(please read) Note: The timer is set to go off near 4:30 am for 30 minutes. Wherever you have the sprinklers set for that day will tell you what will be watered the following morning. If you are working consecutive days, this will help you know what you shouldn't water by-hand the next day. However, if you come in and the timer has already gone off, look for where the sprinkler is. Remember, if the soil is moist or wet, it does not need water. Additionally, if you hand-water an area thoroughly, move the sprinkler to a different location so that water reaches a new area the next day*. Vegetables especially can be overwatered very easily (particularly the small crops with the weed barrier holding the water in like a sponge), and it will kill the whole crop. On the other hand, if the soil is arid (dry), it needs to be watered until the soil turns dark and moist. If plants wilt, they need water. If vegetables wilt, you can pretty well guarantee that you won't get fruit off of that plant for quite some time. Plants fruit as a result of optimal health.
*In the heat of the summer, the plants need a good soaking every day, but not more than once a day.
How to set up the sprinklers before you leave:
Step 1: Be sure the timer is set to AUTO
Step 2: Be sure the valves are open only on the hoses you want to release water when the timer goes off
Step 3: To test this, hit MANUAL, wait about 5 seconds, and you will hear and see where the water is coming out; if you don't see the sprinkler on, the valve is probably not open; if you see a hose on you don't want on, turn that valve off
How to use the water as you work and bypass the timer (how to just use the hose)
Step 1: Turn the black lever down towards the ground to open the water pressure (turn it on)
Step 2: Make sure the valves are open on the hose you wish to use
Step 3: Make sure that the nozzle on the hose is on "shower" (plants should never be water on "full," "jet," etc., in that it will cause root damage and erode the soil-gentle is best
How to use hoses with a water key
Step 1: Hook up the hose to the end of the key
Step 2: Place the key in outlet
Step 3: Turn the key to make it perpendicular
Step 4: Replace the copper key in the hiding place