Is there a best time of day to water the lawn?

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"If you're dealing with homeowners not understanding the whole range of
issues it's perhaps safest to just say not to water at night. Especially if all they setup was a timer on a single zone with a single scheduled event. They'd end up overwatering the various risks associated with it. "
So, you can't over water in the daytime? Overwatering and when you water are two very different things. If someone is watering there lawn shallow every day, then they shouldn't be doing that, and simply changing it to doing it during the day isn't the solution.
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Of course overwatering is possible. Again, in the context of overall "simple advice" to inexperienced homeowners it's not unreasonable to make the blanket statement of avoiding night watering. That's entirely independent of overwatering or other ways of doing it wrong. Your all worked up about it for some reason. Let it go.
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On 13 Jul 2005 20:35:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

And as I pointed out NJ isn't necessarily typical!

Once more, IN MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE DESERT SW WATERING AT NIGHT PROVIDES PERFECT CONDITIONS FOR FUNGAL DISEASE AND IT"S SPREAD IN TURF!

In your narrow field of experience....

VERY SELDOM IN MUCH OF THE SW! Three to six inches of rain each YEAR doesn't make for much night rain.

typical Chet!
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Tom Jaszewski wrote:

This year in western Oregon we got a lot of night time rain, and there are a lot of fungal problems with all foliage, not just lawns. Listening to the rain as I was falling asleep did not make for pleasant dreams knowing what was happening to my landscape. (I've never see so much fricken black spot on my roses as this year, for example!)
Even if it's natural to rain at night, lawns don't exist in nature. So the argument that it rains at night is irrelevant to whether that's a good time to water a lawn.
Why create a fungus Utopia if it can be avoided? Watering at dawn is a great time. Starting a zone at midnight so the last zone is watered at dawn means that zone started at midnight is a fungus playground even in New Jersey.
--
Warren H.

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I do most of my watering at night, as in 2 am till 6 am.
No fungus amungus.
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"Once more, IN MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE DESERT SW WATERING AT NIGHT PROVIDES PERFECT CONDITIONS FOR FUNGAL DISEASE AND IT"S SPREAD IN TURF! "
Is that so? Well how about Arizona, is that desert SW enough? Here's advice from Arizona State University College of Agriculture on how to water a lawn in Arizona:
http://ag.arizona.edu/azmet/phx/lawnfaqs.htm "When should I water ? Be a night owl. Night or early in the morning are the most effective times to water, because wind and evaporation are lower. High wind speeds distort sprinkler patterns and produce non-uniform irrigation. "
Or how about this from a major sod producer in Arizona:
http://www.arizonagrass.com/wintergrass.htm "However, when the temperatures begin to rise in the spring you may need to begin watering every night, depending on the needs of the lawn. "
Or from Colorado State Univ: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1532.html "Finally, avoid watering during the heat of the day. Water early in the morning or in the evening. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, water during the night; our climate is so dry that night watering doesn't create problems unless you overdo it.
Sound like none of the experts have a problem with night watering or believe it will lead to disaster. So, stop the baseless hysterical shouting.
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On 16 Jul 2005 07:04:00 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Chet,
Go eat something you're getting grumpy. Any turf manager will set you straight. NJ is not the center of the universe and you citations are loaded with holes!! Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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"Go eat something you're getting grumpy. Any turf manager will set you straight. NJ is not the center of the universe and you citations are loaded with holes!! "
You know, you really are quite a moron. I specifically provided you with links to 3 reputable sources in Arizona that all indicated watering a lawn at night was OK in Arizona. ARIZONA, got that? Last time I checked, that was part of the desert southwest, not NJ, so stop the NJ BS. The very area where you claimed night watering was completely unacceptable and that I was wrong. Two respected university agricultural services and a major turf grass producer had advice that is consistent with mine. And Steveo, who is a turf grass professional, told you earlier in this thread that he does all his watering at night in Ohio and has no problems. But apparently you think you know more than all of us, yet you're incapable of demonstrating that to anyone here, with responses like "NJ is not the center of the universe" and "your citations are loaded with holes."
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

We're getting way off course here. The original question was "Is there a best time of day to water the lawn?" The answer is yes, and that time isn't at night.
Yes, some people water at night, and don't have fungal problems. Some people water during the day, and don't have evaporation problems, either. That doesn't make either of those times the best time.
Recent studies have shown that some people who normally drink lots of caffeine do not suffer from the same diuretic effects that are often cited as a reason for people not try to rehydrate with caffeine beverages when dehydrated. That doesn't mean that Coke is the best thing to drink to rehydrate.
If you don't have fungal problems after watering in the evening or too early at night, that's wonderful for you. It, however, does not mean that night is the best time to water, nor does your experience qualify as a reason to deny that fungal problems from night watering can be a serious problem for some people.
--
Warren H.

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On 16 Jul 2005 11:03:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Bermuda grass grumpy!
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On 16 Jul 2005 11:03:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yeah us dumb amateurs with average reading skills....

Come on now stutter it out.....wr wr wr wr WRONG!
http://www.vbmg.org/fescue.htm Near the center of your limited universe....
Deep Watering - Important. No night watering (encourages fungus)
July/August Deep Watering - If needed. NO night watering. Early morning is best.
https://www.pacificearth.com/per_docs/sod_mid6_2.html#Q3
A major turf producer...
Q: When does my lawn need the most water? A: The most critical time for good watering practices is during the warmer months. In California, this season typically starts in May and continues through October. During these months, most areas of California receive little or no rain. Warmer temperatures during this time of the year will stress your lawn. Remember that a schedule of deep and infrequent early morning water is best!
http://www.igin.com/Landscaping/lanscapingsub/Nip%20Those%20Diseases%20In%20The%20Bud.html Cultural controls used to fight brown patch include: the avoidance of high nitrogen applications; watering infrequently, but deeply in the morning while avoiding late-evening and night watering;
http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/path-ext/factSheets/Turf/Dollar%20Spot%20in%20Home%20Lawn2.asp http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/dp_hfrr/extensn/problems/dllrspot.htm Avoid night watering or other irrigation practices which allow the leaves to remain wet for long periods.
http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/prints/brownpatch.html Do not water in the late afternoon or early evening. Night watering is not recommended in hot, humid weather. Avoid frequent light sprinklings. Brown patch is most severe in bentgrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue lawns.
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On 16 Jul 2005 11:03:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/TRA/PLANTS/index.html#http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/TRA/PLANTS/leafwet.html
Watering Turfgrass and Disease Potential: Leaf Wetness Curtis E. Swift, Ph.D. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Tri River Area
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Introduction: Most fungal foliar disease pathogens require specific leaf surface conditions for their spores to germinate; favorable temperature and a film of water on the plant surface (or a high relative humidity) are required. These conditions must last sufficiently long enough for the pathogen to penetrate the plant, otherwise the germinated spore dries out and dies (Agrios, 1988. p. 45). The presence of dew on the leaf surface and extending this natural period of leaf wetness results in increased fungal growth (Smiley, et al. 1993, p. 78) and the presence of foliar diseases (Leslie, 1994, p. 389).
Dew on turf consists of condensation from the atmosphere (~75%) as well as guttation/exudation fluids from the leaves (~25%) (Williams et al., 1998). The presence of sugars, starches and amino acids in the guttation fluids exuded from the plant provides an energy source for the invasion of the plant by the pathogen.
Bacterial diseases increase in severity in direct relationship to the length of time the leaves are wet (Sirjusingh, et al. 1996; Zehr et al. 1996). Infection of turf by bacterial pathogens also increases under shade conditions due to the increase in humidity within the turf canopy and the increase in the length of time the leaves remain wet (Giesler et al., 2000). Rusts (Puccinia spp.), powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis DC.) and leaf spot fungi (Bipolaris and Drechsler spp.) also are more severe in heavily shaded grasses than in areas with full sun exposure (Beard, 1965; Smiley et al., 1993). Beard estimated that 20 to 25% of all turfgrass is shaded to some degree by trees, shrubs, or buildings (Beard, 1973).
With fungal diseases, moisture on the foliage determines the production of spores and their survival. Gross et al., report the severity of brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani) increases as the length of leaf wetness increases above 9 hours. The longer the leaf surface is wet, the greater the risk of infection and the greater the number of infections per leaf. Fidanza et al., report minimal infection of this disease occurs when the duration of leaf wetness is below 6 hours with severe infections occuring when the length of leaf wetness increases to 8 to 10 hours. Irrigation in the afternoon is directly associated with an increase in infection, especially when warm day temperatures are followed by cool night temperatures (Dickson. 1930). Once the optimum temperature is reached gray leaf spot of perennial ryegrass and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Shrebl) caused by Pyricularia grisea (Cooke) Sacc. increases in severity with an increase in the length of leaf wetness (Uddin et al. 1997; Moss & Trevathan, 1987; Williams et al, 2001).
Even patch diseases have been reported to be more severe with prolonged periods of leaf wetness (Fidanza, et al. 1996; Giesler, et al., 1996) The take-all patch organism (Gaeumannomyces graminis) is particularly sensitive to moisture fluctuations and high moisture levels in the surface layer of soil must be maintained for the infection of the grass plant to occur (Clarke, et al.). Necrotic ring spot has also been shown to increase in severity with excessive moisture and frequent irrigations (Chastagner, 1985; Smiley, 1980). The powdery mildew fungi are an exception as they require high humidity without the film of moisture on the leaf surface for germination of spores and infection to occur.
While longer periods of leaf wetness are expected to occur in irrigated vs. non-irrigated turf regardless of mowing height (Williams et al., 2001), mowing height has an impact on the humidity within the turf canopy. Higher cutting heights result in increased levels of humidity that last for a longer period of time. This can result in a more suitable environment for infection by pathogens (Giesler et al., 2000). In addition, the amount of water and the timing of its application can prevent or contribute to disease development (Leslie, 1994, p. 388).
Turf is not the only plant type where the length of leaf wetness influences the infection rate. Gray leaf spot of maize caused by Cercospora zeae-maydis, a major foliar disease is known to increase in severity as leaf wetness increases (Bhatia and Munkvold, 2002). Even apple scab due to Venturia inaequalis, (Harman et al., 1999), and the infection of flax due to Alternaria linicola (Vloutogloue et al., 1999) increase with the length of leaf wetness.
Specifics: Ascochyta leaf blight control includes irrigating grass early in the morning hours when dew is already present (Smiley, et al. 1993, p. 11). This disease compendium (p. 14) also mentions that dollar spot occurs when dew is present by the growth of the fungal mycelium. This mycelium requires a period of leaf wetness for the cobwebby structure to develop. Watering early in the morning as previously mentioned would dilute the nutritional benefits of the dew thereby reducing dollar spot problems.
Control for the "Helminthosporium-type" diseases (melting-out and leaf spot) include avoiding frequent short irrigations, especially in the evening (Smiley, et al., 1993. p. 40). Extended periods of leaf wetness are reported to be required for Curvularia, one of the "Helminthosporiums" (Brown, et al. 1972) and the severity of both the leaf blighting and crown rot phases of `Dreschlera' caused diseases are favored by extended periods of leaf wetness (Couch, 1995, p. 106).
Recommendations: Practices should be followed that keep the leaf wetness less than twelve (12) hours (Couch, 1995, p. 252). Twelve (12) or more hours of moist foliage can trigger a major disease outbreak. The shorter the time the grass is wet, the less the disease problem (Leslie, 1994, p. 389).
The infection of a plant by a fungal pathogen requires spore germination and development before tissue penetration can occur. The requirement of leaf wetness for these processes to occur in part explains the reason why leaf-spot is more serious in lawns on the north side of a building or in low areas where the turf remains moist for extended periods of time (does not dry out). The spores of some fungal organisms germinate producing a motile spore that must swim in a film of water before infection can occur (Agrios, 1988. p. 44).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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"Recommendations: Practices should be followed that keep the leaf wetness less than twelve (12) hours (Couch, 1995, p. 252). Twelve (12) or more hours of moist foliage can trigger a major disease outbreak. The shorter the time the grass is wet, the less the disease problem (Leslie, 1994, p. 389). "
Thanks for adding another post to the list that agree with my position. Here's my original post that you had such a vitriolic disagreement with and said I didn't know what I was talking about:
"I agree. Lots of people say not to water at night, as wet grass promtoes disease and fungus. However, I think this is mostly nonsense.
AFter all, it rains at night doesn't it? I think you could safely water at night, as long as it's like every 4-7 days and giving it about
an inch. I think the night watering problems come from people who are watering it every night, and with only enough water to get it wet. That is wrong, wheneve you do it.
I do mine exactly as Warren suggest, having it end around dawn or shortly after. That minimizes evaporation and the time the lawn is wet. "
If you do what I suggested, the lawn will be watered at night, ending at 6 or 7AM, and be wet for less than 12 hours, exactly what this reference recommends. In fact, your reference says watering in the AFTERNOON increases the problem with fungus! So what the hell are you complaining about? Oh, I remember, that NJ is not the center of the universe!
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On 16 Jul 2005 13:51:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You THINK but don't know! Pretty pointless to try to get any logic or understanding beyond your narrow view, that's obvious...
End of exercise in futility for me.... Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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On 16 Jul 2005 11:03:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Actually he wrote "I do most of my watering at night, as in 2 am till 6 am."
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On 16 Jul 2005 07:04:00 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

They are talking about bermuda grass neophyte....now go eat.... Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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It's best to water before 7:00 a.m or after 7:00 p.m. Make sure you water deeply. That is more important than the time of day you water.

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