how much watering

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JRSlawn, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 636

    When you install a new lawn how much do you tell the cutomer to water? Someone told me to water till you sink up to your knees. Is this true?

    Jeff Smith
    JRS Lawn & Landscape
  2. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    i tell them to do it in interval, doing so helps reduce runoff water. sinking it up to your knees just makes more runoff and doesnt penetrate in the soil...

    i tell them to leave it on for 30-60 min then shut it off for an hour, then turn it on again for 30-60 min. just have them do that all day long. at least thats what i do and seems to work great as long as they follow it accordingly.
  3. blafleur

    blafleur LawnSite Member
    Posts: 229

    Thats a ridiculous waste of water, the grass can only use so much. I tell them to water immediately after installation until squishy (scientific term), however long that takes, and to keep it moist until rooted. The sod needs to be kept from drying out, but the leaves should not be kept wet for too long.

  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    People around here are a little tighter; we give them the option to wait until it rains to start watering.:)

    For newly *seeded* areas, the surface needs to be kept from drying out. How much water will depend on how well prepped the area is, the deeper the tillage, the more water will soak in, and vice versa....

    About a week after the grass germinates, it's time to go to deeper and more infrequent watering. That promotes root development, which will ultimately help the lawn.

    Now, for sodded areas, it needs to be watered as it is laid. Usually, what I've done in the past is to get about a pallet's worth on the ground, then someone follows behind and waters the p*ss out of it. You should NOT be able to walk across the sod without sinking to your ankles! Not only does the sod itself need to be saturated, the ground underneath does too. That process needs to continue for a few days, then it can be backed off slightly once the sod has begun to root.

  5. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    For sod I would say 20 mins in the morning, 10 in the middle of the day and 20 minutes at night. For new seeding, 15 morning 10 middle and 15 at night.

  6. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    Ite really difficult to give set times as alot has to do with soil type, sun exposure, water pressure, etc.

    I tell customers keep it wet, but not puddled. This usually gives them a good indication of what to do, and they adjust their watering times/frequencies accordingly.
  7. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    Very good advice. I have had customers tell me it cost them $400.00 in water to grow in August sod as opposed to $0 for November sod.

    Like the question, "how often should I water my grass and for how long". Watering schedules, be it for grow in or maintenance, need to be site and situation specific. 90+ in August on a South East slope in full sun with a slight breeze on new sod and that sprinkler better be running.
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    With all these watering till you sink to your knees, how do you fellows handle the fungus that is sure to start. Watering as with anything else should be based on the needs of the plant. Seed cant use the water that is soaked into the ground 6 inches or even 2 inches. Just aint no roots to reach the water. Keeping the surface moist and not soaked, letting the area dry at nite will promote good germination and reduce the risk of fungus. Changing the watering scheduel as the grass grows to longer and less frequent will promote better root growth.
    The same can be said for new sod. Sod is just grass with the roots cut off. It cant use the water that is 3 or 4 inches in the ground either. Sod will require more water than seed because of the leaf but again the goal here should be to not let the soil dry completely by using light waterings and watering at more frequent intervals. Letting the soil dry at nite will alow oxygen to reach the roots and help reduce fungus. Soaking is not necessary and is just a waste of water. Again as the roots grow, watering schedules should be changed to more water less frequently.
  9. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    You have to be somewhat aware of how much water different type of sprinklers and nozzles put out. For example, if you install turf where one large area on a zone that is being handled by Hunter PGPs stream rotors with #2 nozzles, you'll be putting down .17 inches per hour or less, but if you have another zone with some Rainbird 1800s fixed spray heads watering the turf, your precip rate will be ten times as much. Therefore, you need to adjust your water time accordingly to your irrigation specs.

    I install controllers with multiple programs as well as start times, and so right after sod installation the controller is programmed to water briefly every few hours. Generally Program A start times for the AM, Program B start times for the afternoon.

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