"How much do I need to water?" You are not alone in asking this question.
The answer: "It depends" based on your soil type, plants and their water needs, and your irrigation system.

Header photo credit: Saxon Holt, PhotoBotanic, photobotanic.com

Soil, plants, and water

Your irrigation systems will be even more successful when they are structured to work with your soil and plant types.

When you know your soil type, you can select the right irrigation equipment to prevent water waste and keep it from running off your landscape and into the storm drain system.

When you understand your plants’ water needs, you can keep them healthy by programming your system to water in the amount, frequency and depth needed to support their root zones. Learn how to do this at Scheduling your irrigation controller.

In addition to the resources below, check out Build Healthy Living Soils to dig into the important relationship between healthy soil and water efficiency.

Digging up the Dirt on Soils

Healthy soil supports healthy plants. Watch this video to learn how to improve your soil so it functions at its best.

WaterSmart Irrigation: The Soil and Water Relationship

Water is a valuable resource, and its efficient use depends a lot on your soil type. Learn about this relationship and how to match irrigation equipment with your soil type to give your plants the water they need.

How much water does each plant need?

With this web application, you can quickly find out how much water each plant requires throughout the year depending on its current size.

How much water does your garden REALLY need to thrive?

Here you’ll learn some simple solutions to have a beautiful garden that doesn’t waste water.

Check out our Workshops page to learn about upcoming classes and recorded presentations.

Scheduling your irrigation controller

Give your controller some love. Don’t just “set it and forget it.” Irrigation controllers can be powerful tools to use water efficiently. Check your controller each season to make sure it’s functioning properly. Use the resources below to learn how to set your irrigation run times in a way that applies the right amount of water for each season to keep your garden healthy and beautiful.

Irrigation Watering Schedule

Using this year-round schedule provided by Roseville’s Water Efficiency team, simply select the season and whether you’re using sprinklers or drip irrigation. The rest is done for you!

Sacramento Region Smart Irrigation Scheduler

By entering a few bits of information about your landscape and irrigation system, this web application lets you tailor your controller’s schedule based on the current weather.

When to Water Landscape Irrigation Scheduler

This is a free, fun, and easy-to-use scheduler for creating a schedule specifically for your landscape, including drawing in your hydrozones. (Plants grouped by their water needs and watered on separate valves or zones are called hydrozones.) Watch this tutorial to get started now!

Irrigation systems & equipment

The great thing about irrigation systems is that there are many options when it comes to equipment. The not-so-great thing is that it can be overwhelming to sort through all the options and figure out how to install them once selected. We’re here to help. Visit Roseville’s Gardening Workshops webpage for a wealth of information in these how-to videos.

What makes up an irrigation system? Let’s break down the parts with videos from the Eco-Friendly Landscape Design Plans for the New California Landscape:





Want more information? Check out these resources:

Controllers: The Brains of the Irrigation System

When it comes to controllers (also called timers or clocks), there are many options. A controller is basically a timing device that operates each irrigation zone (valve) for a predetermined time and frequency. Whether you want a super simple controller or a more sophisticated, high-tech one, we promise, there is one that’s perfect for your needs. Manufacturers often have instructional videos to help you decide which controller is best for you. Let’s start with some descriptions of controllers.

Smart Controller – An automatic controller that is weather- or soil-moisture based and automatically adjusts watering times in response to seasonal weather or soil moisture changes. They have the ability to prevent your sprinklers from watering when it rains and increase the frequency and/or duration of watering in warmer weather. Advancements include the ability to manage your controller using a web-based application you can operate with your cell phone.


Multi-Station Controller with Upgrade Capability – These controllers may be powered by AC or battery and compatible for adding sensors that can shut off the system when it starts to rain.

Single Port Dial Timer – These timers attach to your hose bib (outside faucet). They can be programmed, battery operated, and some include a rain-delay feature. Watch this How to Install a Hose Bib Irrigation System video that will step you through the process.


Drip Irrigation Resources

City of Roseville Gardening Workshops, webinars, and how-to videos.

Visit the Gardening Workshops webpage for a wealth of information. New resources are added, so be sure to check back from time-to-time.

Netafim Dripline Design Guide

Using Drip Irrigation in Your Garden with OSU Master Gardeners

Spray Irrigation Resources

Hunter Residential Sprinkler System Design and Installation Guide

Orbit Sprinkler System Designer Preparation Guide

Water-Efficient Sprinkler Conversions

Convert Sprinklers to Drip

Rain Bird Spray-to-Drip Retrofit Kit

Sprinkler Rotary Nozzles Step-by-Step Instructions by the City of Santa Monica


Maintain & repair irrigation systems

With any equipment you use, you want it to function to optimum capacity, right? Well, your irrigation system is the same. Its component parts must be monitored and repairs made as soon as possible to keep it in tip-top shape.

To start, call upon your Roseville Water Efficiency experts to help. Sign up online for a free Water Wise House Calls or call (916) 774-5761. They’ll evaluate your irrigation and drainage system, check for leaks, develop an irrigation schedule for your controller, provide helpful water-saving tips, information about rebates, and more! Remember: Every drop counts.

City of Roseville Gardening Workshops, webinars, and how-to videos.

Visit the Workshops page for a wealth of information. New resources are added, so be sure to check back from time-to-time.

Sprinklers & Drip

Sprinkler Maintenance

Springtime Sprinkler Tune-Up Checklist

Irrigation Checklist (Sprinklers & Drip)


Troubleshooting Your Irrigation Control System with a Volt Ohm Meter


How Do Irrigation Control Valves Work?

How to Replace an Irrigation Valve

Turning Off Systems

Drought? Consider This Before You Stop Watering!