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How Many Minutes and How Often Should I Water After My Moisture Manager Application?

Moisture Manager is not a replacement for water. In fact, it does nothing when you water or it rains.

It starts working once the water stops - by extending the drying cycle dramatically, when up to 50% of the water evaporates into the atmosphere.

Once you water the Moisture Manager in, it takes about three weeks to begin working. Water normally for the first three weeks, then you can cut back.

Moisture Manager, you can either water less frequently (because the evaporation that occurs during the drying cycle is transferred as droplets to the plant's roots, so plants don't dry out as fast between waterings), or you could water just as often, but cut back up to 50% of the required water (see the next section) when you do water.

Under normal conditions, lawns need about one inch of water a week to be happy and green.

Here's how to determine how much and how often to water after Moisture Manager:

Or, scroll down to see the Wilt Test

First, you need to know how long your sprinklers would need to run to deliver one inch of water, which is the normal requirement for lawns.

Step 1: Setup and Run

Using a bunch of empty yogurt containers or Dixie cups, distribute the cups all over the lawn, then water for a set amount of time, such as 15 minutes. Go through each zone or station, just like the timer does.

You can water for less time if you want, but you'll get a more accurate reading with a longer run time.

You may want to put five pennies in each cup so they stay upright. Remove the pennies before measuring the water.

Step 2: Measuring the water

Measure the amount of water in the driest cups, ignoring the cups that seem to have twice or three times the amount of water in them. Write down the fraction, such as 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", etc.

Step3: Calculating the minutes

If 15 minutes got you an average of 1/2" water in the driest cups, then 30 minutes would equal 1" of water.

If 10 minutes got you an average of 1/2" water in the driest cups, then 20 minutes would equal 1" of water.

Divide your result by two; water twice a week for that many minutes. This meets the one inch or water requirements for the average lawn.

Once you water the Moisture Manager in, wait three weeks, then reduce your frequency of watering, or cut the run times in half (not both). Set your timer accordingly so you water either less often or for less run time.

We recommend that you water twice a week if you live in California; three times a week if you live in Nevada.
Assigned Watering Days for Nevada Residents
 If your street address is an even number: 
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
 If your street address is an odd number:
Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

You can adjust your sprinklers to water the drier areas more by cutting back on the heads that put out too much water in a given area. Use the test above to determine how long to water, then locate the fullest cups. The heads that cover those wetter areas can be turned down, increasing the pressure to heads that will benefit by the extra water pressure created.

The Wilt Test

Balance your System

Sprinkling systems water unevenly, but they can be adjusted to minimize any imbalances.

Here's how: The next time you water, mark the date, then shut off the timer. Every day, go out and look at the lawn, looking for signs of wilt (the grass looks bluish-green and footsteps remain after five minutes). Before watering again, adjust the sprinklers to apply more water to that area, either by adjusting the individual heads or by adding a minute or so to the station that is responsible for that lawn area.

To adjust individual heads, you need to know which heads are overproducing because of their proximity to other heads. If needed, put out some Dixie cups and water each station (valve) for a few minutes. You'll see where more water falls, and where it's needed more to balance things out.

You can decrease the flow of an individual sprinkler head using the screw on the top (usually) of the head. Reduce any overlapping heads in this fashion; this will increase the pressure to other heads that would benefit by an increase in coverage.

You can operate your valves from outside, if you want, using the air bleed screw on each valve. Some valves don't have a bleed screw, but most do. Expect some squirting water to exit the bleed screw as you slowly unscrew it.

As soon as you hear the valve open, stop unscrewing. To stop the valve, screw in the bleed screw. Be sure not to unscrew the bleed screw too far as it will come out and a jet of water will blast it out of your hand and it will be lost.

Once balanced, go through a normal watering cycle, then shut off the timer again and examine the lawn daily for wilt. Readjust heads (or minutes), then repeat the procedure until you are able to balance things out as evenly as possible (more in the sun).

Doing the wilt test helps you by watering more evenly and watering less because water is not wasted on areas that don't need it. It also shows you how often you should water. Usually, twice a week is often enough.

Mowing your lawn at the tallest possible setting saves lots of water because grass stores water in its blades, and the shade provided keeps the sun from striking the soil.

If water runs off your lawn within the sprinkler cycle, consider having your lawns aerated.

Did you know?
When you water too often, it makes the roots grow closer to the surface.  Roots will not grow deeper if all the water is near the surface.

Watering frequently also promotes weeds. In fact, 80% of crabgrass control is watering. If crabgrass seeds dry out during germination, they die and never become plants.

Watering too often also makes more thatch, as the roots respond to surface water availability and respond by making shallow hair-like roots that eventually die and become thatch.

Moisture Manager should be applied by a professional applicator. For service in your area, call The Drought Buster, your authorized contractor, in the green side bar.

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