TURFGRASS AND IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

ASAP IRRIGATION REPAIRS AND NEW INSTALLATION SYSTEMS

ASAP DRAINAGE CONTROL AND PUMPING SYSTEMS

STATE CERTIFIED CONTRACTOR

FREE ESTIMATES

Jacksonville Duval County 904-346-1266

St Augustine St Johns County 904-824-7144

Orange Park Clay County 904-264-6444

Jacksonville Beaches Duval County 904-246-3969

Fernandina Nassau County 904-277-3040

Macclenny Baker County 904-259-5091

Palm Coast Flagler County 386-439-5290

Daytona Volusia County 386-253-4911

Serving all of Florida and Georgia at 904-346-1266

EMAIL LARRY@1STPROP.COM (feel free to email your bidding packages here)

FREE ESTIMATES

Natural history of grasses

1. Frequently defoliated by fire, grazing, lawn mowers

2. Protected from lasting damage by intercalary meristems

3. Fibrous, short-lived root systems bind the soil, prevent erosion

4. Spikelet is the basic unit of the inflorescence for the 10,000 species of grasses in the world

5. Wind-pollinated, flowers not showy

Cultural heritage’s are at the root of some turfgrass perceptions

1. Mediterranean cultures (e.g., Alhambra) make little or no use of turfgrass

2. Turfgrass originated in northern Europe and East Asia

3. Florida landscape architects and landscape managers are still discovering the potential and limitations of our climate

Why grow turfgrass? There are many specific examples which fit into these four categories; (How do these relate to the components of turfgrass quality, uniformity, texture, density, color, and growth habit?)

1. Recreation

2. Safety and sanitation

3. Esthetics

4. Conservation

Considering our uniquely fragile Florida ecosystems:

1. Turfgrass can be viewed as environmental resource

2. To be managed as a part of the whole

3. In order to reduce impacts and increase maintenance efficiency

Grasses

St. Augustinegrass

Native to Old World tropics, e.g. Africa

1. Competitive against weeds

2. Adapted to wide range of Florida conditions

3. Recovers poorly from drought

4. Shade tolerant cultivars exist (e.g., Seville, Delmar, Jade, and possibly Palmetto)

5. Susceptible to chinch bugs (except FX-10)

Bahiagrass

Native to subtropical South America

1. Very drought resistant

2. Poor tolerance to shade and salt

3. Poor response to winter irrigation, heavy fertilization, and some herbicides

4. Susceptible to mole crickets, weed invasion

5. Argentine cultivar is superior to Pensacola

Zoysiagrasses

Native to East Asia, e.g., Japan

1. Slow growing, difficult to establish

2. Highly rhizomatous, hard to eradicate

3. Performs poorly in deep sands due to sting nematode problems?

4. Very attractive when properly mowed

5. El Toro cultivar has performed well

Centipedegrass

Native to China

1. Slow growing, not very competitive

2. Adapted to heavy soils; performs poorly in deep sands due to sting nematodes?

3. Low growing, often attractive

4. Moderately shade tolerant

Bermudagrasses

Native to Old World, e.g., Africa

1. Rapid growth; very responsive to fertilization

2. Recovers well from traffic

3. Requires frequent mowing and pest control

4. Poor tolerance to shade

Miscellaneous turfgrasses for the West Indies, including Florida

(Mostly natives of the region)

1. Carpetgrass (2 species of Axonopus)

2. Seaside paspalum (P. vaginatum)

3. Hurricanegrass=Seymourgrass (Bothriochloa sp.)

4. Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides)

Cool season turfgrasses

(How do C3 and C4 grasses differ in shade tolerance, maximum photosynthetic rate, water use, and insect resistance?)

1. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

2. Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)

3. Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris)

4. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)

5. Red fescue (Festuca rubra)
Water and irrigation

Four factors in turfgrass evapotranspiration (water use)

Evapotranspiration is an energy transfer; the same kilocalories are needed to evaporate a gram of water from a leaf as from a pond

1. Radiant energy (less evapotranspiration in the shade)

2. Wind speed (less evapotranspiration from tight canopies)

3. Relative humidity (technically, “vapor pressure deficit,” the dryness of the air)

4. Temperature

5. Because evapotranspiration is an essentially passive physical process, different species of turfgrass and different vegetation types (e.g., forests vs. grasslands) all use about the same amount of water under the same four physical conditions of radiant energy, wind, relative humidity, and temperature.

Determinants of turfgrass available soil moisture reserve

1. Depth of effective root zone, i.e., soil moisture capacity

2. Rainfall and irrigation inputs

3. Runoff, percolation, and evapotranspiration outputs

4. Consequently, many deeply rooted plants use the same amount of water as shallow rooted plants, but they can endure more days between soil saturating rainfalls (or irrigation events)

5. It is environmentally sensitive to use plants that are adapted to South Florida’s natural wet-dry cycles

Managing St. Augustinegrass during seasonal drought

1. Unlike bahiagrass, St. Augustinegrass does not recover from complete defoliation

2. Temporary (late-afternoon) wilt has no harmful effect

3. You generally have a few days, possibly one week, to irrigate

4. “Deep” (1 inch) watering is probably inappropriate; we don’t have sufficient soil moisture capacity

4. Permanent (early-morning) wilt may set in within a week of temporary wilt

5. Subsequent turf loss will be progressive; within one week the entire turf will be destroyed

Design for sprinkler efficiency

Goal is maximum uniformity, through head-to-head coverage

1. Proper spacing of heads

2. Sufficient pressure at the source

3. Minimal friction loss: large pipe, not too many heads per zone

4. Water confined to the landscape (use part-circle heads)

5. Matched heads (spray vs. rotary, etc.)

Operating an efficient sprinkler system

Goal is to sustain minimal requirements

1. Shut it off; let the grass tell you when to water

2. Cancel automatic irrigation following rain

3. Avoid application during times of high wind

4. Nevertheless, inspect the pattern: catch and measure the irrigation

5. Apply only 3/4 inch per event
Turf biota

Examples of problem organisms in South Florida turfgrass

1. Insects: caterpillars (including sod webworms), mole crickets, grubs (larvae of beetles), southern chinch bug, fire ant

2. Fungal diseases: brown patch, dollarspot, take-all root rot disease

3. Sting nematode

4. Weeds

Pest management with chemicals

1. Accurately identify the pests

2. Assess and correct any contributing factors (e.g., over-fertilization, over-watering)

3. Spot-treat chemicals, if any, to the affected area, according to label requirements

4. If you’re not experienced, treat a small test strip

5. Wear proper safety clothing, and protect other organisms (people, pets, and neighboring plants)

Petrochemical controls against pests

1. Pest monitoring

2. Periodic pesticide application

3. Potential environmental harm

Genetic resistance and biocontrol approaches

1. Self-perpetuating

2. Energy conserving

3. Environmentally sensitive

Cultural practices
Fertilizer considerations

(What are the 17 elements needed for plant growth?)

1. Excess nitrogen amplifies other costs.

2. For St. Augustinegrass lawns, 2 applications per year is adequate (each 1 pound N / 1000 ft2).

3. Recycling clippings saves nutrients.

4. By not applying soluble nutrients from April thru September, leaching is minimized.

5. Organic is usually not natural

6. Prices of fertilizers vary widely

Safe mowing

Can prevent 100,000s of injuries each year

1. Protect ears, eyes, and feet

2. Clear the area (people, pets, objects)

3. Never walk backwards

4. Handle gasoline carefully

5. Mow at the right height and frequency

6. Return clippings

Turf establishment has 3 phases

1. Lag: rooting, no increase in dry matter

2. Log: exponential or compound-interest type growth, very rapid provided sufficient water, nutrients, sunlight, and protection from pests

3. Knit: turf roots interlock, stolons mesh, carbohydrates accumulate, thatch begins to form

Compaction, drainage, and traffic

1. 95%+ sand can support considerable traffic

2. Wear and compaction are different phenomena

3. Vehicular turf is suitable in south Florida

4. Other cultural practices include verticutting, aerification, rolling, and topdressing
The integrated landscape

Shade is a challenge in growing turfgrass

1. Direct effects: inadequate photosynthesis, just compensates for respiration

2. Indirect effects: thin turf, disease problems (due to humidity), webworms

3. Tolerant St. Augustinegrasses are Seville, Jade, Delmar, and possibly Palmetto

4. Intolerant are bermudagrass, bahiagrass, Floratam and FX-10 St. Augustinegrasses

5. Can adjust tree architecture (i.e., selective pruning)

Close encounters of trees and turfgrass

1. Turf herbicides can kill trees

2. Mowers and trimmers injure tree bark

3. Leaf litter from trees smothers turf

4. Tree shade causes turf to thin out

5. Trees are obstacles requiring increased costs for edging and trimming

6. Turf irrigation can lead to root rot in trees

ASAP IRRIGATION REPAIRS AND NEW INSTALLATION SYSTEMS

ASAP DRAINAGE CONTROL AND PUMPING SYSTEMS

STATE CERTIFIED CONTRACTOR

FREE ESTIMATES

Jacksonville Duval County 904-346-1266

St Augustine St Johns County 904-824-7144

Orange Park Clay County 904-264-6444

Jacksonville Beaches Duval County 904-246-3969

Fernandina Nassau County 904-277-3040

Macclenny Baker County 904-259-5091

Palm Coast Flagler County 386-439-5290

Daytona Volusia County 386-253-4911

Serving all of Florida and Georgia at 904-346-1266

EMAIL LARRY@1STPROP.COM (feel free to email your bidding packages here)

FREE ESTIMATES

Comments are closed.