Poor watering practices

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by LawnsharkMB, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 545

    How do you warm season turf guys deal with customers and the HOA board members who know it all and insist on watering their lawn or property 3-4 times per week (in some cases everyday) for 10-20 mins per zone? Maybe it's just my area but it seems like everybody wants to water this way.
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  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    If it is sandy soil then perhaps it is justified... one size fits all ,,, doesn't have any relevance to irrigation...

    Did you look at the soil to see what the irrigation is doing,,, for it??? or against it???

    Do you know what kind of soil you're dealing with???
    If so, then that should be a major issue in your question... :)
     
  3. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 545

    The soil here is sandy, I'm on the coast in South Carolina. Everything I learned in school and from working at the golf course (all Bermuda) says to water deep and infrequent. 1 inch of water per week all at one time. On sandy soils maybe a half inch spread 3 days apart.

    The property in question that brought this on was sodded with st Augustine last spring. Right now there are bare areas and everywhere else the grass is thin. The irrigation was set to run 7 days a week, 10 mins per zone.
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  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Lemme guess .... at a 12 PM start time?
     
  5. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 545

    Actually they had that part right. Irrigation was coming on at 5 am.
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  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Not a big fan of daily watering, even on sand...

    We actually have that schedule for dog spots on clay though(10 min. @ 10 AM) and with our cool season grasses it seems to work well... the dog spots are lessened to a large degree and the grass is doing excellently w/out any fertilizer whatsoever...
    Still not 100% elimination of the dog spots though... :)
     
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,808

    If the soil is pure sand, that is not unreasonable. What is the estimated precipitation rate of the system as it is set up? If it is all mist heads, that is way too much. If it is rotors or stream rotary nozzles 20 minutes is barely enough. On the other hand, I prohibit daily irrigation of lawns and landscapes on heavy clay. I fight with people all the time about short cycling the irrigation system. They either want to run it for a few minutes every day or else they get a heart attack when I set the irrigation to put down 1/2" of water every 4 days. They think that the short cycle of 5 minutes with rotors is supposed to work even if it is only done once or twice every 7 days. :hammerhead:

    BTW, not agreeing to the irrigation scheduling I set up FIRED. Unless that same person can come up with the magic spray that cancels out the effects of incorrect watering. I am operating in an area with a 365 day growing season and less than 25" per year of rain. Any rain that does occur comes from storms that dump several inches of water all at once and those are of course, few and far between.
     
  8. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    Fired? I don't know many people who willingly give up customers instead of trying to work with them. If I had a lawn service that was that needy and controlling, I would fire him so fast his head would spin. To each his own, I suppose.

    It would be some kind of bad luck if all your customers got together all at once and changed your irrigation timings, wouldn't it? Would your head explode? You would be out of customers and out of a job, but at least you would have the last laugh by firing them, right?
     
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,808

    Then I find customers who will comply with the program. It is all about education. After educating someone about good watering practices and mowing practices, if they are not compliant, they do not need me. Believe me, I have tried to "work with" people who want to do things their own way. It ends up with them not satisfied and me becoming more and more stressed out. Someone that proposes to know more about grass probably does not need me in the first place. I do not play games with know it alls or DIYers. Those are not my customer base.
     
  10. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 545

    This is a funny business. Nobody would argue with a plumber or electrician, or the cable guy when he comes to fix something. Yet everybody thinks they know more than the lawn guy.
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