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

Start Training Your Lawn To Need And Use Less Water

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

Have 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.

PGP-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.

A Good Sprinkler System Design is Essential

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

Installing an automatic sprinkler system is a worthwhile investment for your property. Having a professionally licensed and insured contractor install your new irrigation system is important. Ask for references and don’t always select the cheapest price. Ask about the design of your sprinkler system. Ask for references too. A good design that will use water efficiently is much better than a cheap price and is an overall better investment.

A good system design will be divided into zones by plant material. Typically the grass portion of your property is irrigated by rotor heads. Rotor heads have a higher output of water and run for longer periods of time. Plants and shrubs are typically irrigated by mist heads or drip irrigation which don’t require the area to be irrigated as long. If the design includes a zone that has a large span of grass along with an area of delicate shrubs set to irrigate for the same continuous period of time then someone will loose. Either your grass will not get enough water or your plants and shrubs will get too much. This is a bad design on behalf of your irrigation contractor and a poor water useage.

A zone comprised of rotor heads should run 30-45 minutes. A zone comprised of mist or spray heads should only run for @ 10-15 minutes. You can see by the difference in time that each of these components need to run how important it is that they are grouped in zones accordingly. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape is a professionally licensed and insured irrigation installation company. Our first priority is designing and installing an irrigation system that will be easy to operate and maintain while providing a sprinkler that will use the least amount of water with the maximum watering capabilities.

If you are considering installing a new irrigation system we’d love for you to give us the opportunity.

We Kill Sod in Cape Coral and Fort Myers!

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 11, 2012

Doesn’t sound like a company you want to hire right off the bat does it? It’s a genuine proposal though. If you have bought a Cape Coral foreclosure or an old Fort Myers house and the property had been badly neglected for a long period of time then you may need to do an overhaul on the yard. In a lot of instances you can fertilize and irrigate the grass along with some tough weed control and get it to come back to a normal yard. However, in extreme cases you need to just start over.

We usually don’t recommend sodding over sod unless you are just making a patch. If the Cape Coral or Fort Myers yard is in that bad of shape you don’t want to take the chance of the weed and pest problems of the old yard overtaking the new sod. That would be a horrible waste of your money.

We approach a sod replacement with a four step process:

1. Chemically kill the old yard using a professionally licensed pest control company.
2. Scrape out and properly dispose of the dead materials.
3. Re-grade the property so the new yard will be even and free of holes or lumps.
4. Install new sod.

Incidentally, if you don’t already have an automatic sprinkler system the best time to install it would be between steps 3 and 4. It’s always better to put a new irrigation system in during a construction process rather than disrupting the rooting of the new sod at a later date. If you are really dedicated to the restoration and rejuvenation of your Cape Coral or Fort Myers Home then you should ask us about our landscaping services as well.

Happy sod killing!

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.

How Will I Maintain My Lawn Sprinkler In Naples, Florida?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 16, 2012

You are blessed enough to be a seasonal resident in Naples Florida. You have spent your snow bird days meticulously manicuring your lawn, updating your landscaping and getting your irrigation system fine tuned to maintain all of the labors of love.

Now, it’s time to go back up north for the summer. You have hopefully hired a trusted lawn and landscape company to maintain your assets while you are gone but have you thought about your lawn sprinkler system?

Most seasonal residents turn off their irrigation systems when they are ready to go back up north. This is soooooo bad for your sprinkler system.

The only lubrication an irrigation system receives is from the water running through the pipes, through the valves and out of the sprinkler heads. No water running means no lubrication. Guess what? When you return to your Naples paradise you may be in for some repairs to your lawn sprinklers due to the lack of operation.

Your timer to your lawn irrigation system should be set to run at least once a week. During the rainy seasons you will only need to have your system run through each zone for a couple of minutes. During the non-rainy seasons it should be set to run through each zone @ 15 minutes depending on the type of landscaping or lawn area you are covering and the type of sprinkler heads that are installed in the areas and current watering restrictions that are in place.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape offers a variety of service contracts for your lawn irrigation system. We want your sprinklers to run adequately and efficiently throughout the year to maintain your yard, trees and shrubs.

Don’t you want your Naples property to look as beautiful when you return for this season as it did when you left last season. Less time spent on landscaping means more time spent playing golf, fishing or enjoying the gorgeous Florida beaches.

You wouldn’t leave a car sitting for months at a time without letting it run and you shouldn’t let your lawn sprinklers either. See how an irrigation maintenance contract from R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can benefit your Naples home today.

My Sprinkler Head Won’t Pop Up?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 15, 2012

So you have an automatic irrigation system with sprinkler heads that pop up to water your yard. However, you notice that one of your sprinkler heads won’t pop up. Let’s trouble shoot to figure out what’s wrong:

1. Is Water Pressure To Blame?
Each city or municipality will regulate their water pressure however they please. They may lower water pressure to a particular area at a specific time of day due to high demand. They have the best interest of all property owner’s in mind and want to make sure that they have water supply to all in lieu of high water pressure to some. I guess it makes sense unless you are the person trying to get your sprinkler head to pop up, LOL.

2. Is There A Broken Pipe In Your Area?
Look around. Has there been any new trees, shrubs or landscaping installed in your area? Has there been a fence repaired or installed recently? Have there been any repairs to or installs to the utilities in the area? If there is a broken pipe there is an interruption of water flow. There needs to be water flow to make your sprinkler head pop up. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can make repairs to your irrigation system and fix broken pipes.

3. Is There Debris Caught In The Lines Of Your Irrigation System?
Various forms of debris can get caught in your irrigation lines. If you have turned your system completely off (this is a big no-no) then sediment may have settled in the bottoms of your pipes. When your system is turned back on the sediment gets flushed into your pipes and up through your sprinkler heads. The sediment may exit the sprinkler head or clog it. A clogged sprinkler head usually won’t pop up. If you are on a dual water system there are elements that can clog your sprinkler heads like snails, stickers from fruit and other small elements that have made their way into the reclaimed water system.

4. Does Your Sprinkler Head Need Cleaned or Repaired?
Your sprinkler head may just need cleaned out. Your sprinkler head also has a seal around it that keeps the water from leaking out around the head and spraying out into your grass. If the seal is broken or damaged it may interfere with the sprinkler head popping up. Call a certified sprinkler repair company like R & R Sprinkler to repair or replace the sprinkler head. Your lawn maintenance company may not repair or replace a sprinkler head unless they have a specialty contractors license.

If you have questions or need a sprinkler head repaired please contact us for a free estimate. We do offer a variety of sprinkler system maintenance contracts that will check for all of the above items.

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.

Rotor Heads are Sprinkler Heads

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 9, 2012

PGP-ADJ Hunter Industries

A rotor head is a component of a sprinkler system that delivers water to your lawn. It’s typically referred to as a sprinkler head. The purpose of the rotor head is to deliver water to your grass in a slow even application. At R & R Sprinkler and Landscape we install rotor heads that will spray water in a steady stream of up to 50′. We want to give you the maximum amount of coverage delivered using the smallest amount of water by proper installment and adjustment of your sprinkler head.

Our sprinklers are installed and repaired with the end result of water conservation in mind. This is better for the environment and will result in a lower water bill for the end user.

A typical sprinkler head is attached to underground pipe with fittings. It will rise @ 4″ above ground level when it pops up to water the lawn and will fully retract into the ground when not in use. Make sure you keep the area around the rotor head cleaned out from the growth of grass and your lawn mowed at a proper height to avoid interference of watering.

Whether you need a new sprinkler system or repair to your existing irrigation system R & R Sprinkler is your first and best choice.

Contact us to evaluate your system and make changes that will help with water conservation and a lower utility bill for you. We have one of the best service departments for sprinkler repair in Southwest Florida. We call evaluate whether you need a simple sprinkler repair, whether you need a irrigation system renovation, or if you need to start over with a new sprinkler system installation.

Get a quote to install a new irrigation system. We will design a sprinkler for full coverage of your property. It’s a great investment to your property.

Did Tropical Storm Debbie Burn Your Lawn?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 8, 2012

Can you believe it’s already been a month since we felt the impact of tropical storm Debbie? We’ve been flooded with calls about dying grass. We are not surprised to find that most of the complaints are from customers that live along the salt water.

Not only did we see the levels of our canals rise over the sea walls and saturate our lawns but Tropical Storm Debbie was also accompanied by high winds. High winds tossed all of that salt water over our houses, landscaping and yards. The areas that got misted with the salt water will most likely recover quickly with the natural drying out process and fresh water rains our Southwest Florida climate affords to us in the summertime.

The areas along the sea walls and near the water’s edge may or may not be as lucky. Too much water on a yard is as dangerous as too little. Too much salty water on a lawn is disasterous. The salt burns the grass. If you notice you have brown spots or your grass is dying where you know there was storm surge, flooding or water sitting that was salty your best course of action is to soak it with fresh water. Fortunatley for Southwest Florida we have had a lot of afternoon storms to help wash away the saltiness that Tropical Storm Debbie brought us.

If this doesn’t appear to be working you may consider adding a little bit of fresh water garden hose time to the area, you may need to fertilize the area (moderately), you may need to re-seed the area or you may even need to consider re-sodding the area. If you live in an area prone to surges of salt water you may want to consider adding a rock bed, mulch bed, an area of pavers or maybe even a retention wall in lieu of replacing sod. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can send our experienced staff to advise you of your best course of action.

Above all else remember, lawn technicians, landscapers and sprinkler system companies have no control over the weather. If you were the unfortunate one that sodded a yard or planted new landscaping along an area adjacent to salt water just before Tropical Storm Debbie – be kind. Any good business owner will help you the best they can but they cannot warranty items caused by Mother Nature flexing her muscles.