How long should I water for?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Gabby, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Gabby

    Gabby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    Very dry in the Northeast right now. I am on well water. Well is a 20 gpm 225 feet deep. I have 7 zones. Soil is 2-3" top soil with some clay underneath. Wooded area so somewhat shaded in the morning and late afternoon. About 8-10 hours of sun on the long summer days right now. What would be a good amount of time to water per zone and what rest period should I give the pump. Also, how often should I be watering. No rain in site for next 5 days. Not sure on pump size, but pump is 11 years old now if that makes a difference. Don't want to hurt the pump or run well dry. Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    A generic rule of thumb is 1" per week for turf. Set our measuring cups in the yard and see how long it takes to achieve 1" of water. Divide that time by 7 days and you have your watering duration.
    Again, this is very generic but will get you in the ballpark.
  3. HokieAg07

    HokieAg07 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Finding out the replenishment rate of the well is a crucial aspect of irrigating off a well. This will tell you how much you can pull and prevent running it dry..
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Yes .... and it is so generic you shouldn't have even mentioned it IMO.


    Irrigation scheduling is dependent on what you are irrigating + environment + site conditions + management practices + what your system can deliver and its performance. You have not included nearly enough information. With respect to your well, you need to determine what your recharge rate is + irrigation demand before you can determine how to proceed.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    What you have to remember in a genuine drought condition, is that the dry subsoil will be pulling moisture away from the soil above it, so that you will need to supply additional water to make up for that.
  6. Do you have a lawn or you just want to water the trees? I'm guessing a lawn. If the lawn is only 2-3" of roots you will need to consider frequent watering with an occasional heavy/heavy for the trees.

    water the root zone you have not the one you think you have or wish you had. Those roots aren't going to go deep for water just cuz its there. If anything assuming you have a cool season turf the root zone is shrinking in size.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    No one waters trees in the northeast, unless they're newly planted.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308


    Ignore Fimco .... growing plants and turf is not something he is well versed in.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    As far as the pump goes, it doesn't need rest. You would rather it continuously run during the irrigation cycle. At over ten years in, I think you'd know by now if the well can run dry.
  10. Last edited: Jul 5, 2010

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