drought stressed turf

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by General Grounds, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob2: hey guys, here in central NJ we have had hardly no rain in 2 months except for a passing thunderstorm. It seems that this year people are very not understanding that we have'nt had enough rainfall to support a healthy lawn, are becoming almost impossible to deal with. i'm sure you her it also " i water for a 1/2 an hr everyday", but they dont seem to understand that there lawn is in the blasing sunshine with no shade until it gets dark out.

    My ? to you guys, is it me or does it seem people this year are very demanding, and do not have any common sense. It also seems like its people i Never hear from unless they need add'ntl work. I never thought i'd wish for a 2 day soaking rainfall to push all that fert. in the ground and get some greening. Thank Tony
  2. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Hang in there Tony!!!We had the drought in my area for about a month, and we have been blessed with rain as of late.When the first signs showed of drought I talked to each of my cust. and told them what they had to do,a few listened.My one older lady couldn't afford to water so now i'm overseeding and trying to fix the back yard up!I guess my opinoin is just educate them and if they can't or don't want to water then you tried..I'll keep two fingers crossed.:rolleyes:
  3. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Tell them watering 1/2 an hour daily is a waste-o-time and a waste-o-money! Depending on the PSI of the hose will decide on how much that is in depth in the ground, my guess it might be 1/4", maybe!

    The goal, and the only goal is to water the root system, most cases that is 6" into the ground. To achive this usually takes watering for 2-3 hours at one time with small breaks to allow for absorbtion. Shallow frequent waterings never get to the roots and evaporates during the heat.

    Test how much water they are getting by placing a coffee can (or simular) in the lawn, have them run the sprinkler for 1/2 hour and see how much water is in the can. If it is 1/4" then they will need to water around 2 hours to apply 1" of water to the lawn. Again, adjustments must be made depending on soil condition and absorbtion rate to prevent water run off.


    Since this has nothing to do with pesticides I'm moving it to the lawn care forum..
  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Gotta bang em on the head and educate them. However I'll disagree with Kirby on the 1/4" daily. You can do it but not starting from a water deficit

    We're water restricted to odd/even days in many areas I work. However in some that are not I pulled a 180 this year and began adivising people it was OK to water daily if done right. Meaning for us in S. Jersey about 1.5" of water per week in June and July. Knowing the precipitation rate by catch can test or formula is a must.

    Simply calculate how many hours or what fraction of an hour are needed per 7 days. Convert to minutes then divide by 3.5 for odd/even or 7 if every day, for minutes per zone.

    To help sell this, particularly if it varies greatly from "tradition" I have also been providing guidlines about watering in the other months.

    Based on June/July amounts and time
    April 55%, May 80%, August 85%, Sept 65%, Oct 35%, Nov 20%

    I'm doing this on my own sandy, full sun lawn and a retirement complex that we bult with 4 large systems amd it's working like a dream.

    Keep in mind that if you have July like weather in Aug like this year you need the July amount of water.

    The concept here is water conservation and the most efficient use of water. You are replacing what is lost every day by evapotranspiration.

    An evapotranspiration table is found in the 2002-2003 Hunter Irrigation catalog on page 94 as Climate ETp table.

    The rest I developed on a program called Irricalc which graphically and in numbers gives water demand by month, zone, etc. and is used to design irrigation schedules.
  5. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    Dont forget to educate the customer on the time of day to water...I see so many people watering at 2pm while there is a 20 mph wind.
  6. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    The lawns are so stressed there straw....It hurts to walk barefoot. The soil is so hard youd need a augor to make a hole in it! Guess who is out aerating.....you guessed it.....chemlawn!!! They are pulling 1/2 plugs and overseeding unirrigated lawns! REDICULOUS!!!
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    You would be a rich man if you follow that chemlawn truck and contact those blind sheep a little later in the year and sell them on the correct way to do the service.
  8. powerreel

    powerreel Banned
    Messages: 481

    Wetting Agents.....

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