Need advice on how to protect new seedlings from upcoming scorcher.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by timgren, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. timgren

    timgren LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I'm REALLY PO'd at our weatherman!! Early last week he excitedly predicted mild weather, 65-80 degree days, partly cloudy with occasional showers midweek for the remainder of Aug and into Sept. I made the collosal mistake of actually believing him and re-seeded my front yard (10k sq ft) last saturday with a somewhat costly Falcon TTTF blend.

    Forecasts now show highs in upper 90's for the next 2 weeks. With my seedlings down and just starting to pop though, i need recommendations on how to keep the sprouts from getting completely scorched. I have two 2-zone hose timers that I have set for 15 minutes every 4 hours (the most frequent setting) during daylight hours. Will this be enough to keep the ground cool/moist? Any other tips? (I can't afford 10,000 sq ft of shade cloth.)
  2. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    "I'm REALLY PO'd at our weatherman!!"

    You act so surprised. lol They are never spot on. Only job you can have and do a terrible job at and no one questions it. lol
  3. timgren

    timgren LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Boy your not kidding! Thing is -- OK, they can be off 3-5 degrees at times and I won't complain. It's weather after all. chit happens.

    But an almost 12 degree variance??? That's criminal!

    With over $2 trillion in weather satalites flying around, you'd think they could do a little better. This guy must have been getting his forecast from the farmers almanac. The worst part: My wife now has "I told ya so" rights, and isn't afraid to use em.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    That's not criminal, that's totally normal. All those satellite's have made for better radar, that's it. I never believe the long range forecast, ever. The weather will never cooperate, and now you realize that.

    Keep the soil moist, not wet, but don't let it dry out. Hold off on the fertilizer till the second week of Sept. Put a 2 inch layer of straw over the seedling's, that will keep thing's from drying out. You will be fine, don't let it get to you. Good luck.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,650

    Doubt the grass will survive the upper 90s. Id plan on buying more seed.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'd go for a good soaking around noon then again around 3 pm... Will your soil drain or puddle???
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    I agree mabey even more
  8. timgren

    timgren LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for the encouragement - I guess that's the best I can do.

    By closely watching the sun and heat over the weekend, I "think" I got the watering system rezoned to accommodate. Whole lawn gets TWO deep 20 minute soakings early AM. (5am and 7am). Then between 11am and 1 am, each zone gets one 15 minute period "cool down" the soil and keep the top 1/2 from drying out. This cycle repeats at 3pm when the sun/heat seams to be at the worst.

    The soil doesn't puddle anymore. Over the summer I worked tirelessly on getting it deeply aerated to 6" and then topdressed with gypsm, lime, and compost filling the aeration holes the best I can. I have silt covered plastic soil/hardpan clay and have been at this fight for 10+ yrs now. It absorbs MUCH better now as long as the watering is done in two intervals an hour apart and not all-at-once.

    I will be one very happy camper if I can keep it from burning off over the next 10 days. Here's to hoping for the best. On a positive note, the stuff in part shade is growing great! 2" already. Full sun areas is only about 3/4".

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