sprinkler run times

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by sodJerry, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. sodJerry

    sodJerry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Why do many sprinkler companies program their sprinklers to run for forty-five minutes per zone? This is a great disservice to the customer and the contracter alike. I have seen no benefit to the lawn or the customer to have water running down the street. I have rubbed many contracters the wrong way after sodding a new lawn and changing the programs. The rule for new sod is not quanity but frequency of watering. On my existing lawn, I run my sprinkler system for ten minutes per zone, three times in a row. This puts down one-half inch of water with no runoff. I do thi three times a week, which is a good amount for this area and promotes good root development.
  2. smithsonmi

    smithsonmi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    In my area most run their sprinklers too often and not enough...many people are running twice a day cycles never soaking the ground.

    Also, the length certainly depends on the GPM of your sprinklers. I normally use 4 GPM for the full circles and 2 for 1/2 etc..with this combo, I run 45 minutes for each rotor zone BUT only 15 minutes at a time with a min of 30 mins between cycles (some controllers allow this cycle/soak automatically). This is 3 times a week max to get a good soaking less often. This gives me about 1 inch/week.

    I also notice that not many use rain sensors...it has been raining here for a week and I still see peoples sprinklers going. A $30 sensor would stop it.
  3. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    In Florida you better water long cycles. Short, frequent watering do more damage than good. Things must be completely different in Nebraska. Often our customers have gear drive zones running 60-75 minutes and mist zones at 15-20. The goal here is to water deep and encourage deep root growth. Water shallow and you get shallow root systems. If the water is running off in the street here, it is due to poor sprinkler layout.
  4. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,932

    Most sod farms and nurseries recommend to water thoroughly, then allow grass to dry. Keeping a grass wet all the time promotes disease and fungus problems. It's all about weather conditions period.

    If you live in a hot dry arid type of climate, youÂ’re going to need to water more often. If you live in a mild climate area, not going to have to water so much

    For example, my route area, I run each valve, 15 minutes, 3 times a week. However, where I own a rental property, I have to run each zone 10 minutes each valve, 2 times a day, every day during the summer months. Why the difference, my route area, average temps stay in the mid 70's, my rental, high 90's to over 100 degrees.

  5. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Surely the installers understand that there is a big difference between watering an established lawn and watering a lawn to establish it. If they were to get mad at me, I would let the homeowner know which is the best watering times for the new sod. Set the timer and tell the homeowner that if the timer gets changed, the warranty will be voided on the sod install. Let the homeowner get on their rear.
    My two sod wholesalers suggest watering the same way; 4 times a day at each zone set for ten minutes. This keeps the sod moist and promotes vigorous root growth. After a week, water twice a day. Three weeks, water schedule to return to normal. Follow these guidelines and you have a healthy lawn. Take into consideration though that I live in S.E. New Mexico(desert) and the day time temps are anywhere from 93-110*. Big difference between here and back East.

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