Re-setting the sprinklers

Here’s a step-back view of the scene. It was windy. Water was blowing completely over the white cars on the right. It was peak customer time at the restaurant. It’s time to reset the timers. Click image for larger view.

If you have an automatic sprinkler system it’s not as easy as “set and forget.” It still calls for a little human brainpower from time to time.

My wife and I ate at our favorite Frisco restaurant a few evenings ago (still hoping to beat the crowds since we’d just gotten our Moderna boosters).

As we left at 5:45, this is the sight that greeted us in the parking lot. Winds of 25 mph were blowing this water completely over the cars on the right side. Pity anyone who had windows down. Really pity anyone who had 7 p.m. tickets to a ballgame or theater somewhere across town and had to go there in wet clothes. We were just going home.

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So that’s when I decided this would make a good topic:

Things to check on your sprinkler system…

Look at the clocks to be sure they’re all running at the right time. Maybe the power’s been out and the clocks didn’t have enough battery backup to keep themselves ticking. Maybe the clock change this coming weekend from DST to CST will throw them off. Whatever the case, reset your timers as needed.

If you have St. Augustine or zoysia (both susceptible to brown patch fungus, also called “large patch” by Texas A&M turf specialists), consider changing the run times for early mornings instead of evenings. Don’t leave your grass wet at night. That encourages development of diseases.

If it’s been several months since you checked each station for broken, blocked or misaligned heads, have someone run it through a 2-minute test of each station so you can determine any minor repairs you might need to make. Better to make them soon, before it turns any colder.

If you don’t have a freeze guard on your system, prepare to put it in the “Manual” mode for the winter so that you’ll be the one who decides when the sprinklers will run. Most automatic systems run more often than necessary during the cool months anyway, and we Texans need to save every possible drop of irrigation water. Conservation begins with careful watering.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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