There’s a more efficient way to water that prevents water waste and is better for the health of your lawn. Cycle and soak is a method of irrigation where water is applied in multiple shorter cycles. This allows the water to soak into the soil before running off, promoting deeper roots and healthier plants.
Simply take the total time for each zone and divide it into multiple cycles. For example, instead of watering a single zone for 15 minutes, set your sprinklers to water three times at 5 minutes. As a general rule, 30 minutes is all you need to wait before running the next cycle.
Cycle and soak not only eliminates runoff, it provides more water to the roots. The first cycle will break the surface tension of the soil and allow the water to penetrate. The second cycle is absorbed even further into the soil, reaching the roots. The third cycle allows additional absorption, filling the root zone, and promoting a healthier landscape. For sloped areas, additional cycles may be beneficial.