Optimizing your sprinkler system in Arizona’s scorching heat

Keeping your grass green despite the Arizona heat can be a challenge. One of the most important things you need to do is water your plants, yet running your sprinklers can get expensive if you aren’t doing it right. Here’s how to maximize the positive effects of your sprinklers in the Arizona heat.

  1. Check your irrigation system on a regular basis. Make sure that all emitters are actually delivering water, and examine the system for leaks at the same time. If the system runs on a timer, make sure that this is functional and set to the right times for the season.
  2. Prioritize your trees and shrubs, not the lawn. Trees and shrubs are expensive, and they take years to grow to their mature size. Allowing them to die of drought is costly, both to replace them and to have the dead ones removed. The University of Arizona notes that if a tree is wilting, it is at its limit.
  3. Water to the proper depth. Water for trees should moisten the soil to three feet deep, shrubs should have soil moisture at least two feet deep, and smaller plants like annual flowers or grass should have soil moisture at least one foot deep. Use a rod or a soil probe to determine whether or not you’re watering enough.
  4. Water at the right times. It is important to water early, so the water has a chance to soak in instead of evaporating. Setting your sprinklers to run before dawn is a good idea here. If water is prone to running off of your soil instead of soaking in, use a low flow for an extended period of time. This way, the water is more likely to get into the root zone.
  5. Adjust your watering for the season. Watering heavily during the monsoons is a waste, so cut back on the irrigation at that time. The University of Arizona recommends adjusting your watering schedule four times per year.
  6. Make sure you can override your set watering schedule. If rain doesn’t happen as expected, you want to be able to activate or deactivate your sprinklers accordingly.
  7. Use a sprinkler timer. While it’s important to be able to override the timer, you definitely should have one. This will ensure that the plants get watered and that the water turns off when it should. You’ll appreciate not having to worry about forgetting to turn the water on or off by hand. A timer also makes pre-dawn watering painless.

With these tips, you’ll get the most out of your sprinklers and keep your landscape looking great.

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