Shorter days, cooler temperatures and plant dormancy are all reasons for decreased landscape water use. To avoid damage from freezing, shut off your system before cold temperatures arrive. Watch the weather and the long-term forecasts to know when the time is right to shut down your irrigation system. Most years, you’ll want to turn it off by Halloween.
Don’t forget to drain your drip system. Since drip lines are usually on the ground surface or under mulch, they’re susceptible to freezing. With the water turned off, undo the end caps and let the system drain. Don’t forget to put the end caps back on to keep water and debris from clogging up the system. It is not necessary to move the tubing or emitters once emptied, but timers should be stored at above-freezing temperatures.
Even with your system shut down for winter, some plants still need water. Trees should also be watered if it’s been three to four weeks without significant precipitation. Be sure to water the root ball of newly planted trees regularly through the winter and early spring.
Roses also appreciate a little water during the winter. Use a watering can for application at least once a month, but don’t prune until springtime.
Most lawns will do just fine without winter irrigation. The exceptions are newly seeded or sodded lawns that have not yet developed robust root systems. They’ll also need water if it’s been dry for three to four weeks, as long as the soil is not frozen.
For questions or additional information, contact Municipal Services at (209) 668-5590 or visit the City of Turlock website at: www.cityofturlock.org. Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.
WATER CONSERVATION TIP #156
Winter Watering Schedule goes into effect Nov. 1: The winter watering schedule limits outdoor watering to one day per week. Even numbered homes can water on Saturdays only and odd numbered homes can water on Sundays. Watering will be prohibited between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. always.