MSU:Water lightly and frequently during summer?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by slash8118, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Those formulas are actually just lint picked out of someone belly button. :laugh:
     
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    .............. mixed with dingle berries and snot, then arranged into complex formulas that axe can't understand.

    BTW, temps are going into the 100's next week in my area .... guess I better start syringing :rolleyes: :dizzy: :hammerhead:
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  3. Landgreen

    Landgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Zones average about 20 minutes. Its a good baseline to start out with.

    We do have lawns with thick topsoil and clay. Very rare though. Those get the "deep, infrequent" waterings.

    Not sure what the big deal is about different methods of watering.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. Brett Thomas

    Brett Thomas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    Wow many opinions on this thread some really thought through and others ... well not so much. First of all I went to N.C State and graduated with a turf degree. I'm posting to help those who want some advice and to clear up some of the confusion. If anyone wants to discuss matters further pm me and I'll explain details further.
    The article at the beginning of this thread was really good advice. If the slope is so steep to a point where the irrigation water runs off before the soil reaches its total capacity it would be better to split the times on that particular slope to ensure the soil will be able to absorb more water. It seems to me this would be more of the case on either clay soils or soils with a finer texture.
    For 8 years I helped my family start a tall fescue/bluegrass sod farm in NC with just pullout reels on slatey/rocky and clay soils. With sod you are pretty much waiting on the roots to create a strong enough mat to hold together after being cut. After collecting soil samples we divided our fields in to zones by soil type and calculated the field capacity of each zone. This was to ensure every ounce of fuel at our power unit was used efficently due to high fuel prices. I setup each zone at a reel speed and width of gun throw to make sure all the water being putout was going into the ground. Heavy clay soils retain more water but absorb it much slower therefore irrigation must be ran longer but not as frequent. Sandy/Loam soils absorb water much quicker but cannot retain as much water and therefore must be irrigated more frequently with less applied. Many people can make grass look good on the top side of the soil but show me someone who can cut out a fescue lawn in 90 + temps, haul it in heat/wind and then lay it back down 24 hrs later alive has my total respect. ITS ALL ABOUT PLANT HEALTH!!!!!!
    Every irrigation system should be setup for the type of grass/soil type. There isnt a resendential lawn that needs watering everyday. Daily watering will result in shallow roots and a much less hardy plant. Mowing also impacts root systems thus the need for short bentgrass greens to be irrigated daily during high heat. ALL irrigation should be ran After 2 am but before the sun rises during the summer. Fungus loves wet grass going into the night and running the irrigation during the dark will allow the least amount of evaporation possible.
    During hot temps cool season grass does benefit from watering during the day. Im talking just enough to wet the leaves not the soil. This is just a cheap a/c and ask any golf super why he syringes greens. Its not to water the soil its to cool the plant.
    I believe I have touched most of the subjects on here but if there is any questions just pm me
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    You seem to know a lot about our sandy lawns of cool season grasses burning up in the 15.5 hrs of sun @ 95 degrees...
    How about people have sense enough to water as needed...

    this "I know what's best" attitude is becoming tiresome... no one is saying that sandy soils needed to be watered on a daily basis to stay alive, other than during periods of excessive heat... but you know that healthy plants stay healthy during excessive heat on sandy soils... is that what you know better than the people living it???

    Sometimes our days are overcast for a week or so... highs in the 70s lows in the 50s... next day 95 with blazing sun and dessicating winds @ 25-45 mph all day long, even into the night... this will go on for 2 weeks and the soil doesn't hold water for 24 hr enough to prevent dehydration, but you know that it will last 2 days w/out water and be healthy...

    Setting the irrigation for one set of circumstances and letting it go that way for even a month in Wisco is foolishness... today I'll go look at lawns and reset zones according to what I see needs to happen, in each... our brutal temps are gone but the intense sun is continuing w/out clouds, but no wind... all brown spots will be investigated to see whether the soil there is getting as much water as its counterpart a few feet away and still green...
     
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    True, Auto watering on a timer is not best practice. When you have restrictions however you work with it. BTW, we now have some advancements in controllers called ET / Weather based programming.

    They are remarkably affordable. In fact the local distributor is having a sale today. I may go stock up on a few.
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Careful man .... dem controllers use formulas and science.
     
  8. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    historical data, formulas and sensors... Oh my!


    :laugh:
     
  9. Brett Thomas

    Brett Thomas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    smallaxe irrigation should always be set up by soil type, grass type and weather conditions
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    irrigation should be set up according to soil type, grass type, and weather conditions???
    Really?!!??!

    How about if the soil is dry you water it until it is wet enough, then leave it alone until it needs more water??? play it any way you like, but it all boils down to soil moisture in various areas of the lawn... 3 factors make you the all-knowing pro that will set the system for the season...

    I had a client tell me that the irrigation was set by the pro and to leave it alone, so I let his landscape die that season and half the front lawn suffocate from excess water... the pro forget about the shade on one side... and the slope was too steep to allow much to soak in, oh my, poor pro...

    Didn't need some book to tell me which direction to turn the dials for each zone, but it kills me that it took this moron an education, to screw it up that badly... another joke!!!
     

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