Poor watering practices

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

  1. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    Well said. I am not a mow and blow person. I am asked to fix lawns that are not responding to the capabilities of an untrained person. When I call an electrician, builder, or even my diesel mechanic, the last thing I am doing is fighting with him about how to fix something. My only questions are along the lines of how much will it cost and how long will it take to fix it. If I knew more than they did, they would not be called in the first place. I respect someone's knowledge and experience more than to treat then like the uneducated hired help.
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Same issues plague cool season turf here. :)
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  3. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,719

    Once again I will agree with Greendoc. If they are spray heads they will be putting down plenty of water. If they are Rotors then they are more than likely just wasting water because 10 minutes everyday is not doing a darn thing for the evapotranspiration rate. There are a lot of variables but most of the rotors apply around 3/4" per hour at head to head coverage and matched precipitation rate, and most do not have the matched PR.

    If you want to you could PM me some info and I could come pretty close to telling you how much water they are putting out a time or you could get you some catch cans and check exactly.

    If you know what you are doing then you can make these know it all customers realize they don't know chit. But getting them to do it is still a different story LOL
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    Know it all's either back down or they continue to push. That is ascertained at the initial meeting. Which is why the scenario of everyone messing with the irrigation system just to upset me is not likely. I am not there to play games.

    I recently had the experience of fixing 11/2 acres of St Augustine at an HOA. I had a mostly willing audience because the alternative was to rip out and re sod everything, possibly having to change it to some kind of zoysia because by initial presentation it looked like the St Augustine was not making it. One of the conditions I imposed was recalibrating the entire 500 head irrigation system to MP Rotators, then running that system to apply 1" of water every 4 days. Then, what was an even harder fight with the homeowners was mowing. HOC was to be no less than 4". People are used to grass being either cut with a rotary set at the lowest setting and everything else scalped with string. No more. Mowing height was set at 4", trimming was done with a Landscape Blade at heights matching the mower and edging of hardscapes done with a stick edger. Timing of/application of fertilizers/herbicides/insecticides was up to me. One year of doing things my way saved this HOA from a $100,000 sod job.
  5. I still can't understand why people want to cut st aug low....if it is a non dwarf variety, it looks like crapola cut short. It then becomes nothing but a weed farm and a resod is inevitable.
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  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    Ignorance and the fact that mowing zoysia is like trying to mow bamboo. Yet at the same time, there is resistance to cutting bermuda and zoysia as low as it is supposed to be.

    I have to warn prospective zoysia lawn owners about what it is like to mow zoysia all the time. They are frequently told about how hardy, herbicide resistant, and drought tolerant zoysia is. They are not told about how zoysia needs a reel mower set for blade contact and a substantial relief ground into the reel to mow. The no relief/zero contact setting intended for bent and bermuda greens mowed daily does not work on zoysia mowed weekly. At least it is possible to get a reasonable cut on common bermuda with a rotary, if the lawn is level.
  7. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,467

    What type of head did the irrigation system consist of, regular sprays? What exactly is this landscape blade you mention so often?
  8. It's a counter rotating blade that should be used instead of a string trimmer, ESPECIALLY on sports turf. There is nothing worse that a reel cut lawn with white frayed tips along the edges. I see this all the time on high high end homes and estates down here. For the money these people are paying the landscape blade should be used no questions asked.
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  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    You missed my rather subtle point. Some controllers, particularly older ones, will default to water all zones for 10 minutes every day of the week. This is generally a problem with controllers that don't have a static memory and rely on the battery to retain programming. In this case, I expect someone, prolly one of the HO from the HOA, went into the controller to change the start time because they didn't like irrigation going off a 12 PM after the controller defaulted due to a power loss. I also see this type of daily irrigation from lawnboys who don't have a clue how to irrigate a site.
  10. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    Maybe that's what happened with this controller because I had to flip the breaker on. Could be something different causing the grass to thin. I was conviced it was the way they were watering the grass. We had a long drought last summer that fried everything that wasn't irrigated.
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