Unless you are an irrigation professional, have been educated by one, or are self-educated, this method of watering is going to seem a bit out of the ordinary. Management Allowed Depletion (more affectionately known as MAD) is the correct way to water your lawn, as it promotes root growth, reduces watering frequency, and results in a healthier, more drought-tolerant landscape. Good news, right? But what does it all mean, and how is it applied to your lawn specifically? We will do our best to outline all of this as quickly and straightforward as possible.
With MAD, your lawn is watered when needed - not just on whatever reoccurring day of the week is convenient. MAD promotes waiting until the soil has had a chance to dry out before watering (not watering your lawn for the sake of watering your lawn). MAD is the practice of allowing soil moisture to deplete to managed levels before watering again. So, how do we accomplish this?
We are gathering the following information from each zone; soil type (available water capacity), nozzle precipitation rate (nozzle type), managed allowed depletion, and crop type (root zone depth) and kicking out zone durations that we believe are appropriate. Then, based on the weather station that your controller is utilizing (whether that be an official station or a personal station), we are gathering the following data on a zone by zone basis:
- Evapotranspiration levels
- Minimum and Maximum Temperature
- Solar Radiation
- Relative Humidity
Couple all of this together and we will determine when your zones need to run, and how frequently. Due to the fact that flex schedules run zones on different days due to their unique characteristics, often times the calendar might look like it is watering more frequently than it actually is. Meaning you may see a watering event every day of the week, which is the case, but that does not mean that all of your zones are running each and every day. More than likely there is some combination of zones running to replenish the soil, making sure that they staying above the allowed depletion level.
Here are some of the main takeaways:
- Flex schedules allow for the soil moisture in your zones to deplete to managed levels before watering is needed.
- Flex schedules typically water less frequently and for longer durations.
- There are no established day/dates with Flex schedules. Scheduled dates may change based on the forecasted weather.
- During times of extreme heat ET levels will be much higher therefore zones will need to be run more often to replenish the moisture that is leaving.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We have a dedicated support team that is ready and willing to help with any questions you may have.