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

Archive for June, 2012

How Often Should I Water My New Sod?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On June 29, 2012

Installing new sod is a pretty substantial financial investment in your property. To ensure it roots correctly and lasts a long time we recommend you water it twice a day for the first 3 weeks. The length of time you will water will vary by the type of irrigation system and/or irrigation heads you are using. If you need help setting your timer with the right watering schedules and times please contact us.

Try to water in the hours with less sunlight, like early morning or late evening. More water will make it to the new sod by doing this. Watering during the day causes a lot of the water to evaporate before it has a chance to be effective. Be sure to keep your sod permit handy in case your city or county officials try to enforce current watering restrictions. You are usually allowed unlimited watering for the first 30 days after a new sod installment.

The best way to ensure your new sod is getting the right amount of water is to have an automatic irrigation system in place that has a programmable timer. We install new irrigation systems for both residential and commercial properties. We also service all models of existing sprinkler system.

Knowing how much water you are applying to your lawn and landscaping will help you determine if you are over watering or under watering your property. A good way to determine how much moisture you are applying to your grass is a “Catch Can Test”.

To administer a “Catch Can Test” you’ll need 6 small cans, tuna cans are an ideal size. Place the 6 cans spread out in the area that you are going to water. Let your sprinkler run for it’s schedule time. At the end of the cycle take a ruler and measure how much water is in each can. Add them together and divide it by 6. This will get you the average amount of water being administered to your yard in that area.

Typically you should only be administering 3/4″ of saturation at any given time. If you are less then 3/4″ you need to increase the amount of time you are watering. If your average is over 3/4″ then you will need to decrease the amount of time you are watering.

If you need us to help determine how long to water or how to adjust your timer please let us know.

5 Characteristics of Evaluating Water Efficiency For a Florida Sprinkler System

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On June 27, 2012

1) Matched-Precipitation Rate Sprinkler Heads

All sprinkler system heads on a given circuit should be the same type (e.g. rotors, pop-up spray, etc.) and have matched precipitation rate (in inches per hour). Heads with differing precipitation rates have widely varying operating times, which can lead to the over-watering of one area in order to sufficiently water another.

2) Head-to-Head Coverage

Our sprinkler systems are designed to operate with head-to-head coverage, where the spray from one sprinkler head reaches to the next, resulting in necessary overlap. Precipitation rates are based on the assumption of overlap. Places where the sprinkler’s spray pattern does not overlap are likely not getting sufficient water and may develop brown dry spots. These spots indicate the system has low “uniformity” of coverage. To compensate, one has to run the sprinklers for longer times to get adequate water to the dry spots, while the rest of the lawn is getting over-watered.

3) Precipitation Rate That Does Not Exceed the Soil’s Infiltration Rate

Based upon soil characteristics, water will soak into the ground at differing rates. Sandy soils have high (fast) infiltration rates, while clay soils have low (slow) infiltration rates. If the precipitation rate of the sprinkler heads exceeds the soil’s infiltration rate, then runoff and erosion occur (especially on slopes). On flat ground, this will also lead to piddling. If your sprinklers’ precipitation rate exceeds the infiltration rate, lower precipitation rate heads can be installed, or you can shorten your watering times and use multiple start times (e.g. 3 start times at 5 minutes each at 1-hour intervals instead of 15 minutes all at once) to allow the water to soak into the soil, and increase water efficiency.

4) Appropriate Water Pressure for Your Irrigation System

Well water or city recycled each sprinkler head is designed to operate within a certain range of pressure, typically around 40 to 50 pounds per square inch (PSI). When water pressure is too low, the sprinkler head will emit large drops and likely will not produce the proper spray pattern or a radius that reaches to the next head. If pressure is too high, the head will produce a fine mist, which leads to water loss due to evaporation and “fly-away” in even light winds. In addition, high pressure can lead to over spray and a distorted spray pattern, along with many other problems. A good pump is critical to maintain optimal performance.

5) Clean, Even Sprinkler Spray Pattern

If the sprinkler spray pattern of a head is distorted, browns spots may develop on the lawn. This may be caused by blockage in the screen or in the nozzle itself, and the head may need to be cleaned. If this does not fix the problem, the nozzle may be worn and needs to be replaced.

There should be no wasteful over spray onto sidewalk, patio, driveway or street. If there is over spray, replace the nozzle with another with the appropriate spray pattern or relocate the sprinkler head.

Vegetation or other objects should not obstruct the spray from the head. Trim back vegetation or raise the sprinkler heads as needed. This will increase the system’s uniformity of coverage, and water efficiency.

Interested in learning more about sprinkler systems?

Cleaning Up Your Lawn and Landscaping After Tropical Storm Debby

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On June 26, 2012

While the Southwest Florida area needed some moisture, we got way more then we asked for with the entrance of Tropical Store Debby. Even at The Burroughs Home in downtown Fort Myers today I noticed the water was over the seawall.

The long term effects of Debby are appreciated, filling up our lakes, retention ponds, wells and aquafiers. However, there are some immediate negative effects on our grass and landscaping with the sudden insurgence of winds and rain. Heavy winds and rain damage landscaping, wash away mulch and fertilizer and can even erode soil.

Here are some issues you may need to deal with in the re-cooperation efforts from Tropical Debby:

1. It’s likely that your delicate plants may have gotten damaged with the heavy winds and rains we’ve received in the last several days. As soon as it is done raining you need to quickly prune these plants to allow for recovery.

2. Mulch has washed away. You may be able to rake and replace some of the wayward mulch. Your best bet is to re-mulch once the rains stops. If your mulch floats easily you may want to consider using a heavier mulch or switching to some sort of rock.

3. Consider holding off on fertilizing your grass and landscaping until after the rainy season subsides. Fertilizing during a storm season is often a waste of time, money and resources. Most the fertilizer will wash away which means it had no benefit for your property. On top of that, the fertilizer easily enters our ground water system.

4. Help your landscaping dry out faster by pulling mulch away from trees, bushes and plants. Mulch serves two purposes; it’s decorative and it helps keep hold moisture. We just got a ton of rain so holding moisture for starving plants won’t be an issue for many days.

Did you get some damage to your landscaping and need some clean up and replacement plants and trees
? R & R Sprinkler and Landscape is a full service landscaping company. We can also help replenish your washed away mulch or can give you options on another materials for your beds and islands. We have years of experience to assist you.

Curb Appeal for Your Southwest Florida Property

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On June 25, 2012

There are some simple and inexpensive ways to maintain the curb appeal of your Southwest Florida Home.

1. BE CLEAN
Keep your grass mowed. Clean up fallen tree branches and palm fronds. Keep pine cones, pine needles and fallen flowers and debris consolidated and picked up.

2. BE NEAT
Keep your trees and shrubs neatly trimmed. Keep your flower beds and landscape island edged. Noting is worse then a row of edges blocking the window of a home. It blocks light into the house, it block the view out of the house and it looks unkept.

3. ADD COLOR
What a difference adding a little pop of color makes to the front of a house. Small, seasonal plants such as impatients, pansies or mums make a big impact with just a little bit of output.

4. KEEP MULCH FRESH
Flower beds with mulch fade in the Florida climate. Throw some fresh mulch in your flower beds and landscape island for a renewed look to your property.

5. GET RID OF THE WEEDS
A house with weeds screams “unkept home” or “abandoned house”. If you are like most of us, you don’t have time to spend hours to pull weeds from your yard and landscape. You can purchase a sprayer and some weed killer from your local garden center. Take a walk around your house once a week to spray the weeds. You’ll kill your weeds and get some exercise in the process.

6. KEEP YOUR GRASS GREEN
This is often easier said then done with dry seasons and water restrictions. However, installing an automatic irrigation system is a step in the right direction. Once you have a sprinkler system installed you must be meticulous in keeping the sprinkler heads accurately adjusted to get the best coverage of your grass and landscaping. An irrigation maintenance contract is a wise investment if you are not fond of the mechanical aspects of maintaining an irrigation system.