How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Warm season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede & Paspalum
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racng69
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How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by racng69 »

Just put 20-0-10 fertilizer down on st. Augistine. South Florida.

Its between 70 and 80 here for the next week or so. How often should I water? I put down a good amount of water after fertilizer was down.

Thanks

BubbaGrumpus
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by BubbaGrumpus »

Water? South Florida? Water as much as your budget allows.

Not sure on specifics St. Augustine, but a general rule is 1” a week in 1-2 waterings. During heat stress.. probably more.

TSGarp007
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by TSGarp007 »

I'm not trying to be snarky at all, but it really only needs water when it needs it. If you pay close attention you can tell. The grass blades will first start to fold lengthwise. Then they will actually change color when viewed from a distance. Kind of a more blue tint then normal. It will also start sounding crunchy when you walk on it. It will happen in patches. Once about 30% if your yard has changed that color slightly, I would water again.

When I wear polarized sunglasses I can see all the dry spots in my neighbors yards as I drive through the neighborhood. For some reason the polarization really makes it stand out.

sabanist
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by sabanist »

TSGarp007 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:29 pm
I'm not trying to be snarky at all, but it really only needs water when it needs it. If you pay close attention you can tell. The grass blades will first start to fold lengthwise. Then they will actually change color when viewed from a distance. Kind of a more blue tint then normal. It will also start sounding crunchy when you walk on it. It will happen in patches. Once about 30% if your yard has changed that color slightly, I would water again.

When I wear polarized sunglasses I can see all the dry spots in my neighbors yards as I drive through the neighborhood. For some reason the polarization really makes it stand out.
I wish it were that easy to tell. Las summer my lawn was always crunchy in the full sun areas. Had alot of fungus and dead stolons from over watering. I watered even more because I thought brown = dry.

It sucks because in the shady part of my lawn, its so green and healthy looking. In the sunny parts its gapped, brown, yellow with green patches.. Still don't know for sure what the problem is.

TSGarp007
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by TSGarp007 »

@sabanist Have you done the jar test to tell what kind of soil you have? I have similar parts of my yard. It is hard to keep it thriving. I think it is because the soil there is extremely sandy. In my front yard the soil retains water a lot better. Seems like they brought in good soil for the front and sand in the back/sides. I did a soil test and the non-sand portion was almost immeasurably small. So the soil can't hold that much water, and it dries out quicker. The 1" at one time, deep but infrequent watering doesn't work because of that. The principle remains I believe, but the soil water capacity just fills up quicker and dries faster. I know that in my front yard if I get about 0.5 inches max for a 'deep watering', with no rain during summer it might last 4 days or so before needing more water. Watering a full inch isn't doesn't yield much better results. But that comes out to roughly 1" a week, so that general rule still stands.

I finally have the ability to properly water my back and side yards after improving the irrigation system. I am now trying to conquer this same problem there. Grass gets crunchy quick, but I am managing to keep it alive during our little drought.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by Greendoc »

If you are on sand, watering 3-4 days a week in the mornings only works. 1 -2 x a week is the canned answer given to people growing TTTF on deep midwestern topsoil. Failure to keep an area irrigated after a granular fertilizer application can cause severe burning of the grass. Some of the fungal problems are aggravated by dry roots but high humidity.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by Redtwin »

I can tell you I am on straight sand in North Florida and I could not keep turf alive with just 2 waterings a week. I won’t admit to how much I water but it’s way more than twice a week. I also will do syringing in the hottest parts of the summer.

I had to do a repair to my irrigation last weekend and when I cut back the turf, it had nice long “John Perry” roots. The sand just doesn’t hold the moisture.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by sabanist »

Im tempted to hire someone to tell me whats what. Put me on a solid plan for recovery and maintenance. Because i get so much conflicting advice on the internet. Anyone know if these lawn treatment companies offer services like that? I dont want them to do it. Just give me a plan

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by TSGarp007 »

You may have to wait until the COVID thing subsides, but you can try talking to your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by Greendoc »

Last place I would ask is UF. They are the ones telling everyone to treat warm season grass growing on sand like TTTF on topsoil. That is where the confusion is. Furthermore, St Augustine is not a grass witn deep roots and rhizomes. I can get into huge trouble managing it like the rhizomatous warm season grasses.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by TSGarp007 »

That's strange. Well maybe something nearby in Alabama?

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by kb02gt »

Watering for St. Augustine grass in on sandy soil in Florida.

1) You will hear a lot about St. Augustine needing to be watered heavily either 1x/week or 1-2x/week (on back to back days) even during the hotter months. Usually they do not mention that they are on clay soil. St. Aug will die if you leave it for 5 days in the spring or summer on sand. I've learned the hard way. Fall and Winter are a different story and it can certainly go longer without water, however keep in mind the soil is still alive and active and needs water even during the winter, in that case 1x/week is fine depending on temperature.

2) LCN (lawn care nut) recommends not watering according to the day of the week but at intervals instead. And doing so every 3 days, or so. This means 2 days of no watering followed by 1 day of watering. This will equate to the lawn getting water 2 days during the 1st week, 2 days during the 2nd week, and 3 days during the 3rd week and so on. The "or so" most likely has to do with the time of year. Will break this down later.

3) In my research as well as trial and error I've found my lawn can go about 3 days no water on semi-warm days about 75 degrees (this can vary depending on root depth as well as if it is in a shaded area). St. Aug on sand is very thirsty. Also it requires us to look at it everday or every other day. If you see the leaves are folded like a book it means it needs water now or it is going to turn brown and die. If you see the leaves flopped over like a dogs floppy ears, it means its had too much water. Also if you step on an area and it remains depressed down for 10min or so, its another sign it may need water. High traffic areas will usually remain depressed down.

4) Keep in mind when watering it is better to split it up if you can. For example if it takes 30min to put down 1/2 inch of water then water each zone for 15min, start over and immediately water each zones for 15min again. This is what is referred to as "watering slowly".

5) A while ago i had found a link to a site that had good info on watering a sandy soil. I will post it here if i find it. Basically it boils down to:

a) 40-60 degrees (February): 20-30min (about 1/4 - 1/2 inch) each zone 1x/week. (this program is only for a short time)
b) 60-70 degrees (March): 25min - 45min (about 1/2 - 3/4 inch) each zone 1x/week (this program is short also)
c) 75-85 degress (Winter/Spring): 45min - 1hr (about 3/4 inch - 1 full inch) every 3 days (2 days no water following by 1 day water on an interval)
d) 85-100 degress (Spring/Summer): Water every other day at 45min - 1hr (about 3/4 inch - 1 full inch) - will be about 2 months of this
e) 85-60 degress (Fall): 45min - 1hr (about 3/4 inch - 1 full inch) each zone every 3 days
f) 60-40 degrees (Fall/Winter): 1/2 inch - 1 inch each zone 1x/week (about what LCN also recommends in the winter as well)

6) Also St. Augustine is best watered between the hours of 1am - 3am before the dew process.

7) Have a good fungicide ready to go :D .

8) Do you know what cultivar of St. Augustine you have?

As i was typing this i found that article which can be read here (it is a pdf document) or you can type "Watering Guide-Sand" into google search and it will be the 1st link:
http://www.a-naturalsolution.com/Wateri ... e-Sand.pdf

Hope this helps.
Last edited by kb02gt on Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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kb02gt
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by kb02gt »

BubbaGrumpus wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:35 pm
Water? South Florida? Water as much as your budget allows.

Not sure on specifics St. Augustine, but a general rule is 1” a week in 1-2 waterings. During heat stress.. probably more.
This is pretty much spot on.
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kb02gt
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by kb02gt »

Greendoc wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:57 pm
Last place I would ask is UF. They are the ones telling everyone to treat warm season grass growing on sand like TTTF on topsoil. That is where the confusion is. Furthermore, St Augustine is not a grass witn deep roots and rhizomes. I can get into huge trouble managing it like the rhizomatous warm season grasses.
Sometimes wish St. Augustine had rhizomes. I can always dream.

@racng69 St. Aug is stolons (roots above ground) only. One reason you want to keep a good grass blade height to keep the stolons shaded/protected. You will want to know what cultivar you have though. That will determine whether you keep a 2-2.5 or a 3.5+ inch cut (big difference).
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TSGarp007
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by TSGarp007 »

Reading @kb02gt 's post, along with my own experience makes me think soil type should be in building code and inspected when building subdivisions. That's a lot of water... I'm hoping to not need quite that much this summer, but we'll see.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by sabanist »

kb02gt wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:40 pm
Watering for St. Augustine grass in on sandy soil in Florida.

1) You will hear a lot about St. Augustine needing to be watered heavily either 1x/week or 1-2x/week (on back to back days) even during the hotter months. Usually they do not mention that they are on clay soil. St. Aug will die if you leave it for 5 days in the spring or summer on sand. I've learned the hard way. Fall and Winter are a different story and it can certainly go longer without water, however keep in mind the soil is still alive and active and needs water even during the winter, in that case 1x/week is fine depending on temperature.

2) LCN (lawn care nut) recommends not watering according to the day of the week but at intervals instead. And doing so every 3 days, or so. This means 2 days of no watering followed by 1 day of watering. This will equate to the lawn getting water 2 days during the 1st week, 2 days during the 2nd week, and 3 days during the 3rd week and so on. The "or so" most likely has to do with the time of year. Will break this down later.

3) In my research as well as trial and error I've found my lawn can go about 3 days no water on semi-warm days about 75 degrees (this can vary depending on root depth as well as if it is in a shaded area). St. Aug on sand is very thirsty. Also it requires us to look at it everday or every other day. If you see the leaves are folded like a book it means it needs water now or it is going to turn brown and die. If you see the leaves flopped over like a dogs floppy ears, it means its had too much water. Also if you step on an area and it remains depressed down for 10min or so, its another sign it may need water. High traffic areas will usually remain depressed down.

4) Keep in mind when watering it is better to split it up if you can. For example if it takes 30min to put down 1/2 inch of water then water each zone for 15min, start over and immediately water each zones for 15min again. This is what is referred to as "watering slowly".

5) A while ago i had found a link to a site that had good info on watering a sandy soil. I will post it here if i find it. Basically it boils down to:

a) 40-60 degrees (February): 20-30min (about 1/4 - 1/2 inch) each zone 1x/week. (this program is only for a short time)
b) 60-70 degrees (March): 25min - 45min (about 1/2 - 3/4 inch) each zone 1x/week (this program is short also)
c) 75-85 degress (Winter/Spring): 45min - 1hr (about 3/4 inch - 1 full inch) every 3 days (2 days no water following by 1 day water on an interval)
d) 85-100 degress (Spring/Summer): Water every other day at 45min - 1hr (about 3/4 inch - 1 full inch) - will be about 2 months of this
e) 85-60 degress (Fall): 45min - 1hr (about 3/4 inch - 1 full inch) each zone every 3 days
f) 60-40 degrees (Fall/Winter): 1/2 inch - 1 inch each zone 1x/week (about what LCN also recommends in the winter as well)

6) Also St. Augustine is best watered between the hours of 1am - 3am before the dew process.

7) Have a good fungicide ready to go :D .

8) Do you know what cultivar of St. Augustine you have?

As i was typing this i found that article which can be read here (it is a pdf document) or you can type "Watering Guide-Sand" into google search and it will be the 1st link:
http://www.a-naturalsolution.com/Wateri ... e-Sand.pdf

Hope this helps.
Thanks for this

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racng69
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by racng69 »

thanks guys. ive been watering everyday. but not doing the slow way. just doing 30 min each zone. going to change that tonight. i did send in a soil test, so we will see what that says when it comes back.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by Greendoc »

30 Minutes. What kind of sprinkler heads? If it is the ones that shoot a single stream, or multiple moving streams, 20 minutes a day is enough. If it is the type of heads that shoot a fan of water 10 feet wide, your run time is reduced to 5 minutes per day.

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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by sabanist »

ok so Im guessing the sunny part of my front lawn is definitely drought or heat stressed. I doubt its bugs or fungus as I have sprayed the crap out of the lawn for both since last fall. This damage was done prior to the fall however and now I'm trying to get it back in shape. Here is a picture of my shady area of the front lawn. This is how I want the rest of my lawn to look. So i'm convinced my practices are sound as there are few weeds and generally healthy lush st aug. Where that shade ends starts an awful looking lawn. Its gapped, dry, unhealthy looking. Some dead areas. In the photo, to the right you can see the beginning of that sunny area where the lawn looks bad. that area has no shade at all.

The same sprinkler zone covers both areas, however i THINK because this area is shaded, the water goes farther.

The way i have been watering is twice a week, 40 min per zone. Starting at about 4 am.

After reading the pdf file posted here on florida sandy st augustine, I have upped the water schedule to twice per week, 1 hour per zone beginning at 2:30 am. The front lawn has 2 zones, zone 1 and half of zone 4. Zone 1 covers the shady and sunny areas in the photo. The sprinklers are rotary, maxipaws

My thinking is perhaps I should increase watering to zone 1 to more days per week because it gets full sun. Yes that would also mean the healthy shady area would get that same watering and maybe get too much.

What do the folks here think?

Oh and the picture doesn't look like it but the grass was just mowed at the second to highest setting on the toro. Not sure but think its 3.5"

Image

kb02gt
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Re: How often to water. Just put fertilizer down

Post by kb02gt »

I'd definitely cater more the dry parts of the grass. I'm not sure what your temps have been up that way. Guessing around 75-80. But yeah, i'd up the water. And see if you can tell a difference. Unhealthy st. aug needs 1.5 inches of water minimum when we are talking about recovery. But because you have that shady area its going to get a lot of water too, so definitely have some fungicide handy. There are 3 things you could do here:

1) Keep your current cycle but put out a separate irrigation sprinkler with a garden hose and put a timer on it (for just the hot spot).
2) May want to try some Hydretain in that area. I've had more luck with the granular version. However with the liquid i had not been applying water before the application so that may have something to do with it. Just tried that today so hopefully it goes well and i wont need to get the granular. But it does work, i just dont think it works for as long as they say on the bag. Using the granular in the Fall i feel like i got maybe 1.5 months instead of the 3 months like they say, and that was at the high rate.
3) I've heard vermiculite helps too, i've not looked into this much as of yet though so don't know too much about it. Will experiment and try to get back on the results.

And of course doing all 3 may be the best solution.

There is also Baby Shampoo that some people say they have had good results with. Just keep in mind "Baby Shampoo" is good for retaining water at the surface (Bermuda likes this), whereas Hydretain retains water at the roots.
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