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 Post subject: lawn, not a lake
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:50 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Grand Prairie,TX
I live in a neighborhood with large portions of "common areas" that are maintained by the H.O.A. Over the years my impression has been that the sprinklers always seem to be running. But recently I've started paying closer attention to their watering habits. They have at least watered the past four nights in a row, which suggests they may water every night. (But I didn't notice the duration, probably about 10-20 minutes.) I just started paying attention to it, but I think that's typical. And I have noticed some low lying trenches in the common areas visible from my house have stayed continuously wet since early July.

This irritates me. I try to approach the matter scientifically. They water the past four nights in a row, but I have watered a grand total of 10 times in all of the year 2009. (I have kept records on a notepad, the duration is 20 minutes per station.) And to the impartial observer, my yard appears as green and dense as the common areas: that would be the bottom line, wouldn't it? So I start to believe they're being wasteful. They water too much, and some of that water runs along the curb and down the drain. Gallons and gallons of waste. Maybe someday I'll do the calculations.

But I try to be humble. The neighbors think it's silly to get worked up over this. "The turf is green and they're no fire ants, none of the rest of it matters." Maybe they have good reason to water that much? They're in the turf management business, and I don't have any credibility on the topic of plants. I try to think of reasons, but they're all pretty wild. Maybe the common areas require more water for some other reason? Maybe the over watering is good for the Barnett Shale? Maybe it prevents fires? Maybe there's a legal obligation? Maybe they get to mow it more often and get to pass on the expense to us? Maybe it doesn't matter because there is plenty of water?

So I want to ask someone who knows: assuming that they water just four times a week, which appears to be more than is necessary for good looking turf, is there any other good reason to do it?


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 Post subject: Re: lawn, not a lake
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
There's one good reason to water frequently and that is to reestablish a good fungal mass in the soil. However, once you have that, then STOP. There are many good reasons to water infrequently. The best one is to prevent weed seeds from sprouting. They need nearly continually moist soil to sprout. If you only water once a week for an hour, then the soil surface (and the weed seeds) have time to dry out between waterings. Then they can't sprout.

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 Post subject: Re: lawn, not a lake
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:50 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Grand Prairie,TX
This didn't come out in my original, overly wordy post, but I'm just trying to build a case against the H.O.A. for unnecessary watering. As far as I see it, they water far more than me but their turf looks no better and sometimes worse. I just thought I'd post to see if the HOA has good, bad or no reason for what they do. (Want to learn a little on my own before I mention it to the HOA.)


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 Post subject: Re: lawn, not a lake
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:06 am
Posts: 23
Location: Garland, TX
I can tell you this much, many HOA's have really particular parameters on their watering requests. Very few of them are designed and written according to environmental or plant health. Most really over water badly. The maintenance company won't do anything unless something is said. The HOA won't change anything unless you bring it to their attention.

I've had several HOA contracts over the years, still have some of them. They all have had recommended watering schedules in the contracts....many asking for the same in January as August! I've tried to advise, occasionally falling on other than a deaf ear.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: lawn, not a lake
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:32 am 
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HOAs are different everywhere you go. Ask them for the WRITTEN guide by which you and they are to care for the lawns and gardens. Chances are they don't have anything written and if they do it is very vague and general. What you are probably up against is one person's interpretation of the vague or even unwritten rules.

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