Water saving ideas

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by chesapeake, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. chesapeake

    chesapeake LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Here in the northern colorado area the price of water is going way up and an even worse drought is being forecast.

    I will have my yard aerated this spring and am thinking of some kind organic material to apply.

    What do I need to know about aerators, different types, how deep, how far apart for the holes etc.

    Also I have used liquid "Revive" on my lawn in the past and it seems to help. I have seen bags of revive also to be applied with a spreader.

    Would I be better off using something else besides revive, it seems real expensive.

    Also I water only about once every week or two, real deep.

    A coworker told me that the more often you fertilize that the more water the grass needs. It seems that my grass uses less water with frequent fertilizer applications. (spring, mid-summer and fall). The grass seems to me to be much more drought tolerant. This guy mentioned only fertilizing once a year and that fertilizing more often makes your grass turn yellow when it doesnt get enough water.

    Share with me all your knowledge.
  2. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    When the outside temperatures exceed 86 degrees F, a C3 (cool season grass) is stressed and suffers cellular damage. The worst thing you could do at this point is to put down Nitrogen fert and force new vegetative growth (this is what N does to a plant, it forces vegetative growth). This is because the plant shuts down its photosynthesis process in the heat, but vegetative growth requires the plant to burn energy stores. Since the plant is not producing new energy stores, the new growth is burning stored energy. That's energy that may not be needed to repair future damage due to the heat, disease, insects, etc. Also, vegetation is 80 - 90% water! You greatly increase the use of water by forcing a plant to grow in the heat. Yes, the plant looks better because you have new succulent growth, but you have weaken and stressed your turf.

    A warm season grass has a C4 pathway for respiration. Unlike the C3 plant, a C4 warm season grass loves the heat. Fert a C4 grass in the heat. Just make certain that you give it plenty of water because that new growth is still 80 - 90% water!!

    Potassium improves a plant's heat and drought tolerance. You may be seeing the plant's response to Potassium. You could continue to fert with Potassium in the summer, just use a low N or no N fert. Also, the spring and fall ferts builds a stronger, more vigorous turf. Fertilizing more than once a year will help your turf handle the heat and drought better. Infrequent but deep waterings help to promote deep roots. Deep roots will help a turf handle heat and drought better. Keep up your watering habits.

  3. What is your soil like there? From the area I suspect its very sandy, but sand or clay this will help.

    To topdress:
    Aerate then spread 1/4 to 1/2 inch of an organic compost. Call your nursery and ask for EKO compost or comparable.

    Revive is an ok wetting agent. The granular form adds organic through poultry waste but if you have problem soil like most of the state, then you want to apply more organic material by topdressing.

    Limit spring N to 1/2 lb per 1000 sq ft. Then 1/2 per K in early fall and 1 lb per K late fall.

    good spring formula = 20 10 5 or another 4-2-1 just keep N @1/2 lb

    Fall 20-10-10 or another 4-2-2 again apply N at recommended rate.

    You may still want to use the liquid Revive along with the topdressing. If you don't topdress then go with the granular formula.

    This link will show you about topdressing http://www.gardenseeker.com/Top Dressing a lawn.htm

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