Register free!
Search
 
     

Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 12-19-2011, 10:48 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: District 9 CA
Posts: 18,310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
You have people who take their chances by not watering enough, just to prove a point. What I am talking about is a whole different animal. People who do not have to the money to pay the water bill at all, and fully realize the consequenses up front.

I've got two or three elderly people that things are so tight for, they know they are going to lose the lawn, but don't have the money to pay $100+ a month to water. As I look back, you could see the pattern start to develop 5+ years ago. In hindsight, it's pretty obvious what little money they had was probably either in savings and for over half a decade they have not been making any money off their principal at all, and/or they lost a bunch in 2008 in equities. Watering the lawn is a luxury they can't afford.
Two options ....

1) Build your soil and turf to be more drought tolerant. This is especially the case in sandy soils with very little water holding capacity. Also determine exactly what the turf needs are .... and this does not mean irrigating at 100%+ PET either or throwing a couple of tuna cans in the yard and timing how long it takes to fill them up.

2) Get rid of the turf and use regionally appropriate plants that need no (or very little) supplemental water.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-19-2011, 12:15 PM
Landscape Poet's Avatar
Landscape Poet Landscape Poet is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oviedo/Orlando
Posts: 3,503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Two options ....

1) Build your soil and turf to be more drought tolerant. This is especially the case in sandy soils with very little water holding capacity. Also determine exactly what the turf needs are .... and this does not mean irrigating at 100%+ PET either or throwing a couple of tuna cans in the yard and timing how long it takes to fill them up.

2) Get rid of the turf and use regionally appropriate plants that need no (or very little) supplemental water.
However either of this options do not sound like they would work for Keith's clients .....as rebuilding the soil would almost certainly be out of their price range if cutbacks in spending are the goal.

Option two is more likely to be in most peoples budget and can be done by the home owner if they plan it out and stage it out correctly. I have a older couple that have been doing this gradually for years...their main goal was to eliminate turf as they knew they were getting older and would not be able to keep doing it themselves. So they purchased a few plants here and there, propagation was used where it could be...and now they have literally three sections of turf that are less than 200 square foot - They have me mow it for them when they catch me in the area mowing the neighbors and I have time to fit them in.
__________________
"the art of survival is a story that never ends"

Providing Lawn Services, Landscape Installations and Solutions and Sod Services in the Oviedo Florida Market

If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-19-2011, 12:29 PM
ArTurf ArTurf is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ark
Posts: 2,178
I am not in Florida but I will give you my take on this. Getting homeowners to water properly is one of my biggest headaches, some too much & others not enough.

From what I know about Florida you are mainly dealing with sandy soils, St Aug that doesn't go totally dormant all year. Winter is your dry time of the year? With the cooler temps and the grass slowing down and lower evaporation rate, you should be able to cut back on the water. But I realize with the sandy soil and no rainfall you cannot totally eliminate it. Maybe you can scale back the watering to an acceptable level that would not drive the water bill up. The homeowner will most likely not be able to determine this so be prepared to help them.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-19-2011, 12:37 PM
Ric's Avatar
Ric Ric is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: S W Florida
Posts: 11,238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Two options ....

1) Build your soil and turf to be more drought tolerant. This is especially the case in sandy soils with very little water holding capacity. Also determine exactly what the turf needs are .... and this does not mean irrigating at 100%+ PET either or throwing a couple of tuna cans in the yard and timing how long it takes to fill them up.

2) Get rid of the turf and use regionally appropriate plants that need no (or very little) supplemental water.
Kiril

1) I sub a lot of Top Dressing to Fl landscape for the very reason you point out. With even the standard Top Dressing of Compost, I see a great response in a matter of two weeks. The Compost has Great both Chemical and Water holding power. By using a bridge program I am getting the best of both worlds.

2) I am cloning Perennial Peanuts to do exactly what you are Talking about. Perennial Peanuts are drought tolerant and also a No Mow or minimal Mow Ground cover that does an excellent job of controlling Erosion control because of deep roots. While costly to install, it is still a perfect ground cover for steep Banks and other hard or impossible to mow areas. The long term saves justify the up front install cost.


Our Calicarious Sand has such a high pH, that Bahia sod (the most common non irrigated turf in my area) doesn't last long in our soil. Common Bermuda is drought tolerant and is a very inexpensive (cheap) replacement for Bahia yards gone bad. Bermuda can take the high pH soil where Bahia can't.


I might be old school but changing Political and Economic factors must be dealed with if I am to keep up with the times. Therefore my business model is taking a new approach.

.
__________________
.

"TG doesn't give a rats ass about being "Responsible" as long as sales/production quotas are met. That's it in a nutshell. A recipe for disaster IMO." Ted Putnam 2/28/14

You can lead a Donkey to water but you can't make the Jackass Drink

"As Americans you have the right to be stupid." John Kerry

"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-19-2011, 01:17 PM
Keith's Avatar
Keith Keith is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 3,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Two options ....

1) Build your soil and turf to be more drought tolerant. This is especially the case in sandy soils with very little water holding capacity. Also determine exactly what the turf needs are .... and this does not mean irrigating at 100%+ PET either or throwing a couple of tuna cans in the yard and timing how long it takes to fill them up.

2) Get rid of the turf and use regionally appropriate plants that need no (or very little) supplemental water.
Would work for the frugal, but the elderly poor have a hard time stringing an extra $100 a month together. You know it's bad when you show up on the 29th of the month and they give you your check and they ask you not to deposit it until the 1st because they don't have enough to cover it. They're not able to do much of the work themselves. What do you do? They don't pay much, but they don't require much either. So the $ per hour is not low. These are a couple of people that I have had for years. You just have to work with them. Half the other lawns in this subdivision look exactly the same, so I'm not the only one dealing with it.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:43 PM
Landscape Poet's Avatar
Landscape Poet Landscape Poet is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oviedo/Orlando
Posts: 3,503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Would work for the frugal, but the elderly poor have a hard time stringing an extra $100 a month together. You know it's bad when you show up on the 29th of the month and they give you your check and they ask you not to deposit it until the 1st because they don't have enough to cover it. They're not able to do much of the work themselves. What do you do? They don't pay much, but they don't require much either. So the $ per hour is not low. These are a couple of people that I have had for years. You just have to work with them. Half the other lawns in this subdivision look exactly the same, so I'm not the only one dealing with it.

Ric, FL Landscape, and myself I were talking about this the other day. Sometimes these type of clients are your most profitable per hour clients. While it is fun to walk away from a perfectly manicured property - but the inputs are not always in our favor which you look at your gross per hour. These type of customers are the ones that usually never complain about anything as long as you show up and ensure the turf/weeds are cut.
__________________
"the art of survival is a story that never ends"

Providing Lawn Services, Landscape Installations and Solutions and Sod Services in the Oviedo Florida Market

If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-19-2011, 06:53 PM
jvanvliet's Avatar
jvanvliet jvanvliet is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 3,935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Geist Yard Works View Post
Not sure with the distance between us if this would work for all - but I generally use day light savings time in Fall as my mark to kick my personal irrigation system back to once a week (which would deliver the 1/2 a inch to 3/4 of inch a week).
If I really watch the turf during the winter for when to water I have gone over 14 days without the irrigation system turning on during this time of year without any signs of wilt.
Michael George Washington Carver Geist?

I'm in South Palm Beach, just a little North of the Broward County line.

I am more inclined to use 30 day temperature and humidity projections as a gage. I don't think your methodology is wrong.

In the past, when temperatures have remained well below 70 in the day, I've had my system turned off for a month. Cutting back customer irrigation to 1/2 - 3/4 inch once a week is reasonably prudent and doesn't require constant monitoring.

Tearing out turf and installing other ground cover is not always a viable solution economically, or when HOA's determine ground cover and limit ornamental plantings.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.com™ - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:54 AM.

Page generated in 0.11172 seconds with 9 queries