Here are some often-overlooked basics for how to keep water off hardscapes.

1) Create buffer zones

When sprinklers sit on the edge of a lawn, much of the water goes onto streets and sidewalks. Move sprinklers 24 inches away from curbs, sidewalks and driveways. Consider placing rock borders around the edge to collect excess water.

2) Adjust the sprinkler nozzle radius

Sometimes the radius of a sprinkler head is too large, causing water to overspray onto the sidewalk. You can reduce the spray pattern by turning the adjustment screw on top of the head. If the coverage is still too large, you will need to replace the nozzle with a smaller throw radius.

3) Use adjustable sprinkler heads on corners or odd shapes

Turf is often planted without efficient irrigation in mind. When you have a corner that is smaller than a 90-degree angle, it is best to use an adjustable sprinkler head. This will allow the pattern adjustment to be in any position.

4) Build a berm

Create a water basin by making a soil berm around trees and shrubs. This will help capture the water at the dripline or base of the plant and avoid run off, especially on slopes. For citrus trees, make an additional soil ring to avoid water settling at the base of the trunk.

5) Reduce pressure

By turning the flow control stem on the sprinkler valve, you can reduce the pressure and prevent high misting in the irrigation system, allowing fewer droplets to be carried away with the wind.

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