UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Monthly Tip

Inspect irrigation and consider graywater

Tip description

Irrigation sprinkler spraying lawn
Adjust timing setup for your sprinkler system as the season changes since more or less supplemental water will be needed. Inspect your irrigation by turning on each watering zone individually while you are there to watch. Check for any leaks in pipes or tubing. Make sure emitters are not clogged. Check the overhead sprinklers to find out if the water is being distributed evenly. Do this by putting tuna or cat food cans throughout the area and seeing if they are uniformly filled. Watch for runoff which could indicate that the sprinklers are not aimed correctly or that they are watering for too long at once without giving time for the water to soak into the soil. Make sure the water is going to the root zones of the plants.

Other things to consider:

  • Use a smart irrigation controller. These help adjust watering based on local conditions. Learn more about smart controllers.
  • Collect water from the shower and uses it to water any plants.
  • Use graywater from garage sinks and washing machines to water ornamentals and lawns. UC has a publication titled Use of Graywater in Urban Landscapes in California.
Months applicable
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • 1. To-do

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