Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

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KBGkicksazz
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Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by KBGkicksazz » June 18th, 2020, 10:03 pm

For the last month I have had 1/2 inch of rain. That’s it.
Southern NH and we are now in a 7 day stretch of 90 degree weather.

I have irrigation but on a well and impossible to make up for a month of no rain as I can’t keep up with watering.

Lawn is going brown. Been irrigating 45-60 minutes per zone but 20k Sq ft of lawn means I’d need to be running the well 24/7.

What would be a good watering strategy at this point?

This kind of dry spell is very unusual for NH.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by andy10917 » June 18th, 2020, 10:08 pm

KBG will go dormant, which is a good thing. But even a dormant lawn needs SOME water. Maybe 0.25" every 10-14 days, It's sleeping, not dead. Accept it as a gift from the KBG grass type.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by MorpheusPA » June 18th, 2020, 10:15 pm

+1. We're having the same weather and, although on municipal water, I don't water. It's a thing.

In our case, we're getting rain this week and managed 0.1" today. But pass or fail, it's not getting irrigated. It'll manage, that tenth of an inch is enough to ride the lawn for the next week if it has to. It won't look good, but it'll keep the roots alive.

Very well established bluegrasses will even survive extended drought without watering, but not without losses. It's just that the bluegrass will fill back in during the fall and you won't notice the damage by the end of October, assuming fall rains resume normally. Newly-established bluegrasses should be watered at least somewhat, quarter inch every 2 weeks, to insure survival.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by northeastlawn » June 18th, 2020, 11:31 pm

I had a little accidental dormancy practice last year with my KBG lawn. I had a bad POA Annua problem, and the POA-A seemed to make it through the summers and tenacity. So last year I had the bright idea on my 2 year old lawn to stretch the watering to 1” once a week because I assumed the KBG would just bounce back in the fall.

Well good news it did, bad news is that our falls aren’t really our falls anymore. The last 3 years I have found my area gets very warm weather throughout the fall, we might not get cool fall nights again until larte September lately. The first 2 weeks of September are more like august.

What I noticed is that my dormant KBG did wake up again, but it never really took of in the falL and I did follow the fall fertilizer program It probably took until this spring to come back from dormancy., but a lot of the damaged lawn did come back great, I just think the shorter days never really trigger the kbg to get another growth spurt like it does in the spring.

You might be waiting until next spring to get another big growth spurt.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by bpgreen » June 19th, 2020, 1:29 am

A month with a half inch of rain would beer great.


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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by schreibdave » June 19th, 2020, 5:40 am

I feel your pain. Apparently we set some sort of record here in Syracuse for consecutive days without rain. My lawn is only about 12K sqft and I am on municipal water and have irrigation so keeping the lawn happy has not been too hard - except when the water bill comes. But every lawn around me is turning a stray color. Not good.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by KBGkicksazz » June 19th, 2020, 7:50 am

I’m trying to water enough to keep it at least out of dormancy. It’s pale green Now but dry and a week straight of 90F coming up I need to figure out if less water but more frequent would be better in this hot spell.

We usually get about 12 days over the summer above 90F. We are going to get six in a row and summer hasn’t even started yet.

Usually mid June I can get a fert application in but that’s for sure a no-go this year.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by BIGDADDY13 » June 19th, 2020, 11:19 am

I am in the same boat as you. Most of my lawn looks great, except for the one problem area that is full sun all afternoon, and also a really poor sandy soil. I can water it all I want, it never helps. That area is planning on getting a total dig out this fall. I am planning on replacing what is there with a better soil with less sand in it so it will hold some moisture for a longer period of time. The contractor who did the work in that area of our yard after our pool was built used a heavy sand based gravel and topped it with a little topsoil. Not nearly enough to get grass really going well. have considered just adding top soil on top of the existing area, but I don't want it to be that much higher in that area. Thankfully, I have a bucket loader!

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by KBGkicksazz » June 19th, 2020, 12:21 pm

Most of my lawn gets full sun all day every day.

I’ve brought In compost but heat and no rain for weeks it’s impossible to keep up with a lawn this size and well irrigation.
BIGDADDY13 wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 11:19 am
I am in the same boat as you. Most of my lawn looks great, except for the one problem area that is full sun all afternoon, and also a really poor sandy soil. I can water it all I want, it never helps. That area is planning on getting a total dig out this fall. I am planning on replacing what is there with a better soil with less sand in it so it will hold some moisture for a longer period of time. The contractor who did the work in that area of our yard after our pool was built used a heavy sand based gravel and topped it with a little topsoil. Not nearly enough to get grass really going well. have considered just adding top soil on top of the existing area, but I don't want it to be that much higher in that area. Thankfully, I have a bucket loader!

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by HoosierDaddy » June 19th, 2020, 2:15 pm

No measurable rain here for several weeks now. I noticed after last week's irrigation that there are a few dry spots in several of the zones. So I spot checked the irrigation, then the night before this weeks runs (Zones 1,2,5 one day, 3&4 the next) I put out gauges. Sure enough the dry areas correspond to "misses" getting only .6-.8 inches instead of the full 1inch. I probably won't mess too much with the heads since there is good coverage and I'd probably screw it up worse than it is now. Hoping for some rain next week to help.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by KBGkicksazz » June 19th, 2020, 3:28 pm

My coverage issues is due to the well pump. Obviously by design the pressure swings as the pump kicks on and off based on the pressure switch.


I have perfect green 6-8 ft circles around my heads and browning grass in between. Realistically my irrigation is meant to fill in during dry spells but it can’t replace complete lack of rain fall.

Really hoping we get a chunk of rain soon.
HoosierDaddy wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 2:15 pm
No measurable rain here for several weeks now. I noticed after last week's irrigation that there are a few dry spots in several of the zones. So I spot checked the irrigation, then the night before this weeks runs (Zones 1,2,5 one day, 3&4 the next) I put out gauges. Sure enough the dry areas correspond to "misses" getting only .6-.8 inches instead of the full 1inch. I probably won't mess too much with the heads since there is good coverage and I'd probably screw it up worse than it is now. Hoping for some rain next week to help.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by BIGDADDY13 » June 19th, 2020, 3:39 pm

Understood. I am on a well too. Were down 600ft and have a ton of water, but still get the surge and lull. Makes it tough. I literally have a homemade system with 3 heads to hit the area that is sandy. Wish it was an easier transition to make it all look great.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by schreibdave » June 20th, 2020, 6:05 am

When I did my renovation last August I took the opportunity to install a DIY frankenstein "irrigation system" to keep my 12k sqft of seedlings damp. It has worked out well but the starting point was to install a whole house pump to boost the pressure of the municipal water supply coming from the town. We have about 35 psi coming in from the town and about 60 after it flows through the pump. I can run 3-4 heads at a time. Without the pump I could barely run one. I would have to give up on this lawn hobby if I had to rely on a well to irrigate. That sounds like a drag.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by nclawnguy » June 20th, 2020, 8:30 am

It rains pretty much every day here. 9" in May, and close to 4" so far in June at my house. 2 cut off lows and training storms. Odd year.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by __JT__ » June 20th, 2020, 8:54 am

I have a well, and it takes me about 1.5 hours/zone to put down .41”. I have seven zones/10-11K turf. I use ten cans to measure and no matter where I put them within a section (spread out), I get the same value, but the levels vary between cans. Enough to make a difference to have a few dry spots, in high sun sections.

Not knowing your lay out, may be reconfiguring your zones as to have a higher maintenance and a lower section. Or a long term solution for some shade trees, which can block the water arc, but placed in the in-between. Most lawns I see around here are browning out, and most folks have sprinklers, seems the shade is the determiner (I mean beyond good practices).

On real hot days I try syringing FWIW, or hitting a high profile spot with a few watering cans…

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by KBGkicksazz » June 20th, 2020, 12:52 pm

__JT__ wrote:
June 20th, 2020, 8:54 am
I have a well, and it takes me about 1.5 hours/zone to put down .41”. I have seven zones/10-11K turf. I use ten cans to measure and no matter where I put them within a section (spread out), I get the same value, but the levels vary between cans. Enough to make a difference to have a few dry spots, in high sun sections.

Not knowing your lay out, may be reconfiguring your zones as to have a higher maintenance and a lower section. Or a long term solution for some shade trees, which can block the water arc, but placed in the in-between. Most lawns I see around here are browning out, and most folks have sprinklers, seems the shade is the determiner (I mean beyond good practices).

On real hot days I try syringing FWIW, or hitting a high profile spot with a few watering cans…
I’ve strategically planted 4 trees around my yard but it will be years before they are big enough to give the lawn some shade throughout the day. My yard is southwest facing and no shade...

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by andy10917 » June 20th, 2020, 12:57 pm

Be careful what you wish for - a full-grown (mature) tree can remove 40,000 gallons of water a year.

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by KBGkicksazz » June 22nd, 2020, 7:29 am

andy10917 wrote:
June 20th, 2020, 12:57 pm
Be careful what you wish for - a full-grown (mature) tree can remove 40,000 gallons of water a year.
That’s why I mentioned strategically placed :) Three are on the edge and one is a front yard tree (Redbud). It will take them a good 10-15 years before they can start giving any shade to areas of the lawn through the day.

Right now they are leggy 8 ft tall trees and I still have guide wires on them so theY grow up perfectly straight...

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by KBGkicksazz » June 23rd, 2020, 6:35 am

Pic taken this morning (6/23). Ive increased the duration to 90 minute cycles and getting a little recovery as yesterday was overcast and gave the lawn a break.

Day after day of 90F heat with 50-60% humidity and bright clear skies with full sun is hard to counter with no rain.

The driest areas are between my heads.

Image

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Re: Extremely dry weather - irrigation plan

Post by bpgreen » June 26th, 2020, 1:01 am

I'm pretty sure that if wer got a half inch of rain in a month, the headlines would be taking about a potential end to the drought.

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