Lawn Watering Infoline - October 17, 2018
Hello and welcome to the Lawn Watering Infoline. Today is Wednesday October 17th. In an effort to help save water, mention this Infoline to your friends and neighbors, especially if they use an automatic sprinkler system to water their landscape.
Fall is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn before you turn off your sprinkler system for the winter. It is always best to use a slow release fertilizer to feed turf grass. Apply enough fertilizer to give the lawn at least one pound of actual nitrogen, the first number of the fertilizer formula on the fertilizer bag. If you need help understanding how much to apply, ask your local nursery or call us at (541) 774-2435.
Based on current weather conditions, turf grass needs three quarters of an inch of water this week. Additionally, the weather forecast is calling for current warm temperatures to be cooling over the next week with a slight chance of rain, so monitor your lawn and adjust your watering accordingly.
With the forecasted rain we are to receive, if you had a Rain Shut-off Device on your sprinkler system, it would have shut off your sprinklers automatically. A Rain Shut-off Device is a relatively inexpensive way to save water and the time it takes to turn your system off and back on.
Different sprinklers apply water at different rates, but as an approximate guideline, you would need to run standard spray sprinklers a total of about 30 minutes for the week. Rotors apply water more slowly, so they need to run around 72 minutes over the course of the week to apply the same amount of water. If you have multi-stream rotators, you need to run those for 113 minutes for the week.
To determine how long to run sprinklers each watering day, divide the total minutes we’ve given by the number of days you will be watering this week. For example, if you water 2 days per week, you would run spray sprinklers for 15 minutes each watering day to apply the needed amount of water. Typical rotors would need to run 36 minutes on each watering day and multi-stream rotators for 56 minutes each watering day.
Additionally, instead of applying all the water in one cycle, break up the watering into three shorter cycles separated by an hour or so. That would mean running spray sprinklers 5 minutes each cycle, rotor sprinklers for 12 minutes and multi-stream rotators 18 minutes. This will help the water penetrate deeper into the soil.
To help you make the most of your watering this season, also consider the following tips:
Run your sprinklers before the sun comes out. If you complete watering before 6 a.m., your watering won’t have to compete with other water uses and will take advantage of the lowest temperatures of the day. If you prefer evening watering, wait until at least 9 p.m. when the temperature has started to get cooler, and breezes have died down.
Fall is also the time to be planning what to do with your sprinkler system for the winter. The Medford Water Commission offers Winterizing Your Sprinkler System, an overall guide to preparing your sprinkler system for the cold weather ahead. Visit our website at www.medfordwater.org and click on the “Conservation” tab at the top of the page, or call us at 541.774.2436 to have a copy mailed to you.
There is a wealth of information on conservation and landscaping on our website which we hope you will find helpful. If you have any questions or comments, or would like more information, email us through our website or call 541.774.2436.
Thank you for being mindful of your water use. Using these tips, we hope you’ll find that you can maintain a beautiful, healthy landscape while using water wisely.