We have assembled a few basic tips with regard to programming your irrigation start times and run times for the Gauteng region of South Africa.
Quikgrow Irrigation recommends a start time before sunrise or after sunset. This is done to avoid water loss due to evaporation during the course of the hot summer days. To optimise plant growth Quikgrow would recommend watering in the morning and in the evening, thus splitting your total watering time in two.
The start time for irrigation must be after sunrise, so that you do not damage the landscape by adding water which will freeze when it comes in contact with vegetation. Irrigating after sunrise will in fact help to wash frost off your lawn and unprotected garden areas. Low evaporation rates mean that watering, even in the late morning is not a problem. A split run time is not recommended in winter.
As a general rule Quikgrow Irrigation recommends a run time of 15 minutes every second day for the flower bed zones and a run time of 20 minutes every second day for the lawn zones. As above a splitting the run time into two cycles promotes plant growth.
On a particularly hot summers day where the temperature exceeds 30 deg C, an extra manual cycle of 5 to 10 minutes is per zone advisable on a non-watering day in the late afternoon. This helps to prevent wilting of the plants and burning of the grass.
The run time for irrigation should be 1/3rd less as the evaporation rates are not as high. Must be after sunrise, so that you do not damage the landscape by adding water which will freeze when it comes in contact with vegetation. Irrigating after sunrise will in fact help to wash frost off your lawn and unprotected garden areas.