July is smart irrigation month and part of being smart with irrigation means reducing water run off from your sprinkler system. One useful method of reducing water run off is called cycle and soak irrigation. This method involves scheduling several shorter watering cycles in the same day, allowing 30 minutes or more in between for the water to soak in. Not only does this method reduce water run-off and conserves water, it also is better for the health of your lawn.
How cycle and soak works
Typically, most people water each zone for 10-15 minutes each which doesn’t give your turf enough time to soak up the water. So instead of soaking each zone for the full amount of time, you would split it up into smaller sections.
For example: if you water each zone for 15 minutes, split it into 3 five-minute sessions and wait at least 30 minutes in between cycles. The first cycle will break the surface tension of the soil and allow the water to penetrate.
The second cycle is absorbed even further into the soil, reaching the roots. The third cycle allows additional absorption, filling the root zone, and promoting a healthier landscape. The right smart irrigation controller can do this even more effectively, increasing your lawn health further.
How deep does the water need to soak into the soil?
The goal is to allow the water to soak down 6-8 inches into the soil. Allowing the water to soak into this depth promotes the growth of deep roots, which ultimately creates stronger, healthier grass that can withstand the summer heat. So how do you know how deeply you are watering? Use a probe, like a long screwdriver and push it into the soil in several places. It will slide easily through wet soil, but you might have to use more effort to push it through dry soil.
Cycle and soak irrigation helps take the guess work out of how much and how long you should be watering your lawn and promotes healthy roots for a lush, beautiful lawn for you to enjoy any time of the day. Still not sure how to get your lawn on track with cycle and soak irrigation? Let Timberline Landscaping take care of the water works in your yard!