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 Post subject: Watering?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:52 am 
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Location: Tulsa, OK USA
I have a couple of questions regarding watering. First, Mr. Garrett states the following in the information center under Water Saving Ideas (http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=61):
Water at night - 12:00-4:00. No - that doesn’t encourage disease - it rains at night.

Is that any different than watering in the late evening? Everything else I’ve read says to water in the morning, which I do at this point.

Second question. It’s stated that it is best to water once a week and to apply 1 inch (inclusive of rain). I just watered by back lawn (~ 2,500 sq ft, bermuda) – the small water gauge measured only a half-inch after two hours of watering. That means I would need to water 4 hours each time (that is the back only), and I fear I would long reach runoff before then since the yard is sloped and it is still a compacted, clay soil.

Any suggestions? I read this thread (http://www.dirtdoctor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2172&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0) but I don’t know that 20-minute intervals would be plausible in my situation.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:52 pm 
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Try to ge all the watering in before 8am to give the water a chance to trickle down before the 10 o'clock sun hits. Two hours and still not an inch?

Either your gauge is not reading right (use a shallow dish 2" max) or your sprinkling method needs some tweaking. What are you using to water with?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 8:37 am 
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Kidnasty, thanks for the reply. My measuring device is a small rain-gauge device made specifically for measuring how much you water. The watering technique in question are two sprinklers hooked upto one spigot. I did not actually see the gauge myself since the sprinklers were still going when I left. My wife actually noted the measurement. Therefore, it may have been well after the watering stopped. I plan on measuring it myself this weekend to see for sure.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:23 am 
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I skimmed over that thread and didn't see the part about 20 minute intervals. Maybe it was referring to a way to get the water to soak in better???

If your water ran for an hour or two and didn't collect an inch, then you are right in multiplying the time. But whether that is enough or too much must be determined. If you water for an hour, can your grass survive without wilting all week? If so, then regardless of whether you applied a half inch or 2 inches, that's what you need. If your grass wilts 3 days later, then water longer next time.

But if you reach the saturation point and start to get runoff, then STOP. When the grass wilts, try to water longer next time. Eventually it will get there. You might try a little compost or compost tea on the soil to encourage microbial multiplication. Also use organic fertilizer to improve the microbial health of your soil.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:51 am 
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Hey did you ever get things worked out?

Make sure you don't see alot of misting, mist is water particles lighter than air and are carried off, meaning no droplets to your yard. you might need to bite the bullet and install a simple sprinkler system in the problem areas.

I know it's sobering, but sprinkler systems are almost mandatory in Texas, Oakie landscapes, except this wonderful season we are having.

Good Luck!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:02 pm 
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What Howard says about it raining at night has been bugging me. Yes it does rain at night, but not very often. When a cold front moves through, yes we get night time rain. But by and large we get daytime thunderstorms cause by "afternoon heating." Then they shut down by 7pm.

I'm campaigning to stop night watering all together. My first reason is not due to disease but due to water wasting. If your sprinkler comes on at midnight, any runoff is long gone by the time you wake up. You could have 5 broken off sprinkler heads and not know it for weeks. Whereas if you're water goes off at 7am, everyone in the neighborhood will see any geysers and tell you about it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:32 pm 
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You will not have to worry about run-off when your soil is in good shape. Every year, in the fall, apply half an inch of good composted animal manure to the entire lawn. In time, the amount of which depends on how poor your soil is, you can achieve a healthy lawn that will absorb water instead of wasting it to run-off.

That is unless you have a severe slope in the lawn to the sidewalk. In which case, I would suggest a retaining wall. Keep the slope, but make it a gradual one toward the retaining wall.

For best results, aerate your lawn before applying the compost. Use an aerator that takes small plugs out of the lawn, and then spread the compost. (My personal favorite compost comes from Soil Building Systems http://soilbuildingsystems.com/). It's all about improving the soil.

DO NOT try those silly shoes with the spikes on the bottom. :roll: I know from personal experience that they do not work.:oops: It is my opinion that these spiked gadgets that strap-on your shoes are likely more successful at breaking ankles than aerating a lawn in dry, clay soil. If the soil is wet, you do not need to be walking on it. This will only compact the soil and add to your misery.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:37 pm 
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If I read your post correctly, you are using 2 "hose-end" sprinklers. If that is the case, I have in fact just recently heard (I believe in a radio ad about water usage reductions) that those type of sprinklers DO only allow about 1/4" of water per hour. Therefore, you would be running your sprinklers for 4 hours per week to get 1". As you said, your problem is going to be with the runoff. Unfortunately (from a $ standpoint anyway), a sprinkler system with a timer capable of multiple start times per zone is the best solution for you. I suppose you could try one of those timers that hooks on the water faucet, but I'm not familiar with how well those work.

Kevin


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:17 pm 
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It's odd that a 2-year old message would resurface but it gives me an opportunity to change my mind. I used to be anti night watering, but now I'm doing it. I still think you need to keep a very close eye on any automatic sprinkler system you have set to come on at night, because a broken head will flood somewhere. But the part about night watering "causing" disease is not correct. If you have a disease, it might nurture the disease, but the water does not cause it. Keeping your soil healthy is the first line of defense against disease.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:40 pm 
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This is a timely post as I just purchased a new home sitting on 2 acres planted with Bermuda. When I first saw the home a month ago the grass was a pretty uniform green. Now, three days after closing on the property the lawn has significant patches, swaths actually, of yellow to brown.

Many members rave about how little water Bermuda needs, yet the previous owner has the sprinkler system set to water nightly. The longest any zone runs is about 20 minutes. Could the problem be that the lawn is getting too much water and/or too frequently? The watering schedule has not changed, perhaps this is associated with the 100 degree heat we've been faced with for weeks now?

I'm not sure exactly what the previous owner did other than water and mow. There were no chemicals evident in the garage when I toured the home but that doesn't mean he's been organic. What are the best "first steps" to take in making this lawn the healthiest it can be?

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 Post subject: Watering
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:50 am 
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Start by watering longer, but less often.

Pat A


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:39 pm 
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Stuart,
20 minutes a night is just about exactly the wrong way to water. 10 minutes, twice a night would be worse. What this does is it allows ONLY roots that sit at the surface of the soil. Deeper roots would never get water so they would be dead. If you water longer so the water soaks in deeper, then the roots will have all that extra volume of moist soil from which to draw water. I've seen turf where most of the roots never touched the ground because of the watering method.

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