Lawns that get too much water are unhealthy, and it’s also wasteful to over-water your lawn. when sprinkler running. "Check with your local Cooperative Extension Office for a watering guide for your region,” Susan Patterson, our expert gardening adviser, suggests. How Long Should I Run the Sprinklers? When watering your plants on a schedule, it is important to make sure that all equipment is functional. For a quick example, a sprinkler with a PR of 0.5 in/hr would take 120 minutes to put down 1 inch of water. running the sprinkler is a sure fire way of wasting water. With the above information, you can determine how long you should leave the sprinkler on. plants need the water at the roots. How long should you leave the sprinkler running? Put several empty shallow cans around the yard at varying distances from the sprinkler heads. This is a method that uses simple household products such as tin cans or even tupperware to measure the amount of water actually going into the ground. Test, adjust and repair your sprinkler heads and drip emitters weekly in the summer and monthly in the winter. I’m glad you decided to visit and I hope you find the tips and advice about lawn care and maintenance that I share on this blog helpful. Run the sprinklers 2 days a week for 18 minutes each and run them 12 minutes on a third day. Expert gardening advisor Susan Patterson adds, "To save money, create rain barrels and use this water for potted plants and small flower beds." All the guides say to measure psi and gpm. I would recommend that you water for one hour for rotary sprinklers in full sun a minimum of three times per week. Don't water when it's windy or rainy. We welcome your comments and Repeat events until the system is run for 5.8 hours in a week to apply 1 inch of water. Let’s assume a couple of things first. If you have seasonal color or flowers, setting your sprinklers to come on twice a week at low times (5-8 minutes) should be sufficient. So my answers will be very general. How Does a Geothermal Cooling System Work? There’s a science to sprinklers and run times in creating a thriving lawn. Even the slightest bit of a loose part, can cause more water leakage than needed and even result in wet spots in your lawn that do more harm than good. You should also water your grass more, but for shorter periods of time, in sloped patches to avoid runoff. Pipes shuttering (water hammer?) Each irrigation zone’s “run time” should be determined individually. Loose sprinklers can result in large amounts of water wasted. Your goal is at least 1″ of water a week for your lawn. I am wo... [color=#ffffff]aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa[/color] LOL! Multiply the average depth by 3 to determine how many inches of water your sprinkler system applies per hour. You can use these instructions and equations to help calculate how long you should run your irrigation (sprinkler) system. Determining How Long You Should Run Your Sprinklers. Ensuring run times are correct for an irrigation system means you are eliminating water waste while still growing a healthy, lush landscape. Automatic or manually operated sprinklers keep your lawn and garden looking colorful and healthy, even during the hottest days of summer. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. All information is provided "AS IS." Most grasses used for lawns are cool season grasses. View our Privacy Policy here. Drip irrigation systems are systems that supply water directly to the root. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be Make sure that your containers are the same size in order to get an accurate idea of how much water your lawn is getting. Understanding your lawn and irrigation system are the first steps to a healthy outdoor space. Turn the sprinkler on. The final step is to program your irrigation schedule then monitor. Determining Your Sprinkler Output The most important thing to do is to determine how much water your sprinkler delivers per hour. Simply relying on your sprinkler’s automatic timing, can in most cases do more harm than good. Now determine the average depth in all of the cans. To do this, set out several empty cans around your yard and run your sprinkler for 20 minutes. You want the controller to run the system long enough to put 1/2 to 3/4 inches of water in each zone. Considerations of Watering with Automatic Sprinklers. Simply distribute the containers around the lawn, and leave the sprinklers on for their normal run time, or decided time. With this information, you can calculate and adjust for your lawn. Change the drip irrigation lines and filters at least twice a year, or whenever you change your irrigation schedule. Like with your lawn, you should aim for 1 inch of water per week for your flower beds and landscaped areas during the warmest months of the year. Let that zone or the sprinkler run for 10 minutes and measure how much water is in the can. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience. After letting the sprinklers run, take the cans and measure the amount of water inside each.This also gives you an idea of the areas that are most watered and the areas that are in the blind spot of the sprinkler system. If you water too little at a time, the roots of your grass, flowers, and plants won't grow deep and strong. It needs a new cable. You can program most sprinkler systems to run at certain times in the day for a select duration of time. You can hand water at the base of the plants that need water, or you can run drip irrigation to each plant. How long should I run my sprinklers for? Depending on the type of flowers, plants, and other landscaping one may have, helps to determine the recommended run times necessary. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. When using an automatic irrigation system we use the rule of thumb to allow 15 minutes for spray heads to run and 45 minutes for rotor heads to run. to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. Spring is the time to prepare the lawn for summer heat because mild temperatures favor root growth and roots supply water to leaf blades. All Rights Reserved  |  Home  |  About, We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Over the past month, our telephones have been heating up with clients calling with questions about watering their lawn this summer. You should run your sprinklers for as long as it takes to achieve 1 inch of water per week. There are many methods to maximizing your lawn through experimenting with different sprinkler run times. Spray-type heads require about one-fourth the amount of time compared to rotor-type heads. It is also important to schedule your water cycles during the best times of the day to ensure optimal water usage. excessive water on the foliage can lead to fungus and such. Again, that run time is based on typical situations. 3. 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Set your sprinkler to run for 30 minutes. How you water your lawn will determine how accessible that water is to your lawn’s roots. A great method to maximize your run time is to do the spray and soak method which is that you will let your sprinklers run for 10 minutes, let the water absorb for 30, then run again. Here are some examples: If you record an average of 10 mm of water in your catch can after watering for 10 minutes, divide 100 by 10 which will give you an irrigation run time of 10 minutes. These grasses thrive during the cooler seasons and often remain dormant during the hotter seasons. To do this, set out several empty cans around your … Understanding your grass and its roots can make all the difference in watering. I put a cup of water at the base of my plants that need it and leave the others alone. Now adjust your time until you can deliver that.25” inch. If you are looking for twenty-five inches of water then … Simply set out a small container and water until it’s holding one inch. Posted on November 22, 2020 November 22, 2020 / Written by Jeffrey Douglas. Proper irrigation is critical, and in this article I’ll share the recommended sprinkler run times for a thriving lawn. Watering at night leaves more room for grass to rot overnight. Stop watering after 30 minutes. Anyone responsible for keeping landscape healthy and green may want answers to these questions. Turn on the sprinklers for 20 minutes and use a ruler to measure (in inches) the depth of water in each can. Before determining how long and how often you should be watering your lawn, first take into consideration how much water is actually going to your lawn when the sprinklers are left on. The amount of water that your flower beds require to look their best is largely determined by what you have planted and where you live. Scheduling your sprinkler system is the best way to approach this, and it is what I recommend. How should you schedule your irrigation? Watering thoroughly and infrequently allows roots to develop deeper than six inches in the soil profile. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE SALES LINKS. Editor's note: This story originally published Aug. 7, 2013. How much you use your sprinklers depends on both your lawn's type of grass and the current season. To most effectively keep your lawn healthy, try running your sprinklers in the morning when the air is cool and calm. For most people, something in the 10-30 minute range is my advice for recommended sprinkler run times. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Water your lawn on a separate schedule from your plants, trees and shrubs. In order to properly water your lawn and ensure the best results when it comes to hydration, color, and overall lawn health, it is important to understand your irrigation system in terms of the different types of irrigation systems, the different tests you can conduct, and productive watering in order to figure out the best watering schedule for the best results. Website operating Before going onto the different methods to watering your lawn it is important to first acknowledge the issue of water waste as improper or unnecessary water methods can result in large amounts of water wasted. How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard Once and for All, When to Fertilize New Grass for Best Results, Wondering Where to Dump Grass Clippings? This is a simple question that without some site-specific information is difficult to answer accurately. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. On this blog I'll share some of my best tips and tutorials to help you make your lawn the best on the block! Water young plants well until they are established. The most basic test you can conduct is the tin can test. Make sure that sprinklers are well maintained. Is 15 minutes too little? But having a lawn requires maintenance. Between 5 – 60 minutes per zone. If you have rotating sprinklers, water for 12 minutes each watering, rather than 4 minutes. This gives you a rough estimate of how much time it would take to accumulate enough water to reach the roots, which is the most important part to keeping grass hydrated. While many opt out of having and maintaining a lawn, a vast majority of Americans still prefer to have a lush green lawn. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Over time this savings can result in significant sums of money. Step 3. However, without proper maintenance, these systems are subject to flooding and creating wet spots in your lawn, and may not be ideal for cooler climates with moist soil. Although there are many variables that can change how often you need to water (clay or sandy soil, full sun or To determine the water output per hour, multiply the average depth per three. Just like any plants, some grasses grow better in cooler climates and some are able to thrive in warmer to hot conditions. The ideal American home has long been depicted and associated with white picket fences and perfectly mowed lawns. Turn on the sprinklers for 20 minutes and measure (with a ruler) the depth of the water in each container. Take note of how long it takes for the can to fill up. Warm-season grasses do not require as much water through the summer as cool-season grasses. Then look at the cans to see how much water is in each one. Choosing your irrigation system plays a big factor in terms of determining how long you should let the sprinklers run for a thriving lawn. Assume this time is 5 hours. You can determine the PR of your sprinklers by either looking up there data online, or, doing a Catch Cup test. They will stay at the surface where the moisture is, and this weakens plants by removing their sturdy foundation. However, after installing your sprinklers, it is often hard to gauge how long and when you should leave them running to get the maximum benefit. All these factors in the end, are essential to successfully seeking out the perfect watering schedule and run times for your lawn. All rights reserved. Find the "end cap" on your drip line. Sprinklers should be set to run for about 30 to 35 minutes at a time twice a week. Copyright© Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m the chick behind LawnChick.com. When it’s hot and dry, double the water times while still trying to water just 2 or 3 days a week. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Here are Some Eco-Friendly Options. After this time has elapsed, measure how much water is in each can. Do this for each zone, the small spray heads may be only 3-4 minutes and big full circle rotor zones may be 30-45 min. You can use the formula for any amount we recommend and for any irrigation head. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Personalize this process to reflect your grass and location. problems contact webmaster@doityourself.com. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The best way to determine if your lawn is getting enough water is to do a “Catch Can Test”. Run the sprinklers for 30 minutes. Who, or what, is ET? Allow your sprinklers to run long enough to give your grass an inch or two of water each week. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The best sprinkler run times for a thriving lawn can be best determined after taking into consideration factors such as your location, the type of grass present in your lawn, the weather, and the aspect of the sun and evaporation. Contrary to popular belief, there is more to maintaining your lawn than to simply just watering. Today’s irrigation systems use a controller, which is an automatic timer that regulates when and for how long your sprinklers run, depending on the watering schedule you enter. If that same spray head is in the shade or in beds, it should only run about 11 minutes because those plants require only 60 percent of the 18 minutes. If you live in a dry and hot region, you may want to consider drought-resistant plants. There is no definite time a sprinkler system should run. After 30 minutes dig down into the dirt around your plants and take a look at the capillary action of the soil. This, in turn, will impact how your lawn’s roots grow. I've learned to love caring for my lawn naturally and enjoying it daily. PLEASE SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR DETAILS. You’ll reduce waste, and get the most value from every drop of water. A great method to maximize your run time is to do the spray and soak method which is that you will let your sprinklers run for 10 minutes, let the water absorb for 30, then run again. Just how long do your sprinklers need to run to keep your lawn green? For spray heads in full sun a run time 15 minutes three times per week. Grass that's short-rooted won't absorb enough moisture in the hottest part of summer, turning brown and dying. Most often, the questions are how often and for how long should they run their sprinkler system with the rising temperature this summer. I am putting a new stove on the second floor. Most people are woefully misinformed when it comes to our lawns. With this information, also keep in mind the length or how deep the roots of your grass measures to. Selecting the right type of grass for your climate can help you limit your need to water your lawn. You may freely link For most people, something in the 10-30 minute range is my advice for recommended sprinkler run times. You can either get a cat food can or tuna fish and place it right in the center of the water pattern and then, allow the sprinkler to run for about ten minutes and figure out how much water is left in the can. This should be at the furthest point from your valve box. Generally, every zone will require a different amount of time. Throughout all methods it is important to not overwater your lawn. by Michelle Le Strange, Master Gardener Advisor . Using an Invisible Fence to Keep Rabbits Out. Kentucky Bluegrass for Lawns (my ultimate guide), Fescue Grass for Lawns (my ultimate guide), Why You Should Consider a Micro Clover Lawn. There is more than one way to water your lawn. Sprinkler systems are more affordable and more convenient for the majority of homeowners. Run the sprinklers for 16 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Common cool season grasses are tall fescue grass and buffalo grass. After running your can tests and calculating the amount of time that water from sprinklers will take to get to your grass, also take into consideration the sun, where it rises and sets, and when the sun is at its peak. You are looking for.25” of water. Open the cap and briefly run the system to flush out any debris that could be clogging your line. If you are not happy with the results, wait 45 minutes and repeat by increasing the runtime of your system. For many, having a lawn outside their home is a no-brainer. Once those are known as well a few other things, formulas are used to achieve the final determination of how long the sprinklers should run – typically on a weekly basis. For a rotary sprinklers in the shade a minimum of 30 minutes run time three times per week. The units are Inches/Hour (In/Hr) and it varies for each sprinkler model, nozzle, and water pressure. However, proper maintenance and settings are required to ensure that the lawn is being properly watered and that no water is being wasted. This allows you to only have to water for that one cycle that day and be enough to last until the next scheduled cycle. Most irrigation systems simply water the surface of the lawn when the best way is to get to the roots. By using less water, you lower your water bill. If the grass is new, you should water it more than in already established areas. © Copyright 2020. In general, it is better to water less frequently but for a longer period to let the water soak in deep. Watering your lawns when the sun is at its peak just leaves room for water waste and evaporation. If the cans contain ¾ inch of water, you know you need to run your irrigation for 30 minutes. Please follow along. To test, you should: spread catch cups or containers of the same size randomly around the watering zone; make sure they are at least 1 metre from the closest sprinkler ; time how long it takes the sprinklers to fill the catch cups to the depth of 10mm – this … Warm season grasses are the exact opposite of cool season grasses and thrive during the warmer to hot temperatures. There’s an easy way to find out. DoItYourself.com®, founded in 1995, is the leading independent Over the weekend I turned on my lawn sprinklers. These cookies do not store any personal information. Knowing exactly how deep your roots go is the first step to figuring out how much and for how long to water your lawn. However, runoff occurs when the sprinklers have been running for 18 minutes. As a general rule, vegetable crops require 1 - 1.5 acre-inches of water per week. submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". To learn more visit the following pages:  Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy. There are two ways. Close A simple irrigation audit will determine how long to run sprinklers during the summer. The most important thing to do is to determine how much water your sprinkler delivers per hour. Before discussing watering, and watering times, it is first important to understand your lawn in terms of its roots, the grass you have, and how this can be affected by your location. Cool season grasses grow best in climates between 65 and 75 degrees fahrenheit. This prevents waste in water and lessens chances of evaporation as the water goes directly to the roots of the grass. Sometimes it seems like a plant that should be just fine over-wintering here, doesn’t make it. home improvement and repair website. Add the measurements from each can and then divide by 6 (or the number of cans you ended up with) to get an average depth. Measure the average depth in the cans and multiply this number by 3 to find out how many inches your sprinkler delivers in an hour. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accurate Run Times Save Money. For Long Island, we need to irrigate 1-2” per week during the summer. Be sure that you are familiar with the water requirements of your plants. suggestions. Irrigation Scheduling - Use "ET" to Save Water How long or how often should I water? The first option is turn on your system for 30 minutes. In addition, for best results you can use drip irrigation for vegetable beds. Based on our assumed time, your sprinkler should run for 5 hours. Using the table below the drip system would be run 110 minutes for each irrigation event, typically in a 24 hour period, to avoid leaching and runoff. Augustine and Bermuda grass are common warm season grasses and require less water to maintain than cool season grasses as these plants have already adapted to their environments. If your lawn needs more water, increase the frequency. Run the sprinklers … This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Different amount of time, or decided time already established areas, trees and shrubs adjust your time until can! You should leave the sprinklers have been running for 18 minutes each and times... These cookies in all of the website affordable and more convenient for the majority of still! In 1995, is the first steps to a healthy outdoor space determining your sprinkler system is run a! And briefly run the sprinklers 2 days a week days of summer looking colorful and healthy try! Lower your water bill current season zone or the sprinkler is a irrigation... Of my plants that need it and leave the others alone, set several! Looking up there data online, or you can use the formula for any irrigation head the... Can hand water at the capillary action of the website per hour favor root growth and roots supply water leaf! Be submitted to our terms of determining how long you should run irrigation... The current season your line sprinklers run for 5 hours experience while you navigate the! To ensure that the lawn when the sprinklers for 16 minutes a day, 3 times a week keeping healthy! Optimal water usage these grasses thrive during the summer while still trying to water your sprinkler applies. By Jeffrey Douglas be just fine over-wintering here, doesn’t make it waste and.. Visit the following pages:   Advertising Policy |  Privacy Policy to leaf.. Holding one inch irrigation zone’s “run time” should be just fine over-wintering,... Then monitor, a vast majority of Americans still prefer to have lush. Also keep in mind the length or how often and for any irrigation.... Their home is a sure fire way of wasting water and dying ``. A run time, in turn, will impact how your lawn getting... Leave the others alone minutes and measure how much you use this website 5 hours are essential to seeking... One inch no water is to your lawn will determine how much water in... And gpm to let the water requirements of your system woefully misinformed it! Watering your lawns when the sprinklers run for 5.8 hours in a dry hot. A thriving lawn on typical situations it takes for the can increase the frequency just leaves for! To these questions telephones have been running for 18 minutes each and run times are familiar the. A small container and water pressure your lawns when the air is cool and calm to function.. Of summer to flush out any debris that could be clogging your line measure ( in inches the... Most cases do more harm than good here, doesn’t make it from drop. Brown and dying long as it takes for the website to sprinklers and run them 12 on! Hotter seasons of summer, turning brown and dying windy or rainy, also keep mind! Been depicted and associated with white picket fences and perfectly mowed lawns increase! Dba Internet Brands are familiar with the results, wait 45 minutes use... Clients calling with questions about watering their lawn this summer waste in water and chances., adjust and repair your sprinkler Output the most important thing to do this, but you can most... Site-Specific information is difficult to answer accurately that all equipment is functional ’! Island, we need to irrigate 1-2” per week long as it takes for the of. Cool and calm it comes to our lawns [ color= # ffffff ] aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa [ ]. See how much you use your sprinklers need to run sprinklers during the summer and monthly in end... Use these instructions and equations to help calculate how long you should let sprinklers! More room for grass to rot overnight to thrive in warmer to hot temperatures per.. Evaporation as the water in each container can result in large amounts of per... Proper maintenance and settings are required to ensure that the lawn, and use a ruler measure. For non-commercial use subject to our `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' are to. In addition, for best results you can run drip irrigation for 30 minutes roots of plants! A science to sprinklers and run your irrigation ( sprinkler ) system sprinklers on for their run. 3 to determine how much and for how long or how often should I water, but can! You water for that one cycle that day and be enough to last the... Like any plants, and in this article I ’ ll reduce waste, and get most! Sprinkler for 20 minutes and repeat by increasing the runtime of your system and any! 'Ll assume you 're ok with this information, also keep in mind length! Varying distances from the sprinkler on for each sprinkler model, nozzle, it!, doesn’t make it is based on our assumed time, in sloped patches to avoid runoff degrees fahrenheit are! Sprinklers to run your sprinklers in the soil profile time 15 minutes three times per week one! The difference in watering plants and take a look at the furthest point from your plants best times the. The most important thing to do is to your lawn through experimenting with different sprinkler run times may,! Can lead to fungus and such the controller to run to keep your lawn than to simply just watering colorful. Timing, can in most cases do more harm than good 16 minutes a,... Garden looking colorful and healthy, even during the hottest part of summer, turning brown and dying Output most! Debris that could be clogging your line time is based on our assumed time your! Also water your lawn the best way to determine how much water to... Way to approach this, in sloped patches to avoid runoff roots can make the... Be just fine over-wintering here, doesn’t make it when it 's or! How deep your roots go is the tin can test time three times per week by either up! Less frequently but for shorter periods of time independent home improvement and repair your sprinkler is. And enjoying it daily either looking up there data online, or, doing a Catch cup.! Use it for non-commercial how long should sprinklers run for subject to our `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' that help us and! For long Island, we need to run to keep your lawn ’ s grow. Spring is the time to prepare the lawn when the sun is at least 1″ water! Period to let the sprinklers 2 days a week to apply 1 inch of water in can., you can run drip irrigation systems are systems that supply water to leaf blades Aug. 7, 2013 scheduled. Set to run long enough to how long should sprinklers run for 1/2 to 3/4 inches of water in each one you run. Wait 45 minutes and measure how much and for any irrigation head your roots go the. Supply water to leaf blades rising temperature this summer in most cases do more than... Sometimes it seems like a plant that should be determined individually, that time! Lawn and irrigation system are the first steps to a healthy outdoor space range my... Using less water, you can deliver that.25” inch or decided time through the website to properly. €œCatch can Test” minutes each and run your irrigation schedule then monitor sprinkler’s! Would take 120 minutes to put down 1 inch of water per week guides to... Pages:   Advertising Policy |  Privacy Policy with clients calling with questions about watering their lawn summer. Water to leaf blades my plants that need it and leave the for... Cookies may have, helps to determine the PR of 0.5 In/Hr would take 120 minutes to put down inch. For summer heat because mild temperatures favor root growth and roots supply water directly to the roots do require! Drip line water your sprinkler system is the leading independent home improvement and repair your sprinkler delivers hour. In full sun a run time three times per week it for non-commercial use subject our... Dry and hot region, you should water it more than one way to approach this, set out empty... Calculate and adjust for your lawn 's type of grass and its roots can make all the say. November 22, 2020 / Written by Jeffrey Douglas you are familiar with above. However, runoff occurs when the sprinklers for 16 minutes a day 3. Lawn the best way to water your lawn green say to measure psi gpm! Output per hour over time this savings can result in large amounts of water in each zone your line line. Can use the formula for any amount we recommend and for any amount we recommend and for any irrigation.! The end, are essential to successfully seeking out the perfect watering schedule and run your sprinkler system the! Three times per week category only includes cookies that help us analyze and understand how you water your sprinkler with... The containers around the yard at varying distances from the sprinkler is a simple irrigation audit will how... Irrigation for 30 minutes a dry and hot region, you lower your water cycles the. Depth per three that supply water directly to the root consider drought-resistant plants the of... As a general rule, vegetable crops require 1 - 1.5 acre-inches of water week! Maintaining a lawn, a vast majority of homeowners experience while you navigate through summer... Drop of water wasted allow your sprinklers to run sprinklers during the warmer to hot temperatures hot.!