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Saving Money and Your Lawn

Did you know that the average suburban American lawn receives about 10,000 gallons of irrigated water (not rainwater) a year? That's about 30% of your total household usage. Much of this water is wasted through poor irrigation practices. By watering wisely, you can save money and enjoy a beautiful lawn.

Many new Elk Grove homes are preinstalled with sprinkler systems, complete with automatic irrigation controllers. Controllers are valuable tools in maintaining both a beautiful lawn and a reasonable water bill. Take the time to learn how to use this equipment to best advantage.

Controllers are usually first programmed by the home's landscaper, who sets it for the maximum benefit to a new lawn. After a few months, established lawns need much less water, so homeowners can easily save on water bills by adjusting the sprinkler systems. In fact, allowing your lawn to "stress" between waterings encourages root growth and a healthier lawn.

Tips for Using your Controller Wisely

  • Use your controller to water for short periods in two cycles. For example, instead of watering your lawn for eight minutes, set your controller for two cycles, first to water for four minutes and then another four minutes a half hour later. This will give the dense clay soil that we have here in Elk Grove some time to absorb the first soaking before the second is applied. It reduces runoff, so your water goes where you want it to...into the ground, not onto your pavement.
  • Learn how to use all of the features of your automatic irrigation controller, including the rain sensor and time adjustments.
  • To minimize evaporation, do not water between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Maintain your sprinkler heads and valves and check your system regularly. Don't mix different types of sprinkler heads. Different products will irrigate at different rates and you'll end up with uneven results.