How to Water Your Landscape Using the Cycle and Soak Method:
This method of irrigation applies water slowly so the soil actually absorbs all that is applied. Instead of running each sprinkler zone for 15 or 20 minutes each, run each zone only the amount of time that the soil can absorb the water (which means it’s not running off onto the sidewalk or street).
Depending on the slope of the yard, this could vary widely from zone to zone. Each landscape owner will have to test their zone run times to see when the water begins to run off.
Once you have determined the maximum amount of water each zone can take before runoff, split the total irrigation time into two or three parts. This involves irrigating the zone, shutting it off to allow time for the water to soak in and then irrigating the remainder of the time.
Schedule the run times about one hour apart until the soil is moistened to a depth of 4-6 inches. Most sprinkler system controllers can be programmed to automatically run the cycle and soak method.