1. If any of your electronic irrigation controllers and tap timers are behaving in an erratic way it's time to borrow an old saying " have a lie down and a Bex". In other words turn the power off, go and have a 15 minute cup of tea then turn the power on again. This give time for everything to cool down and reset when the power is switched on again.
2. Sprinkler checks are needed at the very least on a weekly basis.
3. Try to organise your watering early in the morning even just before dawn. At this time the soil is cool and there is virtually no loss through evaporation.
4. One of the most common problems with programming irrigation controllers is setting up a new start time for each station. This is not only unnecessary it can also send the system into a spasm and result in a lot of wasted water. Only one start time is needed as after the first station has completed its time each of the remaining stations come on sequentially.
5. Do you have a plan of your reticulation system including the location of pipes and solenoid valves. If not but you do have some knowledge its a great idea to write it down so there is a record. I tend to store mine in the controller itself so I can readily find it. It's always handy to see it on paper as the memory can fade.
6. If your plants are drooping on a hot day or your lawn is suddenly looking a blue colour rather than the usual green it's a sign of wilting. A short burst of water even in the middle of the day can help to keep the plants alive and reduce the shock of severe dehydration leading to growth halts. Don't be afraid to spray water on the foliage the fear that you might burn the leaves by some magnifier effect is an "old husbands tale", otherwise know as balderdash.
7. When installing sprinklers on a sloping piece of ground or lawn remember that gravity will reduce the spread of the sprinkler on the uphill part of the throw. It will also extend it on the downhill side. This means the sprinkler needs to be closer to the top of the slope . Also set the riser up so that it is perpendicular to the actual slope as this will result in a more even spread without the problem of excavating a hole along the top edge of the spray pattern.
8. Can you tunnel under garden paths when setting up an irrigation system. The answer is yes. Dig a trench with side of the path in a line. Take a piece of PVC pipe that longer than the path is wide. Attach this to a hose, turn the water on and work it back and forth under the path till it pops out in the trench on the other side. Replace this with a length of PVC or Poly pipe and you have done the job.
9. When planning your sprinkler lines in a hilly or sloping garden try to set sprinklers that are at the same height in other words work across the slope. When you have sprinklers on the same line that run up a slope the one at the top of the line gets least water whereas the one at the bottom gets more to the point of flooding. Gravity at work again.
10. Where fixed sprinklers on risers are in positions where they can be knocked by pedestrians or mowers at the edge of beds remove a piece of PVC pipe and replace with Poly which can allow you a small amount of 'give'.