Adjusting your Irrigation System for Cooler Weather

Irrigation systems are the insurance policy for your landscape.

The two systems we use are Manually Operated and Automatically Operated.

A manual system refers to a system that has to be turned on and off by hand while an automatic system is operated with a controller and can tell the system when to turn on and off, what days to water and how long each zone will water.


Most systems contain a back flow valves, main line shut off valves, zone control valves and heads (rotor and mister).

Rotor heads are used to cover large areas of turf or low ornamental planters.  They have the ability to spray 20-30 feet and contain gear driven adjustments that can range from 0 to 360 degrees!

Mister heads are used to cover small areas like planting beds and narrow strips of turf.  They have the same range as rotor heads and can spray from 6-18 feet.  They do not, however, rotate or more like rotor heads.  They saturate small areas quickly with little water waste.

Now, what do you need to do when cooler weather moves into town?  Well, you turn down your irrigation system of course!

We like to use Thanksgiving and Christmas as the reminders for when to perform this task.

If your irrigation system is supplied by county, city or well water, and your pipes were installed properly (12 inches below the ground here in Georgia) you simply need to cut back the frequency of watering on your controller.  If you are watering 5 times a week, cut back to 3 times a week.  If you are watering 3 times a week cut back to 1 time a week around Thanksgiving.  Then when Christmas rolls around you can turn your system completely off for the winter.


If your irrigation system is supplied by a lake or pond and you have exposed pipes then you need to drain the pipes when you turn your system off at Christmas so there is no water in the pipes.  If you omit this step there may be a chance that your pipes could burst due to burst during freezing temperatures.

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