Timing for sprinklers for plant beds

I recently had a sprinkler system installed and have a question. I'm in northwest Florida.
I have a large plant bed containing hibiscus, brugmansia, hydrangea, and other similar plants. The bed is heavily mulched. This bed is watered using spray heads. These spray heads put out 1.5-2.5 gallons per minute per head. The heads spray roughly a 7' radius, and the head-to-head coverage means that most plants are served by 2 heads.
In determining how long to water my lawn, I've read how you can set up cans to figure out how much water is put out and then calculating how long to run the sprinkler to put down a healthy quantity each time you water.
I haven't read anything that would help me figure out how long to run my plant bed sprinklers. After the sprinkler was initially installed and many plants were transplanted, I started by running the heads in the plant beds for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon each day. This was necessary since it was a hot, dry period and the plants were stressed. Now, everything seems healthy and I'm trying to figure out what would be an optimal (or at least close) watering plan.
Can anyone provide suggestions? I assume I could use the can method to figure out how much water is put out by the sprikler, but I'm not sure what would be considered an optimal amount to give the plants.
Tony
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Why not just buy a rain gauge at any of the big box stores they cost less than $2 each.
I had been using sprinkler heads myself until I got tired pof watering items that did ot need it and also loosing a lot of it to evaporation and even weeds. I now use the low pressure drip irrigation. It was not all that costly to buy and installation was as easy as it gets, and its just about paid for itself with two months water bills. My water bills have been cut by over 50% and the place is nice and green and everything is doing fine. I just wished I went the drip irrigation system years ago. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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One inch of rain per week is considered a good amount of water for most plants. Watering once or twice a week should help plants grow deeper root systems, but soil compactness also plays a role. Some soil doesn't absorb the amount of water my sprinkler system puts out in the time the heads run on that area, so I water more often using shorter runs with the timer. You'll have to work that out yourself.
Regards,
Hal
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wrote:

almost no clay. So I put down an inch every 5 or 6 days rather than 7.
Jim
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