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grass on rocky soil- how to water

We moved into our house 4.5 years ago (new). We have always had a part in our front yard that doesn't do well in the summer so this spring we had the soil tested. We found that about an inch under the sod there is compact gravel (like in a parking lot). We think they graded the rocks from the street and driveway and just threw the sod on top of it. So deep watering isn't going to happen. We live in Kansas and have had 2 weeks of 95-105 temps and have at least 2 weeks left. What is the best way to water without killing our water bill? I know the best way with normal soil is to water deeply to encourage deep roots, but if we can't get deep roots at all should we be watering 10 minutes a day everyday?

Re: grass on rocky soil- how to water

Currently, we are all struggling with irrigation. The summer of 2012 is already in the books as the worst in the last 50 years

At the moment just follow your local water company's guidlines for watering lawns, and hope for the best. But in the near future, when it cools down, think about improving your soil. You need more than 1" of topsoil for the roots to thrive.

It looks to me like you will need to re-do parts of your lawn.

Re: grass on rocky soil- how to water

Ultimately, the real solution is to dig up those areas, remove the gravel and replace it with several inches of real top soil.

When I moved into my house, one of the parkway areas had exactly the same situation. I spent a whole day with a pick ax digging up the soil and sifting it through a home made screen to remove the gravel. I then replaced it with a several inches of soil. My neighbors think I am crazy!:) But the area is now a beautiful country flower garden.

Re: grass on rocky soil- how to water

Unfortunately, digging it out is the only permanent solution. Until it cools off enough to do this, I suggest watering with a soaker hose in the early morning to lessen evaporation.

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