In this article

  • Learn about the importance of adjusting your irrigation as the seasons change
  • How to adjust your irrigation controller
  • What is a weather smart controller?

As the seasons change, so do the water needs of your lawn and garden. Adjusting your irrigation controller throughout the year ensures your garden is getting the water it needs according to our climate, without wasting a drop.

Seasonal adjustment on your irrigation controller

It’s easy to set and forget when it comes to irrigation, but any good gardener knows that adjusting irrigation throughout the year is the best way to maintain a healthy, waterwise garden. Most irrigation controllers have a seasonal adjustment setting, which makes it easy for you to change your sprinkler run times according to the changing the needs of your garden throughout each season.

Most commonly, the setting works by changing the set watering times by a percentage value. For example, if your run time is 10 minutes at 100%, it would be 8 minutes at 80%. For Perth and the South West, we recommend setting your seasonal adjustment at 100% for January and February only, then gradually decreasing the percentage as the weather cools. If you’re not sure how to do this, find your irrigation controller manual.

Tip: If it’s raining, this is a great opportunity to turn off your sprinklers and let the rains take care of your garden instead. This will help save precious water for the drier months.

Seasonal sprinkler adjustments for Perth and the South West

 
Time of year Seasonal adjustment
January–February 100%
March 80%
April 60%
May Use manually, as necessary
June–August System turned off if you're part of the winter sprinkler switch off
September Use manually, as necessary
October 60%
November 80%
December 90%

 

Seasonal sprinkler adjustments for the North West

Time of year Seasonal adjustment
January–February 90-100%
March 90-100%
April 50%
May 50%
June–August 50%
September 50%
October 90-100%
November 90-100%
December 90-100%

 

Adjusting your irrigation in spring

At the start of spring, it's recommended you run your sprinklers manually on your watering days when you need to. As the weather gets warmer, our recommended seasonal adjustment settings are a useful guide to gradually increase your sprinkler use into summer.

Read a transcript of this video

Why do I need to turn my irrigation off in winter?

During winter, the cooler temperatures and lower evaporation rates mean your plants don’t need as much water. Most lawns also go dormant over winter, making it a good time to switch-off and bank water for later. The winter sprinkler switch off applies between 1 June and 31 August every year for scheme and bore water users in Perth, Mandurah and parts of the South West and Great Southern.

What is a weather smart irrigation controller?

A weather smart irrigation controller is one that uses local weather data to adjust the amount of water that ends up going on your garden, without you having to lift a finger. Basically, a weather smart controller will take care of adjusting watering times according to the local climate and eliminates the need for you to manually adjust as the seasons change.

By only watering as much as your garden needs, you can reduce the amount of water used in your garden by around 15%, while still keeping it healthy all year round.