Cycle and Soak Method – Irrigation

Cycle and Soak Method – Efficient Watering Techniques from Lee Engineering

What is the Cycle and Soak Method?

The goal of the cycle and soak method for irrigation is to maximize the percentage of water that effectively absorbs into the soil each time your sprinkler system runs. In areas of North Texas with clay soil, the soak and cycle method is ESSENTIAL for healthy landscapes.

To put it simply: Imagine that your yard is similar to a sponge. If you hold a dry sponge under water, most of the water will run off the surface of the sponge. However, if you squeeze the sponge while under the running water, you will notice the sponge getting heavy from the amount of water absorbed. Furthermore, if you let the saturated sponge sit for a moment, and then add more water, you will notice that the sponge is capable of retaining considerably more moisture using a cycle and soak method.

Test your soil: Test your sprinkler system while observing the soil’s ability to absorb water. Make a note of how long the system is running before the water begins to puddle at the surface. You now have your setting for “cycle.” After the first cycle, allow your yard to “soak” at rest for at least ten minutes. Repeat as necessary to meet your desired run time.


For Lee Engineering Smart Irrigation Controllers, simply edit each zone in the Hydrawise app. Be sure to “Enable cycle and soak.”

If you need assistance, your Lee Engineering technician is ready to help at 817-277-6022.

Here are some related articles on water conservation and efficient irrigation:

6 Tips for Efficient Irrigation

Water Conservation? There’s an app for that

Tired of Getting High Water Bills?

Call Lee Engineering for a foundation drip irrigation system customized for your home’s specific needs. (817) 277-6022

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