watering confusion

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by SKIQUATTRO, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. SKIQUATTRO

    SKIQUATTRO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Location: Long Island NY
    Watering via Sprinkler on timer

    My lawn is established except for a few small spots that i'm seeding. I'm consufed on how to set my timer (duration/days)

    Should i set it to water at say 6am for 15 min then in the afternoon everday, or 1x per day for longer or everyother day?? I can increase if we come into a hot/dry stretch...i dont want to overwater or underwater....thanks!
     
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,214

    Most lawns like about 1.5" of water/week. They can survive on 1" but more is better.
    Put yourself a big flat container in the lawn where an even pattern hits it. Let the sprinklers run until there's .75" of water in the pan. Then set your controller to come on two (2) a week in the morning for the length of time to give you that .75" in the pan. Most pro suggest NOT to water in the evenings as the water causes the promotion of fungas.
     
  3. SKIQUATTRO

    SKIQUATTRO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    thanks...then why do i see all my neighbors in ground sprk systems going on every morning?
     
  4. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,214

    Deep watering promotes root growth, makes your grass more drought resistant, stronger, and thicker. Deep watering allows the nutrients to be absorbed by the roots that has been leached down lower in the soil. Fertilizer does not lay on the surface by goes into the soil by a term "leaching"
    Sandy soils (Coastal) leach moisture and nutrients quickly. You may have to water more frequently should your soil be sandy. Longer watering cycles will give the lower roots time to absorb some moisture before it leaches further down. Do what you like but 15 minutes in the morning will only wet the grass before it is evaporated by the sun and none to the roots.
     
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    Because they are over watering. They now have their grass so that if it doesn't get watered every day it will die.
     
  6. SKIQUATTRO

    SKIQUATTRO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    so whats the recommended length of time for the water to be on and everyother day?
     
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    There is no set time...you need to figure out how much water you are putting down. For 1" of rainfall on 1000sq feet you need roughly 600 gallons. This water time may vary greatly do to soil types and terrain....if hard packed it will take some time to soak in...if steep it will run off and collect in lower areas that will now need less water.

    The best way to figure this is to get yourself some empty tuna can and place them under the sprinklers. Run them until you get 1" and time how long it takes. You will then have a good idea of how long it takes to deliver 1" of rainfall. Place a few can all over your irrigation zones to make sure they are all putting out about the same amount of water.

    Now to tell if you even need water you may try the screwdriver test...its not scientific but it will work in a pinch. Get a long screwdriver 6-8" and poke it into your lawn...if it goes fairly easy your lawn has sufficient moisture if you have to pound it in with a hammer you likely need more water amongst other things. You can also look for signs of stress, curled grass blades, blue color and footprints in lawn that do not go away after you walk away...all of these are good indicators of insufficient moisture.
     
  8. SKIQUATTRO

    SKIQUATTRO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    thanks all
     
  9. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,214



    Chris:
    It's a wonderment what us southern boys know and do--yea screwdriver, footprints--good stuff Winder. I should have photographed that old run down Gin Factory there.

    Roy
     
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    Yeah, use whatever you have laying around!

    Which gin factory are you talking about?
     

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