Irrigation – Timing

Q: Our yard irrigation company says that the best way to water is three times a week, with the timers set to run 40 minutes for a soaker hose zone and 8 minutes for each of the other zones. I’ve asked the company about heavy watering once a week, but, they say it would be wasteful, as the soil would become saturated quickly and there would be runoff. What do you think?

A: Basically you want to keep the root zone moist most of the time but let it dry out between waterings. The company is probably taking into account the slope of the land and the permeability of the soil. If your lot is sloped and has clay it may need as many as four applications: two on one day separated by enough time to let the water soak in and two more applications, three days later. However, 8 minutes seems to be too short a time for a lawn zone unless your sprinklers deliver a lot of water in a short time.

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