Lawn irrigation

digitS'

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Lawn irrigation in 100 degree weather with 0 rain for a month. What do you do? This is what I'm doing ;):

There is a rule of thumb 👍 that lawngrass should have 1" of water each week. In our rocky soil and usual semi-arid growing seasons, I don't feel that is quite enough. I have, however, measured the output of my sprinklers using a cake pan and setting it at varying distances from a sprinkler then noting the time it takes to put 3/4" in the pan. Usually, the lawn is irrigated twice a week. I've varied things a bit recognizing the challenge that daily and all-time record high temperatures and severe drought are challenging the Kentucky bluegrass to stay green and growing.

Probably 75% of the lawn receives several hours of shade each day and mostly, that is in the afternoon. That helps. During the hottest weather, which came on quite suddenly, I increased the time (& irrigation water) by 30-50%. This extra water was put on the 2 parts of the lawn with nearly 16 hours of sunshine beginning the night before and concluding with the required minutes the next morning. I haven't done that 2-part deal in the shade. This was of special help for the flower bed borders but the grass likely appreciated the late afternoon cooling droplets. I've continued this schedule but now I'm back to the 1 1/2 inch weekly total. The flower beds are getting some hand watering but the grass isn't receiving the extra 30-50%, anywhere.

So far, so good 🍻 . The lawn is green. I should admit that there is a fair amount of lawn violet and Dutch clover in the lawn. I have never used a weed and feed or any herbicides on it in over 25 years. The clover may have arrived with us and with my particular style of lawn care. I remember thinking that it had joined the grass in about a 6' wide circle in the backyard. This might have been about 10 years ago. Now, it is in both front and back yards in many more square feet! That's okay with me. It is very easy to keep low, there is plenty of grass in the mix of them, and the bees really value the blossoms.

🐝 Steve ⛱️
 

flowerbug

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Lawn irrigation in 100 degree weather with 0 rain for a month. What do you do? This is what I'm doing ;):

There is a rule of thumb 👍 that lawngrass should have 1" of water each week. In our rocky soil and usual semi-arid growing seasons, I don't feel that is quite enough. I have, however, measured the output of my sprinklers using a cake pan and setting it at varying distances from a sprinkler then noting the time it takes to put 3/4" in the pan. Usually, the lawn is irrigated twice a week. I've varied things a bit recognizing the challenge that daily and all-time record high temperatures and severe drought are challenging the Kentucky bluegrass to stay green and growing.

Probably 75% of the lawn receives several hours of shade each day and mostly, that is in the afternoon. That helps. During the hottest weather, which came on quite suddenly, I increased the time (& irrigation water) by 30-50%. This extra water was put on the 2 parts of the lawn with nearly 16 hours of sunshine beginning the night before and concluding with the required minutes the next morning. I haven't done that 2-part deal in the shade. This was of special help for the flower bed borders but the grass likely appreciated the late afternoon cooling droplets. I've continued this schedule but now I'm back to the 1 1/2 inch weekly total. The flower beds are getting some hand watering but the grass isn't receiving the extra 30-50%, anywhere.

So far, so good 🍻 . The lawn is green. I should admit that there is a fair amount of lawn violet and Dutch clover in the lawn. I have never used a weed and feed or any herbicides on it in over 25 years. The clover may have arrived with us and with my particular style of lawn care. I remember thinking that it had joined the grass in about a 6' wide circle in the backyard. This might have been about 10 years ago. Now, it is in both front and back yards in many more square feet! That's okay with me. It is very easy to keep low, there is plenty of grass in the mix of them, and the bees really value the blossoms.

🐝 Steve ⛱️

i normally don't weed any of the lawn (what little remains) unless there is some indication that the weed is spreading outside of the lawn into the surrounding flower beds. Creeping Charlie is the weed of the year for me to try to eradicate and so far that is going ok. the rabbits tend to eat a lot of the other weeds, we have clovers, plantains, mints, yarrows, medic, trefoil, a half dozen different thistles, strawberries, pinks, queen-anne's-lace, sorrel, speedwell, forget me nots, nutsedge, thymes, and some weeds i've not identified yet. i'm sure i've missed a bunch of weeds too as there are some worts and things that look like fireweed or indian paintbrushes.

one weed in the grass i'd be happy to have take over is some thyme that has been somehow transplanted. i keep mowing it and it is gradually getting bigger but that it has managed to be relatively grass free in such a spot where all the grass around it is growing quite well is a sign that i'd be quite happy if it takes over the entire remaining grassy areas. i'm reactive so much to grass pollen that i don't miss any of it at all, plus mowing is something i'd be quite happy to never have to do again. i can dream right? :)

we don't irrigate the grass here at all and many of the gardens don't get watered either (they're full of lavender or rocks :) ). during dry spells i have a challenge enough keeping up with watering the vegetable gardens. that's enough for me. :)
 

digitS'

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I want @Phaedra Geiermann to know that Americans are out there that appreciate green grass in their backyards. Even though, she may have no need for irrigation concerns and share an environment at the moment similar to Alabama and the TEG gardeners there.

I just want something that is cool and soft and tidy and not muddy and hard and hot ;).

What some are calling "hardscape" these days looks nice to me at a distance. I might like it a good deal more if I did not live here in the Wild West - some of my thinking on hardscape came through on the recent thread about a gazebo.

Yes, I'd like to live on the north side of a mountain with my garden secured from raids by the pests on the southside, with babbling brooks on both sides - tributaries to a good trout-fishing river downstream, with a nice green lawn beneath the fragrant cedar trees. That's during the summer ... Winter, a nice tight greenhouse springs up around the garden with its lawn beneath a hammock and heated by a geothermal spring surfacing in my attached bathhouse/sweat lodge. Aaahhhh ...

Steve

smilieinhamock.gif

________________
 

Phaedra Geiermann

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i normally don't weed any of the lawn (what little remains) unless there is some indication that the weed is spreading outside of the lawn into the surrounding flower beds. Creeping Charlie is the weed of the year for me to try to eradicate and so far that is going ok. the rabbits tend to eat a lot of the other weeds, we have clovers, plantains, mints, yarrows, medic, trefoil, a half dozen different thistles, strawberries, pinks, queen-anne's-lace, sorrel, speedwell, forget me nots, nutsedge, thymes, and some weeds i've not identified yet. i'm sure i've missed a bunch of weeds too as there are some worts and things that look like fireweed or indian paintbrushes.

one weed in the grass i'd be happy to have take over is some thyme that has been somehow transplanted. i keep mowing it and it is gradually getting bigger but that it has managed to be relatively grass free in such a spot where all the grass around it is growing quite well is a sign that i'd be quite happy if it takes over the entire remaining grassy areas. i'm reactive so much to grass pollen that i don't miss any of it at all, plus mowing is something i'd be quite happy to never have to do again. i can dream right? :)

we don't irrigate the grass here at all and many of the gardens don't get watered either (they're full of lavender or rocks :) ). during dry spells i have a challenge enough keeping up with watering the vegetable gardens. that's enough for me. :)
I also didn't weed or irrigate the grass here. The only exception is the summer two years ago, that's really dry like Steve mentioned, 0 rain for the entire month. This year we have quite decent amount of rain, weekly mowing becomes a must. o_O Well, i don't think we have a lawn, it's in fact more a pasture, and as we don't care about that, clover and yarrow are quite active.

Creeping Charlie is also a problem for me, but compared with the nightmare-level creeping thistle in another area, Charlie is much easier to get along with.
 

flowerbug

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grass will go naturally dormant during a long dry spell so to water it just a little is actually worse for it than to let it go dry. this is all IMO, of course. :)

i only got after the creeping charlie because it went from a small patch of pleasant low growing nice purple flowers to showing up all over the area around it and once i saw that i got on it as i really didn't want it spreading into the neighboring gardens. we already have enough problems of that kind i don't need yet another one. i haven't even looked this week at the CC so next week after we mow i'll see if i've missed some or it is trying to regrow again. i know this battle is not yet over... :)

we have some sow thistles that will spread via runners in the ground and that is no fun at all to try to remove, especially in something like irises or lavender or russian sage. we also have some of the larger thistles that try to invade but eventually we have to dig them out. we don't spray herbicides if we can avoid it.

yarrows we had to remove from the more formal garden beds because it took over and Mom was very reactive to it. we had two entire rows of the gardens out front that were full of just the plain white kind. we also had some more decorative yellow, reds and pinks that eventually also got removed as we turned perennial gardens back into vegetable gardens. the real frondy types of yarrows that have escaped into the grassy lawn areas is left alone by me, it gets mowed. it looks nicer than the grass during the dry spells. i'm completely ambivalent about that. Mom is the one who does the edges and she will keep it from getting into the gardens now. once it gets into a garden then i'll remove it all. there's enough fun from all the other weeds so i don't let it get too far once i see it.
 

digitS'

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Interesting setup
Perhaps you mean my hammock with no visible means of support? Trick Photography done with smoke and mirrors.

I may be able to cancel the start in evening/finish in the morning if we can just get down to like low-90's. I'm not too much concerned about mildew on the lawngrass with humidity levels falling into or nearly the single digitS' percent in the afternoons. However, almost ALL plants are stressed with this extreme dryness and heat. Heck's Fire, that's why they are burning around here!

Stress does bad things for resistance to disease & pests and fungus will take advantage in some cases. It would be wonderful to lower the stress on all the plants, including forest and wildland plants.

Steve
 

Zeedman

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So far, so good 🍻 . The lawn is green. I should admit that there is a fair amount of lawn violet and Dutch clover in the lawn. I have never used a weed and feed or any herbicides on it in over 25 years. The clover may have arrived with us and with my particular style of lawn care. I remember thinking that it had joined the grass in about a 6' wide circle in the backyard. This might have been about 10 years ago. Now, it is in both front and back yards in many more square feet! That's okay with me. It is very easy to keep low, there is plenty of grass in the mix of them, and the bees really value the blossoms.
Your lawn must look a lot like mine. I've got violets, clover, and dandelions everywhere in my lawn. Personally, I love the violets in Spring, and a neighbor sometimes harvest the flowers to make violet syrup. The native ground bees on my property appreciate the dandelions (and the grape hyacinths next to the house) as some of their first food sources. And the dense clover stays green even when the grass turns brown, the rabbits seem happy to eat that instead of my garden.

I only irrigate a small patch of lawn in the front yard (under a shade tree) and under the play set in the back yard. The rest of the lawn in at the mercy of the weather. I'm glad to see grass returning to the back of my lot this year; after 2 straight years of record rainfall, the moss had been taking over there. Thick... a moss carpet, except where the deer have scraped it away. o_O

All of which further reinforces my preference to not use chemicals of any kind on my lawn - especially when all the water we drink & bathe with comes from our well. I may use milky spore next year though, in an effort to reduce the Japanese beetles, which get worse every year. OR... I could just continue converting the lawn to vegetable gardens (just turned over another 225 square feet for next year).
 
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digitS'

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During the day ..

. honeybees are everywhere one looks because the clover is now just about everywhere.

Many blossoms are still there even after I mow.

Steve
 

Rhodie Ranch

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In Calif, lawns are only to be watered twice a week for 10 minutes, due to the drought. At home, I'll probably water three times a week and only 10 min due to our drought up there too.
 
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