Do I Need to Adjust Watering with Cooler Temperatures?

Sprinkler Repair and Drip Irrigation

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Do I Need to Adjust Watering with Cooler Temperatures?

While conducting sprinkler repair service calls in Frisco TX, we have numerous customers who ask us if they need to adjust their watering schedule with the cooler temperatures.  Our answer, yes!  Now that the hot, hot temperatures of the summer have come and gone, there is less evaporation taking place.  The same amount of water that would have been applied during the hot summer months will now stay around for a longer period of time as the water that is not absorbed into the soil or taken up by your lawn, trees, shrubs, and flowers will not be evaporated as quickly.  An increase in excess moisture on your property may cause drainage issues or even decay or diseases associated with the vegetation in your landscaping.

Also, vegetation has its own cycles too.  As temperatures become cooler and daylight time decreases, vegetation adapts.  Plants will slow their rate of photosynthesis to conserve energy and in the case of deciduous trees, drop their leaves.  If there is little to no photosynthesis taking place, then the plants are growing very slowly and some may even go dormant over the winter months.

We always recommend watering with a “cycle & soak” technique.  This consists of setting the sprinkler system controller to water in cycles, allowing for the water to soak in to the soil between cycles.  During each cycle, set the system to water each zone for seven to eight minutes. By the time the next cycle starts, the clay-rich soil, prevalent in our area, is ready to absorb more water.  In the summer months we recommend four cycles; however, in the cooler temperatures, it is a good idea to adjust the watering to three cycles or less.  Your property will still get the water that it needs; however, you may be helping to prevent diseases related to too much water.

Another idea when it comes to adjusting watering during cooler temperatures is turning off your sprinkler system all together.  Many properties will do fine over the fall and winter months without regular watering from the sprinkler system as the natural rainfall will suffice when it comes to meeting the needs of vegetation in your landscaping.  By turning your sprinkler system off, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your rain and freeze sensor is working as the system won’t water anyway.  One thing to consider though is your foundation.  If your sprinkler system waters your foundation, you may want to leave the system turned on, but program it so that only the zone that takes care of your foundation actually waters.

If you do choose to adjust your watering time rather than turning off your sprinkler system all together, please keep in mind watering restrictions that have been set by your respective city and do your best to adhere to them as many cities are handing out fines for violations.  Also, please check to ensure that your rain and freeze sensor is functioning so that you can avoid watering during rain events and freezing temperatures.

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