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Irrigation

Irrigation Turfgrass

The Need for Irrigation

An efficient irrigation system is essential for a successful lawn. From inception to implementation, our staff knows the factors that make a system effective. Even if we don’t install it, we can help you sort through quotes and provide the specifications you’ll need when requesting bids for your system.

Modern turf employs more individuals holding turf degrees than most sod farms nationwide. Each of our staff understands the importance of a well-designed and properly-functioning irrigation system. Water is essential to maintaining a healthy lawn in the southeast. While we usually enjoy a yearly average of nearly 45 inches of rainfall, its timing is unreliable. An irrigation system is insurance that when you need water the most, it will be there to protect the investment made in a lawn.

April and May tend to be our driest months. Water is vital to turf growth during this time as grass plants need to establish healthy roots to get through the summer heat. While summer rainfall can be significant, it frequently comes in the form of violent thunderstorms. Much of that water runs off and is not available for turf consumption. Irrigation is also critical when applying fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicides. These products often need to be watered in and waiting for rainfall to do it may cause a loss of product efficacy.

When and How to Irrigate

Many turf issues originate with irrigation misuse. Lawn distress telephone calls begin with statements such as “it can’t be a water problem - I water 45 minutes a day” or “it can’t be a water problem because I water 15 minutes every other day”. Both of those scenarios are problematic. Grass needs deep and infrequent watering so a heavy watering 2 or 3 times a week is optimal. Grass likes to be saturated then allowed to dry out a bit, similar to rain cycles. The best time of day to start an irrigation cycle is early morning, around 5 to 6 a.m. Running water in the evening or overnight causes grass plants to stay wet for a prolonged period, thus inviting disease. Starting an irrigation program early in the morning allows the plant and ground surface to dry out as soon as the sun comes up. This is the ideal cycle for healthy turf. These recommendations are for existing lawns. New sod has different watering requirements and, depending on the time of year and soil type, may need two or three cycles throughout the day.

If you’d like more information about irrigation, let us know. One of our skilled and turf- educated professionals are ready to discuss your needs.

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