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Smart Irrigation

Automated irrigation systems are convenient and protect your landscape investment. A well-maintained unit can keep your property beautiful and healthy while minimizing water waste. To raise awareness of the benefits of efficient watering management practices, the Irrigation Association has named July “Smart Irrigation Month” and we here at True North are on board. We know that taking the time to fine tune your irrigation system this summer will help keep utility bills low while still making sure that you get the most out of your irrigation system. Not to mention, it’s good for the environment.

Take time NOW to fine-tune your irrigation system and keep it running smoothly all summer with these 10 easy steps.

  1. Adapt your watering schedule regularly to the weather and the season. Familiarize yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller and adjust the watering schedule regularly.
  2. Schedule watering for each zone separately. For each area, take into account the type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, soil type and plant requirements.
  3. Water more frequently but for shorter periods of time. Setting your system to run for three, 5-minute intervals lets soil absorb more water than watering for 15 minutes at one time.
  4. Water at the right time of day. Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30 percent! The best times to water are late afternoon, evening and just before sunrise.
  5. Water ONLY when needed. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Overwatering results in shallow roots and encourages weeds, disease and fungus growth. Irrigation water can be especially damaging as soil salinity rises. Read more at Irrigation Water is Destroying your Landscape.
  6. Have your system audited. Hire a professional to conduct an irrigation audit and uniformity test to make sure each zone is being watered evenly.
  7. Inspect your system yourself. If an audit isn’t in the budget make sure that you are checking at least monthly for leaks, broken or clogged heads, and other problems that arise from normal wear and tear.
  8. Install an inexpensive rain shutoff switch. These money saving sensors prevent watering in rainy weather when you forget to shut it down or aren’t around to do it. The best part? You can pick one up for less than $100.
  9. Invest in “smart” technology. Climate or soil moisture sensor-based controllers evaluate weather or soil moisture conditions and then automatically adjust the watering schedule to meet the specific needs of your landscape.
  10. Adjust sprinkler heads. Remove obstructions that prevent sprinklers from distributing water unevenly and make sure you’re watering plants, not buildings or sidewalks.


Many of these small, easy tweaks can make a big difference in your irrigation efficiency and water management. Summer is the perfect time to fine-tune your system. Make a difference on your landscape that will in turn make a difference on the environment through water conservation.

Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promote efficient irrigation. Learn more at

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