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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Determine your sprinkler output

Estimate your sprinkler output using the "can test"

Roll your mouse over each step to see it illustrated.

Illustration of a button 1. Evenly space six or more straight-sided food containers, such as tuna cans or cat food cans.
Illustration of a button 2. Run your sprinklers for 20 minutes.
Illustration of a button 3. Measure the water in each can with a ruler.


  • Average the depths of water by adding up the measurements and dividing by the total number of cans you used.
  • Multiply the average by 3 to estimate how many inches of water your sprinkler system puts out in an hour. Round to the nearest half-inch.
  • Use this number to help schedule your irrigation.
Photo of pop-up sprinkler

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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