If you have an underground irrigation system, you may have some maintenance to do occasionally. One of the common problems that start with older systems are irrigation pop up heads that stay up even when the system shuts off. This is usually due to any of a few reasons. First, a build up of calcium deposits from the water is common. Second, an abundance of dirt may have worked its way into the irrigation head. Both of these problem may have a DIY solution.
Twist the irrigation cap. Take out the entire riser and clean it off. Clean out any dirt in the body also. Turn on the water or the station controller to flush out the line of any debris that may be stuck in it. This alone may work if it is just some extra dirt. If this still doesn’t work, a short term solution would be to brush some petroleum jelly onto the riser. Push the riser up and down and put it back into the irrigation body. Test it out by pulling it up and see if it goes down on its own now.
If that doesn’t work, you may have some bad springs or other parts. At this point, replace the sprinkler head completely. It wouldn’t be worth the extra time trying to match up the correct spring type. Also, your irrigation head is so old at this point, something else will break soon anyway.
To change the sprinkler head, cut a small six inch section in the soil around the irrigation head. Be careful to not break the irrigation line underneath. Use a shovel to lift the grass off the top and set aside so you can replace it later.
Dig down until you can see the water supply pipe and have cleared away all the soil around the riser. Unscrew the old sprinkler body and discard it. Be careful to not let dirt go into the pipe! Use some plumber’s tape and screw the new body onto the pipe by hand.
Turn on the water for a moment to flush the pipe again and shut off. Insert the filter and screw on the nozzle. Twist the nozzle to aim where you want to spray. Replace the fill dirt you removed earlier. Put the grass back on top to make it look as good as possible. It will look better later as it grows back together.
Turn on the irrigation system and make sure everything works. If you do not see water blasting out of the ground or a new pocket of water rising up in a mound, your system should be ready to work for a long time to come.
If you need irrigation repair and live in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, or anywhere in between in Louisiana, contact us today.
If you want to grow some plants from seed, sow some cucumbers, squash, southern peas, or okra. Plant pumpkin seeds in the first half of July to have them ready in October. Enjoy fresh pumpkin pies, pumpkin soups, and Jack-o-lanterns.
July is a really good time to plan out your fall garden. Buy or order your seeds you will want to plant. Plan to plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, or collard greens. You can start seedling trays in early August for these and later transplant them to your garden.
Beneficial Garden Animals
Have you ever seen an insect in your garden and been excited? It may sound crazy to some, but there are a number of insects and critters you want to have making a home near your garden.
Bacteria and micro organisms can be your gardening friend. Beneficial nematodes and milky spore bacteria can be purchased and added to your garden. Bacillus thuringiensis, most commonly called Bt, can control caterpillars, worms, and beetles.
Beneficial Nematodes can control black flies, maggots, mosquitoes, grubs, yellow jackets, caterpillars and more.
Robins and wrens are species of bird which eat beetles, cutworms, and grasshoppers. Use a bird house to attract these birds to make a more permanent home near your garden. Chickens are also good at eating insects, plus you get eggs!
There are quite a few bugs that are the “good kind of bug” list. Lacewings and ladybugs love to eat scale and aphids. Hoverflies eat aphids. The live in dill and fennel plants. Praying mantis eat a large variety of insects. Parasitoid wasps sound like something on your kill on site list, but they can really help out with tomato hornworms and cabbageworms. They want to be around ground cover so plant some alyssum to attract them.
Snakes! Well, garter snakes. These snakes really help out around the garden since they eat crickets, grasshoppers, and more pests.
Toads are considered gross by a lot of people, yet they do a very good job protecting your garden from slugs and other bugs. You can buy a toad house online and put it by your garden. It will attract a personal toad security guard and give your garden some character.