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Old 08-18-2009, 03:29 PM   #1
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How much water?


I just moved into a new house and am curious how much time the sprinklers need to be on for.

I am in northern CA (near Sacramento), so it is a very warm climate.

Right now, I have the sprinklers on for 10 min in the morning and 10 at night. Is this too much?

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:22 PM   #2
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How much water?


You should never be watering twice a day unless you are establishing a new lawn. Temper my thoughts considering that I am in the Atlanta, GA area- hot and steamy south.

I presume that this is an existing lawn? Here, an inch of water per week- once a week- is satisfactory for most lawns.

Your schedule will accomplish two things:
1. You will have a shallow root system. Not good for several reasons.
2. There is a very good chance of causing a disease problem.

All plants, whether lawns, shrubs, or whatever need a good, deep soaking with time for the soil to drain properly between waterings. The time-honored method of measuring the one inch is to take several small containers, about the size of a cat food can and place them around the area that the sprinkler covers. Time how long it takes to fill them to one inch. That is how long to run the sprinkler, once a week.

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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How much water?


The landscaping is pretty new. The sod was laid about a month and a half ago. So that's probably why they programmed the sprinklers for twice a day. How long should I keep up the twice a day? The sod feels as though it has rooted pretty good. I've mowed it about 5 times aready as it has been growing fine.

Thanks for your help!!!
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:29 PM   #4
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How much water?


I could definitely see twice a day for 3-5 days, maybe a week. But not now. Ten minutes would be fine to keep the roots from drying out, assuming that it was getting the roots wet. Watering six inches deep would have been wasteful at that point. They really should have told you so you wouldn't waste water as well as for the benefit of the sod. What you wanted was for the roots to give a little resistance when you gently pull on the sod about three days after you lay it. And you should see small white roots about the size of a straight pin when you lift up a small section of sod. After that, start cutting back like feeding a newborn. Water every day for about a week at the most, depending on weather, then about twice a week, then once a week. Once a week is all you should ever have to water now and it needs to soak down about six inches. To check, I usually just jab a shovel in and open a gap so that you can see a wall of soil. You can tell how far down it is wet and where it starts to get dry. Won't hurt the lawn at all.

More than you asked, but I figured I might as well take you through the process briefly.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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How much water?


That helps a lot! Thanks! I guess I'll start watering once a day for a week and slowly wean the lawn off so much water until I can get it to once a week. How long should it take to get an inch of water out of the sprinklers? I do realize there are a ton of variables. But on average? 20 minutes? 15?

Also, there are shrubs that are on a different watering circuit. How often should those be watered? Right now, they are on the same twice a day routine. I'm assuming this is too much as well? They have been in the ground a month and a half as well.

Thanks,
Evan
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:54 AM   #6
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How much water?


It all depends on your type of sprinkler, type of soil and type of grass as to how long you should water. You should just experiment. Test it like the person above said. If you are watering 10 min and the moisture is only 2" then try 20 min and check again.

It is far worse to water your turf shallow than deeply (6-8") it not only wastes water but your grass will not be healthy and be able to resist, drought, sun, and disease or insects.

Your shrubs also should be watered no more than 2 times a week very deeply. I am not sure if you have drip or a sprinkler on them but the water should reach at least 12" and more if possible each watering. You should not have to water them more than one to two times a week. We only water twice a week here and the temp is over 110 during July and Aug. The trick is to get the roots going down and to do that the water needs to be going at least the 12" and the width of the canopy of the shrub. Trees need even deeper watering.

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:58 AM   #7
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How much water?


The shrubs has little emitters for each one. The water comes out faster than a drip. There is one right at the stem of each shrub. How do I know how deep I am water them? Right now, they are set for 10min a day.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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How much water?


mopowers,

Sorry I haven't had time to follow the thread for a couple of days. Go ahead and reduce watering the lawn to once a week. It doesn't need to be "weaned." The longer you keep the extra water on top, the more you take a chance on problems.

Are your shrubs in beds, scattered around the yard, or what? Frankly, I am not a big fan of the emitters except for plants that are in pots.
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There is one right at the stem of each shrub.
This is a danger of rotting the stem, expecially with your requency. Any damage to the stem, crown area is like damage to your neck. If you can't breathe, can't eat, nothing else matters much.
You want the water to be dispersed throughout the root zone of your plants. If it is applied only in one spot, you probably won't get that. Presuming that you have the shrubs in beds, I would greatly recommend a mister type head that will water a wide area like 4ft x 8 ft, 8ft x 12ft, etc. depending on the specific head pattern. They come in different patterns and some are adjustable. I presume that you have drip emitters. You say faster than a drip but they are called that. I'm guessing that your flow rate is about 2-4 gallons per minute. If nothing else, replace those drip emitters with a mister for each plant and move it back about two feet from the shrub. That should allow a three or four foot area to get watered.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:24 AM   #9
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How much water?


The emitters aren't right at the stem. I misspoke.

The shrubs are in a bed around the front of the house.

About how long should it take to adequately water the shrubs with those mister heads? 20 min, 30 min?? Once a week?
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:25 AM   #10
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How much water?


Also, the shrubs have a couple inches of bark mulch around them. How would the water from the misters go through the mulch and water the roots of the shrubs? It seems like the mulch would block the water from reaching the ground.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:22 PM   #11
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How much water?


My dear friend,

Without sounding condescending, it seems that you do not grasp the workings of mulch.
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About how long should it take to adequately water the shrubs with those mister heads? 20 min, 30 min?? Once a week?
That depends on what the flow rate is, what your soil structure is, and how well established the plants are. But I will try.

There is a very easy way to check this. Go to your local home/garden center and spend $10 for a soil moisture meter. Probe the soil before watering and note the reading. Run the system for 30 minutes, check again and compare to the first reading. Note the readings at several different depths, i.e. 2 inches, 4 inches, 6 inches. At some point you should see a sudden change. On a scale of 1- 10 that most meters show, you might see 2-3 before watering, maybe an 8 if the soil is wet very nicely the first few inches, and suddenly go back to maybe a 4 as you continue to push it further into the soil to about 6 to 8 inches deep. A good practice is to THOROUGHLY water an area and take a reading. You will then know what your target is. It wouldn't hurt to take a reading on very dry soil so you will know that as well. These meters aren't exactly NASA quality, but they will give you a good relative idea of how moist your soil is.

Shrubs should not need regular irrigation once they are established with heavy bloomers such as roses being the exception- maybe. However, during extended dry periods, you may want to supplement some.

Lawns generally need irrigation about once a week for optimum growth and appearance. I do not do so on my lawn. If it gets a little dry, I just don't have to mow as often.
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:04 PM   #12
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How much water?


Due to California restrictions on water usage, i use a yard sprinkler I am able to control rather than setting it for automatic. Too much water is wasted when it is not always needed when it is set to run. It's worth looking into.
http://www.outsidepride.com/gardenin...wn-sprinklers/

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