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Medford Water Commission

Medford Water Commission - 541.774.2430
Lawn Watering Infoline - April 28

Welcome to the Lawn Watering Infoline. In an effort to help save water, as you speak with your friends and neighbors, mention this Infoline to them, especially if they are currently running their sprinkler system. 

If you are already sprinkling your lawn and you had a Rain Shut-off Device on your sprinkler system, your system would have shut off with the rain we received recently. A Rain Shut-off Device is a relatively inexpensive way to save water, along with the time it takes to turn your system off and back on. 

Recent warm temperatures have many people feeling the need to start watering.  Plants do need more water now than in the winter, however, at this time of the year clay soils still tend to be moist from previous rain and rain is forecasted over the next 10 days. You can check your soil to see if it still has sufficient moisture. Inexpensive moisture meters are available that can make it easy to determine when soil is dry. Alternatively, you can check for moisture in the soil by probing with a screwdriver. It should move through moist soil easily, to a depth of four to six inches. You can also walk through the grass and check for footprints. Grass blades will spring back more quickly when there is ample moisture, rather than when it is dry.

If you have some new plants, water them individually with a hose, deep soaking them occasionally, rather than turning on your entire sprinkler system.

If the moisture meter reads Dry, your lawn may need about a third inch of water. This means spray sprinklers would run a total of 14 minutes for the entire week. Rotor sprinklers would run for 34 minutes and multi-stream rotator sprinklers would need to run 54 minutes total for the week to apply a third inch of water.

Do you think it is time to fertilize your lawn? Waiting until late April or May will allow the lawn to put its energy into root growth, rather than top growth, which is what happens when you fertilize. When you do fertilize, it is always best to use a slow release fertilizer to feed turf grass. Apply enough fertilizer to give the lawn about 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. For those who already fertilized early, you may need to water in the fertilizer, but in future years, we suggest you hold off on fertilizing your lawn until May. 

Remember that when you turn your sprinklers on in the spring, you should give your system a checkup.  Make sure sprinklers are facing the right direction and all components are functioning properly.  Trim plants that are obstructing spray patterns or move obstructed sprinklers.  Check your drip systems too.  Make sure emitters haven’t become clogged, add more or larger emitters for plants that have grown and be sure the filters are clean.  Spring is a also great time aerate your lawn.  This will better enable moisture to get in the soil both now and into the summer.

Before starting up your sprinklers this season, please visit our Spring Start-Up page, or call us at 541.774.2435 to request information to be mailed to you.
 
As a reminder, if you are a Medford Water Commission customer, we offer a Free Sprinkler Survey in which we provide an overall evaluation of your sprinkler system and make recommendations for any improvements. Call 541.774.2435 to set up an appointment.  

For a guide to help you schedule your sprinkling, you can download our Sample Lawn Watering Schedule or call 541.774.2435 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 541.774.2435.

We hope you find this information to be 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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