Hi all! I’m so lucky to own an in-ground automatic sprinkler system. Our summers are super hot and dry. It was already installed when we purchased the house, but learning how to use it has been quite a challenge.
The control module is on the garage wall right by the door. I keep the manuals and rotortools in a bag hanging right next to it so we can find them quickly. I don’t know about you, but I hate reading manuals. I much prefer using YouTube to let someone explain it to me. So why am I keeping the manuals? Because if I pitch them out, we’ll need them.
Every spring I open the box and wonder how many zones I have and where are they located? So I finally made my own personal cheat sheet that I’ve hung right beneath the module. This cheat sheet is super valuable to me. I’ve identified my watering zones, and added tips that I need to know from time to time. My memory isn’t that great, especially after not dealing with it all winter long.
As the growing season has changes in temperature and precipitation, I adjust the run times for each of the zones. I don’t want to pay for unnecessary high water bills. I also have to adjust the watering times because different areas of my property have different watering requirements. Zones 6 and 7 can turn into swamps in no time, so I have to keep the watering time to a minimum. Zone 1 gets the blazing sun all afternoon long, so it needs a much longer watering time.
Here is another tip. This is a sprinkler head. The screw right behind where the water shoots out, controls the distance of the spray. Turn it clockwise with the rotortool and it will shorten the distance, counter clockwise lengthens the distance. You don’t want water shooting out into the street.
The second screw determines how wide you want the spray to rotate. The sidewalk doesn’t need watering, so I turned it a little counter clockwise. Now the rotor head stops before the sidewalk is hit, and starts rotating back the other way.
Here’s a view of one that we pulled out of the ground. By turning screw 1 clockwise, you can see that it covers the hole where the water comes out. That means a shorter distance of the spray.
The bottom tier of my garden was looking dry and wilted. I watched the sprinkler and noticed that the distance was too far, and the lower plants were hardly getting any water. After turning screw 1 clockwise to shorten the distance of the spray, the plants are now getting the water.
I’ve have to keep making adjustments every year because as plants grow bigger they can block the spray. And as my trees grow larger, I have more shade and can reduce the watering. It’s a real challenge, but the water bill keeps me motivated.