Sprinklers turned off

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by williams lcm, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,200

    This is the second customer this week that has decided to have the sprinklers turned off for good. They dont want to pay the high water bill. They both use to have beautiful St. Augustine lawns that where fertilized and watered. Anyone seeing a trend like this?
  2. Nope.
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  3. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Yes. I have mentioned it here before. It's been going on for a number of years now. For me it's been several of my elderly customers. I kind of feel lucky. The lawns have gone to crap. They have curbed watering and cut out fertilizing and pest control, but they have kept me. I'd prefer to mow all nice lawns, but these still pay.
  4. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    Yep, in some areas people have turned off their sprinklers to save on the water bill.

    BTW, if day time temperatures remain in the low 70's or cooler, irrigation should be reduced to 3/4" percipitation once per week.
  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Not sure with the distance between us if this would work for all - but I generally use day light savings time in Fall as my mark to kick my personal irrigation system back to once a week (which would deliver the 1/2 a inch to 3/4 of inch a week).
    If I really watch the turf during the winter for when to water I have gone over 14 days without the irrigation system turning on during this time of year without any signs of wilt.
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I have seen this before as Keith has said too. There will always be those who think they will save so much by doing such things. What they fail to realize is that maybe not this year, maybe not next, but eventually the perfect storm will hit and they will experience a pest issue, a water stress issue when no natural water occurs, excessive weeds, and eventually lose big sections if not the entire lawn. Any SA that does remain gets choked out by the bermuda that has invaded by this point.
    Bottom line - after resodding their entire property (or at least the front) after threats from a HOA - they start to understand that saving a little on pest control, fert and water, really did not save them any money in the long run and they had a crappy looking lawn along the way.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Does anyone actually calculate how much water to apply, or is it always guess work?
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Nothing too fancy on my own lawn but I do the catch can method to get a estimate on how much my irrigation system is delivering in a given amount of time.
    I know there are several irrigation companies that will do soil moisture sensors or will estimate your irrigation system bases off of pressure from the head, but I have yet to have but one customer actually have one of these companies do this.
    In general however most homeowners down here have no idea and stick with whatever formula the real estate agent or somebody else, like rotors get a hour, pop ups get 25 minutes.
  9. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,755

    I found out first hand on my centipede lawn this year how much damage can be done without watering. We are putting a son though college and helping my other son along. My wife kept complaining about the water bill so I just about completely stopped watering. Last summer was super hot and dry in Myrtle beach. My lawn looks absolutely horrible. I spent the weekend replacing my sprinkler heads and hopefully I can save the lawn. A quick way to measure the amount of water used to irrigate is to place tuna fish cans in the yard. They are 1 inch deep and should be filled once per week.
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  10. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    You have people who take their chances by not watering enough, just to prove a point. What I am talking about is a whole different animal. People who do not have to the money to pay the water bill at all, and fully realize the consequenses up front.

    I've got two or three elderly people that things are so tight for, they know they are going to lose the lawn, but don't have the money to pay $100+ a month to water. As I look back, you could see the pattern start to develop 5+ years ago. In hindsight, it's pretty obvious what little money they had was probably either in savings and for over half a decade they have not been making any money off their principal at all, and/or they lost a bunch in 2008 in equities. Watering the lawn is a luxury they can't afford.

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