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you asked me to water, but you never told me how long

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ant, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    you asked me to water, but you never told me how long


    as most of you know it's been dry here in the northeast.

    i send a notice to all lawn clients with irrigation systems that they need to start watering.

    few called me back and asked how long should i water? well i been telling them that 40 min. per zone on full sun areas for a start and we can go from here....

    well you and i know that it depends on soil type,type of grass,shade-full sun,etc..etc...
    but to explain this to a client is almost a waste..i know some will understand but most it is a waste of time. most clients don't even know how to set there timer.

    whats your rule of thumb on watering?

  2. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,573

    I would tell people to water twice a week, giving it about 1/2" at a time. We would suggest that people put out empty tuna or cat food cans and use those to gauge the water. A few actually did it. Most would just run for whatever the irrigation guy had it programmed for.
  3. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Messages: 406

    I try not to let customers corner me in to "how long" they should water. Water pressures can vary wildly, the number of heads/types etc. Too many variables to make that kind of blanket statement. My invoices all have a check-box for the amount of water recommended/week. Bermuda lawns can get as little as 1/4"/week and T.T.Fescue can demand as much as 1 1/2" during times of extreme drought or heat. I provide all customers at the time of the sale with a free rain-guage and coach them on how and when to water. The guage also has my companies logo printed on it so they don't forget who gave it to them. The main goal is to prevent overwatering on irrigated lawns. Many people are far too lazy to manage their system properly and rely on the "sprinkler guy" to set the system up with typical disasterous results. Some of my customers pump from local lakes and only have the cost of the system and upkeep to pay for, so they often run the system far too often (daily) or too long. I try to explain that in order to promote healthy,vigorous root systems they should allow the lawn to dry out completely between waterings. This encourages the root systems of the turf to "search" for moisture and prevents weak,shallow roots. Typically a Fescue lawn in my area requires only twice weekly watering at 1/2"-3/4" amounts. If it takes 1hr or 3hrs. it matters little to me, just as long as their rain-sensor is working properly.
  4. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I have been looking for something like that.... any details on where to buy and cost/each?
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I am amazed that in other parts of the country you let homeowners program their own controllers. Why is this? Are they just too cheap to pay for the extra time? What about sprinkler heads, who checks the nozzles for clogging on the spray heads? We replace at least 3-4 nozzles a week and unclog/clear the pattern of countless more. This is a value added service I would highly recommend if sprinklers are widely used in your area.
  6. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    good advice...but heres one problem we run into:

    irrigation system cost the homeowner $2000-$4000
    our average lawn application cost $60

    automatically the homeowner will think their 'irrigation guy' knows better...i mean after all he charges so much more???

    many irrigation guys around our parts will advice to run the system twice per day for 10 min. per zone each watering. completely insane. yet when we get calls for weeds/insects/ disease activity and explain proper watering...its almost easier to just slam our heads against a brick wall.

    whenever i recieve a call from a potential customer and they go on to say that they have automatic irrigation (as if to say their lawn should be flawless) i tell them straight out that if they do not heade to our advice....they should shop else where (as i have mentioned many times i am not the owner of this business, just the operations manager....my telling the potential client this drives the owner nuts but he knows how strongly i feel acout it and he knows the value of a customer who listens to and takes our advise compared to the customer who listens to their irrigation guy then cancells and says we suck)

    anyway we recommend watering 2-3 times per week applying 0.5 inche per watering (depending on compaction issues, soil type, turf type)

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    i told a client to water and they said they dont use the system :dizzy:
  8. Green Boys LawnCare

    Green Boys LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    I carry pamphlets from the County Extension office with me. This way I can show customers what they say about watering, fertilizing, etc. So, it's not just coming from me.
  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I was able to talk my clients into letting me set their systems. that way on a normal week, I knew when the water was going to be on so i coudl schedule the route and only have to worry about water from the sky.

    Yeah I gave away my time to set it...but saved alot of return trips to have to cut or apply at a different time.
  10. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589


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