Best Practices

Check Sprinklers   Once a month inspect the sprinklers while they are working. Check for broken bent or misaligned heads. Also trim back plants that are blocking the sprinkler.

When to Water   The optimum time to water the landscape is between 3:00am and 8:00am. This is because the Sun is down the temperature is cooler, and the wind is generally calm. watering during the day can result in water being lost to evaporation.

Micro-Climates   Plants growing in shade (Zone 1 as well as Zone 6 in Winter) will generally require up to 40% less water then the same plant in full Sun (Zones 2 and 4) The watering schedule should reflect the different micro-climates in the yard.

The backyard has 6 zones:

  1. The North side yard to between the house and the fence which gets little or no direct sun.
  2. The North side of the yard that gets the most sun.
  3. The East side of the yard which gets the afternoon and evening sun.
  4. Grapes sun the entire day
  5. Raised Vegi garden
  6. The South side of the yard afternoon and evening sun and shade along wall.

The rest of the property needs to be watered by hose. 

Seasonal Changes Affect Water Demand

The Day Length and Sun Angle change over the course of the year.

Doesn't it feel like your day gets darker earlier in the Winter then in the Summer? Well in fact it does. In the winter the Sun rises later and sets earlier then in the Summer. June 21, the Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year with just over 14 hours of daylight. December 21, the Winter Solstice, is the shortest day of the year with only about 10 hours of daylight. As the days get shorter the landscape requires less water.

Have you noticed that the Sun doesn't go as high in the sky during the Winter as it does in the Summer? In fact, during December, the Sun is only one third as high in the sky as it is in June. This has to do with the Earth's axis and how the earth rotates around the Sun. So how does this affect the needs of the landscape? When the angle of the Sun is high in the sky, like during the Summer, the sunlight hits the earth more directly, which causes plants to need more water. When the angle of the Sun is lower in the sky, like during Winter, the sunlight hits the earth at a lower angle, which means plants need less water. The means that starting from June to December plants will gradualy need less water.