Too hot and dry

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by mrsteve, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. mrsteve

    mrsteve LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    Here's an observation since we have been without rain for awhile. We made a real effort starting last year to try the cycle soak approach to irrigation. The thinking was to hopefully re-train the turf and beds for the twice a week watering and to send roots deeper. It seemed to be working as long as we got some supplemental water from the sky. Now with no rain, the bad designs are showing themselves again, in a big way. It seems that we need a full one cycle to sort of flood, and pick up the dry areas. It's wasteful I know, but I would say a full 80% of the systems we maintain are in that sad condition. Keeping legal with the restrictions we are adding a second program with a pm start on the water days. So we have am starts doing cycle soak and then a single start with full time that night. Still too early to tell if this will work or not, our annual color beds are burning up, but maybe we can save the turf and beds.
     
  2. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    Have you tried phosphorus that'll send them deeper. If you habe chemical restrictions in your area try hydretain. Hydretain is a great sell for commercial and highend residential accounts. Keeps you mowing plus the profit from the application. Awesome pitch point for places with water restrictions or astronomical water prices.
     
  3. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    I have a customer that has 1200 plants and with this heat the drip lines isnt cutiing it
    So the owner increase the water now some plants are dieing from water log
    So now shut drip line off and water by hand and starting see better results beds are blooming better and shrubs getting dark green again
    I hand watering every 2 days

    The ppl that installed the plants didnt grade beds very well
     
  4. mrsteve

    mrsteve LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    I guess my point is that we need better designs now more than ever. I don't see very many systems that can stand alone when there is no rain.
     
  5. mrsteve

    mrsteve LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    Here's another opinion of mine this year. I've switched to pressure regulating heads manly the Rain Bird RD series for sprays and the 5000 rotor. These are promoted as water saving devices for our customers. My results are that the rotor looks to be doing the job, but the spray not so much. I don't believe it the fault of the head, but more again of bad designs. The water droplets may hit the ground better at 30psi but we are not getting the distance. I'm currently trying the 45psi heads to see if they will work a little better. The 45psi body was created for the rotator type nozzle, but in my opinion is not too high of a pressure for a spray nozzle. I think in the old days our charts showed spray nozzle distance at different pressures, now they all stop at 30psi. The deal is we need distance and even precipitation for these older systems. I'm well aware of the case for the rotator type retrofit, but our water window is not long enough for these on most commercial properties
     
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,348

    Maybe down by you, but up north, there is no design that will completely keep up without rain, unless they run the system twice a day at 200%. Cool season grasses just can't grow "normally" with no rain for 6-8 weeks with temps in the 90's on a regular basis.

    But yes, the systems that have bad spots, are not head to head coverage definitely show in a year like this. But so does every nozzle that has the least bit of blockage or a reduced flow from a partially pinched line, etc.
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Hmmmm. Fescue is widely grown in my area, and we get no rain and average summer temps in the mid 90's every year, and it does fine.
     
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,348

    Referring to my post Kiril?

    Not many fescue lawns in my area, mostly KBG and\or rye.
     
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,490

    fescue ain't bluegrass
     
  10. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    we have some systems that are doing quite well, with proper design(any i have ever installed), but most are showing really bad right now. i am currently installing one with very bad pressure and low low flow. they popped up with flush, but have yet to nozzle them to see the final result. by design and math, all should be ok..........i hope!
     

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