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View Full Version : Adjusting Run Times With Heat/Drought


jbell36
07-13-2012, 07:46 PM
what do you guys typically set your station run times to when the weather is at it's worst, like right now (sprays and rotors)?...and every day or every other day?

irritation
07-13-2012, 07:58 PM
Do you want a beautiful lawn or just enough to keep it sustained?

jbell36
07-13-2012, 08:13 PM
let's go with beautiful...

irritation
07-13-2012, 08:15 PM
let's go with beautiful...

Everyday 1 hour for rotors and 30 min for sprays.

jbell36
07-13-2012, 08:19 PM
yeah, yeah that would definitely do it..what about a more realistic situation, a little more than sustaining?

irritation
07-13-2012, 08:22 PM
make up your mind

DanaMac
07-13-2012, 08:57 PM
When its at its worst, and if you are in a drought, you want the grass to stay alive, not thrive. Let it stress a little. With droughts, restrictions, bans, high eater rates, I have been stressing "how green do you want .your grass? And how green do you want your wallet?"
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Wet_Boots
07-13-2012, 09:54 PM
I've had a lot of systems screwed up when my hot-weather programming gets dialed back by thrifty homeowners.

grassman177
07-13-2012, 10:39 PM
The most we get people to allow is 30 min rotors,15 sprays, every other day
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Snyder's Lawn Inc
07-13-2012, 10:39 PM
I have one system running 3 times a day 6am noon 6pmfor 30min per zone then all drip lines running every 5 hrs for 30 mins
Lawn nice and green plants are still burning up plants need mist heads not drip lines
I didnt install it I might be changing thedrip line areas to mist heads

jbell36
07-13-2012, 11:01 PM
The most we get people to allow is 30 min rotors,15 sprays, every other day
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that's pretty much exactly what we do...the system i changed today was about 10 minutes per zone every single day...i was taught to water deep every other day...the grass was nice and green though, this is why i asked this question...i went with 18 minutes on the sprays and 33 on the rotors MWF and Saturday...i know some people believe watering for shorter periods of time every day is the way to go so i wanted to see how people feel about this, in this case it seemed to be working better than i would think...

jvanvliet
07-14-2012, 08:15 AM
Florida; Palm Beach County last restriction directive 2011.

Water 2X per week Odd # Wed & Sat; even# Teus & Thurs.

No water between 10:00AM and 4:00PM

We extended run times on Rotors to 75 minutes and mist heads to 25 in full sun areas, otherwise run times remained the same.

We experienced some brown out in areas and learned where coverage was weak in others.

bcg
07-14-2012, 08:20 AM
This question is impossible to answer without knowing soil type, sun exposure, plant material, root zone, DU and PR fo the system installed, etc., etc.

Last year, I used the Seasonal Adjust on many controllers to deal with the drought and adjusted them up to 120% to 150%. You don't necessarily need to water more frequently if you've got a good root zone and you've taken the time to program your run times properly to begin with, you just need to water more deeply. Some of the properties I worked on were getting watered every day or every other day and others were only getting watered once every 5 days. Root zone and soil type were the biggest factors in making that decision (both before and during the drought).

grassman177
07-14-2012, 08:48 AM
sounds like a fungus magnet to me, way too much water

Kiril
07-14-2012, 09:38 AM
I've had a lot of systems screwed up when my hot-weather programming gets dialed back by thrifty homeowners.

Maybe the systems wouldn't be dialed back if they had a DU > 30%. :dizzy:

Kiril
07-14-2012, 09:42 AM
This question is impossible to answer without knowing soil type, sun exposure, plant material, root zone, DU and PR fo the system installed, etc., etc.

Finally someone said it.

Last year, I used the Seasonal Adjust on many controllers to deal with the drought and adjusted them up to 120% to 150%. You don't necessarily need to water more frequently if you've got a good root zone and you've taken the time to program your run times properly to begin with, you just need to water more deeply. Some of the properties I worked on were getting watered every day or every other day and others were only getting watered once every 5 days. Root zone and soil type were the biggest factors in making that decision (both before and during the drought).

If the controller is properly setup for the landscape and the historical hottest part of the year, the season adjust setting will generally work in the hottest part of the year.

jvanvliet
07-14-2012, 09:53 AM
Seasonal adjust to 130 or 140% is great if you don't have a limited run time available. Most communities here don't want the sprinklers running after 6:00 AM or before 10PM, which makes a seasonal adjust under water restriction challenging.

Duekster
07-14-2012, 10:05 AM
Seasonal adjust to 130 or 140% is great if you don't have a limited run time available. Most communities here don't want the sprinklers running after 6:00 AM or before 10PM, which makes a seasonal adjust under water restriction challenging.

It can be on larger systems for sure. Frankly the system should be designed deliver the peak watering requirements on a two day schedule in a 12 hour water window.

jvanvliet
07-14-2012, 10:15 AM
It can be on larger systems for sure. Frankly the system should be designed deliver the peak watering requirements on a two day schedule in a 12 hour water window.

Most systems we manage were designed when daily watering was the norm... they could water less more frequently... no time issues.

We'll split larger systems between different days using a/b programing settings or on demand systems the cycle settings. When restrictions are in place, we have to obtain a variance to permit us to water 4 days as opposed to two.

Duekster
07-14-2012, 10:39 AM
Most systems we manage were designed when daily watering was the norm... they could water less more frequently... no time issues.

We'll split larger systems between different days using a/b programing settings or on demand systems the cycle settings. When restrictions are in place, we have to obtain a variance to permit us to water 4 days as opposed to two.

We do not get much sympathy for variances. Some of the more advanced cities will work with you only after you have thrown every proven water saving principle to work, ET controls, water audits with high DU, often including things like MSMTR. Those same cities also mandate ET on new residential.

We try to pre-stress the grass and get it used to less water. St A is not going to make it in some cases. Some cities in Texas have Banned ST A.

I like ST A but it is not as drought tolerant as Buffalo, Bermuda, or Zoysia. I am coming around to thinking Zoysia is perhaps the best of all worlds for good turf.

jvanvliet
07-14-2012, 11:16 AM
It depends on the city here... most of them get it.

It galls me to see the city and county irrigation running daily during periods of water restrictions.

greendoctor
07-14-2012, 03:38 PM
We do not get much sympathy for variances. Some of the more advanced cities will work with you only after you have thrown every proven water saving principle to work, ET controls, water audits with high DU, often including things like MSMTR. Those same cities also mandate ET on new residential.

We try to pre-stress the grass and get it used to less water. St A is not going to make it in some cases. Some cities in Texas have Banned ST A.

I like ST A but it is not as drought tolerant as Buffalo, Bermuda, or Zoysia. I am coming around to thinking Zoysia is perhaps the best of all worlds for good turf.

Even the simplest "landscaper" in Hawaii knows not to put SA in a full sun, dry location. Zoysia has become very popular due to its disease resistance, drought resistance and herbicide resistance. You can put a zoysia lawn through things that would kill other grasses. Might not look good and it would take a long time to recover, but it will be back. Only caveat is that it should be maintained with a reel mower. Which might be a problem for people used to using rotary mowers for everything. Grass might be cheaper to maintain in terms of irrigation and chemical needs, but the mowing is a killer.

Autoflow
07-14-2012, 08:10 PM
I'm with bcg.
I think one of the problems is watering too often long term which makes the roots of turf and gardens stay shallow. If the soil is always wet at the top, the roots will become lazy and stay there because the water is right there all the time.
Water less frequently but deeper and the top of the soil dries out, but deeper down there is moisture. The roots will chase the water deep down and get a deep root system and become much more drought tolerant.

I know some plants require watering more often than others, but most people generally water far too often during Spring and Autumn and it makes the plants struggle in summer because their roots are too shallow and they are the first lawns to turn it up in the extreme heat.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-14-2012, 08:13 PM
Bcg gave pretty much the answer I would. I will throw out there with the time restrictions it makes having fewer zones enticing. I can see systems that should be 12 hydro zones having a couple of them merged if they are fairly close in watering needs. Designing around a water window gets tossed into the mix
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grassman177
07-14-2012, 10:52 PM
i am glad we dont have any with restrictions really, on when they can water etc. but, the larger the system, the more you dont have a choice to water in the night to get thru the cycle. i have thought about doing every day, half one, half the next.

DieselMDX
07-18-2012, 12:26 AM
so i guess 20 minute a zone with rotors is too short for Mass?

irritation
07-18-2012, 12:27 AM
not if it rains.

DieselMDX
07-18-2012, 04:22 AM
lol we havnt had rain in weeks!

greenmonster304
07-18-2012, 06:54 AM
We try to pre-stress the grass and get it used to less water. St A is not going to make it in some cases. Some cities in Texas have Banned ST A.

Texas doesn't have anything better to do than tell you what kind of grass to plant?
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Duekster
07-18-2012, 07:11 AM
Texas doesn't have anything better to do than tell you what kind of grass to plant?
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What part of "some cities" don't you understand? :dizzy:

Kiril
07-18-2012, 08:41 AM
Don't plant any grass at all ..... problem solved.