Irrigation Cycle and Soak

Some irrigation systems apply water faster than the ground will absorb. This is especially true in lawn areas with compacted clay soil. To avoid water running off the landscape into the street, you may need to run these stations several short times instead of one long time. Use cycle and soak method to:

  1. Determine how long to run each zone. (see Catch Can Test)
  2. Water each station in 2 or 3 short cycles instead of 1 long cycle by setting several start times.
  3. Set multiple start times 30 to 60 minutes after last station runs to allow water to soak into soil between cycles.

Most irrigation controllers have a way to set different start times. If you have trouble programming your controller, visit the irrigation controller company’s web site or contact their customer service   for instructions for cycle and soak. Some newer controllers have a cycle and soak setting, so this may be a good time to upgrade your irrigation controller.

Irrigation controller box
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