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

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Change Your Sprinkler Timers for Daylight Savings Time

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More 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. One of our helpful irrigation technicians will happy to assist you.

Fire Attracts People

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 30, 2012

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!

Chinch Bugs Love Florida Grasses

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 20, 2012

The common name is Chinch Bug.

The Scientific name is Blissus sp.

The layman’s term is “OH NO!”.

Chinch bugs love Florida grasses because they love a hot environment. Chinch bug population peaks between the months of May – October but they can and do survive year round in Southwest Florida. They love warm climates.

Most people don’t know they have chinch bugs until it’s too late. You’ll know you have them by that dreadful patch of yellowed dying grass. Chinch bugs stay in groups and will attack a small area at one time. This is why you will notice a small patch or span of grass that is damaged but not the entire yard.

Most people haven’t even seen a chinch bug before. They are a small black bug only 1/8 – 1/6″ long with whitesh colored wings. To find out if you have chinch bugs bend down and pat the grass or scrape your shoe along the surface of the yard. This will disturb them and make them visable. Sometimes you can even smell a foul odor after you have finished mowing your grass.

There no one reason that chinch bugs attack although some think over fertilization might be a culprit.

There’s no specific type of Southwest Florida grass they attack over another although some argue that thy like Floratam the best. They plaque floratam, bermuda, zoysia, bahia and centipede grasses alike.

Your only course of action is to call a local licensed and insured pest control company to have your lawn professionally treated. One good dose is good. Your homework is to keep an eye out for future attacks by using the methods above. There is no evidence that spraying on a regular basis will prevent an attack and may even make chinch bugs more resistant to the chemicals the lawn companies use.

Moth Balls Aren’t Just For Moths

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 19, 2012

Do you have problems keeping critters from unwanted places. We all do somewhere in our homes or businesses. A simple solution is moth balls. The minute you say moth balls the scent appears in your nostrils even though you don’t have a moth ball in sight right? It’s not a pleasant odor. We think of our grandmother’s sweaters or a cabin that has been closed up for a long time. However, moth balls are fabulous for keeping all sorts of critters away.

Do you have birds in the tree that sits right over our car. We all know how that ends up. How about mice invading a garage space? Yuck! Or even insects in your sprinkler timer. Annoying!

There aren’t very many creatures (including humans) that like the smell of moth balls. Throw moth balls in the areas you want clear of animals and pests. For example, if you have mice at your shop, put them on the floor in the general areas they hang out in. If insects invade your sprinkler timer throw them down on the ground under your timer (but not in your timer).

P.S. If you have children or pets think carefully where and if you should use moth balls.

P.S.S: We’re aren’t sure if this works under your boss’ chair or not. Let us know :).

Gushing Downspouts Cause Damage

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 4, 2012

Living in Southwest Florida ensures that we have afternoon downpours of rain at least half of the year. A typical Florida home will have gutters and downspouts installed to divert the water off the roof. The downfall is that the downspouts dump a strong sudden surge or water into a concentrated area. You are taking the necessary precautions to get the water off your roof but you are NOT taking the necessary precautions to protect the property below.

A downspout that gushes into one concentrated area of the property can have the following negative effects:

1. Damage to the foundation
2. Hazard of tripping in holes caused by water infusion
3. Kills delicate plants and flowers with water saturation

Take your guttering and downspout one step further with a flexible drainage system. R&R Sprinkler and Landscape can add flexible drainage tubing at the end of the gushing downspout and route it underground with the termination in an area of the yard where the water can be more evenly distributed.

If you are considering adding a patio or renovating existing landscaping be sure your contractor addresses drainage issues BEFORE the construction begins. We have had more drainage issues, especially with new construction. The contractors and engineers are not taking into consideration where the water will go once it is diverted from the roof.

If you have drainage issues we can help find solutions. In the meantime, be careful where you step, we don’t want you to twist your ankle.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape offers a wide variety of repairs and solutions to irrigation, landscaping, outdoor construction and drainage issues. We have a friendly staff that wants to help today.

Hurricane Issac Will Bring Unlicensed Contractor Activity to Southwest Florida

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 28, 2012

As Tropical Storm Issac passes us and transforms into Hurricane Issac we need to keep the folks in Mississippi and Louisiana in our prayers.

We dodged a bullet with Tropical Storm Issac. It appears there hasn’t been much damage caused from the storm except for some fallen branches and some higher water in canals. However, unlicensed contractors always see any type of storm as an opportunity to take advantage of innocent homeowners for necessary or unnecessary repairs.

A licensed contractors has to be tested and certified in their field, they need to carry workers compensation insurance, they need to carry property, vehicle and liability insurance and much more. An unlicensed contractor doesn’t incur any of these necessary expenses to operate a legitimate business and often they don’t have the right amount of time or experience in the trade they are trying to perform work.

A homeowner often is just trying to get the most in-expensive cost for the job. Did you stop to think that if that person falls on your property they can sue you? A licensed contractor can submit a claim to their insurance company.

An unlicensed contractor often takes short cuts to give you that lower price. If they do it wrong or cause damage to your property what re-course do you think you have? With a licensed contractor you have the backing of State, County and City Municipalities in a mediation type environment.

When a person bidding a project for you says they are licensed in Georgia but cannot produce a Florida License they are considered an unlicensed contractor. To be a legitimate licensed contractor in The State of Florida they must be licensed with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

For a short period of time Southwest Florida may be swarmed by “unlicensed” contractor activity. We urge you to do your due diligence by asking them to produce licenses and proof of insurance. By doing this you will be protecting yourself and the hundreds of small business owners in the Lee County, Charlotte Count and Collier County Areas.

Prepare Your Landscaping At Your Southwest Florida Home For Tropical Storm Issac

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 23, 2012

It appears that Southwest Florida will bear the brunt of Tropical Storm Issac by the end of this weekend. Whether we are hit directly or not, we will still have some pretty nasty weather coming our way.

NBC2 has great tips on preparing for a storm.

In addition to preparing your house and family to endure a storm, you should consider some housekeeping with your landscaping and outdoor elements to avoid damage to your plants and trees and property.

If you have large trees or palms take a close look to see if there are already loose branches or palm fronds that you could remove now. The high winds and rains are sure to tug them loose once Tropical Storm Issac gets closer. Falling limbs can cause damage to your roof, windows, screens, vehicles and more. Taking a little bit of time now will save you a lot of trouble over the weekend.

Do you have potted plants in containers. Start moving them into an area they will get less damage. Not only will it save you damage to the plant or tree, it will ensure that your beautiful pots don’t get damaged as well.

Do you have landscaping maintenance equipment stored outside? These would include but not limited to wheel barrels, hoses, shovels, rakes, lawn mowers, etc. Start clearing space out in your garage to house these tools.

If you live on salt water you will be affected by the salt spray. If you have plants along your seawall or edge of the property they may get damaged. The sod along this area too may incur damage as well. Once the storm calms down we recommend that you start adding fresh water from the garden hose to reduce the effects of the salt water.

Do you have an outdoor living area? You will need to consider moving in any items that could go airbourne during the storm like lawn furniture, fire pits, benches, pool toys, etc. You not only want to protect the outdoor furnishings but you want to avoid having any item launch unnecessarily into the air that could cause harm to your property or to a person.

The silver lining to this cloud is that a storm will reveal to the homeowner the areas of their landscaping that are weak or need improved
. Keep your eyes on the weather and start preparing your Southwest Florida Landscaping for Tropical Storm Issac.

Parts of a Lawn Irrigation System – Sprinkler Valve

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 22, 2012

If you are like the average homeowner you don’t really know what the specific parts are that make up your irrigation system. You just want it to turn on and water your grass and landscaping. We understand, you might know what the stock market is doing today, you may know the part I need to repair my air conditioner or you may know how to teach my daughter math (all things I may struggle with myself) but you don’t know what an irrigation valve is. That’s OK. We all have gifts and talents. Servicing and educating customers about their irrigation system is ours.

Today we’re going to tell you about irrigation valves. A sprinkler system is made up of many parts. It’s not about just throwing pipes in the ground and your grass is watered. There are rotor heads, spray heads, timers, rain sensors, fittings, pipe and valves. A valve is the part of the sprinkler that determines a sprinkler “zone”. It’s the brain for a specific part (zone) of the entire sprinkler system. The valves talk to the timer so the timer can tell the valves when to open and close to let water flow into the pipes and out of the sprinkler heads and for how long.

Each valve is wired to the sprinkler timer. If valves are not operating there is either not power running from the timer to the valve or one of the electrical wires has been somehow damaged. If valves get stuck open there may be debris stuck in the valve. A common result of this would be a flooded yard. If valves are weeping you may need to replace the seal around the valve. The most important thing you can do is to know where your valves are located for your sprinkler system.

One of the most time consuming tasks we perform during an irrigation repair to locating valves. If you can keep your valves located and clear from your yard growing over top of them you will save a lot of labor for your next sprinkler repair.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape have expert technicians ready to locate and repair the valves to your sprinkler system today.

Preparing Your Southwest Florida Home for Tropical Storm Issac

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 22, 2012

It looks like we are in the line of fire for Tropical Storm Issac to make landfall early Monday morning. If last night’s wind storm in Cape Coral is any indication of the power this storm is going to pack then there are some things we all need to do to prepare.

Hurricanes are powerful and dangerous storms; but if you are prepared, you will survive with the least amount of discomfort!

Here are some things you can do at the beginning of the season, to help make your home and family “hurricane resistant”!

Prepare your survival kit with enough supplies to last you, your family, and pets for at least three days.
As you purchase items on the list, check them off until your kit is complete. Next to the list, write down where the kit and any separate items are stored. Even if you plan to evacuate, you need to have these supplies with you.
Write down your FPL account number for faster service: ________________.
In case of an outage, call 1-800-4-OUTAGE
Update your homeowners insurance; make sure you are covered for wind and flood damage. If you rent, purchase renter’s insurance. Know your deductibles, they may be higher than you think! Get additional tips about your insurance here.
Find out the elevation of your home and how the surrounding area would flood in a hurricane.
Videotape or take a written inventory of all your belongings.
Keep your yard free of debris. Cut down any dead tree limbs. Remove weak, damaged or diseased trees.
If you do not have pre-installed shutters, measure all windows and doors for plywood covers. Pre-cut the plywood and install anchors.
Purchase a kit to brace your garage door, especially if your home was built before 1993.
Drive through your designated hurricane evacuation route. Consider alternative routes as you go.
Locate the nearest public shelters. Not all shelters will be opened during a hurricane. Be aware of several alternatives.
Purchase a battery operated weather radio with the tone alert.
Take a first aid class.
Make sure your street address is clearly marked on your home.
Complete your personal hurricane plan.

NBC2 has a great in-depth preparation plan for all of us to follow.

My Dog Is Destroying My Fort Myers Yard!

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 14, 2012

We all love fido. He’s our best friend. He provides unconditional love. He’s a member of our family. He also can destroy our yard!

There are two main ways we can identify with as areas that your dog can damage or destroy your Fort Myers yard.

1. Digging
2. Urinating

DIGGING
A digging dog may be bored. Perhaps they need more attention from you. A good walk or some back yard play time may be good for both of you.

A digging dog can also be hiding his valued treasures such as toys or bones in which case we would recommend you not let him take these items into the yard. Perhaps they will be content to just hide them in the couch instead.

A digging dog may also be a phase of their life because they are young. Obedience training and lots of patience will help Fido get past these days. Usually a dog will out grow this by the age of 3 (you hope!).

URINATING
Some dogs are such creatures of habit that they will urinate in the same spot over and over and over again. Moderate urination will actually help the grass by fertilizing it. Over urination in one spot will damage the grass due to the high concentrations of nitrogen.

If your dog has the habit of using the potty in the same spot perhaps you’ll need to follow closely behind them to shuffle them to a different area of your Fort Myers yard. Encourage them to use the whole yard instead of a few choice spots. There are even some over the counter sprays at local pet stores that will help discourage them from using a certain area.

If they just refuse to use another area of your Fort Myers yard then pull the garden hose out and water the area down frequently to dilute the effects of the urine.

If you need us to renovate your landscaping or replace some sod let us know. Just remember, Fido loves you. Don’t let a few holes or yellowed spots in your yard alter your affection for him.