Did you remember to change the time on the irrigation timer when changing the time on all the clocks in the house for Daylight Savings time? It doesn’t make that much difference to the plants but you might be surprised by sprinklers or water running an hour off from the usual expected times.
Spring watering schedules:
Mandated watering times can also be changed to three times a week as of March 1stand are effective until the end of April. Many plants are coming out of dormancy now with beautiful displays of flowers and fresh new leaves. All of this new growth will need the extra water provided by 3 times a week watering so check the irrigation schedules to see if they have been reset for spring.
Water Authority Groups:
If you are not sure of your watering group or scheduled days, look at the insert in the water bill or go to this past article that includes some of the website links for Vegas gardeners. (Time for fall garden watering schedules)
Spring is also a good time to run through the cycles on an irrigation system and check for leaks and malfunctions before summer. As the days get hotter water becomes more critical to plant survival and leaks or plugged lines may not be discovered until the plants are damaged.
Run through each valve using the manual setting on your irrigation timer clock. While a valve is running follow the driplines or sprinklers and check that each is working properly, that they are not leaking or plugged and each is delivering the water to the correct location.
Odd shaped areas and fussy plants can be accommodated by using special sprayer or dripper attachments. There are a myriad of sprinkler and drip supplies out there to choose from including an adjustable sprayer nozzle for those areas that don’t fit into a quarter, half or full nozzle water placement. Dripper tubes and ends can be moved around and adjusted for the needs of each plant on a watering valve line.
If the water does not come on even though the timer is working properly, there may be broken wires in the valve box or solenoid malfunctions. Main irrigation valves may also have been turned off during the coldest days to prevent freezing and breaking.
Rain and plant needs:
To date Las Vegas has not officially reached a quarter of one inch of rain so don’t be fooled by a little rain shower into thinking that the plants are getting what they need. Do a little digging deeper into the ground to determine soil moisture and depth and adjust irrigation system accordingly.