About Me

Creating An Inviting Yard

I have always been one of those people who loves to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for others, which is why I started looking at landscaping design in the first place. It was incredible to me to see how much of a difference I was able to make by adding a few new plants, and after that first project, I wanted to help other people. I started volunteering to help friends and neighbors do their landscaping, and after a few months, I had developed quite a following. This blog is all about creating a warm, inviting yard through smart landscaping and an eye for detail.

Creating An Inviting Yard

How You Can Conserve Water When Using A Sprinkler System

by Addison Washington

Many people view sprinkler systems as wasteful, especially in areas that have periods of drought. However, when installed thoughtfully and used well, sprinkler systems can conserve plenty of water while still providing the needed moisture for plants. Here is what you need to know about making your sprinkler system efficient in its water use.

Install a rain sensor

How many times have you been outside during the rain, only to see people's sprinklers still on, redundantly watering shrubs, grass, and flowers? This problem is easily fixed by installing a rain sensor with your sprinkler system. Many people use pre-programmed watering schedules. A rain sensor monitors the wetness of the ground, and if the ground is sufficiently moist, the sensor will govern the automation of the system, overriding the pre-programmed schedule. Long story short: your sprinklers won't turn on if it is raining. 

Be sensible with pre-programmed watering cycles.

It's best to run your sprinklers in the early morning or late evening. This way, plants get the water they need, and you don't lose any water to evaporation. It's also important that you watch to make sure that your pre-chosen cycle matches the needs of your plants. Some areas can get a lot more rain than usual, which might mean shortening your cycle even on days when it's not raining; your plants will have enough water. Don't just set it and forget it—adjust the cycle as the season progresses. You'll need shorter watering times in the spring, longer in the summer, but shorter again as August, September, and October roll around.

Also, remember that most grasses and plants do best with long, less frequent water cycles. Watering your grass for 30 minutes everyday will not be as effective as watering your grass for a few hours once a week. Longer watering cycles less frequently uses less water overall and encourages better root development. 

Use the right irrigation for your needs.

The right type of watering system for the landscape you have is also important for water conservation. For example, a low-lying, flat spray sprinkler head is good for grassy areas of the lawn. However, this same type of sprinkler is just not as effective for larger plants. If you are hoping to water a new tree or shrub bed, consider installing a drip system instead of a sprinkler. The drip system slowly delivers water to plants throughout the day, bringing it directly to the roots of the needy plant. Little is wasted with run off or evaporation. 

Use alternative water sources.

Instead of always using water from the city or well, use collected rainwater or grey water first. Keep a rain barrel to catch water from your gutters—use this water for flowers and shrubs. Grey water is water left over from rinsing dishes or taking a bath. Some water may be too soapy to use, but for relatively clean water, collect it in a bucket and take it out to the rain barrel instead of sending it all down the drain. You can easily water plants with "used" water, before relying on clean supply. If possible, you might even try hooking up your drip irrigation system to your rain barrel.


If you are using your irrigation system to keep shrubs and trees moist, help keep the moisture in the ground by putting down a layer of mulch. Mulch traps water in the soil and prevents water loss to evaporation. You'll tend to use less water if your plants are protected by mulch.

For more ideas on how to conserve water with your sprinkler system, contact a landscaper at a company like Wagner SOD Company in your area.