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Winter is approaching; time to shut of your sprinklers

Shorter days, cooler temperatures and plant dormancy, all signal decreased needs for water. 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. You don’t need 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 such as an inch or so of water. Be sure to water the root ball of newly planted trees regularly through the winter and early spring.

Roses also appreciate water during the winter. Use a watering can to apply a few cups of water at least once a month, but don’t prune them now. Wait until spring.

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, please contact Municipal Services at (209) 668-5590 or visit the City of Turlock website at: Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.


Winter watering schedule: The City of Turlock Winter Watering Schedule goes into effect Nov. 1. The winter watering schedule limits outdoor watering to only one day per week, with even numbered addresses watering on Saturday only and odd numbered addresses watering on Sunday only. Watering will still be prohibited between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.