New Setup Questions About Dead Spots and Annuals Around Trees

Hello, just purchased a new home and had some questions regarding some dead spots in the yard. Previous owner let the back flow burst and never fixed so it doesn’t appear he was really watering. Also never trimmed the oaks in the front so the grass under the trees died off. Since purchasing the house I have restored the irrigation system and installed a Gen2 rachio, my system is 9 zones. I plan to re-sod in about 3 weeks but wondering until then what I should I do as far as watering these spots. I live in Dallas Texas and the temperature here is already hitting 85 -90. I went through the differences in schedules and thought that maybe Flex Daily sounded correct since temperatures here can fluctuate from 70 being the high to 90 in the spring. Grass is Bermuda and the soil from the soil explorer mentioned in the forums is Sandy Loam 0.15 available water. Nozzles are a mix of fixed and rotors.

Also, my wife made flower beds around the oak tree and planted annuals that she plans to switch out through the seasons. How to I handle watering zones with this kind of crop (oak tree, flowers and grass)?

Thank you for the help!

That is a hard one! I know here in California it is not a good idea to water a native oak with a lawn watering schedule; it’ll reduce the life of the oak considerably. So that tells me you ought to look up what kind of oak it is you’re watering and determine if regular summer lawn watering for it is a good idea. Perhaps it is a good thing the grass died under the oaks? If not, consider some how segregating the lawn zone from a new oak zone; the grass there will need less water due to shade from the trees. The annuals will probably not mind the watering but… it depends on the plants. Watering very different plants on one zone (?? you have nine though so maybe you have some flexibility if all of these are on different zones?) may be challenging but perhaps not insurmountable with some research.

@JSM You’ll need eight hours of sun on the turf to get good growth. If the oak tree is older than three years old, you probably won’t be able to water deep enough to get to the root zone without over watering everything else. If the trees are healthy, they should be fine. A problem you may have depends on the soil build up around the oaks for the flower bed. Soil next to the tree’s root flare is not recommended.

Step 2: Remove Excess Soil and Mulch from the Trunk Flare

A very high percentage of trees are too deep in their containers, have been planted too low or have had fill soil, eroded soil and/or mulch added on top of the trunk flares. Soil or even heavy mulch covering the trunk flares block oxygen, keep bark moist and lead to circling and girdling roots. Ideally, excess soil and circling and girdling roots should be removed before planting. But - removing soil from the trunk flares of planted trees can be done professionally with tools such as the Air Spade or Air Knife. Homeowners can do the work with hand tools, stiff brushes, gentle water and shop-vacs or power washers if if done very carefully. Vines and ground covers should also be kept off tree trunks and pruned back away from the flares, at least on an annual basis.

Are you sure the soil is sandy loam?

You’ve got shade. Do you have slope?

Do single zones have a mix of fixed spray and rotors?

Looks like you may be zone/schedule challenged like a lot of other folks.

Welcome to the neighborhood!