Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is your lawn a healthy green or a bleached white?


Turfgrass with a bleached look may be infected with Ascochyta leaf blight or may simply be responding to severe drought. Quite often the latter leads to the former.

If your lawn looks like the photo it has been suffering from inadequate water for quite some time. When I walked on this lawn the soil was hard as a rock.

Turf sprinklers need to be spaced so that water from one sprinkler reaches the neighboring sprinklers. This turf area did not appear to have adequate sprinkler coverage. I could locate only one sprinkler covering this bleached area.

If you have dry spots in your lawn, turn on your sprinklers to determine the problems. If your sprinklers are too low, not spaced properly, broken, etc., these problems must be corrected to solve the problem. If you have missing sprinklers you will need to add heads. Check out the publication at http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/04722.pdf for information on how to identify and correct irrigation system problems.

You could hire a "professional" but even if you do, I would suggest you know what the problem is before he/she make a house call to correct your sprinkler problems. I'm sure the irrigation system at the site shown in the photo was installed by a "professional."

Until you have the irrigation system corrected, you will need to drag a hose and water the dry spots.
Another problem at this site was high water pressure. Sprinkler efficiency is affected by water pressure. If the pressure is too high you will have misting as shown in the video. A pressure regulator should have been installed by the "professional". The owner needs to install a pressure regulator on the valve to ensure proper system pressure. You can also see several of the heads are so low the turf blocks the spray of water coming from the sprinklers. The "professional" failed to check the water pressure supplying this system. The owner of this property needs to have a pressure regulator(s) installed to correct this problem. Remember, not all "professionals" are qualified to repair your irrigation system.
video

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