Once per week watering is a pain in the neck to calculate. As
mentioned in our article on watering once per week, at best you’ll
need 6 start times. You have to calculate how long the total watering
time will be so the Water Police don’t ticket you accidentally running
past your allotted time. Is there an easier way? Yes. Just like
your phone, we now have smart controllers. We started using
Weathermatic’s Smartline Controller in our personal lawns during the
droughts we had several years ago, following Plano’s once per week
watering schedule. While many people were complaining about what bad
shape their lawns and landscapes were in due to the watering
restrictions, our lawns were growing so fast the maintenance crews
were struggling to cut them.
The Smartline controller uses a weather monitor that senses the high
and low of each day. We program into the controller what type of soil
and sprinklers you have, what type of plants each zone has, how much
shade and how much slope each zone has. Then we tell it what your
current water restrictions are. If your watering day is Saturday
except between 10am and 6pm, starting Sunday the controller will
calculate how many inches of water your lawn and landscape lost and,
since it knows it can’t water Sunday due to the water restrictions, it
will store that information daily until Saturday. On Saturday at
midnight it will start watering. During the summer it normally will
calculate about an hour per zone but it knows you have clay soil so it
will water each zone in 5 minute bursts (less if you have a slope)
with 30 minute soak times in between. If there isn’t enough time to
finish watering before the 10am cutoff, it will pause and then at 6pm
it will start where it left off.
Sound complicated? The programming we do is pretty in depth but once
we’ve done the programming you really don’t need to adjust it again.
Does it water perfectly? Nope. We’ve noticed in the winter it will
occasionally over water but it is certainly simpler to operate and
waters much more efficiently than programming by hand.
How much does it cost? The installed price for most homes is $800
including the programming, so this controller isn’t for everyone but
water restrictions seem to be here to stay, and Smart Controllers are
the future of protecting your plants and foundation.