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  #1  
Old 07-08-2012, 10:49 PM
turbosl2 turbosl2 is offline
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Location: Saratoga County, NY
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When to water my lawn in sandy soil?

I have been trying to understand what the correct type of watering schedule should be for my lawn.
I live in NY,
the grass is kentucky blue and tall fescue.
Its a large lot ~1.75acres.
Its planted in sandy loom soil
Its irrigated (16zones, 2-4 rotors per zone)


The lawn is about 2yrs old

I have Rainbird 5000 series rotors.

Currently i water every other day for 40-45mins per zone, i have 16zones. This time of year everyones grass seems to look burnt out, mine is holding its own but you can tell by the second day its asking for water.

So here are some questions maybe you can help me with.

-Should i water every day this time of year?
-I start my sprinklers at about 3:15am, because it takes 6hrs to water half the lawn when i water 45mins, and i do the other half the next day (12hrs total to do the whole thing). So the system completes by 9:15am daily, but the grass goes a day without water.

I have been told so many things:
Some say you cant water overnight because it will promote disease, others say its fine, thats a myth.

Some say dont water every day, it promotes shallow root growth, if you water every other day it will send the roots in search of water and they will tend to grow deeper.

My grass drys out so fast, by the end of the day that was watered it looks dry as a bone to me.

I was recommended by an individual on another thread to get a mositure meter and do it that way, this is a great idea but idk what to look for.

What do you think.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2012, 11:47 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Water by volume, not by minutes. Start by putting some tuna cans out in the lawn and measuring how much water 45 minutes is applying...it might only be 1/16th of an inch. After you know how much water you are applying we can make better and more accurate suggestions.
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2012, 11:57 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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I also suggest a good fertilization program as well. Drought tolerance and rooting depth is influenced by how well fed the lawn is. Please do not confuse dark green with being well fed. Lawns greened up with excessive nitrogen suffer the most during hot weather.
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2012, 09:56 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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sigh .................................................

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Your basic water requirements on a per hydrozone (or valve zone) basis assuming no rain inputs, soil moisture content is at field capacity to start with and soil is homogeneous throughout root zone (both current and potential).

Interval: INTz = (AWHC * RZ * MAD) / (ETo * Kl)
INTz = Zone Interval (days)
AWHC = Soil Plant Available Water Holding Capacity (in/foot)
RZ = Root zone depth (feet)
MAD = Management allowable depletion (%)
ETo = reference evapotranspiration (in/day)
Kl = landscape/crop coefficient (%) (see WUCOLS)
Runtime: RTz = [(60 * INTz * ETz) / ARze] * RTM
RTz = Irrigation zone runtime (mins)
INTz = Interval between irrigation events (days)
ETz = Zone adjusted ET (in/day) --> ETz = (ETo * Kl)
ARze = Zone effective application rate (in/hr) --> from catch can audit (most accurate)
RTM = Runtime multiplier (a factor of DU) --> RTM = 100/DULH

Note: Other considerations need to be made here, but this will get you started in the right direction.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2012, 10:06 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
sigh .................................................
What in the world is your problem with Tuna... think of the increased sales.

Oh, wait you do have catch cans in there.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2012, 10:19 AM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
sigh .................................................
I'm sure the OP understands this...My guess, and it's just a guess, is that he blows right over your calculations and has a tuna sandwich or two for lunch today.
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2012, 11:23 AM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
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water

Expert groundskeepers(like at baseball stadiums and golf courses), judge the need for water based on the appearance of the grass. If it starts to wilt, they start the irrigation. They have skill and a practised eye. Temperature is important, loss of water (evaoptranspiration) is faster at high temps, sandy soil, low himidity, or windy conditions.
You will get lots of opinions here. I would not worry about disease during hot dry conditions, even at night. Disease--especially red thread, dollarspot and brown patch--tends to occur during warm rainy humid nights. During dry spells you will only be wetting the grass for an hour or two.

I am not sure roots can sense where water is hiding. They mostly grow downward, and branch regularly. They will not penetrate dry soil.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2012, 06:53 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Catch can are simple and good at telling you the inches per hour that your sprinklers are putting out at various parts of the lawn... looking at the soil after watering will tell you what is happening to that water... watching the grass will tell you how well that water is being utilized by the plants...

The nice thing about extreme heat is that it tells you where the weakness in your irrigation system lies...
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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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  #9  
Old 07-09-2012, 07:06 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Catch can are simple and good at telling you the inches per hour that your sprinklers are putting out at various parts of the lawn... looking at the soil after watering will tell you what is happening to that water... watching the grass will tell you how well that water is being utilized by the plants...

The nice thing about extreme heat is that it tells you where the weakness in your irrigation system lies...
Unfortunately, there are many reasons an Irrigation system is operating at less than optimal conditions.

Name 3?
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2012, 07:25 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duekster View Post
Unfortunately, there are many reasons an Irrigation system is operating at less than optimal conditions.

Name 3?
Pressure, flow and spacing...just a guess

Around here it's only two reasons...people are cheap and watering restrictions.
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