Lawn Watering Infoline - May 16, 2018
Hello and welcome to the Lawn Watering Infoline. 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 a little over three quarters of an inch of water this week. Additionally, the weather forecast is calling for temperatures to remain warm over the next week with possible rain showers, so if you have a rain shut-off device on your sprinkler timer, your timer will turn off automatically with sufficient rainfall.
Different sprinklers apply water at different rates, but as an approximate guideline, you would need to run standard spray sprinklers a total of about 34 minutes for the week. Rotors apply water more slowly, so they need to run around 81 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 126 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 2 days per week, you would run spray sprinklers for 17 minutes each watering day to apply the needed amount of water. Typical rotors would need to run 40 minutes on each watering day and multi-stream rotators for 63 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 13 minutes and multi-stream rotators 21 minutes. This will help the water penetrate deeper into the soil.
To help you make the most of your watering this season, also consider the following tips:
May is a great time to fertilize a lawn. When you 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.
Run your sprinklers before the sun comes out. If you complete watering before 6 a.m., your watering won’t have to compete with other water uses and will take advantage of the lowest temperatures of the day. If you prefer evening watering, wait until at least 9 p.m. when the temperature has started to get cooler, and breezes have died down.
In addition to adjusting your watering 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. In addition, we now offer a Smart Controller Rebate. Call 541.774.2436 to set up an appointment or for more information.
For a guide to help you schedule your watering, 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 at medfordwater.org, 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.