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Medford Water Commission

Medford Water Commission - 541.774.2430
Lawn Watering Infoline - October 17

Welcome to the lawn watering infoline. Does your sprinkler system have an Automatic Rain Shut-Off Device?  If you do, your system would have automatically been turned off with the rain we have received. These devices are adjustable for how much rain it will take to turn off the sprinkler timer. Rain shut-off devices are relatively inexpensive and can be a good way to save water. 

Based on current weather conditions, your lawn needs no additional sprinkling for at least a few days, and probably a whole week. Temperatures are forecast to be in the 70s, with a significant chance of rain in the days following, so please keep this in mind when deciding to run your sprinkler system. You can use an inexpensive moisture meter to determine when you need to start sprinkling again. If you do not have a moisture meter, you can use a long screw driver or weeding tool to poke into the ground. If it goes in fairly easily, your lawn probably still has sufficient moisture. Another way to tell if your lawn needs water is just to walk across it. If the grass blades spring back up, they are doing fine. If they are a dull greenish gray color and don’t spring back, the grass needs some water.

Fall is the perfect time to fertilize the 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 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
Along with fertilizing your lawn, you should consider aerating the lawn. Aeration helps to open up the soil for water and nutrients to get deeper into the root zone of the turf. And if your lawn struggled this past season, top dressing with a layer of aged compost can greatly help for next year.

Additionally, as a reminder, fall is the time to be planning what to do with your sprinkler system for winter. The Medford Water Commission offers Winterizing Your Sprinkler System, an overall guide to preparing your sprinkler system for the cold weather ahead. To request a mailed copy, call 541-774-2435.
For a guide to help you schedule your sprinkling, you can download our Sample Lawn Watering Schedule or call 541-774-2435 to have a copy mailed to you.

There is a wealth of information on conservation and landscaping on the website, which we hope you will find helpful. If you have any questions or comments, or would like more information, email us or call 541-774-2435.
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.  

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