Why is Irrigation Important?
Irrigation systems keep your landscaping hydrated automatically to save you the brainpower of remembering to do it yourself during a hot month. It helps your plants to maintain their health by applying the correct amount of water at the correct time. If you have too much water, then your yard will be bogged down, your plant’s roots rot, and fungi start to proliferate. If you have too little water, then everything starts to die. A good irrigation system will filter out some of the harsh chemicals that you can find in your soil, such as salts, toxins, or excess minerals. Dead grass, muddy shoes, and dried-out landscape are some of the things that I personally hate seeing when trying to enter my home after a long day. A correctly designed irrigation system will alleviate some of these issues. Also, an irrigation system saves me the trouble of having to do all the work myself.
Drip irrigation is more costly, but it uses less water. Drip irrigation directly deposits the water into your landscape, garden, or flower beds. Since it directly deposits, there will not be as much excess water to flood your yard and to allow your mulch, fertilizer, or soil to float away. Drip irrigation might also be better if your yard retains a lot of water.
Reoccurring problems that come with drip irrigation are clogged pipes, clogged emitters, and algae build-up. Also in the warmer seasons, the pipes might break beacause of the amount of heat. Clogged pipes can be fixed by running the irrigation system for about an hour after putting in a solution. This will help break down anything blocking the pipes. You can clean the emitters with wire or soaking them in vinegar. If there is an algae build-up then you can fix it with chlorine.
Traditional irrigation is less costly to install, but it uses more water than drip irrigation does to hydrate your landscape. To some people it is also more pleasing to look at than drip irrigation.
Common traditional sprinkler problems include broken heads, pipes, and timer boxes. To fix a broken pipe all you need to do is find the leak, take our the broken pipe, and then put a coupling pipe in the place of the absent pipe. You could just replace a sprinkler head if it is broken. Lastly, to fix a timer box is broken make sure that the fuses are okay. You can replace the fuses but you could also replace the timer box itself.
A great time for your irrigation system to run is in the morning. After running in the morning, the excess water will be evaporated throughout the day. If the excess water is gone than you will not have to worry about over watering your yard. If you overwater your yard you will also encounter problems such as fungus or dead grass.
Irrigation is a wonderful invention that is used to help water your landscape whenever you need it. With a properly irrigated landscape you will have a wonderful yard and wonderful area for activities.
A compression sleeve is one way to repair a broken irrigation pipe. Compression sleeves work great in tight spaces, like a hole you dug in the ground. You only need a handful of tools to get this job done.
PVC Pipe Cutter or Hacksaw
Two Channel Locks
Rag (for cleaning)
Compression Coupling (or two)
small length of pipe (possible)
Turn off the water. Dig around and find the break in the pipe. Once you uncover it, excavate about a foot or two along the pipe and about half a foot beneath the pipe. For a small break, you will only need one compression coupling. Cut a one inch section of pipe at the break. Clean the area of the pipe where the compression sleeve will go.
For a larger break, you will need two couplings and a small section of pipe. You will cut out a more of the pipe and use the two compression sleeves and the additional pipe to link the irrigation system. If this is your problem, copy the steps below again for the second compression sleeve.
Remove the ends of the compression coupling and push them onto both sides of the broken pipe. Make sure the threaded side is pointing toward the opening in the pipe. Push the rubber washers over each side of the pipe. Give yourself a little bit more room than the length of the compression coupling. Now insert one side of the pipe into the compression coupling and then the other. Try to get the break in the pipe to be in the center of the coupling.
Hold the coupling in place and slide the washer toward it and the do the same thing for the other washer. Next, lightly twist the nuts onto the compression sleeve.
Use one channel lock to hold the compression sleeve and the other to tighten the nuts. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER TIGHTEN. If you tighten too much, the compression sleeve will break.
Turn on the water and look for leaks. If you spot some leaks, tighten a little more until the leak stops. Back fill the area with dirt and you are done.
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.
The weather forecasts are predicting a dry June for both Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout south Louisiana. Look out for dustier cars, panting animals, and stressed plants. Read on for some steps to take with the dry weather just around the corner.
Don’t stress out! We are not just taking about you. Don’t stress out your plants any more than they already will be. Keep your grass cut about a quarter inch higher than normal. Avoid selective herbicides if possible. Keep excessive shrub pruning to a minimum on susceptible plants. Give them a some water if they start to look droopy.
Add a good layer of mulch to your landscape beds. Keep it between two and three inches. A proper mulch layer will help to maintain a better moisture level in the soil near the roots of your plants. Soil with more moisture in a dry period means better looking plants. Leave an inch or so gap near tree trunks and the base of shrubs. Building up mulch near the base of these can lead to some long term problems.
Install a rain barrel to collect rain water from your roof. Less rain in June does not mean no rain. The roof of your home will channel the rain water toward your gutters and down into your rain barrel. Use the stored water to hydrate the plants and save yourself some money on your monthly water bill.
Plant flowers that are drought tolerant. Some flower varieties need constant attention and a lot of water. Skip these unless you have a lot of spare time. Peruse the annual selection at your local garden center for flowers that can take both the heat and dry times.
Install an irrigation system with an automatic timer. An irrigation system, or lawn sprinkler, is your insurance against drought. The automatic timer will keep your plants watered without you needing to worry about it. These systems last a long time and usually take a small amount of maintenance once a year. Good luck with the dry heat this summer.
When water freezes, it expands. If you have exposed pipes for your water hoses or irrigation systems, this can cause an unexpected repair. An outdoor water leak in freezing temperatures is no fun. Not to mention the cost to repair it. Insulate your exposed pipes. Shut off your irrigation back flow and drain it. It does not take long to winterize your irrigation system and can save you from being covered in water during freezing temperatures.
If you have cracks in your driveway, freezing water will expand those cracks even further. Use some self leveling concrete to repair those cracks before they get worse. If it is a small area, concrete repair tubes are sold that can be used with a caulk gun. These can be applied easily to cracks in walkways to keep they small.
Smart Methods for Choosing an Irrigation Company
With summer right around the corner, you’re likely interested in getting your landscape in tip-top shape. One of the best ways to create a flourishing environment around your home is to install the right irrigation system. But how do you go about finding the right company to accomplish the task? Well, it requires doing some research into your local service providers and determining who can get the job done properly. A professionally installed sprinkler system can be the way to a truly luxurious yard. Spend some time looking into how to make the right choice by using some of these smart methods in the process.
Ask Them About Their After-Sales Policies
Once the initial service of installing the sprinkler system is complete, most professional irrigation companies offer to extend their hand for later services as well. After all, there’s more than the one season to contend with. Ask your local service providers what services they make available to their longstanding customers. They should be happy to offer their help for winterization preparation and spring start-up methods, so pay close attention to any mention of those after-sales services.
Discuss What Kinds of Equipment and Products They Utilize
Any professional landscape contractor should be able to discuss at length the procedures with which he or she conducts business. Once the contractor has surveyed your yard and come up with a suitable estimate, it’s important to start asking questions about how the process works. This allows you, the customer, to determine how qualified the company is for the job and what kind of result your yard is going to be left in. Take the time to understand the components of installing an irrigation system and why the person’s ideas will be the smartest approach for your specific landscape.
Always Ensure That a Warranty Is in Place
Understanding the policies and warranty offers of your provider is key before signing on the dotted line. A one-year warranty is generally the industry standard, but the company may discuss different time variations depending on certain system components. While this isn’t abnormal, relieve yourself of stress later by taking the time to understand the concepts and reasoning behind the decisions.
Determine How Best To Proceed
Once you’ve gathered enough information from multiple irrigation companies regarding your home’s sprinkler system, it’s time to choose the right service provider for your personal landscape. With your newfound knowledge to guide you, finding a suitable, trustworthy company should be an easier decision to make.
What Is Irrigation?
Irrigation is simply a way to get water to plants in a different way than rain. You can use it to replace rain water in enclosed areas or to simply provide additional water in areas with little rainfall. A properly designed irrigation system can be water efficient and a huge time saver. While we get a lot of rain in Louisiana, an irrigation system can help you through the drought periods as well.
Types of Irrigation Sytems
Also known as Spray Head Irrigation, this usually involved a stationary irrigation head that either pops up out of the ground or is static. The tips spray a fine mist in a radial spray reaching up to fifteen feet away from the head. These are commonly seen in residential and commercial irrigation systems for landscape beds.
This is the most water efficient method of irrigation. It drips water directly to the plant root zone. This method is effective in watering hedge rows or evenly spaced flowers or plants in a garden.
Also called gear driven irrigation, this systems can water over sixty feet away. These are great for watering grass and low lying plants. These are used on golf courses, sports fields, and on home lawns.
Micro-Irrigation works in the same way as a spray head irrigation system, but it requires far less water. These are often tied into an exterior water faucet on a home and water a small landscape bed area.
The oldest method of irrigation. Ditches are dug to drain in fresh water and fed into a series of canals that run between rows of raised soil where crops have been planted.
Useful if growing plants on elevated land that is very steep. With a lot of labor, time and material, steps are cut into the land of the hill. Much like a slinky, the water goes down each step towards the bottom. Each step will be watered and crops can be grown on the hill side.
Center Pivot Irrigation
Center pivot irrigation is another irrigation system used to water crops. A steel or aluminum skeleton of pipes is attached to wheels at the bottom and a spinning metal arm on top. The metal arm has sprinklers along the length of it that sprays as it turns. The system can be moved around a large field so multiple areas can be irrigated by one system.
GreenSeasons is glad to help with any irrigation needs you may have. If you want new irrigation, irrigation repairs, drainage or landscaping, we will be happy to give you a quote, just click here.
If you would just like some information on irrigation, please contact us.
The short answer is yes, and here are some reasons why. Landscaping is an extension of your home. Poor planning for your landscaping reflects directly back on both your home and you. Not only can an inadequate landscape design look bad, poor landscape designs can lead to a slew of costly redesigns, structural problems and drainage issues.
The obvious benefit of a professional landscape plan is the great ideas shared with you. Landscape plans reach far beyond the usual shrubs, trees and flowers generally thought of as landscaping. A professional landscape plan may also include an outdoor kitchen, retaining walls, irrigation, a swimming pool, landscape lighting, fruit trees, vegetable gardens, gazebos, ponds, water fountains, decks, patios, awnings, gutters, stone pathways and many other ways to come alive outside. Landscape designers will show you great ways to utilize the space you have outside.
A Landscape Plan Will Save You Money and Time
A professional landscape plan will save you money, really. A professional landscape architect will enhance your landscaping vision while choosing plants that are best suited for the environment in your yard. Light, soil condition, wind exposure, climate zone, insect damage and fungus vulnerability all affect the long term cost of a landscape choice.
Irrigation coverage and water drainage can either make a landscape look great or lead to huge problems. Too little water and your plants can die. Excessive water can cause plants to drown, mold and slime to grow, washouts, insects and even foundation problems.
The construction cost to fix existing landscape problems can be three to four times the cost of new landscape projects. Taking the steps to get it done right the first time is a wise investment.
A Master Landscape Plan Allows You To Take Your Time
Landscaping an area takes a lot of resources. The beauty of a master landscape plan is you can simply install your new landscaping in phases. Breaking down the a plan into phases allows you to gather your finances so it is not such a financial issue all at once. A master landscape plan can be done when you are ready for the next phase of development.
Professional Landscape Plan
GreenSeasons will work with you to provide a professional landscape plan that brings your vision to life. We provide landscape consultation in the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like to meet with our landscape designer, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice on landscaping, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
Home vegetable gardens do not take a lot of your time and provide a solid reward for the work your do. Gardening can really help households come together have a hobby together. Especially consider a vegetable garden if you:
Vegetable Garden Advice
Watering grass is simple right?
Grass + Sunshine + Water = Healthy Grass
Basically, this is right, yet there are a few tweaks needed to have healthy green grass. Here is answers to the grass watering questions when, how often, and how long.
When to Water Your Lawn
How Often to Water your Yard
In a drought, water your lawn twice a week with about three to four days between each watering. If there has been a lot of rain, do not start watering your yard until is dry and just begins to look a little stressed. If you have an automatic irrigation system installed with a rain sensor, your rain delay should be at least three days, preferably four.
Watering your lawn infrequently allows for deeper root development which makes for healthier grass. This means your grass will look good and survive even when everyone else's lawns are struggling. So fight the temptation to water every other day.
How Long to Water Your Lawn
Start by watering your lawn for 15 minutes per area. If you have an underground irrigation system, this will be easy since you can adjust your controller. For everyone else, you can just set a timer to remind you to move the sprinkler every 15 minutes.
Test an area 24 hours later by digging a small 9" deep hole. If the soil is moist 8 inches deep, you are watering the correct amount of time. If the moisture is only reaching three to five inches, you will want to change your watering routine. This time water 15 minutes, wait 15 minutes and then irrigate the same area for 15 more minutes.