Get ready to turn back time

Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 6. Remember to adjust the clock on your irrigation controller too.

Eventually fall brings many changes: cool temperatures, less pollen and most importantly, less work in the landscape.

One important landscape task that remains is the adjustment of our irrigation system clocks and the replacement of the 9-volt battery. And while you’re adjusting the controller clock, it’s also a good time to fine-tune the settings for the dormant season, aka “limited or no watering season.”

Plants do not require the same amount of water during the dormant season as they did during the summer. Days are shorter, there’s less sunshine. and many plants lose their leaves in preparation for dormancy. As a result, less water is required by plants, and more moisture remains in the soil. Although their roots continue to grow at a snail’s pace throughout winter, plant roots do not require a lot of hydration.

Therefore, reduce the run times on the controller by 75 percent or use the seasonal adjust setting to decrease the run times to 20 percent, preferably 10 percent. If you wish to run the irrigation manually, then use our recommended holiday method and choose three holidays during the dormant season to run your system.

As a reminder, when your system does run, always make sure your controller isn’t running unnecessary programs or start times. Most in-ground sprinkler system controllers need only one start time to run an entire series of zones. Watch our special video to prevent easy homeowner mistakes.

As a final reminder, winter averaging begins in mid-November. Save as much water as you can during the dormant season to save the most money you can on your sewer bill during the rest of the year.

Unsure about your controller. SAWS offers free irrigation consultations. Call 210-704-SAVE (7283) to schedule an appointment today.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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