By Heather Voorman, Groundwater Foundation Community Outreach Specialist
As we saw from the drastic weather change this weekend, we are in the heart of the fall season. Fall’s cooler temperatures mean it’s time to adjust your automatic sprinklers to accommodate the changing weather. Readjustment can protect your automatic sprinkler system and save water!
When the temperature cools, there is less evaporation. This means that our lawns are going to need less water in the fall than they do in the summer months. You can adjust your sprinkler clock to water one day less each week to prevent overwatering.
You will also need to change the time of day your automatic sprinkler waters. We usually water early in the morning during the summer to prevent evaporation, but fall mornings can mean very cool temperatures. These cooler temperatures can freeze the water on the plants, causing damage to your plants and your sprinkler system.
This is also the time to start thinking about when you are going to blow out your sprinklers. You cannot just drain out the above ground parts for the winter. If you do not get all the water out of the pipes, it could ruin your entire system.
If you want to save water all year long through your automatic sprinkler system, below are some tips you can use to be as efficient as possible.
- Think about landscaping with native or drought tolerant trees, plants, and grass. Check with your local nursery to get more information about what would work best with your climate.
- Adjust the sprinklers so that you are only watering your lawn and not your house, sidewalk, or street.
- If your sprinkler clock has a rain pause button, use it to postpone your watering for a day or more. Other clocks will allow you to shut the entire system off when it’s raining.
- Some sprinkler clocks have an option to increase or decrease watering by a percentage. Use this feature to reduce or increase watering based on changes in the weather.
- Consider installing a rain shut-off device on your sprinkler system to eliminate overwatering.
- Finally, water smart. Be sure you pay attention to what time of day, how much, and how often you are watering. Check on these settings several times a year to make sure you are watering based on the weather conditions.