Lawn Watering Infoline - November 13, 2019
Hello and welcome to the Lawn Watering Infoline. Today is Wednesday November 13th. 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.
Based on current weather conditions, turf grass needs about a quarter an inch of water this week. Since very little watering is required, we recommend checking your soil to see if watering is even needed. 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.
Different sprinklers apply water at different rates, but as an approximate guideline, you would need to run standard spray sprinklers a total of about 11 minutes for the week. Rotors apply water more slowly, so they need to run around 27 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 42 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 1 day per week, you would run spray sprinklers for 11 minutes each watering day to apply the needed amount of water. Typical rotors would need to run 27 minutes on each watering day and multi-stream rotators for 42 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 4 minutes each cycle, rotor sprinklers for 9 minutes and multi-stream rotators 14 minutes. This will help the water penetrate deeper into the soil.
To help you make the most of your watering this fall, also consider the following tips:
Now is the time to fertilize your lawn before you turn off the water to 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 feel free to give us a call at 541.774.2436.
Now 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 medfordwater.org and click on the “Sprinkle Smart” link on the left-hand side 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