As discussed in the previous blog, programming the controller is one of the keys to a successful garden.

Details Landscape Art designs and builds drop dead gorgeous gardens, with thoughtful plant selection. Irrigating this plant material accurately will ensure long-term health and beauty.

For illustrative purposes we will make some assumptions. First, we will be using the Raindial HR6100 6-station Indoor Controller. irrigation system controller

Second, we will assume that the garden has two valves that operate the lawn sprinklers (which we will wire to input screws 1 and 2, and one drip irrigation valve which will be number 3. Then we will assume there is a vegetable garden valve we will connect to number four. So there are four valves in total. We will also assume that the lawn and plant material is at least somewhat established, since the programming the controller for brand new material is different.

Each type of plant material (lawn, plants and veggies) has a different watering requirement, hence different valves. So since we need different sets of instructions for each type, we use a different Program on the controller.

We generally use Program A for lawns. So setting the upper left ‘A B C’ (program) button to ‘A’, we then go down to the bottom center button and set it in the center for ‘SET PROGRAMS’. Spin the large center dial so the arrow points to (VALVE RUN TIME) 1, and hit the + button in the upper right until the display reads 15 minutes. Then set the same 15 minutes for VALVE 2. Valves 3, 4, 5, and 6 should be set to 0 minutes, since they are not part of the Program A lawn program. Now move the center dial to the ‘START TIMES’ section. Set START TIME ‘1’ to 5:00am. We like the lawn sprinklers to spray early in the morning when it’s not windy. Hopefully no one in the home is showering or running the dishwasher or washing machine at that hour. If so, make START TIME 1 earlier. Using the Skip Days function on the large center dial, set it to 3 with the + button. This sets Program A to water every 3 days, which is ideal in the normal Sonoma County summer dry season.

Then with the function button still at ‘SET PROGRAMS’, we’ll use Program B for the drip irrigation valve (3). Move the A B C program button to ‘B’, and spin the large center dial to VALVE number 3. Using the + button in the upper right corner, set VALVE 3 for 30 minutes. Then make sure Valves 1,2,4,5 and 6 are set to zero since they are not part of the Program B drip program. Set START time 1 for any convenient time of day when nobody is showering, etc. Then set the Skip Days function to 3, 4 or 5 days, depending on how mature and established the plants are.

We’ll use Program C for the vegetable garden valve (4). Move the A B C program button to C, and spin the large center dial to VALVE number 4. Set VALVE 4 for 10 minutes. Set the START TIME 1 for any convenient time of day, and set the Skip Days indicator to 1 or 2.

Go ahead and spin the large dial to CURRENT TIME and set the current time of day.

So now the controller is set to water the lawns (Program A) every three days at 5:00am for fifteen minutes; the drip will water the plant material (Program B) for thirty minutes every 3, 4 or 5 days at a time the homeowner selects; the veggies (Program C) will be watered for ten minutes every day or two at a convenient time.

Programming the controller is now completed – except for one very important last step…move the function button (bottom center) all the way to the right to RUN OR MANUAL, so the controller will run the programs!