Kansas City Landscaping and Lawn Care Ideas

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Archive for July, 2008

Kansas City Lawn and Landscape Watering Guidelines

’s and will benefit dramatically if you know how to properly them. There is no other homeowner controlled aspect of caring for your more critical than proper . It is also the number one mistake I see homeowners doing

It is essential to first understand what your want in an ideal world. Most of our and in will thrive on 1.5” of per week. This can come from either rainfall or . Ideally 1.5 inches would be applied in one long and slow . However, in , our clay based soils have a hard time absorbing more than ½ inch of per hour before begins to run off the surface so we have to very slowly – hard for sprinklers to do – or on multiple days in smaller amounts. Counter intuitively, we want these cycles to be on successive days, not spread evenly through out the week since our goal is to deep into the ground and not to keep the surface moist.

Knowing how much we need is the first step – the next step is knowing how to apply that and for how long. Most homeowners will either be applying by manual sprinklers or an automatic system. Both require you to know how much is applied in a given amount of time by your system.

To measure the output of your sprinkler heads…

  1. Set a container with straight sides (I use a butter dish) in the middle of the sprinklers path. a Turn on the sprinkler and monitor the amount of in the container.
  2. Turn off the sprinkler when the amount of in the can has reached one inch (measure with a ruler – it can be deceiving)
  3. This is how much that sprinkler system puts out in one hour.


Now, I know most of you will not take the time to accurately measure out your sprinklers output – despite its importance. So here are some rules of thumb for determining your sprinklers output. For automatic systems – spray heads (the ones that pop up and don’t move) typically need about 45 mins to put down 1” of and rotors (the ones that sweep back and forth) need about 2 hours. So a generic program that I suggest for my customers is designed to put down 1.5” of spread between 3 separate cycles. I set it so that the gets watered Monday, Tuesday and Friday. This is a good compromise of deeply but also making sure that the does not run off.. I set zones with spray heads to come on for 30 mins and zones with rotors to come on for 60 mins. This is adjusted if the soil is unable to absorb this amount of . Also, all should be done to supplement mother nature. If she gives us ½” of then you can reduce by that amount.

For those of us unlucky souls who do not have automatic it takes a much longer to our . Most of the typical impact sprinklers used if set on full circle put out about 1/3 of an inch per hour. Since they slower they can be left on longer. I usually suggest you twice a week for 2 hours before moving the sprinkler. If you are only using the sprinkler in a half circle then you can cut that in half

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