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Water deeply

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by RigglePLC, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,223

    Deep watering produces deep roots--everybody knows that--or do they?


    Or is this an old wives tale?

    So why do sprinkler companies set their clocks usually for everyday?

    So does deeper watering yield deeper roots--how deep? If one inch of water gets 4 inch roots. Does 2 inches of water yield 8 inch roots? 6 inches of water 24 inch roots? Does it depend on grass species? Soil type? Soil temp? Soil aeration?
  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I cant explain why any company does what it does. But deep watering will produce a better root system than light frequent waterings. Roots have a habit of growing toward their best water and nutrient sources. Frequant light watering ensures that source is going to be close to the surface of the soil. This is fine as long as you can continue with the regular irrigation, but if your irrigation system fails or you are put on a watering restriction, then the roots of the plant dont penetrate downward far enough to be able to pull moisture from the reserves deeper in the soil. Deeper watering cycles will also have healthier lawns with less fungal problems. Fungus lives and breaths in that aerobic zone that is close to the soil surface, you want fungus, keep it wet and damp at the top of the soil.

    On overfertilized lawns, the soil will often become compacted due to the carbon conversions the endup in the atmosphere. With this compaction, deep watering becomes harder to achieve. The harder the soil the more the water runs off. Also with compaction, roots arenot able to pentrate downward into the soil. If a root hits 300psi of resistance in the soil, it will just sendoff another shoot looking for a better nutrient and water source. This is often closer to the surface of the soil, again, this is in an area that is faster to dry out in the event of a drought situation.

    Frequent lite waterings are a good indication of poor cultrial practices and usually from more than one source. It could be the mower guy cutting to short, or the chemical guy using to much or the wrong chemicals, or the homeowner that thinks the lawn is supposed to be dark green and actively growing during the hot summer when it would usually be dormant.
  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    I fully agree with Mudstopper on the first and last paragraph but the middle paragraph sounds a little wacked!

    The middle paragraph confuses me a little! I agree that runoff is more likely on compacted soils...but since when does over fertilizing cause soil compaction!

    The only thing that I have ever known to cause soil compaction is excessive traffic and/or heavy equipment.

    This is a new one to me!

    SOIL TYPE, SOIL STRUCTURE and SOIL CONDITIONS (ie moisture) affect soil compaction.

    I have never heard of fertility having anything to do with the compaction of soils! Soil compaction is a physical action in the soil as it had nothing to do with chemical reactions!
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    I agree rcreech. In fact, midwest university research indicates that heavy/compacted soils require more nutrients than good soils. We see this evident every spring. Loam & sandy loam lawns green up quickly compared to heavy clay soil lawns which take several more weeks before they take off (unless they received the "late fall winterizer" (heavy fert).

    Watering techniques on heavy/compacted lawns may also differ (especially on slopes) compared to "good soil lawns" due the difference of soil permiability. New homebuilders here are required to have a 95% compaction rate or higher, hence the subsoil (clay) that most sod is laid on nowadays. No wonder more & more new homeowners have irrigation systems.:usflag:
  5. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    Air, water and nutrient movement is very most important for plant growth (as we all know)!

    If soils are compacted they lay wetter and don't have good air, water and nutrient movement! You can also lose N (denitrification) when soils are compacted and lay wet.

    Adding fertilizer on compacted soils usually shows a quick plant response due to poor root growth in compacted soils (root restriction).

    We had to run our crops last year on wet soils because it rained ALL fall...and now this year we are seeing some K defeciencies on the leaves of the corn. Our soils are not defecient....but the roots are being restricted!

    Help us out Mudstopper....where did you hear this? What Base Saturation levels would cause this? Just kidding!!!!!!
    I really am not trying to mess with you...I just would like for you to explain your "ideas" so I can try and understand! We have totally different ideas when it comes to soils...but you are the only one I have ever seen with these ideas! Thank you for the patience with my questioning!
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    50% growing medium. 25% air. 25% water. That's kinda what I was taught - regarding good plant growth. Heavy soils tend to lack optimum air & water.

    I know there is no perfect garden here. Great posts here by ALL! Nice job/good threads! and nobody is picking on anybody (thank God)!
  7. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    Same %'s that I was taught also!
  8. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057


    I have looked all over the internet and can't find anyone that links high fertility and compaction.

    Where did you learn this?
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

  10. treemonkey

    treemonkey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Regarding the original question, here is a new recommendation from Michigan State that will throw a wrench in everything you believe:

    http://www.turf.msu.edu/docs/turftipsE09.pdf go to amounts and schedules

    If one were to only read this one pub., you would think that daily watering is the new recommendation.

    But, go to this later article, and the daily recommendation is put into perspective:

    http://www.ipm.msu.edu/CAT04_land/L07-02-04.htm go to "turf stressing out"

    LESSON: Read publications from the Land Grant Ivory Tower with care.

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