Let's Talk Lawns

Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
I spent 2 nights in the Nampa parking lot of Satans Butthole before we headed to Medford.......its part of living the high life.:handlebars:
Eastern Idaho population has exploded like crazy. I remember when Boise, Nampa, and Caldwell were separated by big farms. Now they're all connected hip to hip.
 

kmboren

Recovering XJ owner anonymous
Location
Southern Utah
I got a late start on watering and a fertilizer but the back yard is turning out nice. We are on pressurized irrigation water. I water 2-3 times at night in short increments to let the ground get wet and soak in. Unfortunately We have gophers. We keep catching/killing them but they do significant damage. I HATE gophers. 20220511_195825.jpg
 

Evolved

Less-Known Member
Looking for some advice/ideas/thoughts or just confirmation that my idea is a good one and I am smrt.

With our Davis county watering restrictions (I 'get' to water each zone for 40 minutes once a week) my lawn is already stressed and it isn't even consistently in the 90's yet. My biggest issue is my white vinyl fence that is pointed almost perfectly to reflect the sun right back at my lawn. The grass gets baked twice, once from the sun itself and then the reflection from the fence to the lawn. It happens in my front yard from my windows too but not nearly as bad. In the picture below you can almost see the line of where it gets fried. Also pictured is how crappy my lawn currently looks. I should have used my culinary water to water my lawn prior to our secondary system getting pressurized. I waited and the days leading up my water day my lawn was super brown and stressed. Thankfully we got the precipitation we did over the weekend or my lawn would be really hurting.
Lawn.jpg

That's the problem, here's is my proposed solution. I was thinking of putting up camo netting (like this) up on my fence from June-September-ish. Would this help with the reflection or would it make it worse (like a tarp material would)? I am pretty sure it would help but I don't want to spend the money and time only to have it bake my lawn even worse?

I am also very open to suggestions on solutions. I do have Stewarts come out and fertilize and I also use Revive every month and half or so. I use my allotted 40 minute watering in 3 cycles. Each zone gets 15 minutes at 1 AM, 10 Minutes at 5 AM and then 15 minutes again at 11 PM that night.

We usually spend a lot of time on our back patio in the summers. I don't even like looking out my windows right now. Below is what my lawn would usually look like at this time of the year.
Lawn 2.jpg
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
As a cheap ghetto person, we use THIS privacy fence stuff for sun shades on windows and such. It's pretty cheap, and been pretty durable so far. Probably be much easier to secure as well.
 

Kevin B.

Big hippy
Location
Stinkwater
Cheap ghetto person checking in. I've got a shade on my kitchen window cobbled together from a wood frame and garden shade fabric (this stuff, I think) and it blocks the sun well. It would definitely cut down on the heat reflection from your fence.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
Cheap ghetto person checking in. I've got a shade on my kitchen window cobbled together from a wood frame and garden shade fabric (this stuff, I think) and it blocks the sun well. It would definitely cut down on the heat reflection from your fence.

I've also used this for other people. It's slightly less plastic feeling.. but very similar overall.

The one I posted has trimmed edges and eyelets, so it may be easier to hang on the fence..
 

nnnnnate

Well-Known Member
Location
WVC, UT
What's your goal of running your zones in 3 phases?

I imagine to get your allotment spread out as much as possible?

Your lawn will be happier if it grows roots deep. Smart irrigation controllers will sometimes cycle zones on and off to get an air gap between water so when it comes back on the new water pushes the air and earlier water down deeper into the soil. (This my understanding of it's purpose, I might be wrong though.)

I think I'd probably not split my watering time out like you've done but I'd be interested in knowing how it works.
 

Evolved

Less-Known Member
What's your goal of running your zones in 3 phases?

I imagine to get your allotment spread out as much as possible?

Your lawn will be happier if it grows roots deep. Smart irrigation controllers will sometimes cycle zones on and off to get an air gap between water so when it comes back on the new water pushes the air and earlier water down deeper into the soil. (This my understanding of it's purpose, I might be wrong though.)

I think I'd probably not split my watering time out like you've done but I'd be interested in knowing how it works.
I have a buddy that is a landscaper and works for a fairly large operation (worked for Aeroscape at one point, not sure where he's at now) and we were discussing my lawn woes. That is what he recommended (spacing water times out). All he said was that it gave the ground time to absorb the water vs running off or something and the ground should stay moist longer. Sounded like good advice in my simple mind. I have done zero research outside of his opinion.
 
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xj_nate

Doctor, economist, polical expert, poser
Location
UT
I had to do that at my old place because water would run-off. It took years but I broke down the clay in the soil with humate and eventually could water for 30+ min with no run-off.
 

Evolved

Less-Known Member
Looking for some advice/ideas/thoughts or just confirmation that my idea is a good one and I am smrt.

With our Davis county watering restrictions (I 'get' to water each zone for 40 minutes once a week) my lawn is already stressed and it isn't even consistently in the 90's yet. My biggest issue is my white vinyl fence that is pointed almost perfectly to reflect the sun right back at my lawn. The grass gets baked twice, once from the sun itself and then the reflection from the fence to the lawn. It happens in my front yard from my windows too but not nearly as bad. In the picture below you can almost see the line of where it gets fried. Also pictured is how crappy my lawn currently looks. I should have used my culinary water to water my lawn prior to our secondary system getting pressurized. I waited and the days leading up my water day my lawn was super brown and stressed. Thankfully we got the precipitation we did over the weekend or my lawn would be really hurting.
View attachment 149491

That's the problem, here's is my proposed solution. I was thinking of putting up camo netting (like this) up on my fence from June-September-ish. Would this help with the reflection or would it make it worse (like a tarp material would)? I am pretty sure it would help but I don't want to spend the money and time only to have it bake my lawn even worse?

I am also very open to suggestions on solutions. I do have Stewarts come out and fertilize and I also use Revive every month and half or so. I use my allotted 40 minute watering in 3 cycles. Each zone gets 15 minutes at 1 AM, 10 Minutes at 5 AM and then 15 minutes again at 11 PM that night.

We usually spend a lot of time on our back patio in the summers. I don't even like looking out my windows right now. Below is what my lawn would usually look like at this time of the year.
View attachment 149492
After a few Amazon struggles and ~2 hours of labor the black shade is in. I could feel the difference in heat while putting it up. Standing on the shaded side was easily 10-15 degrees cooler than standing against the vinyl.

Amazon sent me the wrong size of one of the shades and I had to wait a few days for the new one to show. Decided to experiment while I waited. I temporarily put one 50 foot section up while I waited for the other. You can see just east of the slide where the 50 foot section ended. 50DEE268-28EE-4832-ABA7-E5761B141CE3.jpeg
It ain’t pretty and my fence looks like Swiss cheese but I think my $150 will save me in paying for sod if we ever get out of a drought, rocks to replace sod or me being pissed off because my lawn looks like diarrhea all summer.

Now to work on the dead spots from my dogs…
 

TRD270

Aloha’n MF
Location
SaSa Sandy
After a few Amazon struggles and ~2 hours of labor the black shade is in. I could feel the difference in heat while putting it up. Standing on the shaded side was easily 10-15 degrees cooler than standing against the vinyl.

Amazon sent me the wrong size of one of the shades and I had to wait a few days for the new one to show. Decided to experiment while I waited. I temporarily put one 50 foot section up while I waited for the other. You can see just east of the slide where the 50 foot section ended. View attachment 149672
It ain’t pretty and my fence looks like Swiss cheese but I think my $150 will save me in paying for sod if we ever get out of a drought, rocks to replace sod or me being pissed off because my lawn looks like diarrhea all summer.

Now to work on the dead spots from my dogs…

Dang I need to look into this. I literally was just thinking what I could make it out of. I have a section of my backyard that gets almost no shade and the grass gets nuked I assume by the fence
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
So I have watered my lawn VERY light and irregular for the last few years. 10 minutes a week maybe. It’s quit yellowish and sparse, and the grab grass and weeds make up about 40% of it now. My neighbor has started spraying the weeds for me.. so I guess it’s a bother to them now.
I’ve used the drought as my reasoning.. but I guess that doesn’t jive with the yard loving neighborhood I have.
I reality, the drought is my excuse. My reason is the less I water, the less it grows, the less often I have to mow it.
Anyway, I tried to do some digging to get to some sprinkler pipe, and the ground is so hard it is nearly impossible. I filled the small hole with water in hopes it would soften a little.. but it was so hard it just held the water for 2 days!
We have tractors coming to rip some out this week for more driveway space.. but I’d like to maybe do a little better with the rest of it.
What is the right way to ‘soften’ my dirt? I don’t think an aerator will even puncture the ground. Do I just start soaking it? Is there a good chemical for it?
What should my process be?
 

Spork

Tin Foil Hat Equipped
I want to say Gypsum is used to help soil like you're describing. I'm in a similar situation, I dig with a digging bar more than a shovel. After my soil gets wet it relaxes and I'm able to actually dig in it. My soil does absorb water though, it sounds like you have a high clay content if you have water 2 days later in a hole.
 
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