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Lawn Replacement in Dubai

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by loicdxb, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. loicdxb

    loicdxb LawnSite Member
    from Dubai
    Messages: 9

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie and this is my first post on this forum so please be lenient.

    Here is the subject: We finished couple of months back a residential project including mainly hard landscaping (pathways, flowerbeds, water features, terrace,...) and we've provided the lawn as well.

    Most of the lawn we use here in Dubai is hybrid Bermuda Grass (but I would not be able to give you the exact name). Anyway, since the client was leaving the country to spend July away and probably to reduce his facility bill (water is fairly expensive here), he reduced the irrigation program and called us few days back complaining about burn grass and brown spots.

    What I need to say is that the client wanted to go cheap since he just purchased the house, so my engineer proposed some regular sprinklers. Obviously because of the free shape of the landscaping and in the corners irrigation coverage was not optimum so grass effectively burn totally (it's really hot in here in summer) but it's no really big deal since we can change the Bermuda.

    The point is, despite his new irrigation schedule, his water bill is still pretty high so he decided to go for a water well. But even by drilling 70 to 75 feet deep the water will be quite salty, around 2,500 total ppm.

    So here is what I would suggest:

    - First :change the regular sprinklers with rotor sprinklers (Rainbird 3500 series most probably) - less sprinklers but better coverage.
    - Second: Remove the Bermuda Grass and put some SeaIsle 2000 (same price that Bermuda - Here around 0.3$ per Sqft). SeaIsle 2000 should be fine with a 2500ppm water - What do you think ?
    - Third : Eventually overseed with Perennial Ryegrass for winter (here winter is kinda warm not less then 20 degrees Celsius.) so lawn will be ever green.

    Do you guys have any other suggestions or better ideas ??? I'm open to anything since my customer is happy with it.

    Thanks in advance... Cheers.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    So why are we trying to put grassy lawns, of American Bermuda, in the desert, when all you have is salt water, in the natural resevior. What sort of grass, does the Middle East have naturally?
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Hey welcome to the forum, cool Dubai
    We loaded up a container of our hydroseed product for 3 new golf courses over there last year

    There is a very salt and drought tolerant grass being used in florida called paspalum, it actually does not like nitrogen and can burn from too much fertilizer

    I don't know if you can import it or not but it sounds like the perfect grass for your area

    I am not an irrigation guy so I will let someone else jump in here for that
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    it is called sand
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    The only way to reduce your water bill is to increase the efficiency of the irrigation system (design & management), and/or don't use landscape plants that have high water use.
  6. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    sounds like a crap place to live anyways, making something grow out of the dead ground. the earth made it that way in dubai for a reason.

    paspalum is the same as dallisgrass, and it is a weed here so that is pretty funny. it is also an annual here so....
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    What ever happened to if you can't say something nice don't say anything?

    Welcome to the board. I agree, get your irrigation system dialed in first.

    What kind of PH are we talking? I don't know the conversion to PPM salt. I know here we have similar weather and many homeowner associations and golf courses get reclaimed water for irrigation. The PH for that water is up in the low to mid 9s. Even city water out of the tap is 8-8.2 typically.

    The fix here is a injector system to inject a product through to bring down the PH, buffer the salts and provide some fertilization all at the same time. Here is a link to the company http://www.biofeed.us/ he ships product all over the world. I have been using the product for about 16 years.

    Others will say to inject N furic acid or Sulfuric acid but that is a temporary fix and will kill the soil. Not to mention that it has to be dialed in pretty accurately and will increase your injector costs.
  8. loicdxb

    loicdxb LawnSite Member
    from Dubai
    Messages: 9

    Thanks guys for your so prompt answers... I never thought I would get so many answers in a so short period....

    Well, I definitly agree on the fact that Irrigation design should be improved, but you know here we are working with pakistani guys and there not famous for using their brain first - But some of them are still very polyvalent.

    Anyway, since I took this project in charge now and since I'm the only western I'm gonna try to do things right.

    From my point of view, basic sprinklers do not provide a good irrigation coverage and water the grass on a misty way so more subject to be blown away by wind or evaporation. So in my opinion, there are 2 choices :
    - Change the sprinklers head with Rotary Nozzles.
    - Switch to Rotor Sprinkler. I've made a new drawing and still few corners would only be covered by only 2 sprinkler but most of the lawn area would be irrigated by 3 to 5 sprinklers.

    Well to reply to :
    - SmallAxl : Middle East does not have any kind of natural grass, there is just sand, rocks and few trees growing in the desert. Why do we want to put lawn? Because there are couple of millions of expats living and working here since Dubai is a worldwide economical and financial hub, so they want a nice lawn in their garden to enjoy the 360 days of sun (5 days of rain). Water here is produced from desalinisation plants and communities area are irrigated with grey waters. There are couple of water spring in the desert and in the mountains but not enough to answer the population needs.

    - ICT Bill: SeaIsle 2000 I was talking about is, I think, and hybrid variety of Seashor Paspallum, that's why I've selected it. It seems that lots of golf courses in the UAE, Barhain, Florida, Hawai, ... are using this grass.

    - Grassman177: Bermuda grass like Tiffway 419 or Seashore Paspallum are widely used by golf courses all around the globe including US and I'm pretty sure it is one of the main turg grass used in Florida and all south coastal states in US... So not sure we can consider this as a weed... Thanks for you answer but nothing funny in my issue.

    - AZ Gardener : Thanks for your suggestion about PH. I did not check soil and water PH yet. for the soil since it's mainly sand I guess PH is pretty basic (alkaline) even if we've already mixed it with some sweet soil, some coco peat (to retain water) and bio compost. In the meantime, it seems that seashore paspallum can accepte water and soil with PH up to 9. So we should be fine

    Thank you all for your comments... If any other ideas or comments feel free to post a message.

  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    hey it is all good, but wow, i just cant get over the way they have developed that desert wasteland and the price it is going for over there. i just find it very odd that is all. i do agree though rotors are a better choice. is all the water desalinated or is there any fresh at all?
  10. loicdxb

    loicdxb LawnSite Member
    from Dubai
    Messages: 9

    well... to be honest except the "Empty Quarter" close to Liwa (Abu Dhabi) the desert is not a real "wasteland" since there are some camel farms, some petrol fields, few villages and then than the mountains start...

    there is some fresh water springs in the mountain close to Hatta, creating some " natural pools" it a bit of a tourist attraction now... Some fresh underground water has also been found in the desert, but to be honest when they drill in the desert it's not to find water.

    So yes, it's a freaking hot country, yes it's a muslim country, but guys it's nice living there... I'm sure your wives would love spending some time in this No tax Shopping heaven while you're enjoying a deep sea fishing trip with sun and booze (yes alcohol is allowed)

    Well, we are deviating from the original subject.

    Regarding the rotor sprinklers - Does anyone have experience with the Rainbird 3500 Series (3504 to be precise)


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