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The Tattooed Gardener
07-01-2012, 01:38 PM
Hi everyone. This is my first post so bear with me as I get my feet wet here ;)
I've run into some....difficult situations with people & I'm not sure how to handle it without sounding like a jerk about the other guy. I service a larger city, but occasionally I handle some yards in a neighboring town. There's only one main LCO there. I've ran into this a few times now, taking over some of his clients who have left, but they're being told as long as they have irrigation it's not only totally fine but preferable to water every day, sometimes twice a day if it's hot (been 100+* here for the last week &looking like it'll stay tht way) . Now that goes against everything I've ever learned, & it's totally a duh thing for me, but these people are completely stuck on this. I've been able to convince a few people that this is in no way good for their lawns, & lemme tell ya the change has been apparent! But most people won't even consider changing ( Not that it's a huge number of people, but of the few I service vs the many he does here, that seems like it could be A lot of people).
Am I missing something, has this become the norm for watering habits? (I hope that was a rhetorical question lol)

mark123
07-01-2012, 05:57 PM
You are correct. Watering should be done deeply and infrequently. Shallow and frequent waterings will cause the plant to move roots to the surface and lessen drought tolerance. You want deep roots.

I have this book: http://www.amazon.com/Lawns-Scotts/dp/B000WPMSYE/ so that I can show it to people that don't believe me about optimum mowing height and watering frequency.

FTGUlawncare
07-01-2012, 08:53 PM
1 - 1.5 inch of watering a week is what i do and my home lawn looks beautiful , when its extremly hott and we are not getting rain i might water 1 extra time a week


the key is to let it go like 5-6 days then get the 1-1.5 inch of water:)

anyone who runs their sprinkler system every day is wasting money

The Tattooed Gardener
07-01-2012, 09:36 PM
Thanks guys. It just boggles me that someone would recommend daily watering. I thought watering was part of Lawn Care 101 lol.

FTGUlawncare
07-01-2012, 09:57 PM
Thanks guys. It just boggles me that someone would recommend daily watering. I thought watering was part of Lawn Care 101 lol.

the only time i might water every day ( in the morning) is if its super hot and i apply fertilizer i might water every day just to soak it in ......

FTGUlawncare
07-01-2012, 10:08 PM
"Frequent shallow waterings encourage weed germination, and they also cause the grass plants' roots to grow shallow, leaving the plant more susceptible to drought and to certain diseases"





Water only when your grass needs it. Water conservation isn't the only reason to limit the amount of water you give your lawn. Overwatering is also bad for your lawn's health and can contribute to the development of fungus and disease. Many people, however, don't know that they're overwatering. Some types of grass require more water than others, and environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and wind, can dramatically affect how frequently you need to water your lawn. Fortunately, the most accurate way to determine whether your lawn needs water is also the easiest: just look at the grass. When grass needs water, it will begin to take on a blue-gray tint, and the older leaf blades on the plant will begin to curl up or wilt. In addition, footprints will remain on the grass for longer than usual, as the grass won't "bounce back." When 30-50% of your lawn shows these symptoms, it's time to water.Water deeply to encourage deep root growth. Frequent shallow waterings encourage weed germination, and they also cause the grass plants' roots to grow shallow, leaving the plant more susceptible to drought and to certain diseases. Watering only when your grass really needs it encourages the roots to grow deeper, but only if you apply enough water each time to penetrate the root zone. The most accurate way to determine the depth of the root zone is to dig a small hole and measure how far the roots go down. Alternatively, you can follow these general approximations: if you have a bluegrass lawn, each watering should moisten the soil to 6-8 inches, while for most other grasses, the water should penetrate 8-12 inches. You can determine how long to leave the sprinkler(s) on by using one of the following methods.

Turn on your sprinkler for 15 minutes. After 18-24 hours, find out how deep the water soaked in by digging a small hole in the watered area or using a probe (a probe will push easily through damp ground). You can also push a shovel into the ground and use it as a lever to spread the soil apart enough so that you can see several inches below the surface. Once you see how deep the water went in 15 minutes, you can calculate how long you need to leave your sprinkler on. For example, if the soil is damp to 4 inches below the surface and your goal is to moisten the soil to a depth of 8 inches, you'll need to leave the sprinkler on for 30 minutes (2 X 15 minutes) each time you water.

Estimate how much water you'll need based on your soil type. In general, 1" of water will penetrate sandy soils to 12", loamy soils to 6-8", and clay soils to 4-5". Using these estimates isn't quite as accurate as digging, but it's pretty close, especially if you have a good knowledge of your soil composition. To figure out how long you need to keep your sprinkler or sprinkler system on, calibrate your sprinklers.

Hedgemaster
07-01-2012, 10:41 PM
I usually leave it on until my wife yells "Do you know what our water bill is going to be next month?!"

That's when it's had enough.

;)

Steve
07-02-2012, 12:02 PM
I've been able to convince a few people that this is in no way good for their lawns, & lemme tell ya the change has been apparent!

With this information now, how will it now effect the way you try to change your customers lawn watering habits?

The Tattooed Gardener
07-02-2012, 04:17 PM
Hahaha @ Hedgemaster!

Very good info, FTGU!! Thanks!

Steve, it was kind of a vent question I suppose. I knew all this stuff, believe it 100%, preach it & live by it, & I get a little irritated when I come across this kind of thing I suppose. Maybe I was just looking for some agreeance(?) from my peers, people that likely have best interests in mind, & I got that :) I would love to post a whole list of "can you believe they do this???", but in the interests of not giving myself away, I better not haha! But to answer your question, it really won't change the way I do things, because I completely sell the benefits of proper cultural practices, as much for the environment as for my yards (if not my pocket book lol), & it doesn't usually let me down :)

Steve
07-03-2012, 02:54 PM
I would love to post a whole list of "can you believe they do this???"

Well as they happen, keep us posted. If you are dealing with it, I am sure other readers are as well, and they may be looking for help on the topic.