A great way to conserve water and help plants stay healthy is to spread mulch in shrub beds, tree rings and flower gardens. Mulch, also known as “top dressing,” is a protective covering that is placed around the base of plants, preventing evaporation, frozen roots and weed growth.
Mulch can be organic or inorganic, fine or coarse and, in some landscapes, it may even be rocks. Mulch is readily available at most garden centers, home improvement warehouses and landscape supply stores.
Applying mulch helps drainage, encourages root development, improves soil by making nutrients more available to plants and insulates soil and plants in winter months, while cooling the soil and reducing water use during hot summer months.
How to Mulch
In the early spring, hand spread a layer of 1 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of each plant. Use just enough to block the sunlight and keep weeds from growing.
Do not to allow the mulch to make direct contact with the plants. Make sure to keep a ring about 2 to 3 inches in diameter clear around the base of each plant. Doing so will help plants avoid disease problems.
When finished, water down the mulch to give it moisture and help it settle into place.
Rake the mulch when it fades in color. This will expose new organic surfaces that have not faded in the sunlight.
Replenish mulch when only a thin layer is left. The beauty of mulch is that as it decomposes, it actually enriches your soil, much like compost. By adding mulch, you improve your soil while at the same time reducing the need to water and pull weeds.
When done right, mulching will greatly reduce the amount of trimming or weeding that is needed throughout the growing season, as well as providing very attractive ground covering for your yard.
Sprinkler System Tune-Up Tips From Rain Bird To Help You Save Water, Time And Money in Your Yard
As the temperatures warm and the lawn and garden begins to thaw, there is no better time than springtime to make sure your automatic sprinkler system is ready for another season of efficient lawn and garden watering. Just a few simple steps will go a long way towards saving water, money and preventing a mid-summer landscape catastrophe at home. Get the warm watering season off to a great start with the following tips:
Make Sure Spring Has Sprung…
Although all signs might be pointing to the arrival of spring, the soil beneath the landscape is always the last to thaw. Starting your sprinkler system while the ground is still frozen can result in damage to the pipes. Use a shovel to make sure that the soil is frost-free 12 inches deep. If it is still solid as a rock, then wait another week and test it again before starting the sprinkler system.
Run a check of the irrigation controls and programs. This includes dusting away the cobwebs on the timer, making sure the date and time is correct, and that the settings are appropriate for your landscape’s watering needs. Replace the back-up battery in the timer/controller every 6 months, and keep a copy of the watering schedule nearby.
Check for rocks, dirt, sand and other types of debris that may block the even flow of water from sprinkler heads. Uneven distribution can lead to too much water in some areas and not enough in others, both resulting in an unhealthy landscape and wasted water. Inspect spray heads and make sure they haven’t become buried and debris has not accumulated around them during the winter.
Out with the old…
Nozzles and sprinkler heads are designed to withstand normal wear and tear of irrigation, but are no match for errant lawn mowers, the neighbor’s dog or snowplows. Replace cracked, chipped or worn components, such as sprinkler heads, nozzles, valves or pipes. A broken sprinkler can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens, and water bills, so it is important to check and replace them periodically.
The Heart of the System…
Valves are the heart of any irrigation system. They regulate the distribution of water throughout the entire system. A leaky valve will waste water, and increase your water bill. Visually inspect each valve to make sure they are operating properly. Before turning on any water to the system, make sure all manual drain valves are returned to the closed position. Overly wet areas in the lawn, resulting in muddy and/or barren patches, may be a result of a leaky valve.
Keep The Hammer in The Tool Chest…
Water hammer is a high-pressure surge that occurs when a valve is first opened. An initial pressure surge can result in pipe bursts and damaged valves. When restoring water to your sprinkler system, open the main water valve slowly to allow pipes to fill with water in a gradual and controlled manner, thus preventing a water hammer and costly damage.
When you first turn the main water valve back on, it is important to make sure the water pressure is at a safe operating range for sprinkler systems. A system with too much pressure will result in cracked pipes, busted valves, sprinkler head leaks and inefficient watering. Invest in a water pressure gauge that can be used to measure water pressure in your home and yard. These devices typically connect to a hose faucet and give you a good idea of the pressure in your irrigation system. If the pressure is above the suggested operating range (typically 40 -65 PSI), a pressure regulator may be required to prevent damage to the sprinkler system or undesirable results. For example, if water is “misting” out of your sprinkler heads, your pressure is too high and should be reduced.
Call us with Questions
If you have any questions regarding getting your system up and running this weekend. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. (800) 489-4441.
Automated Sprinkler Systems
An automatic sprinkler system is a home improvement project worth considering. Not only will it help maintain a healthy beautiful landscape which you can enjoy with your friends and family, but it’s the most convenient and efficient way to ensure your landscape gets the water it needs without over-or under-watering. When it is properly installed and maintained an automatic sprinkler system will help conserve water too.
In fact, a professionally installed automatic sprinkler system from Sanderson & DeHaan is one of the best investments that you can make for your home. Just ask anyone who has one. There is no easier or more cost-effective way to beautify your home, increase its value, and save yourself time and money.
Keep in mind, however, that there is more to a sprinkler system than just sprinklers. System design and installation are critical factors that will affect your system’s performance and longevity. If you hire Sanderson & DeHaan to install your sprinkler system, a system design will be created before installation begins.
Along with ensuring your system is properly designed and installed, we offer rain shut-off and moisture sensing devices that can help you realize even more water and cost savings over the lifetime of your sprinkler system
So put away your garden hose and let Sanderson & DeHaan do your watering for you — automatically! You’ll have greener grass, healthier plants, and much more free time to smell the roses instead of watering them.
Why purchase an automatic sprinkler system from Sanderson & DeHaan?
- SAVE TIME: Your system will do all the watering for you.
- SAVE WATER: An automatic system uses less water than watering by hand.
- SAVE MONEY: Your water bills will be lower and your plants will live longer.
- REST EASY: Sanderson & DeHaan is your assurance of quality, value, and performance.
Call us for a FREE estimate today: (800) 489-4441
Don't put off installing a sprinkler system again this year. Call Sanderson & DeHaan Irrigation today to take advantage of our fantastic Specials. Don't spend another hot Michigan summer dragging those dirty hoses around the yard. Call today for a free estimate. (800) 489-4441.
Sanderson & DeHaan Irrigation
5797 South 12th Street
Portage, MI 49024