PDA

View Full Version : Watering turf on a hill


bassplayer7
05-29-2012, 05:29 PM
I'm having trouble with one of my client's front yard. It is situated on quite an incline, and wanting to die. They can only water for about 10-15 minutes before it starts running down the hill, and puddling on the sidewalk. The yard has been aerated, and I seeded in March (surprisingly no frosts after that). The young grass seems to have come up rather well for the most part. They water pretty much every morning (but because it isn't entirely automatic, they may miss days).

Do this look like a water problem? Note that Disarm was applied about 1.5 weeks before these pictures. If it is, I suppose the only way to fix it would be to cycle the water for longer (8-10 min on, 30 off, on, off, on, off).

note: the second picture is (obviously) on a flat part of the side yard (more or less for comparison).

cgaengineer
05-29-2012, 05:36 PM
They may need to water several times per day shorter periods of time per cycle.
Posted via Mobile Device

RodneyK
05-29-2012, 09:30 PM
Looks like a disease issue to me!

bassplayer7
05-29-2012, 09:34 PM
I was hoping it wasn't disease. I'm not exactly sure what to look for in symptoms. It is mostly fescue, with a little bluegrass in there. Interesting part is that the areas with shade are perfectly healthy. The HO is willing to have my - I just need to figure out what's up. I can post more pictures if that would help.

Thanks.

cgaengineer
05-29-2012, 09:43 PM
If the grass in the shade is healthy it sounds like heat problem to me.
Posted via Mobile Device

bassplayer7
05-29-2012, 09:48 PM
Something like that would make sense. Any suggestions on how to help/alleviate heat stress if that is what it is?

Thanks guys for the pointers. I think I am still in a learning stage.

RodneyK
05-29-2012, 09:50 PM
What fert has it received this year? How was the Disarm applied rate, etc.? Did it do anything? Is the weather requiring almost or daily watering? Time of day watering is occurring? I think I might try to fert my way out of this one with some light apps and adjust watering.

bassplayer7
05-29-2012, 10:01 PM
There's been no N this year. Because of the spring seeding, I just sprayed Tenacity as a bit of a pre-m. I sprayed Disarm on a preventative basis - anticipating the younger plants to be rather susceptible (I believe I observed BP last summer as well, but in thinking back, doubt that somewhat). I believe the app rate was about .25oz/1000 sq. ft. We haven't had any rain to speak of for at least 2 weeks - probably more like 4. In the front yard, the watering is happening in the morning.

Fert is a very interesting idea. I'd definitely go light. I have noticed that growth rate really slow down. It looks like we have rain coming next couple of days, so I'm hoping that will give me an idea of water needs.

cgaengineer
05-29-2012, 10:04 PM
Something like that would make sense. Any suggestions on how to help/alleviate heat stress if that is what it is?

Thanks guys for the pointers. I think I am still in a learning stage.

Water shorter times on hill but more frequently...example 15-20 mins 3 times per day with 1 hour between cycles.

Spoon feed the turf as someone else suggested. Nice small feeding to cut down on top growth.

Where you located?
Posted via Mobile Device

bassplayer7
05-29-2012, 10:10 PM
Makes sense. Next time I'm over there, I'll adjust the main timer.

What's your favorite slow-release N?

I'm outside Kansas City.

cgaengineer
05-29-2012, 10:23 PM
Makes sense. Next time I'm over there, I'll adjust the main timer.

What's your favorite slow-release N?

I'm outside Kansas City.

I use lesco 34-0-0 100% srn With iron on my Bermuda lawns...for you I would maybe try something with 75%srn and use 1/4-1/2 the rate. Hit it again in 2-3 weeks.
Posted via Mobile Device

3rdDayBrad
05-29-2012, 11:14 PM
Not much of a slope... should hold moisture. Could very well be the exposure/sun/heat. If the soil is heavy (clay based) consider topdressing the area with either topsoil or Canadian peat, and then keep moist with frequent watering until the turf re-establishes itself through the topdressing. Have done that with sandy soil that held NO moisture...what a difference.

cgaengineer
05-30-2012, 07:21 AM
Not much of a slope... should hold moisture. Could very well be the exposure/sun/heat. If the soil is heavy (clay based) consider topdressing the area with either topsoil or Canadian peat, and then keep moist with frequent watering until the turf re-establishes itself through the topdressing. Have done that with sandy soil that held NO moisture...what a difference.

Aeration and topdress....
Posted via Mobile Device

Smallaxe
05-30-2012, 08:35 AM
If you have a source of decent compost(no sand) that would be the first thing to topdress with so that the surface is able to become porous through the decomposition of the excessive thatch(dead grass)...
I would laso check whether you have a lot of living thatch, preventing the water from soaking into the actual soil... Pull a few plugs next time you are over there and see what the texture and moisture content of the soil actually is... right now all we know is that it is not likely getting into the ground at all...
My guess is that it may have to be aerated, if the soil is bone dry under the sod...

bassplayer7
05-30-2012, 01:27 PM
That's a great idea. I'll plug it a few places to check out the soil moisture level. I am guessing that it simply isn't soaking in. It would make sense if I have to aerate (again) and top dress somewhat.

kirk1701
05-30-2012, 02:41 PM
I've never had much luck seeding in the spring, always did my seeding in the fall otherwise it got to hot for the young seed to survive and especially with the hot weather that came much earlier then normally.

As others have said, topdress with compost for the heavy clay and might add here don't matter how much you water, there's nothing like mother nature’s rain to do the job so if its been dry there you might keep it alive watering but a good old fashion rain will do miracles.

bassplayer7
05-30-2012, 05:53 PM
Good news is rain is supposed to come tonight and tomorrow - I'm hopeful.

bassplayer7
06-04-2012, 04:57 PM
So I got a pipe, and went over there this morning to get a soil sample. It came out as I expected - dry as a bone past the ~ 2" mark. I also aerated the yard, and those plugs looked great - nice and moist, but those are obviously less then 2" deep. They have been doing a good job watering, but like I mentioned can't water for long because of the runoff.

Hopefully the aerating the will help the runoff quite a bit, and I'm also kind of hoping things will green up a little over there as well.

I confirmed with the soil sample that the soil is hard packed clay. What's the best next step? Is top dressing something we will have to do for the next five years (spring and fall) to get the ground to a growing condition? Would organic S R fert help? The good part is that it's about 3K sq. ft - it could be worse.

Thanks!

Tizzy
06-04-2012, 05:28 PM
how deep can your aerator go. i can usually get a 4-5 inch plug. i really think thats where you need to be is at the 4"+ mark. the deeper you can go the better. that will help with the compaction and allow the water to soak deeper easier which will probobly solve the run off problem or at least help it.

that would be where i start. if that doesnt help it. then topdress. but i would not topdress without seeing if a deep core aeration would work.

Smallaxe
06-05-2012, 09:08 AM
If the ground is soaking up only a little of the irrigation before it starts to run off, you might try irrigating several times during the course of one day and see if you can get a little deeper...
Top dressing with compost after aerating , then dragging it all into the holes is probably your best bet for holding water in the future...
You are mulch mowing, correct?