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When to water my lawn in sandy soil?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by turbosl2, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Grasssales2001

    Grasssales2001 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    Irrigation is just one part of the whole picture. Where is this turf removal movement occurring?

    I can drive through most subdivisions and tell when people have irrigated because all of the water in the street. What is the cause? Bad irrigation design, operator error, compacted soils,poor drainage,.....?
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    That is where a trained irrigation auditor comes in to play.

    I can tell you for a fact that while increasing landscape size is seen as a favorable movement, they want to reduce the amount of turf used.

    All you have to do is look at the EPA Water Sense home design proposals. I made comments on it. It was open to public comment. Look at LEED and other green movements. Turf Grass is seen as taking too many resources, water, fertilizer, pesticides, fuel burning maintenance equipment. In addition, it is often poorly maintained, the source of water pollution....

    We have to clean up our act.
  3. Grasssales2001

    Grasssales2001 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    Turf can be grown to acceptable standards with much less fertilizer,water, and pesticides than most people use.

    How do you suggest we go about cleaning up our act?
  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    I suggest first and foremost joining some local trade association, that is the best way to stay informed and be proactive. This is the best way to learn about any social and legislative trends happening in your area.

    I was just chatting with some folks in the Texas Roll call thread of this forum. Some of the guys are dealing with city watering restrictions, restrictions they claim were formed with few if any irrigation and landscape professionals in attendance.

    I have here a few quarterly trade mags from the Texas Irrigation Association and the Texas Turf Grass Associations. They have some interesting insight from experts on mowing, managing turf under drought, irrigation, legislative news, product developments, industry trends.

    The EPA has several programs too. They send out proposals, they are open to public comments, they revise the proposals. Some become law, some become best practices.

    Take a look.



    For single-family homes,pools, spas, and other water features shall be treated as turf grass Option 2 – Turf grass shall not exceed 40 percent of the
    landscaped area.

    You will have to go look at it to soak it in full context. Again, there is also LEED which is becoming adopted my many cities as ordinances. First for Public Buildings, then Commercial buildings then for houses.
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    1" per week is not watering the piss out of a lawn. I would say that is a very conservative amount in this area. So far this season I have yet to need more than that. I watch my rain gauges, when we have a measurable amount of rainfall I deduct this from my manual watering.

    If you see bermuda curling and water at that time no damage to turf.
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  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    We have water restrictions to outright water bans around here. Been that way for many years.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    If his soil is really that sandy, then that would be the only time I would ever recommend a schedule like that.

    But personally, if he does have that much sand, and also no budget to water, then he's just peeing in the wind, literally.

    But, yes, not the best recommendation at all. My experience from sandy soil is that if you have a full sun lawn, the water you put down in the early am is going to be gone by noon if you have low humidity, a strong breeze, no cloud cover, and super high temps like you are seeing now.

    Even if you were to water at 3pm in that situation specifically, then the foliage should dry out completely by the evening.

  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    It's a cultural thing.

    You see large corporations that call themselves "green" or playing the green card in their advertising, but then you look at the contracts for grounds maintenance and all the requirements are anything but green.

    Just the hypocritical nature of our society, and why Homeowners feel the need to make themselves look better than their neighbor is beyond me.

    I catch flax all the time about my own lawn when it's stressed, but yet when it's naturally thriving I get comments on how great it looks.

    1.) I don't irrigate my lawn. If it dies from lack of water, then I'll just seed it again in the fall. If we don't get any rain, I might water then and usually the temps are lower and evaporation isn't nearly as bad, so it doesn't take to much water to get it going. Ultimately I'm saving my financial resources from not watering constantly, and not taxing the local water supply. And don't forget that the more municipality water you put down, the more your going to alter the PH of the soil so that the lawn needs more resources to correct that issue.

    2.) Herbicide application happens once a year in the fall and maybe a spring application if I really feel it needs it. That has only happened twice in the last 7 years. I might spot spray if I've got some hard to kill weeds.

    3.) Fertilizer, maybe 2 times a season.

    4.) Any established perennials in my lawn/garden have only been watered twice during this drought. They look rough, but they won't die and I'll hope for a better season next year.

    It's all about changing the mindset, and until we see drastic changes in the cost of water, herbicide/fert applications, etc, then we won't see a change until it hits the wallets extremely hard.

  9. turbosl2

    turbosl2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I cut it between 3-3.5" Usually 3.5
  10. turbosl2

    turbosl2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Each zone runs for 45mins every other day. It starts at 3am because if you add the 6hrs it takes to water half the yard you end at 9am. I water one half the first day and the other half the second day. So its every other day on the property, but i water every day.

    The 30mins and info i mentioned a few posts ago was my second 3rd schedule i just added yesterday, which waters most ALL the zones starting at 6pm. I have a TMC 424 controller and can have 4 schedules. Schedule 1 is the front, 2 is the back, 3 is everyzone just less time (20-30mins).

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