Jeff Hutcheson

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How is your lawn looking after our dry summer? The drought like conditions and hot temperatures we experienced were kind of a double edged sword for me.  As a golfer, lack of rain actually helped my game, and that’s good news. But if you’re a homeowner with a lawn, it’s not good news at all.

Golf sits on the very small ‘plus’ side of the drought scale. The drier the fairways, the less growth. The less growth, the less grass. The less grass, the harder the fairways. The harder the fairways, the further the ball rolls. So, if you’re a person who can hit 200 yards off the tee, a dry summer means you’re a person who could hit a ball almost 250 yards, or more, off the tee, thanks to the acceleration over the rock hard fairways. Think of rolling a ball in your bathtub. Now, think of how long it would take to stop if your bathtub was 300 yards long. If you’re a golf superintendent however, it’s your worst nightmare. You literally pray for rain every day. Right now, I know exactly how they feel.

If you rolled a golf ball down the hill in our side yard on the weekend, it would likely roll about 300 feet. The problem is our side yard is less than 200 feet long. The lack of rain practically made the side yard, and half of our backyard disappear.

In August I decided I would get a company to over-seed the complete lawn come September. They used a nifty machine which inserts grass seed into little trenches it makes in the lawn and does some de-thatching along the way. It’s an impressive operation, which, to be completely successful, requires just one thing. Water. In fact the instructions they leave you contain basically just five words. Water, water, and more water.

We have a faucet at the back of the house and one in the garage. My watering plan calls for both. I need to move the sprinklers six times to get total water coverage. Three times for the front lawn and side of the garage, and three times at the side and back of the house. I determined I would need four hoses to cover the distance needed.  Two joined together at the front and two at the back. I own three hoses. Have you checked out the price of a garden hose lately?

So a couple of things about watering a vast area. One, your new hose is never going to unravel properly. Mine is 80 feet long. They say to unravel it, let the water run through to straighten it out, and then let it lay in the sun for a few hours for it to become more manageable. I’m pretty sure no one who works at the hose manufacturing place has ever actually done, or even tried, this procedure. Second, you only ‘think’ you can move a sprinkler without getting completely soaked. I’m using the kind that sends about 15 streams of water out and moves back and forth. You can try to ‘time’ your move all you want, but the end result will be the same. Third, sprinklers have to be running pretty much at full water pressure for optimum coverage. You can regulate length and width, but not just one of those. When watering at the side of the house, for example, closing your windows prior to turning on the water is always a good idea.

Finally, try not to watch the sprinkler pattern too much to make sure things are just perfect with every pass. Next thing you know, your wife is taking a picture of you, standing in the driveway, just watching water, and you sort of look like an idiot.

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(2) comments

Pat Finlin

You are your Dad on Westminster.Memories of him moving his sprinkler around!


If people care about the environment, they should educate themselves about two things - 1) the amount of water used (from deep water wells?) and the application of poison applied to the land to make the course "perfect" 2) most of the grasses used on lawns are non-native and again use much water and the application of materials that are not good for the environment, are harmful to our health and the health of our pets and wildlife.

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