Landscaping, Irrigation, and More - R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Landscaping, Irrigation, and More

R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Are All Pine Straw Mulch The Same?

Posted by admin On November 12, 2012

Pine straw mulch is a natural ground cover that adds protection and helps retain moisture for trees, plants and shrubs in flower beds and landscape islands. Pine straw mulch is safe for kids and pets, provides weed control if distributed in an even 3″ application and is an organic product.

Pine straw is a broad classification. There are actually at least (3) types of pine straw available for purchase online and at landscape suppliers.

1. LONG LEAF PINE STRAW
Long leaf pine straw, a.k.a long needle pine straw or Pinus Palustris, is 14″ long and is the thickest pine needle available. It has a heavy wax coating which makes it last longer. While it’s the most durable of the pine straw available on the market, it’s also the scarcest to find which also makes it more expensive.

2. SLASH PINE STRAW
Slash Pine straw a.k.a yellow slash pine or Pinus Elliottii, is 9″ long and is the most popular type of pine straw sold on the market. It’s durable, clean and affordable. This is the type of pine straw that is spec’d for most commercial projects.

3. LOBLOLLY PINE STRAW
Loblolly pine straw, a.k.a short needle pine straw or Pinus Taeda, is 6″ L and is the least favorable selection of the three. It’s poor quality and doesn’t last very long. If you see a price too good to be true when you are quoting out a project ask if they are using loblolly pine straw. In some geographical areas its the only type of pine straw that is available. A lot of companies trying to sell this grade pine straw will get you to focus on attributes like it’s heavier in weight or will try to get you to believe that its almost as good as a slash pine straw product. It’s not true. It’s dirtier, combined with dirt, sticks and debris (which makes it weigh more) and is not durable.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape is a full service landscape and irrigation company. If you want a trusted name for advising and providing quality ground cover solution give us a call. Our 40 years in business is proof that we care about the longevity of relationships with our customers.
pinestraw mulch after Are All Pine Straw Mulch The Same?

Start Training Your Lawn To Need And Use Less Water

Posted by admin On October 25, 2012

IMG 20120612 103140 300x225 Start Training Your Lawn To Need And Use Less WaterHave you noticed just a hint of coolness in the air? Fall is right around the corner. We love the cooler weather (especially since we work outdoors all day!). We personally cannot wait to open our windows and sliding glass doors and let the Fall weather in.

Our grass, on the other hand, needs some preparation. As the rainy summer months are coming to a conclusion and the drier fall months arrive you need to take some steps to prepare your grass for the change in weather and levels of precipitation. The survival of your yard throughout the dry months depends on your proactive steps right now.

The summer months are plentiful with afternoon rains. Our irrigation systems have only had to run through cycles only as preventative maintenance because we have had adequate rainfall from Mother Nature. The afternoon rains are quickly disappearing and we need to prepare our grass accordingly.

In essence, it’s time to put your grass on a diet. It’s used to large amounts of rain. Less rain means less water for the yard. We should not compensate for the slow down in rain fall by allowing our sprinklers to run for long periods of time. We need to water (within watering restriction schedules) normally for the next week or so and begin to cut back on the time that each zone of your irrigation system runs on a gradual basis.

We will get drier and drier which means your yard will get thirstier and thirstier IF it’s used to getting large quantities of water. Scaling back gradually will help your yard adjust slowly without shocking it. Watering too much during the dry months not only puts a strain on water supply but also is prime breeding ground for fungus and weeds.

During the Spring months we use the guideline to water a zone that contains rotor (sprinkler) heads for 45 minutes. Your goal should be to move that zone to a watering time of no more than 30 mintues. An irrigation zone that contains mist (sprinkler)heads during the Spring months should run around 25 minutes. We recommend that your goal should be to get this sprinkler zone down to a run time of no more than 15 minutes.

Though your yard may not appreciate it, a little “diet” is good for all of us. If re-programming your sprinkler timer puzzles you feel free to contact our office. One of our experienced irrigation technicians will be able to show you how to do it.

Change Your Sprinkler Timers for Daylight Savings Time

Posted by admin On October 23, 2012

Next Sunday morning Nov. 4th at 2 a.m. is Daylight Savings Time. Time to “Fall” back. The concept of Daylight Savings Time was originally conceived by Benjamin Franklin. He felt it beneficial to make best use of our daylight. If you’d like to know more about the concept and implementation of Daylight Savings Time National Geographic has some great historical data on it.

When you go to sleep next Saturday night make sure you set your bedside clock, your clock on your stove and all your wall clocks back by (1) hour.

You also need to be sure you set your sprinkler timer back an hour as well. This is one of the “elements” that gets forgotten when Daylight Savings Times comes around.

County and City ordinances will usually give home and business owners @ a 2 week “Grace” period to get the irrigation timers adjusted for the time change. After that they will start to issue warnings and/or citations. Keep in mind, they don’t have to give you a “Grace” period, or even a warning if they don’t want to. They are being kind if they do. Avoid a ticket by pushing the start time of your sprinkler system back by one hour.

Follow this link if you need refreshed on what your local watering restriction are for the city and/or county in which you live.

If re-setting your irrigation timer is a daunting task for your feel free to contact our office.Red alarm clock and globe world time 3 Change Your Sprinkler Timers for Daylight Savings Time One of our helpful irrigation technicians will happy to assist you.

hunter rotor head We Use Hunter Industries Rotor Heads For New Irrigation System Installations And Sprinkler RepairsPGP-ADJ Hunter Industries

There are a lot of products on the market both to a homeowner and to a business owner. Obviously the products that are sold in Home Depot or Lowes don’t match in quality to the products that we professionally purchase from our irrigation suppliers.

One of our preferred vendors is Hunter Industries. We have found that their sprinkler heads out perform most of the competitors. They are a company that stands behind their products and seem very responsive to our suggestions and complaints as irrigation system installers.

Hunter rotor heads have a rubber covered membrane that helps keep dirt out. Keeping dirt out of the pipes of your sprinkler system means you will need less service calls for a sprinkler head that is stuck on.

The top of a Hunter sprinkler head has a through the top adjustment with helpful symbols to assist the homeowner in adjusting the positioning of a particular sprinkler head. Hunter sprinkler heads allow for fine tuning radius adjustments from 40 degree all the way to full circle and reverse circle adjustments of 360 degrees. This helps to adjust heads so you are watering your grass and not your street, or your trees and not your house.

The Hunter rotor head has up to (20) inter changeable nozzles. Nozzles control the flow of water. You may need to reach 6 feet or they may need to reach 20 feet. With the wide variety of nozzles available to us we can perfect how and where the sprinkler system irrigates. All of their nozzles come with a dirty water screen to help keep large pieces of debris from entering the valves and pipes of your irrigation system. Again this is beneficial because it cuts down on the need for service calls from an irrigation contractor.

Hunter irrigation heads are lubricated by water. This means there is no added maintenance. This is one of the reasons we tell customers to never turn their sprinkler system off completely, even in rainy months. The water is the lubrication that keeps your system operating smoothly, like the oil does to your car’s engine. You should at least let your sprinkler system run through each zone for 5 minutes once a week, even if your yard doesn’t need watered, as preventative maintenance for your irrigation system.

The riser seal is reliable and proven pressure activated. This means your sprinkler head will pop up when it is supposed to and retract when it is supposed to.

We have installed new irrigation system and repaired existing sprinklers for over 40 years. We are appreciative of a company like Hunter that provides a superior product to assist us in providing the customer with a product and service that will keep them calling us for years.

If you are in need of a new irrigation system or may need repairs to your existing sprinkler system don’t hesitate to contact R & R Sprinkler and Landscape.

outdoor patio e1349463070123 Material Management And Storage When Constructing An Elevated PatioIn Southwest Florida we see many homeowners replacing wood decks with an elevated patio. There is less maintenance involved and it’s a gorgeous addition to any property. We are actually in the process of constructing a raised patio extending off our our pool deck. We are using an Anchor Wall Retaining Wall (which doesn’t require permitting) and Bel Gard pavers.

If you are considering adding an elevated patio make plans for proper material deliveries. You don’t want all the materials delivered at once if you can help it because you will need to store them. You need to have an open area where it can be easily accessed by your contractor but not easy to steal. You wouldn’t want to, nor can you store materials on your street. You don’t want to block your driveway, gate areas or walkways. You won’t want to place them where your kids or your pets can get hurt. You won’t want to infringe on your neighbor’s property (unless you have their permission). You’ll also have to consider the damaged it may cause to the grass if the materials will be placed there for long periods of time. It’s so hot that having a pallet of pavers sit in a single spot for more than a couple of days may suffocate the grass below.

Having building materials delivered as needed will avoid overcrowding and unnecessary dangers during the construction process.

You’ll also need to make provisions for the parking vehicles and equipment if you have a contractor installing the new addition. Neighbor’s don’t want trucks blocking the road and don’t want heavy machinery and unwanted cars parked on their property.

Material management can be tricky. Take the extra time and thought into how it will delivered, stored and installed for the best, least disruptive outcome.

We’ll be sure to give you an update on the construction of our elevated patio as it goes along. If you are considering adding an elevated patio to your property give us a call. Our design team can give a you a 3 dimensional drawings so you can see what it will look like before it’s constructed.

We live in beautiful Southwest Florida. One of the most beautiful, sought after destinations for vacation homes in our area is Sanibel, Florida. The outdoor spaces added to these vacation homes is no less than remarkable.

A lot of the homeowners that contact us are considering adding a patio area for outdoor entertaining. We think this is a fabulous idea. There aren’t many places where you can entertain outdoors almost year round.

If you are considering adding an outdoor patio to your Sanibel home take some time to think ahead to how the water that will roll off your roof during rain storms. Are there gutters installed? Have you considered extending your gutters to the next level with flexible drainage pipe so the moisture will make its way off the house and away from your patio? Not very many people do.

Many engineers and builders fail to think ahead on drainage issues. They don’t stop to think where the water will travel. Faliure to think ahead on drainage issues leads to large areas of pooled water, damaged landscaping, can cause erosion to the foundation and creates a breeding ground for mosquitos. In addition it can create areas of your patio that form mold and mildew that are unsightly and difficult to get rid of. It ends up being a maintenance nightmare.

Think ahead. Consider the worst case scenario like a tropical storm or a hurricane where you will be receiving a large amount of down pour in a short period of time. You can even go up on your roof with a garden house and simulate a sudden burst of water in specific areas of the property to see where the water lands and more importantly if it stays or drains. If your property was constructed with the correct grades, gutters and drainage it should roll off and away into the closest storm water drainage system, ditch or retention pond.

BEFORE we begin the construction of an outdoor patio we take rain water drainage into consideration. We think ahead in order to save the homeowner costly headaches later on down the road. We get the drainage in BEFORE the construction of the deck instead of having to back after the project is complete. Going back to install drainage for your Sanibel patio could double the project price because we essentially have to DE-construct the patio, install the drainage and RE-construct.

If you are considering adding a paver patio to your Sanibel home give us a chance to look at your job. We take the time to evaluate the property BEFORE construction begins to avoid costly mistakes AFTER it’s complete. drainage e1349468820192 Plan Drainage Routes BEFORE You Construct Your Sanibel Paver Deck

Let our knowledgeable team help design an outdoor living space with a paver patio today.

prewired electrical e1349470160523 Will You Have Landscape Lighting For Your Outdoor Patio?At our house right now we are constructing an outdoor patio. We have taken several steps to plan the project from the end to the beginning. Does that sound back ward to you? It’s absolutley correct.

We started with what we want the final plan to look like. Then we take it apart layer by layer to determine what the first steps of the project should be. We want to include important preliminary planning issues like where the flexible drainage material should be installed to keep the patio from having areas of pooled water. We consider how high the patio will be and who will be using it to determine if there are railings that need installed along the steps. We also consider whether the homeowner will be adding landscape lighting. If they do intend to add landscape lighting to an outdoor patio then we want to have the electrical wiring run during the construction of the foundation. It would be costly and unproductive to try to add it in after the final construction is completed. Essentially there would be parts of the project that would have to be chiseled or de-constructed in order to add the needed electrical sources.

Failure to hire a contractor that will think ahead on construction issues such as drainage, safety and electric can be an expensive mistake.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can help you design an outdoor patio that works from the end to the beginning to incorporate all elements you’d like to have.

239 IMG 20120711 090737 The Benefits of Using Pavers for Driveways, Decks and WalkwaysUsing pavers for driveways, decks and walkways have many benefits.

1. Pavers Are Good For The Environment
Pavers are made from natural products like limestone, cobblestone, slate or granite so they don’t contain pigments or dyes. They also allow rainwater to filter through and distribute directly into the ground instead of rolling over hard surfaces like concrete where it will pull excess pollutants along the way that will eventually make their way into the storm drains and waterways.

2. Pavers Are Stronger Than Concrete
Pavers can handle a tremendous amount of weight. They are actually 3 x’s stronger than concrete. Pavers are individual pieces installed to form a surface. Because they are individual they adjust to the movement of the earth below. A Concrete surface will crack when the ground below shifts.

3. Pavers Are Easy To Maintain
Pavers require sweeping and rinsing. You will need to apply weed control and they will need to intermittingly be re-sealed.

4. Pavers Are Safe
Pavers have a non-skid surface so they aren’t as slick as other surfaces. They are especially good as pool decks where there is a higher risk if slipping.

5. Pavers Add Beauty and Value

Pavers increase the value of your property. They add beauty by allowing the homeowner to be creative since there are endless color combinations and design possibilities.

R & R Sprinkler is an authorized BellGard Dealer. We can help you with a new paver walkway all the way to a new paver pool deck. Let us know how we can design a new paver addition to your property today. 239 IMG 20120711 090737 150x150 The Benefits of Using Pavers for Driveways, Decks and Walkways

Fire Attracts People

Posted by admin On September 30, 2012

FirePitPatio Fire Attracts People It’s still pretty hot here in Southwest Florida. It’s hard for us to think about sitting around a fire right now. However, cooler days are coming (we hope!).

There’s something about the ambiance of a fire that encourages conversation and helps folks enjoy the company of each other, their families and friends. It encourages the gathering of people and the creation of great memories.

For our New Year’s celebration this year we decided not to go to any parties but just to sit in our back yard on our canal, sip on some New Year cocktails, share some sparklers with our daughter and enjoy the incoming 2012. In the center of our New Year’s Celebration was the firepit we had received as a Christmas present. Proof that fire attracts people. It was one of the best New Year Eve’s we’ve had in a long time.

My cousin used to live on a large piece of property. We’d spend months collection pallets and loose wood in anticipation of the huge fire he would build so that we could have a great time with a large group of people. Proof that fire attracts people.

We frequent Fort Wilderness where on a nightly basis they have Chip and Dale’s Marshmallow roast. Proof that fire attracts people.

A firepit, fire place and the such creates a sense of peace, relaxation, fun and spirit. If you have the budget then a real live outdoor fire place is a great investment. If you have a smaller budget you can invest minimally in a fire pit from one of the big box stores. It’s a great addition to your outdoor living area.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape has the knowledge and expertise to help you develop an outdoor living space that incorporates a fire pit, fire place and outdoor patio. .

One more thing….. don’t forget the smores!

Weed Mat Is For Landscapes Using Rock Beds

Posted by admin On September 25, 2012

weed mat Weed Mat Is For Landscapes Using Rock BedsWeed mat is an man made material that is installed in landscape islands and beds after landscaping and before the installation of ROCK. Weed mat should not be used under landscape beds and islands if you intend to use mulch. At R & R Sprinkler and Landscape we only use weed mat under rock. Using it under mulch retains too much moisture and will choke your landscaping.

Weed mat will NOT prevent the growth of weeds. It may help control them but will NOT prevent them. The best thing you can do to prevent weeds is to spray for them regularly.

When purchasing weed mat we highly recommend you skip your purchase at a typical big box hardware store and invest in a higher quality product from your local landscape supply retailer. We have found that the weed mat sold at local hardware stores is lower quality and deteriorates within a year or two. Good weed mat should last 5-6 years.

If you want to add rock to your landscape islands and beds we can help with weed mat and rock selection. We can even help with a landscape update. Adding or sprucing up existing landscape is a great curb appeal.