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Helping the North State with Beautiful Lawns since 1982

Recommendations for How to Irrigate

Typical Irrigation Recommendation

NutriLawn’s mission has always been to educate and guide our clients towards using the best and most efficient practices for their landscapes. Our horticulturally based recommendation for irrigating lawns during the summer months has been to water every other day between 3 am - 7 am for 30 minutes with traditional sprinkler heads or for 60 minutes with low flow heads. Restrictions notwithstanding, this remains the best way to ensure the greatest health of your average North Valley lawn.

Using the Screwdriver Test to Customize Irrigation Times

Some lawns may be able to be watered for a shorter duration - the goal with this schedule is to water to the depth of the root zone, which for cool season lawns is 4”-6” deep. You can use a screwdriver with a blade of this length to determine how long it takes for your irrigation system to infiltrate the soil to this depth - if the water has reached down to the bottom of the roots, you should be able to drive the screwdriver blade all the way to the hilt easily. You can start your irrigation and a timer, and as soon as the blade can easily reach that depth, you know how long your irrigation run time should be set for.

2 Day per Week Schedule

Cal Water has indicated that should their request to move to Stage 2 be approved, irrigating of outdoor landscapes will be limited to two days per week (see the Cal Water mailer for your home’s schedule). There are several exclusions and exemptions for various forms of irrigation (drip & micro-spray systems being the most notable form excluded from the schedule). It is important to note that Cal Water is not currently implementing any water budgets, so you will not be limited in how much you water, merely in when you water. For those who choose to follow Cal Water’s 2 day per week schedule, you will need to make up the water deficit caused by the shortened schedule by watering longer on the days that you do irrigate - start with 45 minutes each day for traditional sprinklers and 90 minutes each day for low flow sprinklers.

Switch Cal Water Days

It has also been brought to our attention that one of our clients was concerned that their Cal Water assigned watering days conflicted with their mow day and when they contacted Cal Water, they were approved to switch watering days. If this is something of concern for you and your household, you might consider reaching out to Cal Water to discuss whether this is an option for you as well. You can reach them at (530) 893-6300.