Friday, June 20, 2008

Bermuda sprigs needs 20,000 gallons of water a day

As ranchers, grass is food, and with 50+ horses, we are always seeking good grass to supplement out Coastal Bremuda, Fescue and Poanna.

We wanted something special for our front yard, and we wanted a a turf that is drought resistant, hardy, with a fine grain and fast divot recovery.

As we live in North Carolina, we chose the Tifton 419 Bermuda, the Cadillac of golf turf.

It ain't cheap ($2,800 for 1.5 acres of sprigs), but I soon found out thatthe largest expense was getting 20,000 gallons of water each day to keep the sprigs viable. We have many wells, and the horses drink 3,000 gallons of water a day, but pumping 20,000 gallons daily is a big chore!

We use our front yard for the elderly ponies, and to do the Tifton 419 we had to move them to another pasture. Below right is Missy, born in 1971. At 37 years old, she is still going strong:

Twinkie (left, age 22) and Missy (age 37) being ignored by Noel

Upon delivery of the Bermuda sprigs, it's important to get them in the ground quickly and keep them moist for a full ten days, until the roots take hold. TRhey look quite dead, at-first.

Tifton 419 Sprigs

I got two thousand gallon plastic barrels, and some thoughtput neighbors allowed me to take 20,000 gallons a day from their ponds, very nice:

Two, 1,000 gallon water jugs

As the pond water arrives, we pour it into a well hole and then pump the water from the well onto the sprig area using irrigation pipes and sprinklers. We used a 10 hp. electric pump to get the water pressure required to spray the entire area, which needed hourly soaking during daylight hours.

Sprig irrigation system

For more complete details, see my full notes on Residential golf green design