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Medford Water Commission - 541.774.2430
Lawn Watering Infoline - March 20, 2018

Hello and welcome to the Lawn Watering Infoline.  Today is Tuesday March 20th. In an effort to help save water, mention this Infoline to your friends and neighbors, especially if they are currently running their sprinkler system.
Temperatures have started to rise, so many people are feeling the need to start watering their yards. However, our typical clay soils still tend to have adequate moisture for mature plants this time of the year. If you have recently put in some new plants, water them individually with a hose, deep soaking them occasionally, rather than turning on your entire sprinkler system. Additionally, the forecast shows periods of rain through March and into April.
If after several warm dry days, you feel the need to water, 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 your grass and check for footprints. Grass blades will spring back more quickly when there is ample moisture, rather than when it is dry.
You may also be thinking about fertilizing your lawn. However, 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 541.774.2436. 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.  Itís a good idea to 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. Make sure your drip system emitters havenít become clogged. Add more or larger emitters for plants that have grown and be sure the filters are clean.  Spring is also a great time to aerate your lawn. This will better enable moisture to get in the soil both now and into the summer.
Check out our website at medfordwater.org for more information on ďSpring Start-Up of Sprinkler SystemsĒ, or you can call us at 541.774.2436 to request information to be mailed to you.
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 on from our website or call 541.774.2436 to have a copy mailed to you.

Thank you for being mindful of your water use. Using these tips, we hope youíll find that you can maintain a beautiful, healthy landscape while using water wisely

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