Monday, August 31, 2015

TOUGH COUPLE OF WEEKS

August is going out like a bear and September is coming in like a Tiger!!!!  Hot and Dry are the two operative words for the past couple of weeks. (And the forecast calls for more of the same)    We are putting the irrigation system to the supreme test.   So,  How do we determine what and how long to water?   There is quite a bit to it and I'll give you the quick version so I don't bore you too much.    We first  monitor the current weather using our weather station located by our nursery on #6. That measures Temperature, Relative Humidity, Wind and Evaporation.  We check the Internet for the forecast. Believe it or not Humidity and even clouds can make a big difference. We also use portable soil meters.   Ted is checking the moisture in the 14 green.  Water can move funny through soils.  It is not uncommon to find large differences just a few feet apart.  We do a lot of hand watering to supply just enough water only where it is needed.








We also have soil sensors in the ground.   Here is a picture of a repeater that transmits the data from the soil sensor unit to the shops computer.  We can  monitor moisture and  temperature at two different soil depths.  3 inches and 7 inches.














Here is picture of the computer screen showing moisture and Temperature readings at the 3 inch depth.   The sensors also measure Salinity which we don't have to worry too much about.  

















Here the screen is tracking the daily history.  You can see there are quite a bit of ups and downs.   Temperatures fluctuate greatly from day to night and you can also tell when we irrigated.










As you can see there is a lot that goes into the decision as to what, where and how much water is applied.  We are constantly monitoring and checking.   Trying to keep the moisture levels in the "Goldilocks Zone"  Not too wet and Not too Dry.