Here’s some great info from our friend Mitch O’Brey the owner of Birdie’s Pro Turf Care LLC, and former Golf Course Superintendent at Dallas Country Club. He has a degree in Agronomy, and Turfgrass Management, and has taken part in major golf championships, managed PGA golf events, and is our go-to when dealing with problematic turf & bed areas.
Summer Drought Stress:
The weather in North Texas has been very dry and hot as we all know all too well. Now that we are starting to battle watering restrictions it is definitely a challenge to keep your lawn, and plant material alive. When our soils become very dry like they are now they become hydrophobic. This means you might be watering and wondering why your lawn is not rebounding. Ideally, your lawn’s root system is 6-8″ in depth, and if your irrigation is just beading off the top of the soil, and not able to get down into the root system you are just simply wasting water.
How to battle Hydrophobic soils:
When I used to be a Golf Course Superintendent we would be utilizing Turfgrass Wetting agents nearly every 30 days if not sooner based on weather conditions. What these products do is make your soil more efficient in taking up water and uniformly distributing water throughout the soil profile. It is always best to apply these applications before the onset of stress as it becomes difficult to help reverse the effects. However, it can still be accomplished. A typical wetting agent can be applied every 30 days or split the application rate in half every 14-20 days. These products come in liquids and granular applications. Birdie’s Pro Turf does have these in stock and is ready to help our surrounding areas survive the summer heat! You can actually save your lawn with these applications if restrictions get even worse. Always be aware of where the sunlight hits your lawn for the longest part of the day. Prolonged sunlight exposure, and anything near concrete, and fences will also drive heat temperatures, and surrounding Turfgrass or plants can bake with the excessive temperatures.
Did you know that irrigation systems are designed to just get you to your next rain event? No matter how perfect a system is installed you will still get the effects of drought stress. A great practice is identifying the problem with drought stress, and hand watering as much as possible. The reason for this is you can target the specific area vs turning on a zone in your irrigation system and using 3x-4x the amount of water. It is best to run your irrigation in the early morning hours around 3-4 am. Some individuals have too many zones and need to start watering in the early evening hours which is perfectly fine. If you haven’t gotten a smart irrigation controller, make sure your irrigation is working properly. This is a big reason a lot of folks have drought issues because of malfunctioning irrigation. A couple of great brands are Rachio, Rainbird, and Hunter. They have smart features built right in to help us all save water.