Most homes in the Dallas – Fort Worth area have an automatic irrigation system, but it can be difficult to determine the ideal frequency and duration of time to water your landscape. Keep reading for tips on calculating how often to run your drip irrigation or sprinkler system.
How Often Should I Run My Sprinkler System?
Choosing when and how much to irrigate is the number one question on the minds of Dallas – Fort Worth homeowners. The answer to that question depends on a variety of factors including soil type, plant type, plant maturity, and current weather conditions. To determine when and how much to water our landscapes we have to calculate the evapotranspiration rate (ET).
What is evapotranspiration?
Evapotranspiration is the sum of evaporation from the surface of the soil plus the amount of moisture loss from plant transpiration.
In Texas, the evaporation rate can be substantial, especially during the hot summer months. The process of transpiration occurs when a plant’s roots extract water from the soil which then moves throughout the plant and exits through the stomata in the form of water vapor.
There are five factors that contribute to daily variations in the amount of water required for healthy landscapes; sunlight, wind speed, air temperature, humidity, and soil moisture content.
By calculating the ET rate, we can approximate moisture loss and determine how long and often to run sprinkler systems and drip irrigation lines.
Smart Irrigation Technology
Smart irrigation controllers take the guesswork out of knowing when and how much to water landscapes. These convenient WiFi irrigation controllers pull data from multiple local weather stations to automatically calculate daily ET. In most cases, smart irrigation technology can be added to your existing irrigation system by simply swapping out your old controller and connecting to WiFi. WiFi smart controllers are the most convenient and efficient way to ensure your landscape gets the water it needs while eliminating damage from over or under-watering.