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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:14 am 
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:shock: :shock: :shock:

You've tried all that and still have compacted soil and a short cycling on wilting? Are you evaluating the compaction after a rain or after a week or two of no rain? Your soil should get very soft after one inch of rain. It may return to very hard on the surface a week later, but there still should be moisture down in the root zone. The grass should remain green and turgid (opposite of wilty) for several days after the surface soil gets hard.

This time when you aerate follow it up the next day with 2 cubic yards of compost per 1,000 square feet of turf. Sweep the compost into the holes left by the aerator. Then fertilize heavy with alfalfa or corn meal and water deep.

But don't do any of this until you get the results of your soil test. You may have a pH, salt balance, or chemical problem that is keeping the microbes from working right.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 11:15 am 
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Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
:shock: :shock: :shock:


That's how I looked pretty much all summer. Here's a photo that my wife took of me around mid August a few days after I'd just watered..

:shock:

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You've tried all that and still have compacted soil and a short cycling on wilting? Are you evaluating the compaction after a rain or after a week or two of no rain? Your soil should get very soft after one inch of rain. It may return to very hard on the surface a week later, but there still should be moisture down in the root zone. The grass should remain green and turgid (opposite of wilty) for several days after the surface soil gets hard.


I did dig up a few plugs and take them into Rhodes to see what they thought might be going on. I explained to them what I'd applied earlier in the year, how I was watering and what I was seeing. Their best recommendation was to apply a polymer product to help with water retention.. bad, bad advice after I thought about it.

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This time when you aerate follow it up the next day with 2 cubic yards of compost per 1,000 square feet of turf. Sweep the compost into the holes left by the aerator. Then fertilize heavy with alfalfa or corn meal and water deep.


Immediately after mechanical aerating in early spring I applied my fertilizer, lava sand, dry humate, texas green sand, etc. followed by a deep watering. However, my September mechanical aeration was followed only by a deep watering.

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But don't do any of this until you get the results of your soil test. You may have a pH, salt balance, or chemical problem that is keeping the microbes from working right.


I'll have the results back this week along with a recommended amendments list. When Michael Bosco (Soils Alive) took the core samples he noted the compacted clay. In some areas he wasn't able to punch down more than 4 inches due to a layer of limestone and hardened clay. Hopefully the test results will shed some light on what's going on and provide me with a regimen to get things in order - and more importantly change my :shock: face into a :D

~Dave


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:21 am 
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Dchall;

I have read that when watering lawns it is better to water in stages, ie., if you want to water for an hour, water in three 20 min. cycles. This supposedly reduces any potential run off and allows for a deeper watering, esp. in compacted soils. Is this something you would agree with?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:29 pm 
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Agree? I would acquiesce to it IF the 20 minute cycles were separated by no more than 20 minutes. If this works for you to get an hour's worth of water on it, then do it. But don't put on 20 minutes today, two days from now, and then two days after that. That's the worst yet.

Sometimes soil gets real hard and will not accept water unless it is moist. This is the "dry sponge" effect. Once a sponge is damp, you can wet it fast, but when it is dry the water will roll right off.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:57 pm 
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Thanks. I did mean watering in cycles during the same morning. I am following all your advice, so hopefully by this time next year I'll be able to water a full inch w/o having to cycle through the stations three times. Thanks again for all the great info.


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