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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Howdy!

I’m relatively new to organic lawn care (and lawn care in general!), so I’m still learning the basics and putting two and two together. But if the basics don’t seem to be getting the job done, then I’m off to learn more advanced math!

I love to combine scientific information with natural/organic solutions! So, after the sizzling heat - and the accompanying sizzling of the lawn despite standard, normal watering practices - I prayed and was off to the races!

In addition to the great information on this site, I found this amazing scientific watering calculator online! It takes into account the PET - the potential evapotranspiration rate - in specific areas in Texas: evapotranspiration is the amount of water the soil will lose to evaporation and the plant will lose by transpiration (water given off by the plant to the environment). It can also take into account your turf grass and how you would like your lawn to look – pretty amazing!

What was cool was that I could see why my standard watering practices weren’t working – with the extreme weather, the lawn was losing more water in just three days than I gave it for the entire week!

If you’re interested, check out: http://texashelp.tamu.edu/hot-topics/?p=1820

You may find out that you’re right on target or, like me, maybe not so much… :!:

I’m looking forward to using the screwdriver test to see how far down the water goes after I deeply water (at least 1 to 2 inches) and (if needed) how to achieve better, more efficient saturation (continued use of surfactants, soil amendments, etc.)!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
The most-recommended tool for testing moisture in the ground is a golf club sans the head. They are easily found (I have a couple that had been left behind at my house when I moved in - they may not have used them in this way, but these lengths of metal were no longer useful for a game of golf!) and you can tell as you probe the soil how easy it gives, if it's soggy, caked and dry, whatever.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:32 am
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Howdy!

That's pretty interesting - why is that?

I used the screwdriver, and it was pretty amazing! At first, the screwdriver only went in an inch or two then wouldn't budge. I watered for 1 inch and voila! All the way down to the handle - 6 inches - even though the ground wasn't highly saturated wet! I was amazed! I didn't think it would go that far down with just 1 inch!

Although I watered at the most every 3 days for about 2-3 inches, I don't think any harm was done.

What I DID notice about two or so months ago is that when I watered in the evening (trying to cut down on the evaporation), the brown areas seemed to spread... Ewwww.... Before, when I was in weed obliteration mode, I didn't really water at all. That thinking filtered over into this summer, and I didn't try to keep the lawn hydrated until it was really very dry, even though I had shifted into St. Augustine growing mode (finally!). I started noticing that some of the ever present brown strangeness of my neighbor's lawn was showing up in our yard... Hmm... But after the rain - the "good stuff" - it looked better.

I just put out corn gluten meal and a little winter fertilzer (3-0-5), and I'm going to keep it watered, put out coffee grounds and milk, keep praying, and leave it alone until next year!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:09 pm 
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My weeds have taken over in the garden because they've gotten water. Good thing the crops are taller, but a major weeding is in order.

Perhaps the beauty of the golf club pole versus the screw driver is that you don't need to keep bending over - you can reach around and poke and prod more easily with the longer pole.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:32 am
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Howdy!

Ah so! I see the beauty in the golf club. :) I did have to stoop down quite a few times!

You have my sympathy about the weeds. But as a consolation, at least you have a lovely garden amongst the weeds!

I finished my epic battle with weeding in May of this year. Now it's time to resuscitate the lawn...

Have a great one!


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