When deciding how to group plants in the landscape and how to lay out the sprinkler system, make sure that each of the valves in the system applies the right amount of water for the plants in that area. This requires that you group plants together according to their water need, that you consider the sun or shade exposure when you establish the valve zones, and that the zones include only one type of sprinkler or drip emitter. Slopes also need special consideration.

How Much Water?

Group plants in zones according to their watering needs:

Established plants need less frequent irrigation than others.

Younger, thirstier plants like shorter, more frequent watering cycles.

Plants in the sun use more water than plants in the shade.

Use separate valves to water low, moderate & high-water-use plants.

Use a separate valve to water plants in shady areas.

Sprinklers & Drip Emitters

Different sprinklers apply water at different rates. Drip emitters deliver a trickle of water more slowly than sprinklers.

Avoid mixing sprinklers and drip emitters on the same valve, or some plants will be too wet while others will be too dry.

Each valve should have only one type of sprinkler.

Banks & Slopes

When sprinklers deliver water to slopes, the water moves toward the bottom.

  • Place the top of the slope on a separate valve so you can set the time to run longer. This minimizes water collection at the bottom.

Group plants into zones according to their water needs. Sun verses shade, thirstier plants versus droughtier plants. use separate valves for each of these zones.

Since water travels down hill, use separate valves for heads at the top of hill and for those heads at the base.Shorten the run time at the base of slope where water will collect from the top-of-hill sprinklers.

Sprinklers are designed to apply different amounts of water. Place different types of sprinklers and drip emitters on separate valves.