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Irrigation Schedule

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by snmhanson, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    As it starts to cool off a little here and the irrigation needs start to decrease I am wondering how to adjust my watering schedule. During the height of summer my lawn was requiring about 1 1/2 hours per zone every other day (Front - Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday Back - Monday, Wednesday, Friday). Now I am wondering if I should just scale back the times and keep the same days or should I take out a day and keep the same times or maybe a combination of the two. Ideally I would like to take out a day to give my yard a chance to dry out a little between mowings but I'm not sure if it is important to keep the irrigation going on the same daily cycle. So, if someone could give me some guidance here I would appreciate it very much. Thanks.

  2. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    Your lawn needs only 1 to 1 1/5 inches ( for most grasses) of water per week. One deep watering is preferable to many shallow waterings in order to optimize root growth. Ideally you'd apply the water slowly over an extended period of time to allow ALL the water to actually make it to the roots.
    1.5 hour per zone three times a week? How much water was that putting down? I would think that much water would make mowing very difficult.
  3. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Thanks for the reply. I am probably putting down close to 3" a week. At the beginning of summer I was underwatering my lawn and that is what it took to get it healthy again. During the peak summer months we seem to get very quick evaporation and the soil dries out quickly due to relatively pourous soil. Most of my zones have sprinklers with precipt rates between 1/4-1/3" per hour and head to head spacing. During the summer I would go with longer run times and irrigate less often if I could but on most days it gets really windy here around noon and messes the spray patterns up. Basically I was running my sprinklers as much as I practically could and it required that much water. And yes, it is difficult to fit mowing into both my schedule and the irrigation schedule. During July and August I would irrigate in the morning and it would be ok to mow in the afternoon. Now if I irrigate one day then quite often the next day everything is still a bit damp.

    Basically from your post it sounds like I am better off keeping my run times the same and taking one day a week off my schedule. I will try that and then see what happens. Thanks for the help and if there is any other advice please throw it my way.

  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    A lawn should be able to dry out a bit between waterings because you only get true root growth when the soil is starting to get dry..the reason is because only then do the roots need to seek out moisture and to do that they have to grow.

    CUTNTIME LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Being in north Fla.,it gets pretty hot this time of year.
    45 min. three days a week is plenty of water down here.
    Stick to a three day a week schedule and cut back your times.
    Rainbird has a digital timer out that lets you cut back your water budget by %,without having to change the time on each zone.Not telling you to change timers,its just easy to opperate from a homeowners standpoint.Good luck with your lawn.
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    What time of day you water?
  7. DWL

    DWL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Water early morning say 4a.m. before it get's windy and let your lawn have time to soak in the water and time to evaporate in the day. You know mother nature is not on a schedule so you really need to play with it.

    I water my yard twice a day and the lawns being 15min. in the early morning and afternoon hours and it looks great not smushy but lush, of course my soil is sandy and windy in the afternoon hours at times. It works for me.

    I use the same schedule for my Lawn Maintenance customers as well and for my customers with clay lawns 5 to 10 min. once or twice per day early mornings and afternoons depending if the lawns get full sun all day or if it receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Temperatures are high 80's to low 90's

    All these factors need to be taken into consideration when adjusting your controller/timer (Sun,Shade,Wind, Soil conditions, etc.) oh and Mother Nature is not on a schedule so you got to work with her. :)

    Hope this helps!

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