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How Much? How Long?

Your outdoor monthly water budget is based on the square footage of your irrigated landscape and the amount of water necessary to maintain a healthy landscape that is comprised of 60% warm season turf and 40% drought tolerant landscape.

If most of your landscape is lawn and you maintain a regular watering schedule with inefficient sprinklers, you will likely be over your allocation and your water bill will go up.

The schedules below are a suggested weekly watering schedule for drip irrigation for drought-tolerant landscape, as well as for traditional spray-head irrigation.

Start with this schedule and adjust the times only if your plants show signs of stress.

Irrigation Schedules

Drip Irrigation Schedules
Rainbird XFD Emmiter Spacing 18''
Row Spacing 18''
0.6 GPH/PR=0.43''
Emmiter Spacing 12''
Row Spacing 18''
0.9 GPH/PR=0.96''
Month Drought Tolerant Plants
(Moderate Water Use Kc-.5)
Drought Tolerant Plants
(Moderate Water Use Kc=.5)
Jan 2 days, 1 cycle of 56 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 22 min
Feb 1 day, 1 cycle of 56 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 25 min
Mar 2 days, 1 cycle of 39 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 17 min
Apr 2 days, 1 cycle of 47 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 21 min
May 2 days, 1 cycle of 56 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 25 min
Jun 3 days, 1 cycle of 37 min 3 days, 1 cycle of 16 min
Jul 3 days, 1 cycle of 38 min 3 days, 1 cycle of 17 min
Aug 3 days, 1 cycle of 39 min 3 days, 1 cycle of 17 min
Sep** 2 days, 1 cycle of 48 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 22 min
Oct** 2 days, 1 cycle of 27 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 16 min
Nov 1 day, 1 cycles of 54 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 24 min
Dec 1 day, 1 cycle of 44 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 20 min
NETAFIM Techline CV
NETAFIM
Techline
CV
Emmiter Spacing 18''
Row Spacing 18''
0.4 GPH/PR=0.3''
Emmiter Spacing 12''
Row Spacing 18''
0.6 GPH/PR=0.65''
Month Drought Tolerant Plants
(Moderate Water Use Kc-.5)
Drought Tolerant Plants
(Moderate Water Use Kc=.5)
Jan 2 days, 1 cycle of 72 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 33 min
Feb 1 day, 1 cycle of 80 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 37 min
Mar 2 days, 1 cycle of 56 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 26 min
Apr 2 days, 1 cycle of 67 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 31 min
May 2 days, 1 cycle of 81 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 37 min
Jun 3 days, 1 cycle of 53 min 3 days, 1 cycle of 24 min
Jul 3 days, 1 cycle of 55 min 3 days, 1 cycle of 25 min
Aug 3 days, 1 cycle of 56 min 3 days, 1 cycle of 26 min
Sep** 2 days, 1 cycle of 69 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 32 min
Oct** 2 days, 1 cycle of 52 min 2 days, 1 cycle of 24 min
Nov 1 day, 1 cycles of 78 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 36 min
Dec 1 day, 1 cycle of 63 min 1 day, 1 cycle of 29 min
Sprinkler System Schedule
Month Turfgrass Drought Tolerant Plants % Option***
Jan 2 days, 2 cycles of 2 minutes 1 days, 2 cycles of 3 min 30%
Feb 2 days, 2 cycles of 3 minutes 1 day, 2 cycles of 3 min 30%
Mar 3 days, 2 cycles of 3 minutes 2 days, 2 cycles of 3 min 50%
Apr 3 days, 2 cycles of 4 minutes 2 days, 2 cycles of 4 min 70%
May 3 days, 3 cycles of 3 minutes 2 days, 3 cycles of 3 min 80%
Jun 3 days, 2 cycles of 5 minutes 3 days, 2 cycles of 3 min 100%
Jul 4 days, 3 cycles of 3 minutes 2 days, 3 cycles of 4 min 100%
Aug 4 days, 3 cycles of 3 minutes 2 days, 3 cycles of 4 min 100%
Sep** 4 days, 2 cycles of 3 minutes 2 days, 2 cycles of 4 min 70%
Oct** 3 days, 2 cycles of 3 minutes 2 days, 2 cycles of 3 min 50%
Nov 2 days, 2 cycles of 3 minutes 1 day, 2 cycles of 4 min 40%
Dec 3 days, 2 cycles of 2 minutes 1 day, 2 cycles of 3 min 30%

Schedules assume heavy clay soils common to most of IRWD's service area. Generally, these are the MAXIMUM times you will need for full sun areas. Start with this schedule and adjust the times only if your plants show signs of stress. If stress occurs only in isolated areas, check the operation of your irrigation system before adjusting the times.

*By "cycling" the irrigation controller to turn on for the recommended number of minutes an hour apart, deeper watering and healthier root growth are gained, while runoff is reduced.

** In September, plants' water needs drop by approximately 30 percent even if the temperature is hotter, because the days are shorter, so evaporation decreases. Also plants begin to go into a dormant phase where they need less water. In some years, humidity is also higher, increasing your level of discomfort, but decreasing plants' water needs as it slows the rate of evaporation. This rapid drop in water needs will continue in October and November.

***Some irrigation controllers have a feature by which the watering times can be set by changing the percentages instead of specifically entering the days, cycles and minutes.