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Drip irrigation surrounded by purple flowers

Drip irrigation tips

Longer run times and slower delivery rates make drip irrigation systems perfect for keeping desert plants healthy while complying with mandatory watering restrictions.

Make sure your irrigation clock allows different settings for drip and sprinkler stations to maximize your landscape's potential while minimizing its water use.

Because drip irrigation delivers water slower than sprinkler irrigation, it's needed less frequently.

Season Frequency
Winter 1 day per week or less
Spring and fall 2 days per week
Summer 3 days per week

The length of each watering depends on the flow of your drip emitters.

Emitter flow Length of each watering
Up to 20 gallons per hour 12 minutes
Up to 4 gallons per hour 30 minutes
Up to 2 gallons per hour 60 minutes
Up to 1 gallon per hour 90 minutes

To figure out how quickly water flows (gallons per hour) from your drip emitters, see how long it takes to fill a tablespoon.

Rate of flow Time taken
1 gallon per hour 14 seconds
2 gallons per hour 7 seconds
4 gallons per hour 4 seconds

Other tips

  • Check your drip irrigation system regularly for breaks, clogs, and missing parts.
  • Spot check emitters frequently to ensure they are releasing the proper amount of water.
  • Flush the drip irrigation lines and filters at least twice a year by finding and opening the "end cap" on your drip line and briefly running the system to flush out any debris.