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5 Steps to Take Control of Your Irrigation System

Check irrigation days, times, and program settings to water only as much as plants need

Knowing how to program your automatic irrigation controller, maintain your sprinkler system, and use best landscape practices can help minimize the amount of supplemental irrigation your lawn needs and keep your yard healthy.

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Here are five steps to help you take control of your irrigation, no matter your skill level:

  1. Locate the user manual for your irrigation controller by searching the manufacturer's website. While the general operations are common to most residential irrigation controllers, the steps to access and change settings can vary greatly by brand and model.
  2. If you are not using the controller in manual mode, set the clock or timer to water only as much as plants need. Always check days and run times for compliance with water use restrictions.
  3. Test your irrigation system periodically to make sure it's operating correctly, fix leaks, and maximize efficiency.
  4. Use best mowing practices, including sharp mower blades, to minimize unnecessary water loss in lawns. Dull mower blades inflict severe wounds to grass blades, which increases the potential for infection by turfgrass diseases and reduces water retention.
  5. Get free help from the experts at Hillsborough County Extension for landscape specific issues and questions. Professional horticultural agents and Master Gardeners can assist with inquiries on soil concerns, plant selection, pest identification, irrigation how-to, and more.

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