Weathermatic Controller Basics


To program or adjust your irrigation controller you will need to think through a few items.  You will want to know what area each zone waters.  Usually this is written in your manual inside the controller.  Then you will want to determine when, how long and which days you want to water each zone. Some basic starting point would be…

  • Turf lawn 20 minutes on rotors and 10 minutes on sprays
  • Drip on shrubs 30 minutes
  • Native areas 20 minutes on rotors and 10 on sprays

After you have determined this you can then group the zones that need the same days watering and start time into  a program.   Then enter start time and days per program.  Each zone with in the program will be ran in succession at the start time programmed  on the days requested but the run time for each zone will be different as per programmed in zone run times.  An example would be..

  • Program  A for turf lawn areas-every other day in spring and daily in July and August, start at 5am
  • Program B for drip on shrubs-once a week or 2 times a week in July and Aug, start at 4 am
  • Program C for native areas-2 times a week, start at 8am

Careful!  You only need ONE start time per program but will need zone run times for each zone.  If you find that you would like a second start time for the program due to excessive heat in July or Aug you can then add  a pm start time or one very early am.  We recommend watering in the early morning hours just before sun rise to reduce evaporation but all reduce the amount of time before the sun will dry the leaves as to reduce mold issues.

Once you have programmed your controller or adjusted it make notes as to what you have done so that you will be able to refine your landscapes needs.

If you have the Auto Adjust setting you will need to have all the information programmed on the left side of the dial.  When we install the sensor we fill in this information and it is saved in your controller.  Adjustments you may want to  play with is the Add/Subtract.  This is how you can inform the sensor to increase or reduce the watering time it determines with the information it is accumulating.  If you adjust the zone run time it will NOT affect the end result, you must adjust in the Add/Subtract section.  The Auto Adjust listens to the days you tell it to water and the start time but it determine the watering time on the weather data and past watering times.

If your Auto Adjust or Sensor show orange or red this means that the watering is on hold due to weather.  To determine if you have communication between the sensor and the panel look for the antenna icon in the bottom, middle of the display.  If the controller will not go into Auto Adjust mode it may be due to lack of communication  or due to missing information.

For more information check out the You Tube videos or look up the trouble codes in the manual inside you panel



Weathermatic Auto Adjust Setting


Weathermatic Controller Videos


Instant Grasstification, now what?

1. First day watering – Check your new sod a few hours after it has been laid by walking on it. If you make deep footprints, it has enough water. If the soil is firm, lift a corner of the sod to inspect. The soil on the back of the sod should be damp to wet. If it is not damp, water at least 30 minutes. If you have a sprinkler system run a manual cycle again until it is damp.
2. Second through fifth day watering – Check your lawn at least one time per day or more than once if it is hot or windy. Walk on the new lawn and inspect it. If the soil is soft and you make deep footprints, or water has puddled in areas, it is too wet and you should stop watering for awhile and reduce the amount of future watering. If the soil is firm, lift a corner of several pieces of sod. The soil should be damp, not dripping wet or dusty dry. Areas where the grass has wilted or turned straw color have not received enough water. Water more often to correct this. Under watered sod usually will turn green again in seven days or so if corrective measures were taken soon enough. Temperatures above 80 generally mean more water is needed, and below 60 mean less water is needed. In the cooler months of March, April, October and November, sod needs much less water.

3. Further watering – After five days or so, the soil has soaked up water like a sponge and you must reduce your watering habits. Begin stretching out the time between watering.
4. Mowing – Mow your new grass when it needs it. Arrange it so you do not water just before mowing to prevent the making of footprints.
5. Fertilization – Do not apply any fertilizer for at least three weeks after installation. Then, fertilize by the program you have selected.
6. Herbicides – Do not apply any crabgrass herbicides for at least one year after installation.

Long term sod care
1. Mowing – From May through mid September, mow at 2 ½ to 3 inches high. From mid September through November, gradually lower the height of each mowing to a final height of 1 ½ inches. Mowing short all year long is bad for your grass.
2. Clippings – It is an option not to collect clippings. Clippings do not add to the thatch but do recycle nutrients to the soil.
3. Watering – Most people tend to over water, even if they have an automatic sprinkler system. Lawns usually need to be watered only from June through early September. During these months, a lawn may need 1-1 ½ inches of water per week, depending on soil type, rooting depth and rainfall received. Water when the soil is dry 5 inches deep, not when a timer says so or when other people water. Water long enough to wet the soil 5 inches deep and wait to water again until the soil is dry down 5 inches. This is watering deeply and infrequently, ten or twenty minutes of watering daily on a healthy lawn is wrong and will cause serious problems. This encourages hardier grass with a deeper root system. You can use a garden trowel or screwdriver to dig or poke in the ground to determine how dry the soil is. How long you water to wet down 5 inches depends on how much your system applies. Experiment with your system to see how much it applies. A lawn can be watered anytime of the day, but it is best to avoid watering in the late afternoon and early evening.
4. Fertilization – It is important to fertilize by a program, whether you hire the work done or do it yourself. Contact one of the many commercial applicators or visit one of the stores in the area that sell a fertilizer program.
Finding an exact match of the numbers on the bag is not essential. If you have extra high expectations for your lawn, it is a good idea to have your soil tested periodically to see if any specific nutrients are needed.


Kalispell Mow Crew

Kalispell CrewChason is back and running the show in Kalispell.  He’s got a new sidekick Caitlin.  These two are great!  Chason loves feed back and would like to know what he can do for you.

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