The key to watering success is being educated on your plants watering needs.
Water cycling- Water in 10-15 minute intervals for each zone, allowing the water to soak in before applying more. For example, water for 15 minutes at 10 pm, and again two hours later at midnight, and again at 2 am. There is a "soak" cycle on most sprinkler systems that will allow you to soak certain areas of the lawn. Soak cycles are recommended for Colorado clayey soils so that water can better penetrate to the roots. This will give the ground ample time to soak up the moisture instead of creating surface runoff. Soak cycles save water and money!
Zone by exposure- Exposure to sun, heat and wind also play a huge part in water requirements. Irrigation zones should reflect exposure levels. Areas in full or partial shade may have lower irrigation needs than areas in full sun. As a rule of thumb, if a shady area is in the rooting zone of large trees, water use will be similar to full sun as the roots of the tree will be pulling water from the soil.
Drip irrigation- Drip systems can reduce water usage by 50%. You can have them installed in flower beds, shrub beds, small fruit beds and vegetable gardens.
Be water wise- Water at night or in early morning hours. Water between 9:00 pm and 9:00 am to avoid water evaporation. During rainy weather, shut off sprinklers manually - or install a rain gauge, which can take care of that job for you.
Evaluate dry spots- You can easily find out which spots aren't getting enough water by taking a few identical, straight-sided, flat bottomed cans (like soup, or vegetable cans) and placing them in the areas of your yard you are unsure are getting enough water. If the dry spots are getting significantly less water, it's likely a water delivery problem (like a malfunctioning head or design problem). If similar amounts of water are being delivered to all areas if could be a soil/plant related problem (like thatch and root damage).
Don't hesitate to call us with any questions regarding your lawn!