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If You Could Turn Back Time … Wait, You Can!

Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 7. Remember to adjust the clock on your irrigation controller too.

Fall brings on many changes: cool, more satisfying temperatures, less pollen and most importantly, less work in the landscape.

One of the most important changes is the turning back of all our clocks — including the one on your irrigation system controller. While you’re adjusting the controller clock, it’s also a good time to fine-tune the settings for the dormant season, aka no watering necessary.

Plants don’t need the water they did in summertime. Days are shorter, there’s less sunshine and many plants lose their leaves in preparation for dormancy. As a result, less moisture evaporates from the soil. Although plant roots continue to grow at a snail’s pace throughout winter, they don’t require a lot of hydration.

Cut run times on the controller by two thirds or use the seasonal adjust setting to decrease all the times to 20 percent or even 10 percent.

Also, 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.

Extra or stacked times can quadruple your average water use.

Not sure how to accomplish all of this? SAWS offers free WaterSaver irrigation consultations. Call 210-704-SAVE (7283) to schedule an appointment.

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. 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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