SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
LANDSCAPE WATERING CALCULATOR

Prior to going to the Santa Barbara County Landscape Watering Calculator website, please review the following procedure. 

Step Procedure

Remarks

1. Designate zip code

Enter Zip Code from drop down box.

 

2. Name landscape area

Type in “front yard”, “citrus trees” , etc.

 

3.

Designate type of plants

Chose one of the following plant types: 

Cool Season Grass – Bluegrass, Fescue or Rye

Warm Season Grass - Bermuda, St. Augustine or Zoysia

Low Water Use – Ground Cover

Buckwheat
Dwarf Coyote Bush
Ice Plant
Mexican Primrose
Sunrose

Bluebell Creeper
Gazania
Lantana
Santolina
Verbena

Ceanothus
Honeysuckle
Lippia
Sedum
Yarrow

Low Water Use - Shrubs

Acacia
Bottle Brush
Cactus
Lavender
Matilija Poppy
Pyracantha
Toyon

Australian Bluebell
Bougainvillea
Cassia
Lemonade Berry
Oleander
Rosemary
Westringia

Australian Tea Tree
Buckwheat
Ceanothus
Manzanita
Pride of Madeira
Sage

 Low Water Use - Trees

Acacia
California Buckeye
Coast Live Oak
Eldarica Pine
Italian Stone Pine
Olive
Torrey Pine

Australian Tea Tree
Canary Island Date Palm
Coral Tree
Floss Silk Tree
Melaleuca
Palo Verde
Western Redbud

Bottle Tree
Carob
Desert Willow
Holly Oak
Oleander
Pepper

Moderate Water Use – Ground Cover

African Daisy
Cape Weed
Ivy
Ornamental Strawberries
Red Apple
Snow in Summer

Ajuga
Coprosma
Lily Turf
Periwinkle
Sea Pink
Star Jasmine

Blue Star Creeper
Cotoneaster
Natal Plum
Plumbago
Serbian Bellflower

Moderate Water Use - Shrubs

Abelia
Bird of Paradise
Camellia
Flax
Lily of the Nile
Philodendron
Raphiolepis

Australian Bush Cherry
Boxwood
Cotoneaster
Fortnight Lily
Myoporum
Pittosporum
Rose

Bamboo
Breath of Heaven
Escallonia
Heavenly Bamboo
Natal Plum
Plumbago

Moderate Water Use - Trees

Apple
Chinese Evergreen Elm
Eucalyptus- [Nichol's Willow Leaf]
Giant Bird of Paradise
Mediterranean Fan Palm
Queen Palm
Sycamore

Ash
Citrus
Eucalyptus-[Red Flowering Gum]
Jacaranda
Pear
Stone Fruits (Peaches, Plum, etc.)
Tipu Tree

Avocado
Crape Myrtle
Fig
Japanese Black Pine
Pin Oak
Sweet Gum

 High Water Use – Ground Cover

Baby's Tears
Impatiens
Moss
Violet

Dichondra
Mondo Grass
Seasonal Flowers

Ferns
Moneywort
Vegetables

 High Water Use - Shrubs

Azalea
Ferns
Ginger

Banana
Fushia
Mandevilla

Bear's Breech
Gardenia
Orange Jessamine

High Water Use - Trees

Alder
Cottonwood
Redwood

Banana
Japanese Maple
Willow

Birch
Poplar
Yew

 

 

4.

Designate type of soil

  Sandy Soils

Easily absorb large amounts of water and drain quickly, but don't retain very much water.

  Loam Soils

Ideal for most types of plants because they are a mixture of sand, organic material, and clay. Loam soils absorb water less quickly than sand, but the water is retained in the root zone longer and the organic material is beneficial to the plants.

Clay Soils

Dense, difficult to dig in, and do not absorb water quickly. The best way to water clay soils is to run the sprinklers for a short period of time, wait until the water soaks in, and then run the sprinklers again until the root zone of the plants is well watered.

5.

Designate type of watering system

Each watering system performs differently depending on the types of sprinklers, water pressure, and system design. The Calculator allows you to select the most common types of irrigation systems and uses average values for each system. For example, when you select "sprinkler" on the Landscape Watering Calculator, a default number is used in a mathematical formula to create your custom watering schedule. 

Spray Sprinklers - Spray sprinklers are used to water lawns, planters, and slopes.  The spray nozzle is made of plastic or brass and is attached to a pop-up or shrub sprinkler body.  There are many different makes and models designed to cover areas up to 15 feet wide when operated at 30 to 40 p.s.i. of water pressure.  Average spray sprinkler systems are about 65% uniform; compare this to a gear rotor system which can be up to 85% uniform.  The more uniform a system is, the less water is required to cover the planter area evenly. 

Impact Rotors - Impact rotors use the force of the water hitting a spring loaded arm to turn the sprinker.  The mist and overspray caused by the impact arm wastes water and is a disadvantage of this type of sprinkler.  The rotors are made of plastic or brass and cover areas from 15 to 65 feet wide, depending on the water pressure and size of the nozzle.  Average operating pressures range from 35 to 85 p.s.i. and impact systems can be up to 75% uniform. 

Gear Rotor - Gear rotors are a relatively new and improved type of sprinkler. They use water pressure to turn gears inside the sprinkler body, which in turn makes the nozzles rotate. Unlike impact rotors, there is almost no wasted water from splashing and overspray. Other advantages of gear rotors include a large selection of nozzles, precision adjustments, low cost, and improved uniformity which reduces overall water use. The rotors are made of plastic and cover areas from 15 to 65 feet wide, depending on the water pressure and nozzle size. Average operating pressures range from 35 to 85 p.s.i. and gear rotor systems can be up to 85% uniform. 

Micro-Spray - Micro-spray sprinklers are just like regular spray sprinklers only smaller.  They are made of plastic or brass and attach to pop-up bodies or to flexible polyethylene tubing.  One advantage of a micro-spray system is that water is able to soak into the soil more slowly, preserving the air/water balance in the root zone and reducing runoff.  These systems are ideal for very small planter areas because the spray pattern can be precisely adjusted.  Distance of coverage is from 1 to 15 feet.  Proper filtration and pressure regulation is required.  The operating pressure range is 15 to 30 p.s.i. 

Bubblers - Bubblers are used to irrigate individual plants, and are often placed inside watering basins and tree wells.  Installed on rigid plastic pipes 4 to 6 inches above the soil surface, they are ideal for sandy soils where drip irrigation is less effective.  Pressure regulated bubblers deliver a uniform amount of water to each plant, and they require very little maintenance.  The operating pressure ranges from 30 to 50 p.s.i.. 

Drip Irrigation - Drip systems can be the most efficient way to irrigate your landscape, using the least amount of water.  There is very little evaporation and no over-spray when the water is placed directly on the soil.  The slow application of water also helps to maintain the air/water balance in the root zone, which promotes optimum growing conditions.  Most drip systems operate at 15 to 30 p.s.i. and can have a uniformity rating of 90 to 95%.  Proper filtration, pressure regulation, and maintenance are essential to good system performance.

 

6.

Designate application rate

For sprinkler, rotor or micro-spray, designate the application rate in inches per hour. 

Application Rate - If you have a spray or rotor system in a lawn area, you can perform a simple test to measure the amount of water your system uses by following these steps:

1. Place three or more coffee mugs, or other flat bottom containers, at various places on your lawn.

2. Turn on the sprinklers for 15 minutes.

3. Use a ruler and measure the number of inches of water in each container.

4. Find the average number of inches in all the containers, and multiply that number by four. This is the number of "inches per hour" that your system delivers.

5. Enter the "inches per hour" number in the box where you are asked for your application rate.

For bubbler, designate application rate of .25 to 2.0 gallons per minutes.

For drip, designate application rate of 2.0 to 4.0 gallons per minutes. 

 

7.

Complete process

Click on either of the following buttons:

Accept this area and create another

or

I’m finished. Please create my customer watering schedule.

 

8.

Print your watering schedule
See attached example.

 

 

SB County Landscape Watering Calculator 
 



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