Lawn Watering Infoline - August 2, 2017
Hello and welcome to the Lawn Watering Infoline. Today is Wednesday August 2nd. In an effort to help save water, mention this Infoline to your friends and neighbors, especially if they use a sprinkler system on their landscape.
The summer heat is here! Now is a good time to raise the mow height on your lawn mower. We recommend mowing lawns at a minimum of three inches in the heat of summer to ensure the turf stays cool.
Based on current weather conditions, turf grass needs just over one and three quarters of an inch of water this week. Additionally, the weather forecast is calling for scorching temperatures over the next few days, so monitor your lawn and adjust your sprinkling accordingly.
Different sprinklers apply water at different rates, but as an approximate guideline, you would need to run standard spray sprinklers a total of about 74 minutes for the week. Rotors apply water more slowly, so they need to run around 177 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 277 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 sprinkling this week. For example, if you water 4 days per week, you would run spray sprinklers for 18 minutes each watering day to apply the needed amount of water. Typical rotors would need to run 44 minutes on each watering day and multi-stream rotators for 69 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 6 minutes each cycle, rotor sprinklers for 15 minutes and multi-stream rotators 23 minutes. This will help the water absorb into our tight heavy clay soils.
To help you make the most of your watering, also consider the following tips:
Run your sprinklers before the sun comes out. If you complete watering before 6 a.m., your sprinklers won’t have to compete with other water uses, and can also take advantage of the lowest temperatures of the day. If you prefer evening sprinkling, wait until at least 9 p.m. when it has started to get cooler, and breezes have died down.
In addition to adjusting your irrigation times, remember to give your sprinkler system an occasional checkup. If you haven't observed your system operating lately, turn it on and make sure sprinklers are all facing the right direction and functioning properly. Areas served by drip systems need maintenance too, which may include adding more or larger emitters as plants grow.
As a reminder, if you are a Medford Water Commission customer, we offer a Free Sprinkler Checkup in which we provide an overall evaluation of your sprinkler system and make recommendations for any improvements. Call 541.774.2436 to set up an appointment.
For a guide to help you schedule your sprinkling, you can download our Sample Lawn Watering Schedule or call 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 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.