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View Full Version : Watering... why, how much, how often, how to determine all of the above...


JDUtah
09-25-2008, 08:50 PM
Hey guys,

I wanted to dive into this for a little while now and think it is about time to do so. There are a few good threads on watering already but they are scattered. Lets dive in shall we?

First, let's tackle 'why we water(irrigate)'. There seem to be two motives when it comes to watering. First is to give the plant the water it needs to survive/grow. Second is to give soil microbes the moisture they need to thrive so they can actively release nutrients found in the soil.

The first questions to investigate are...

Do the moisture requirements of plants (turfgrass) differ from that of soil microbes?

If they do differ, in an organic program (nutrient cycling using mineralization) what one do we need to focus on? Plant life or microbe life?

I will study a bit and post what I find/feel, but I wanted to get you started on your thoughts... if you are so inclined.

Thanks in advance for any input!

Smallaxe
09-25-2008, 09:41 PM
Good post. I had wondered about that myself but it was difficult to get anyone to think it through with me.

It seems that if the plant is triggering microbe activity that the plant needs to have moisture available.
It also seems that f the plant is to have moisture available that, soil structure for adequate perculation is necessary. This is largely the function of microbes, above and beyond the optimum mixture of clay, sand and om/silt.

I am currently drying out the surface of the lawns that have plenty of thatch and keepin the soil moist of the lawns that have little thatch and more sand.

Perpetually wet thatch doesn't have the aerobic activity it should [IMO] and dry sand wouldn't have much activity at all. Both efforts are to increase the root depth along with the associated microherd.

I think a good wet/dry relationship is good for all plantlife of which fungi falls into the category and bacteria/archaea is close.

DeepGreenLawn
09-25-2008, 09:43 PM
do the microbes feed the water to the plants? I have always been told that plants take up the water... but then again I have also been told that plants eat their own food rather than being fed(?) by microbes.

From what I have learned things seem to point to microbes feeding the plant water and therefore I would think adjust watering to the microbes needs? which in turn would be the same as the plants needs?

Notice all the "?"s...

Smallaxe
09-25-2008, 10:06 PM
do the microbes feed the water to the plants? I have always been told that plants take up the water... but then again I have also been told that plants eat their own food rather than being fed(?) by microbes.

From what I have learned things seem to point to microbes feeding the plant water and therefore I would think adjust watering to the microbes needs? which in turn would be the same as the plants needs?

Notice all the "?"s...

Symbiosis is an interesting phenomenon. :)

treegal1
09-25-2008, 10:47 PM
well some recent events have better ilistrated the ways of water and how wasteful lawns really are. we have transplanted a large amount of palms out of my personal yard. areas that normally only needed a few gallons of water to stay moist now that they don't have the shade from trees it is drying the soil faster, worms hate it, microbes are dying and going dormant, and it takes lots more water than it did before, how to determine the water needed, that's a good one, it all has to do with the type of plant and its needs, some need more than others, but in general(no science) i think it works like this. water falls from above, or condensates, then makes its way to the ground, after it hits the ground there is a relationship between the soil and the water, elements exchange and dissolve, air is pulled into the soil with a capillary action( tell me if I got this part wrong) sort of like a siphon tube??? some of the water is absorbed in some of the soil, other excess water is driven down or runs off(not good) the part or amount that stays is basically the amount that the soil will allow to displace in and amongst it self. after that there is evaporation and draining, should a soil stay wet all the time, I dont think so(some exceptions )my Ideal are that the soil should go through some sort of cycling from a wetter state to a dryer state, to exchange gasses, and also to help nutrient transfer. how wet should it be? thats a long road to walk down, dry is not good, wet is not good, so how do we go about easily gaging water needs? observation and monitoring!!! if the plant take more effort to get the water into its cells than it can get it will wilt, so the real question is how how much soil water tension can a plant really over come, and the other side of the coin is how much water will cause the soil to no longer exchange gasses, and become anaerobic, and whats the fate of the nutrients in that amount of water.

ICT Bill
09-25-2008, 11:10 PM
A little off subject but, right plant in the right place

Yucca's don't grow in rice paddies and rice doesn't grow in the desert, it depends on the circumstances and the plant involved

the microherd selects its environment, turns to biomass or goes dormant

what was once eden can turn to desert in the blink of an eye, think harvest in a farm field (an open system)

"water" is relevant but in what perspective, as a microbe in glacier ice from 100,000 years ago

In closed systems like turf it depends, if roots are 18 or 20 inches in the soil, not as much or rye that can go down 4 feet

JDUtah
09-25-2008, 11:12 PM
Turf in the context of this thread... I'll post more tomorrow

Smallaxe
09-26-2008, 08:46 AM
The exchange of gases in the soil that TG had mentioned -I believe is key - to proper soil structure and plant health. And yes - for turf - in this context.

treegal1
09-26-2008, 09:13 AM
Turf in the context of this thread... I'll post more tomorrow
ok jd ya hit my funny nerve again, don't take this the wrong way, but what is wrong with you, turf only??? is that a joke, other than the bull mire standard lawn on a postage stamp( that i will re-landscape or pass on!!, yes I can be that kind of jerk) most landscapes, IMO strongly!, need to have a larger percentage of plants and trees than lawn, thats just a given, yes kids and pets need a run, funny thing is that most times when the kids are turned free to play in a yard they find the tree and shrub to play under!! same with dogs and cats, yes they may sun themselves some of the time but 70% or more of there day is shade dwelling. we are now talking about an ecosystem and not a monoculture. if you want to start to talk about a sports field then there is very little chance of ever sustaining something like. so can it be done organic, yes it can. I do it, Bill does it, so from a to z it can be done. the water and other factors change very little.

you also did not say what type of "turf" my Bahia is about as little water as the Sahara and it stays green and lush, type 3 e floratam( that is illegal here, now) takes almost 40 X the water to stay alive. I think that you started wanting to under stand the water need of plants and now are just back to asking for a spread sheet formula to use. maybe I am wrong, I thought I new it all about water and soil, until Kiril posted some new ideas and tools that I had never seen before, started studying some as I have just started to install a 5 acre irrigation system on another new venture I got into, water is just the most important factor, and has so many variables to it that a better understanding of its soil to water interactions are more important than what type of grass or turf is planted.

JDUtah
09-26-2008, 11:34 AM
lol Tree,

I don't mean to hit your funny nerve. I was replying to Bill's post. Just trying to learn what I need to learn... for me... right now. I decided lawn care is enough for me for now. I will tackle the native landscaping mountain later. (remember you have more time undernaeth your belt with this than I do) I live in Utah so the type of turf? KBG and Fescue...

I understand there is SOOOOO much to consider about water, soil, microbes, and plants.. and that is why I only posted 3 basic STARTING questions... and let's get back to them...

When deciding watering practices for a system relying on mineralization should we target the plant or the soil microbes, or are their watering requirments similar enough that it doesn't matter?

DeepGreenLawn
09-26-2008, 11:50 AM
I am sure that you want something more detailed than this but it might point us in the right direction...

Deeply and infrequently. We have been given this as a general rule of thumb for proper watering. So... that then tells me that you water deep to get the water down in the soil, the top will evaporate relatively quickly, so the microbes in this area probably get what they need while they can... the roots get what they can and keep moving deeper as they are finding more continuous sources of water there... not searching, just finding favorable conditions and heading that way... similar to a tree finding sunlight in the woods under the canopy...

SO, this then will be brought in more detail depending on the soil conditions (clay, loam, sand) as the water will travel at different rates. This then tells me that we need to get more detailed and not so vague as far as what soil condition we are speaking of. Lets break this down to the three(?) major types of clay, loam, and sand...

To start... clay would need a good soaking but at the same time not too much that it just runs off the top... so a nice looonnnngggg soak but with just enough water to replace what moves downward... that would be a mist I would think or a VERY slow drip...

Loam would be a basic watering for about an hour as it will move through just right, not too fast, not too slow and stay in place... basically working to get the right amount of time to get the right depth of wetness...

Sand... well... water, water, water... don't know how to handle that one other than try to mix in a lot of compost to help retain the water you put in it other wise it will just shoot right through and not much will remain for too long. Tree should know how to handle this one...

Oh, and I doubt Tree has "more time than we do" as she never seems to stop working, she just stops in from time to time and probably is like myself, never stops thinking about things even when swamped with work... that is one thing I love about this business... the work can be hard but not really mind challenging so you have plenty of time to think... and I am sure you are all understanding I like to think...

treegal1
09-26-2008, 11:51 AM
its not a simple as 6 colors in a rainbow, its more like an infinitely variable wavelength............dang it what happened to the yin yang picture I had.

treegal1
09-26-2008, 11:54 AM
also in my way of thinking it has a lot to do with soil structure, larger grain/ particle size will have a larger void in the particles, so it will take more water faster and leach more.....

DeepGreenLawn
09-26-2008, 11:56 AM
its not a simple as 6 colors in a rainbow, its more like an infinitely variable wavelength............dang it what happened to the yin yang picture I had.

That ofcourse to me seems obvious, but if we could get the basics down... general ideals to proper watering I think that would be great... there are going to be all kinds of variables such as compaction, heat, shade, etc etc etc...

So, microbes or plants? I say they both work at the same time... feed one and you feed the other, they will both take what they can and leave what they don't need... they do fine with rain water... or the lack there of, it seems so... we are helping to make their life more cosher?

My vote goes to watering the right amount at the right time (deep and infrequent). This I believe could be some what more detailed and not so general as to get better results... any thoughts as far as that goes?

treegal1
09-26-2008, 11:59 AM
http://hopmans.lawr.ucdavis.edu/papers+PPT+zip/VrugtrootWRR2001.pdf

here if ya got the time............

DeepGreenLawn
09-26-2008, 12:05 PM
yeah... just give me a few weeks... seriously noted... just have to get the time to sit down and be able to soak it in...

treegal1
09-26-2008, 12:08 PM
yeah... just give me a few weeks... seriously noted... just have to get the time to sit down and be able to soak it in...
ditto, I just need to finish running the pain machine today, power spades are so much fun, NOT.........

JDUtah
09-26-2008, 12:20 PM
Deep,

We are getting somewhere by establishing the need to identify soil structure... but as smallaxe pointed out, There is a lot more to soil structure than knowing what type of soil we are dealing with.

Sand for example... sand CAN pass water right through.. BUT it CAN also be so compacted that it acts like concrete and does not let water pass (even less permeability than a good structured clay)

It has been suggested that soil microbes are the key to establishing a GOOD soil structure. A structure that will...
1- let water pass through it
2- absorb and retain water in a way that is absorb-able by plants
3- allow ample air penetration for CO2 exchange

Does anyone have any reading that supports the idea soil microbes create good soil structure? (I will look myself)

-------

As far as what I said to Tree about more time underneath her belt... I meant that she already has working companies that are currently operating.. she has had time to build these. Because she has these going.. she has a firm foundation to build on and can spend more effort on promoting 'less grass more natives landscapes'.. or whatever her heart desires...

I am just building my foundation.. and have to start somewhere.. grass care is where I decided to.

As far as me wanting an easy formula.. well yes I do actually. The thing I understand about it though is that there is an easy formula for each circumstance (which may be thousands)... and my goal is to identify that formula for each one... starting with the situation I STARTED this thread for.

Will I ever have a complete set of formulas? Nope. But will I have a good set? Yep. Especially for the circumstances I often find myself in. That is why I narrow this down a lot more than tree wanted me to. Establish a few optional routs to take with this circumstance and THEN move on to other specific circumstances...

Like how to drip irrigate 5 acres of palm and fruit tree's from a solar/gas powered pump at 225 GPM out of a 6 acre pond. (Yes I follow the irrigation forum as well)

Case in point is... I started the thread for my investigation... if tree wants to investigate organic irrigation principles more catered to her situation she should start her own thread about it.

Now back to the investigation... later though.

JDUtah
09-26-2008, 12:30 PM
http://hopmans.lawr.ucdavis.edu/papers+PPT+zip/VrugtrootWRR2001.pdf

here if ya got the time............

If my style of learning is so bad(narrow minded) Tree, how come my investigation is where Kiril turned you onto that principle/formula/article?

Notice the last two posts on this page (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=237121&highlight=nitrogen&page=4).

treegal1
09-26-2008, 12:58 PM
If my style of learning is so bad(narrow minded) Tree, how come my investigation is where Kiril turned you onto that principle/formula/article?

Notice the last two posts on this page (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=237121&highlight=nitrogen&page=4).
I never said bad or narrow minded........."but what is wrong with you, turf only?"that's all just wanting to make you aware that this transposes to all plants more or less.....


the article is just the first one in the doc file by date on top and easy to find, sorry got to get back to work, I plan on staying at the farm for a few days so let me get back to ya on Monday...............

treegal1
09-26-2008, 01:03 PM
also whats the difference from palm to KBG to bamboo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaG6Kju0E-Q

JDUtah
09-26-2008, 02:14 PM
LOL, ok notin's different....

My mistake seems to be I didn't acknowledge differing watering requirements for plants/systems that are not turf from the beginning, nor identify that I wanted this to be just for cool season grass systems. My bad. :waving:

DeepGreenLawn
09-26-2008, 02:27 PM
I wanted this to be just for cool season grass systems.

I see how it is... I guess me and tree are out of this conversation then...

JDUtah
09-26-2008, 02:29 PM
Haha...!
I think the basics covered will be for both, but wont deny an inclination to pursue/discuss cool season application of the principles. You guys can talk about it.. but I doubt I will chime in. :)

Kiril
09-27-2008, 11:29 AM
so the real question is how how much soil water tension can a plant really over come

It varies with the plant type. Drought tolerant plants can extract more water (i.e. overcome higher soil moisture tension) from the soil than those that are not. As a result, your drought tolerant plants also have a lower PWP.

and the other side of the coin is how much water will cause the soil to no longer exchange gasses, and become anaerobic

Saturation.

Keep your soils somewhere between field capacity and PWP of the plants in the hydrozone for the majority of the time.

Kiril
09-27-2008, 11:37 AM
also in my way of thinking it has a lot to do with soil structure, larger grain/ particle size will have a larger void in the particles, so it will take more water faster and leach more.....

generally speaking, water holding capacity is inversely proportional to particle size.

Kiril
09-27-2008, 11:45 AM
So, microbes or plants?

We are growing plants, not microbes.

My vote goes to watering the right amount at the right time (deep and infrequent). This I believe could be some what more detailed and not so general as to get better results... any thoughts as far as that goes?

Water to the depth of your potential effective root zone. If the plants you are watering never develop root systems deeper than 3" regardless of soil conditions, any water past that 3" depth is essentially wasted (barring leeching requirements). Determine the needs and effective root zones of the majority of the plants and water accordingly.

Kiril
09-27-2008, 11:50 AM
http://hopmans.lawr.ucdavis.edu/papers+PPT+zip/VrugtrootWRR2001.pdf

here if ya got the time............

Yes, I have posted links to his papers several times.

This doc, which I have also posted several times is more appropriate for the discussion at hand.

http://facilities.stanford.edu/environment/landscapecalc.pdf

JDUtah
09-27-2008, 11:58 AM
Kiril, Glad you are piping in :)

Ahh yes, that California ET thingy... do I have to read it again? lol It is good... and I might jump on board someday.. Utah doesn't calculate those things... yet.

Do you have prcedures (or something) for determing field capacity and PWP?

And what about anything supporting the idea that microbes help build soil structure?

Thanks,
David

Kiril
09-27-2008, 12:09 PM
Do you have prcedures (or something) for determing field capacity and PWP?

moisture meter and/or core sampler and visual observation, unless your growing crop plants, which I believe most all have had PWP determined.

And what about anything supporting the idea that microbes help build soil structure?

Isn't that a given? My main computer is in pieces right now, so I don't have access to my docs, however I have already posted docs that address soil formation factors.

JDUtah
09-27-2008, 12:14 PM
Thanks Kiril... kinda just wanted to run it by...

Have you ever used "least limiting water range (LLWR)"?

http://agron.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/97/4/1210

Kiril
09-27-2008, 12:43 PM
Thanks Kiril... kinda just wanted to run it by...

Have you ever used "least limiting water range (LLWR)"?

http://agron.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/97/4/1210

Heard of it, not used it because I have no need for it. Perhaps if/when I do any ag consulting I will consider it, but given the scope of this thread, it doesn't even come close to applying and IMHO you should read the paper for knowledge, not for practice.

Also, might as well add there is no such thing as a one size fits all irrigation management scheme since give some previous posts, that seems to be what your looking for.

DeepGreenLawn
09-27-2008, 12:47 PM
Great posts Kiril...

So from what you have said... determine the depth of the roots and the type of soil you have and that will tell you the amount of water to apply at a given time. Don't go after microbes... go after plants... the microbes will take care of themselves...

Kiril
09-27-2008, 01:02 PM
Great posts Kiril...

So from what you have said... determine the depth of the roots and the type of soil you have and that will tell you the amount of water to apply at a given time. Don't go after microbes... go after plants... the microbes will take care of themselves...

In a nutshell, yes.

JDUtah
09-27-2008, 01:27 PM
I don't mean one size fits all. I mean a basic process to follow to determine what to do.. which I guess is what you outlined.

I will read that article just to know.

treegal1
09-27-2008, 07:02 PM
My main computer is in pieces right now, so I don't have access to my docs, however I have already posted docs that address soil formation factors.OMG not you to!! mine is stil not fixed yet:cry::cry::cry:

Kiril
09-27-2008, 08:47 PM
OMG not you to!! mine is stil not fixed yet:cry::cry::cry:

Mine wasn't broke, just doing an upgrade that got out of hand. Probably should have paid closer attention to the specs of the new hardware. Currently trying to find the most stable overclock.

Smallaxe
09-29-2008, 10:37 AM
Great posts Kiril...

So from what you have said... determine the depth of the roots and the type of soil you have and that will tell you the amount of water to apply at a given time. Don't go after microbes... go after plants... the microbes will take care of themselves...

I was asked to apply a liquid fert to a nonirrigated lawn. So I set up sprinklers soaked the ground one day. Sprayed the liquid the next day. Then sprinkled again. This occurred late spring/early summer.

Irrigation system installed mid to late summer and turned on. 2 things were noticeable.

1) The spray pattern of the liquid fertilizer turned green for the FIRST time.

and 2) The trenches for the irrigation piping stayed green longer.

Water is the catalyst that also fuels the machinery of life. How much, for how long???
The irrigation guy said u need starter fert for your overseed. Turns out we had NOT even used up the ferts we had put down 2 months ago.

That is a significant point!!! How much water does it take to FEED the grass? The answer is of course different every day. For every lawn. In every location. Different - Which means NO formula.

But, there are a few basic priciples that should allow the lco to come onto a site and determine what it needs next - if anything.

What are those basic principles? Is the big question. Feed 2 kids McDonald fries and burgers - one gets fat the other gets hyper. True of lawns too.

JDUtah
09-29-2008, 12:16 PM
MMMM Big Mac.... (actually not really)

Ok... formula is a bad word for it... process is more fitting...

treegal1
09-29-2008, 02:41 PM
JD one day you will get to the point that ART and science meet, and not in a head on collision

JDUtah
09-29-2008, 02:53 PM
lol thanks tree... those collisions are painful. :)

treegal1
09-29-2008, 02:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9Q5xFyWWb0&feature=related

so full of him self...............

JDUtah
09-29-2008, 03:19 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9Q5xFyWWb0&feature=related

so full of him self...............

??????????????

treegal1
09-29-2008, 03:25 PM
jim is, he was so lovely.

so what are ya gona do about IT????

JDUtah
09-29-2008, 09:41 PM
Whew! Question.. I'm not getting it...

I guess the question is more related to another thread, but fits well enough to ask here...

I have been wrapping my head around the basics, starting with soil water content.

I still don't understand why gravimetric water content is used as an industry standard for % by wieght. Is it beacuse the ratio somehow standardizes variables for different soil particle sizes? (wild guess)

Adding to the confusion is this...
Gravimetric water content = weight of moisture / weight of soil
Volumetric water content = volume of moisture / total volume

why is the denomiator of the volume ratio the total volume when the denominator for the wieght ratio is only wieght of soil?

Thanks in advance if you can help me understand why gravimtric water content is represented as (weight of moisture) / (weight of soil only).

A couple months I've been searching...

Or is it 'just the way it is' like the USA not using metric measurments?

Kiril
10-01-2008, 10:06 AM
Thanks in advance if you can help me understand why gravimtric water content is represented as (weight of moisture) / (weight of soil only).

Because we are comparing the amount of liquid to solids.

JDUtah
10-05-2008, 12:00 AM
I think it's starting to sink in... I finally looked at that bulk density stuff deeper... (well farther) and it is making a little more sense... I see how it can be helpful/effective.

Kiril, do you ever do bulk density tests to estimate soil compaction? Is there a general number to shoot for? (Maybe some more reading for me?)

Also, can the 'Soil water-filled pore space' be used to determine field capacity and PWP, or is there an easier/more common measurement to gage that? Lol, I know... observing the plants...

Thanks in advance

JDUtah
10-05-2008, 12:15 AM
Also, just wanted to log this so I can come back to it...

Microbial activity in response to water-filled pore space of variably eroded southern Piedmont soils (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T4B-3V977B9-B&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=e67814b4b01e1a9ceb0c48b7a82ab81f)

Kiril
10-05-2008, 09:49 AM
Kiril, do you ever do bulk density tests to estimate soil compaction?

You can if you have a baseline, but it is not necessary to determine compaction. If you are familiar with your soils, compaction can be determined by simply using a soil moisture probe or Brown moisture probe or drain tile probe. For your purposes, you don't need to determine the level of compaction, just whether it is compacted or not.

Is there a general number to shoot for?

No.

Also, can the 'Soil water-filled pore space' be used to determine field capacity and PWP, or is there an easier/more common measurement to gage that?

I believe this is what your looking for.

http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ho/2001/fs0104.pdf

Barefoot James
10-05-2008, 10:04 PM
I did not bother to read all the posts - to much bickering - gets boring - sorry.

Anyway I guess it depends on area. Here in KY watering gets most bang for buck in AM - deep watering once a week or maybe twice a week if dry.

If seeding - frequent to keep seed moist during heat of day - at min 11 AM, 2PM, 4PM & 6PM for 10 min cycles - frequency is key so seed does not dry out - totally opposite of watering existing turf. FREQUENCY! Ideal is EVERY HOUR during daytime for 10 mins for first 10 days then cut to every 4 hours for 1 week (15 mins) then AM and PM (15 mins) - 2 weeks - then each evening for 15 mins till first frost - I know this because I have done 200+ yards and this is how it works in KY. Anyplace else - I have no idea! A compost cover of 1 yard per 4 to 6K (sq ft) make all the difference in germination rates, thickness and how fast the grass matures. I will not ever do it in 2009 without compost - I have done about 60 jobs this fall with 50 with compost. Makes all the difference and makes the irregation work too!

DUSTYCEDAR
10-05-2008, 10:43 PM
We want a pic of you all dirty james

Barefoot James
10-05-2008, 11:25 PM
I'm not a big camera guy.

Took a day off today but still testing. Blew 10 cu ft of high end compost on 1/3 my front yard (newly seeded - of course always testing new seed) and 15 cu ft of my old reliable compost on rest of front yard. Want to see how it thickens before first frost. Point is still got dirty and once again - another shower - trust e you get dirty blowing this stuff.

Another point of interest. My neighbor who I have shared my secrets with has used the roundup bad spots and seed with compost on top of spot method. Since he won't pay me to do it - LOL - I suggested he use the new pennington smart seed with myco - fescue blend. To be honest this is the best looking spot seeding results I have EVER seen. I use a high end 4 blend tall fescue and top dress with compost and spray tea with myco and I have never gotten results like he got using this seed (and my methods). So I'm for sure going to see about getting some type of business arrangement (account) going with pennington.

DUSTYCEDAR
10-06-2008, 09:00 AM
(account) going with pennington
he he he it can happen?

Smallaxe
10-06-2008, 09:22 AM
...A compost cover of 1 yard per 4 to 6K (sq ft) make all the difference in germination rates, thickness and how fast the grass matures. I will not ever do it in 2009 without compost - I have done about 60 jobs this fall with 50 with compost. Makes all the difference and makes the irregation work too!

Amazing isn't it? :)

JDUtah
10-06-2008, 12:55 PM
I believe this is what your looking for.

http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ho/2001/fs0104.pdf

Thanks friend. :)

Kiril
10-06-2008, 11:14 PM
I did not bother to read all the posts - to much bickering - gets boring - sorry.

Anyway I guess it depends on area. Here in KY watering gets most bang for buck in AM - deep watering once a week or maybe twice a week if dry.

If seeding - frequent to keep seed moist during heat of day - at min 11 AM, 2PM, 4PM & 6PM for 10 min cycles - frequency is key so seed does not dry out - totally opposite of watering existing turf. FREQUENCY! Ideal is EVERY HOUR during daytime for 10 mins for first 10 days then cut to every 4 hours for 1 week (15 mins) then AM and PM (15 mins) - 2 weeks - then each evening for 15 mins till first frost - I know this because I have done 200+ yards and this is how it works in KY. Anyplace else - I have no idea! A compost cover of 1 yard per 4 to 6K (sq ft) make all the difference in germination rates, thickness and how fast the grass matures. I will not ever do it in 2009 without compost - I have done about 60 jobs this fall with 50 with compost. Makes all the difference and makes the irregation work too!

Whoa dude, you think that watering is a bit excessive? An irrigation system with a good DU, you should only need 3-5 minutes per run for sprays max. You want to keep the seed moist, not soaking wet. What types of soil do you have? Out here with our clay soils, a good irrigation DU, 2-3 minutes (sprays) 3 times a day (10, 1, 4) in 90+ temps with seed and compost top dress. Even with those run times, the soils here stay saturated, and in some cases (compaction) ends up floating the seed.

Worth noting, your run times will increase as your DU decreases and your soil particle size increases.