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Pro Tips for Sprinkler Run Times: Irrigation Schedule for Minneapolis Lawns


Okay, everybody who knows your lawn’s evaporation transpiration rate, raise your hand.

This is exciting!

Wait, nobody? Seriously?

Actually, don’t feel bad. Nobody knows their lawn’s evaporation transpiration rate.

If you did, that would make this whole “how long should my sprinkler run?” question easier.

Instead, when it comes to sprinkler run times in Minneapolis, things get a bit complicated.

Let’s explain.

How Long Should Sprinklers Run in Minneapolis?

Everybody wants to know how long their sprinklers should run. We get it.

But you might need to run your sprinkler for five minutes or 60 minutes, depending on your yard’s unique conditions, the weather, the time of year, and other factors.
Proper lawn sprinkler system run timesSorry, but there’s no such thing as a universal watering rule for everybody.

Your goal should be an inch of water per week, and that includes any rain that falls. But lots of different factors affect how long you should actually water your lawn to get that inch.

What type of soil do you have? Are you watering just lawn, or plants, too? Are you on a slope? In the shade, or full sun? What type of sprinkler heads do you have?

All these factors come into play when it comes to sprinkler run times for Minneapolis.

If your soil is clay, you’ll water differently than if your soil is sand. You might water 40 minutes to an hour if you have sandy soil, but just 15 minutes if you have clay.

If you have rotor irrigation heads on a zone, that revolve as they water, you might need 30 minutes of water.

But some spray heads deliver more water, so that zone might need just 10 minutes.
Irrigation crew showing sprinkler system set up to customerSee what we mean? One size definitely does not fit all.

Your best bet? Hire a skilled and knowledgeable irrigation company to help you assess your particular lawn and create an irrigation plan perfect for its needs.

What’s the Best Time to Water Lawns in Minneapolis?

Phew, this question is a lot easier to answer.

Wrap up your watering as close to sunrise as possible.If sunrise is at 6 a.m., you should be done watering at 6.

Why? A few reasons:

  • Wind typically picks up as the day goes on. You don’t want your precious water droplets to blow away.
  • The sun will cause your water to evaporate before it can soak into your soil.
  • When water droplets land on your grass, they act like tiny magnifying glasses and can cause the sun to burn your grass.

A Few Irrigation Pro Tips for Minneapolis

Yes, figuring out irrigation run times is tricky, with so many factors involved.

But there are some pro tips to help:

Use Common Sense

Some rules just make sense. Water more when it’s hot and dry. Water less when it’s cool and rainy.

Usually, you’ll need to water less in the spring than in summer. But even that isn’t a given. This spring Minneapolis had a whopper of a drought. More watering.

Sprinkler Run Times: Update Your Controller Timer for the Season

Some people set their controller timers and just forget them.

That’s fine when you turn your irrigation on for the season, set for cool and rainy spring weather.

Suddenly it’s July, 90 degrees, it hasn’t rained in two weeks, and you wonder why your grass is so dry.

Your controller settings are still working like it’s spring.

Don’t forget to update your watering schedule.Irrigation crew adjusting sprinkler system times

Don’t Water Every Day

If you have an established lawn, don’t water it every day.

You want to let the soil dry out between waterings, which means water longer and less frequently.


You want your grass to have to search for water, sending its roots deeper into the soil. That encourages the roots to grow longer and deeper, which means your grass will be healthier.

Water too often, and those roots can just hang out near the surface and get all the water they need.

Shallow roots can’t handle the stress of a sudden drought or a summer lawn disease as well as deeper roots.

But this isn’t true for new grass. It should stay wet, so it needs several waterings a day.

The Best Time to Water Lawns in Minneapolis? Let Smart Irrigation Do the Work

If all this gives you a headache, we don’t blame you. This “how much water” stuff is hard work — even for professionals!

A smart irrigation controller will skip watering if it rains or if rain is in the forecast. You wouldn’t want to water the lawn at 5 a.m. and then it starts raining a couple of hours later. This technology is worth investing in. It will help you to conserve water which can also lead to a lower water bill overtime.

Your lawn doesn’t need that much water and overwatering can also lead to other problems.
smart irrigation system watering lawnA smart irrigation controller also knows to skip if it’s too windy, and the wind will just blow the water all over the place. Or if it’s too cold. No need for water if it’s 40 degrees.

A smart irrigation system takes into account what kinds of plants you have in your yard, and how much water they need.

Beyond that, it calculates how much water is in the soil and how much water has evaporated.

What’s the soil type? Is there a slope?

It knows!

How Long Should Sprinklers Run in Minneapolis? Trust RainMaster

One of the best things about having a smart irrigation system and an expert irrigation maintenance program to go with it is not having to worry about irrigation run times.

It’s just done. Boom. It’s a whole lot easier than figuring out your lawn’s evaporation transpiration rate.

At RainMaster, we offer three levels of irrigation programs designed to keep your system working properly from spring through fall: Peak Performance, Optimum Operation, and Efficient Essentials.

You choose the level that suits your needs and let us do the rest.

Your irrigation program should be designed to match your needs. Every visit is planned to optimize the performance of your irrigation system, reduce water usage, and promote a healthier landscape.

Sign up for our Peak Performance plan, and we’ll come out every month and adjust the settings for you.

When you’re ready to put your trust in us, we can’t wait to meet you — and help you make the best choices for your lawn.

Want to be confident about your choice for irrigation services? Request a quote today! We’ll review your options together so you can make a confident decision. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Lawn Care, Irrigation

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