Sprinkler system performance and irrigation scheduling effects on turfgrass quality

Date

1991-12

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Abstract

Tests were run to evaluate the effects of sprinkler and lateral spacings on the uniformity coefficient and the water application efficiency at three different pressures on six different types of sprinkler heads. Tests were run under wind speeds less than five miles per hour. For this study data were obtained from literature. A computer program was developed to calculate the uniformity coefficient, water application efficiency, water application rate, and the time it would take to apply one inch of water when overlapped 0% x 0%, 25% x 25%, 50% x 50%, 67% x 67%, and 75% x 75%. Each data set was evaluated and was averaged to obtain results for six sprinkler types. Tests to determine the aesthetic quality of turfgrass at different levels of irrigation were run on small turf plots. The grass used in the plot was Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. (Common Bermudagrass). Data for cool season grasses were obtained from literature. The data were analyzed and a relationship between turfgrass quality and water application depth/evapotranspiration was developed for each turfgrass type. The results of the investigation show that the uniformity coefficient and water application efficiency generally decreases with pressure and increases as sprinkler and lateral spacing is decreased. There was little difference between triangular and rectangular spacings. Turfgrass quality decreases as sprinkler and lateral spacing increases. Turfgrass quality ratings were found to only decrease slightly when irrigating at 75% of evapotranspiration. Irrigation scheduling is essential for achieving and maintaining high quality rating. The depth needed to meet turfgrass evapotranspiration in all areas allows for over-irrigation and increased with sprinkler and lateral spacings, thus increasing operational cost. A computer program was developed using these results to give turfgrass designers and operators a tool to evaluate sprinkler system design on a basis of uniformity coefficient, water application efficiency, sprinkler system construction cost, water cost, and the turfgrass quality rating.

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Keywords

Bermuda grass -- Water requirements, Irrigation efficiency

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