Watering Schedule

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Katwalk, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Katwalk

    Katwalk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Dealing with primarily bluegrass, perennial rye and fescue grasses. I recommend to my customers to irrigate twice a week in 30 minute intervals. If we get into drought or blazing temps I up the frequence to 3-4 days. Is this the right thing to do on well established turf? Thank you in advance for any advice.
  2. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,161

    Pop ups or rotors?
  3. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    With fescue it doesnt matter if you water more frequent, you wanna water longer. 2 days is enough. Be sure that the soil gets plenty of water.
  4. twwlawn

    twwlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Customer's have me set their water timer's for the proper amount of water needed weekly. Before that, grass was not getting the right amount, lawn look like crap. Gotta have the green, green grass.
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    you need to figure out the gallons of water per minute the system is putting out. Also try a coffee can test to see how much is being put out. Make sure to check the soil with a screwdriver as well to see the depth that the water is reaching
  6. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    You should be putting down 1" of water a week, either in rain or irrigation, for a quality lawn. I prefer 1" of water applied at one time, once a week, in the early morning.
  7. sodzilla

    sodzilla LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Deep infrequent irrigation is the best. This encourages deeper root growth. Light frequent irrigation may deplete stored carbohydrate and reduce the turf drought tolerance. Light irrigation also leads to shollow root growth and can encourage weeds.

    Since most root systems of turf grass are in the upper 6" of soil. It is important to apply enough water to moisten the upper 4-6". This can be checked with a screwdriver as mentioned above.

    Deep irrigation will allow the surface to dry out forcing the roots to grow deeper to reach water. Generally 1" of water every 3-4 days is best.

    Applying water with an ordinary sprinkler system with average water preasure will deliver 5 gallons of water per minute. Useing a single sprinkler it would take 2 hours to apply 1" of water to 1000 sqf. This can be affected by the diameter of the hose also.

    Time required to apply 1" of water with a 50' hose to 1,500 sqf turf:

    3/4" wide hose: 39 minutes

    5/8" wide hose: 1 hour

    1/2" wide hose: 2 hours
  8. Katwalk

    Katwalk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Naturescape and Sodzilla....thank you. The 1" a week is what I was looking for. I think alot of peoples idea is that more is better and that they should be watering every day. Educating the customer is always fun!! Thanks again.
  9. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    The only thing I can add is to also base your watering on your soil. If you have a heavy clay soil, with poor infiltration, it's better to water in spurts - i.e., water for 15 minutes, let up for 15 minutes, water for 15 minutes, etc. If your soil is sandy loam, with good infiltration, then it's better to do it all at once. The reason for watering in spurts to prevent all the water you put down running off. When I was in San Antonio, we had to water like that - not much infiltration in heavy kalichi (sp) soil. Heavy infrequent is best, but you don't want it all to runoff.

  10. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    Watering lightly many times a week is the biggest problem people in my area make. The reason is turf will SEND ITS ROOTS TO WHERE THE WATER IS. If a lawn is watered lightly and the water is just in the top inch or so, the roots will only be that deep. Result is a very weak root system, hence unhealthy lawn. Katwalk -- now you know the scientific reason for deep watering. I explain this to my customers in regular newsletters -- I wish they would read them!

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