An automatic irrigation system is a luxury that keeps your landscape hydrated throughout the growing season with almost no effort. Unfortunately, auto-watering can bring disease, root rot, and a premature death to plants; it also wastes water.

Many gardeners set watering timers for 15 to 20 minutes each morning, which wets the surface but doesn’t soak deeply to nourish roots of large trees and shrubs.

Try this instead: Water for 40 to 60 minutes only two to three times a week. Check with the company that maintains your irrigation system for local recommendations. A deeper soak also helps lawns develop deeper root systems.