s a tropical plant so it’s unhappy in 110 degree weather but it hates 20 degree weather.  The most common killer of St. Augustine is from freezing but I very rarely see winter damage to it if the homeowner has been watering regularly all winter long – in fact, unless you have chosen a really sensitive plant, it’s rare for me to see winter damage of any plants over the winter if they’ve been watered correctly.

One last reason to water regularly in the winter, the pre-emergent treatments we apply depend on your sprinkler system to spread and push them into the soil – that’s what creates the barrier to prevent the weed seeds from sprouting.  The treatment can survive a couple of weeks without water but after that it disappears, which is disappointing to both of us.

In short- Water a little all winter long.  Your water bill will be a little higher but your lawn and landscape will thank you for it.

Not sure how to set your controller?  Give us a call we can probably walk you through how to do it over the phone.  Don’t have the time or patience to set it yourself?  Take advantage of our early bird sprinkler tune-up special of $50 (a $45 savings). 

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