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  #41  
Old 02-07-2008, 05:08 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Location: Central Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
I wasn't going to post this originally because it is more or less region specific, but the principles still hold, and if you can match up your plant zone (smallaxe you won't be able to) then you can still use it. In any event, I suggest anyone who is involved with irrigation read it. This is the method I use to determine landscape water needs, plus site measurements and observations to fine tune.

Water Use Classification of Landscape Species



Is this a trick question? My answer is neither -> put in some appropriate drainage.
We have enough nitrates in our lakes so draining it any faster would be like piping it directly into the surface water. I am a landscaper that uses plants to do the work for me.
Grass holds moisture at the surface and protects moisture underneath. Taller plants with deeper roots use water deeper in the soil profile.
Grass prevents both wind and water erosion of the very top of the topsoil better than any other plant can, even in dormancy and spring thaws.

We have a tendancy to go about business with general rules of thumb without sorting details of individual situations. Lawns do not 'need' an inch of water per week, except perhaps in the heat and the drought like last summer. Even then in shaded areas I doubt an inch was needed.

Professionals operate their business to cover all aspects of every circumstance because they fear an unforeseen circumstance that they might be accountable for. They fear because they doubt and are unsure. Fantasy replaces sense and understanding.

I had an irrigation guy tell me that I drowned a new transplant on a sandy hillside by having the sprinklers set for an hour 3 times a week, for the grass. The burlap and the clay root ball dried right up. Sprinklers on a hillside !! for burlaped shrubs.!!
Evidently he didn't know that shrubs need water deeper than what grass does and more of it
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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  #42  
Old 02-07-2008, 06:18 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
The burlap and the clay root ball dried right up. Sprinklers on a hillside !! for burlaped shrubs.!!
Evidently he didn't know that shrubs need water deeper than what grass does and more of it
You see, I think he is educated and had come to understand that shrubs require less water and when you mulch them it helps even more. You poke your finger into the surface and if you feel moisture you are fine. An extra minute of digging around the burlap would have enabled him to feel under the root ball to see how dry it really is down there.

His mulch cover either shed or soaked the sprinkler water which didn't leave much for the root ball before it timed out again. It was well over 65% of all the plantings over 2 ft. tall died on that job even up on the flats.
Over thinking and over educating is not a good thing when you can't understand the basic reason for massive failure. This is a serious problem for LCOs and that is why a discussion board is profitable if the discussion is
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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  #43  
Old 02-07-2008, 09:45 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
We have enough nitrates in our lakes so draining it any faster would be like piping it directly into the surface water.
If your draining to a sandy subsoil, it will probably end up there anyhow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
I am a landscaper that uses plants to do the work for me.
I agree, where appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Taller plants with deeper roots use water deeper in the soil profile.
Tall doesn't necessarily mean deep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Grass prevents both wind and water erosion of the very top of the topsoil better than any other plant can, even in dormancy and spring thaws.
Agreed. Grass, annuals, perennials, sub-shrubs, shrubs are all good for preventing erosion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Lawns do not 'need' an inch of water per week, except perhaps in the heat and the drought like last summer. Even then in shaded areas I doubt an inch was needed.
It varies with the type of grass, climate, and soil, but on average that generally applies.

Check out the CIMIS website.

Look at the sample monthly data report for any county (Alameda will be fine). Note the ETo (measure of grass ET) and how it relates to time of year and other environmental conditions.

Then pick a county from one of the interior valleys and compare (San Joaquin would be a good one). Note the dramatic difference in ETo -> especially during summer months. Even on the coast, in the height of summer ETo is more than 1 in/week on average. Go inland and that summer average is closer to 2 in/week.

This is the reason why I recommend people do not follow blanket recommendations. A landscapes water requirements are dependent on the site conditions (plants, soil, climate, micro-climates, etc..). A person responsible for water management needs to understand how these all fit together in order to maximize water use efficiency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
I had an irrigation guy tell me that I drowned a new transplant on a sandy hillside by having the sprinklers set for an hour 3 times a week, for the grass. The burlap and the clay root ball dried right up. Sprinklers on a hillside !! for burlaped shrubs.!!
Evidently he didn't know that shrubs need water deeper than what grass does and more of it
Talk about water waste. Watering an entire irrigation zone to establish a couple of plants is like driving a finishing nail into a fine piece of furniture with a sledge hammer.

Furthermore -> why is turf and shrubs on the same zone to begin with?

Not knowing anything about this site, I would think at least a temporary drip system would have been an appropriate choice to establish the shrub(s).

Last edited by Kiril; 02-07-2008 at 09:53 AM. Reason: read the second post
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  #44  
Old 02-07-2008, 12:39 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
This is the reason why I recommend people do not follow blanket recommendations. A landscapes water requirements are dependent on the site conditions (plants, soil, climate, micro-climates, etc..). A person responsible for water management needs to understand how these all fit together in order to maximize water use efficiency.

Talk about water waste. Watering an entire irrigation zone to establish a couple of plants is like driving a finishing nail into a fine piece of furniture with a sledge hammer.
There was a lot of little stuff planted on the hillside as well that came out of pots and did ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Furthermore -> why is turf and shrubs on the same zone to begin with?
Exactly !! It is so frustrating.

We have soils and environment that vary from one side of a hill to another around here. Getting people to adjust the water accordingly is always made tougher when they are told that 5 times a week is the way it needs to be, whether spring, summer or fall. Lots of bad ideas out there.

When they replanted the shrubs I cleared the drip system with the project manager because I made it clear, that I will help but I am not taking responsibility for these new plantings either. They all looked good at the end of the season and why temporary drip wasn't done on the first batch I can't say.
I should hire a crew and go bid on these sort of jobs myself...

...No- I don't think so.
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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  #45  
Old 02-08-2008, 07:10 AM
PHS PHS is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Kiril, That was a nice article on estimating irrigation needs. On page 17 the discussion leads into the water requirements of a single tiered planting vs. a multi-tiered planting and that the water requirements are higher for the latter.
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  #46  
Old 02-08-2008, 09:07 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Location: District 9 CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHS View Post
Kiril, That was a nice article on estimating irrigation needs. On page 17 the discussion leads into the water requirements of a single tiered planting vs. a multi-tiered planting and that the water requirements are higher for the latter.
Yes. Also orientation, slope, exposure, hardscape and other heat sources, soil type, etc... will all come into play when determining hydrozones and the water needs of those zones.

For turf, the most problematic multi-tier relationship that seems to confuse many people is trees planted in turf.
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