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Archives for Irrigation

Adjusting your Sprinkler System for Summer

A sprinkler system is convenient and saves money on watering costs. It’s essential in arid conditions, but in South Florida where it rains nearly every day in summer, an irrigation schedule will need to be adjusted to account for the levels of natural moisture.

The majority of rainfall comes to South Florida from June through September. Depending upon the exact location, rainfall totals can range from 39 to 74 inches. Individuals will also need to consider the type of lawn grass they have and it’s unique moisture needs.

Installing a state-of-the-art irrigation system is one solution. The modern, programmable systems have the ability to monitor the moisture in the ground and automatically adjust the frequency with which water is applied, along with the amount.

Many individuals simply turn off their irrigation system during the summer months, relying on nature to provide the needed watering. The problem with the approach is that even though South Florida sees rain almost every day, the actual amounts can vary considerably.

Lawns need about ½ to ¾ inches of water twice a week to keep it healthy. Individuals making their own adjustments to their irrigation systems will need to consider the quantity of water being delivered, the frequency, uniformity of coverage, type of soil, and the time of day water is administered to the lawn.

The University of Florida IFAS Extension recommends that individuals monitor their lawns for signs that it may need water before activating their sprinkler systems. Those include footprints that remain visible on the grass, lawns that appear bluish-gray, and blades of grass that have folded in half to conserve water. Then it’s time to provide ¾ of an inch of water.

Overwatering wastes money and water. An easy way to ascertain the amount of water being delivered in a specific time period is to place empty cans around the yard and measuring the amount of water after 30 minutes of irrigation. If cans have ¾ of an inch of water after 30 minutes, individuals know how long to run their irrigation system to deliver the appropriate amount of life-giving moisture lawns need. Adjust any sprinkler heads that are under-delivering or over-delivering compared to the other heads.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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How too Much Watering can Ruin Your Landscape

If you’re like most people, you worry that your landscape isn’t getting enough moisture. Overwatering is even more damaging to the landscape, and in ways that you may not have considered. Watering by hand is time-consuming and leads to areas of excess water in some locations and not enough in others. The best option for watering is an irrigation system that can be programmed to deliver the exact amount of water every area needs.

The first way in which overwatering harms the landscape is through disrupting the way that grass and other plants grow. It drowns the roots and prevents them from forming deep, healthy systems while starving the soil of oxygen content.

Too much water also prevents microscopic organisms from performing the important work of breaking down plant matter through decomposition. Without that natural process, thatch builds up and strangles a lawn. It also creates a breeding ground for insect pests, mold and fungi.

A fungus infection in lawns is something that you’ll have to be vigilant to prevent, particularly in Florida’s humid climate. Overwatering doesn’t allow the soil to dry out sufficiently and plants remain damp longer. You may observe a reddish-orange tint to grass, brown patches, or toadstools growing throughout the landscape – a sure sign that overwatering has occurred.

Insects are drawn to landscapes where the thatch is thick and plants are damp. Even if you use an insecticide in an effort to remedy the problem, some of those pests live just beneath the surface of the soil where they chew on tender roots and surface chemical applications don’t reach.

Weeds are never welcome visitors in the landscape and there are several types that thrive in overly wet conditions. Landscapes that receive too much water are an open invitation to weeds that will deprive grass, flowers, shrubs and trees of the nutrients they need.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Protect Your Landscape with Proper Irrigation

Your landscape is an investment in your property and it needs protection in the same way as your other valuables. A properly installed and scheduled irrigation system will do that in a variety of ways. The health, success and lushness of your landscape depend on getting water, in the correct amount, and at the right time. It also significantly reduces the time, money, and work required to maintain it.

Today’s irrigation systems are a marvel of technology. They can be programmed to water on a schedule compatible with local weather conditions and watering zones can be created to deliver moisture in measured amounts to specific areas. The systems are even available that can detect when rain has fallen, how much, and adjust the watering schedule accordingly. They also require less maintenance.

Health

A healthy landscape is one that doesn’t receive too much or too little moisture for its needs. An irrigation system accomplishes that and does so by saving on water costs. It supports the health of the soil, which in turn fosters the strength of plantings and enables them to survive the stress of harsh conditions such as wind storms, floods, and hurricanes.

Insects and Disease

A lawn that gets too much moisture is a breeding ground for unwanted pests, mold, mildew, and bacterial infections that can cause costly damage. Overly wet or dry conditions call to a large variety of insects ranging from fungus gnats, mosquitos, and flea beetles to spiders, fleas, and ticks. Many lay eggs underground that will repopulate the landscape later. A proper irrigation system will aid in eliminating the conditions attractive to insects and help save on fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides.

Uniform Coverage

An irrigation system will ensure uniform coverage throughout the entire landscape. Irrigation heads can be adjusted to place water exactly where it’s needed and in the correct amounts. The result is a healthy landscape that supports strong and vigorous plants.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Professional Irrigation Installation can Save you Money

Irrigation systems have evolved significantly over the years and they’re no longer inconvenient arrangements that leave puddles or end up watering sidewalks and streets. Today’s irrigation systems are programmable, can be operated from a smartphone, and even have the ability to sense if it’s rained.

Irrigation is most effective when it’s performed in the late hours of the evening or early hours of the morning to prevent evaporation and ensure that lawns and plantings receive the full benefit of the moisture. Watering at other times is a waste of money. An irrigation system can be programmed to turn on and off at the appropriate times, ensuring the most efficient use of water and thereby saving money.

Watering by hand with a nozzle or using a sprinkler head is time-consuming, creates puddling and run-off, and doesn’t ensure every area receives the correct amount of moisture. Irrigation systems use sprinkler heads that are adjustable and directional. They’re capable of delivering varying amounts of water to different areas within the landscape to meet the needs of different plants. It eliminates run-off and puddling that wastes water and cash.

Old-fashioned irrigation systems delivered water on a pre-determined schedule, even if it was already raining. A state-of-the-art irrigation system is capable of sensing and monitoring the level of moisture in the ground. It only waters when the ground is dry enough to save on watering costs. The systems can also be programmed to deliver varying water amounts based on the time of year.

Perhaps one of the best water and money saving features available with the installation of an irrigation system is the ability to combine it with drip irrigation. It effectively and efficiently delivers moisture to the root systems of plants in flowerbeds or vegetable gardens. It utilizes far less water and results in minimal evaporation.

One of the biggest expenses associated with a well-maintained lawn is the cost of watering it. Installing an irrigation system eliminates puddling and run-off from overwatering. The systems ensure that each element of the landscape has the exact amount of water required, at just the right time. The result is a beautiful landscape with a significant reduction in water costs.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Best Time of Day to Water the Yard

A lush green lawn is a beauty to behold and sufficient moisture is one of the essential requirements. If you have a modern irrigation system installed, your irrigation specialist will program it to automatically water at the optimal time.

If you’re still watering by hand, there’s one very important aspect with which you should be concerned. Evaporation in its many forms is the enemy of lawn watering. Water can evaporate through the effects of sun, wind, high temperatures, and low humidity levels.

Daytime isn’t the best time to water the lawn. Late at night or early in the morning when air temperatures are cooler and the dew has fallen is preferable to minimize evaporation. Never water during the hottest part of the day. It’s a waste of water and can actually dehydrate the lawn and stress the grass.

Watering on windy days is also a waste of time, money and water. A light breeze isn’t a problem, but a strong wind will result in much of the water evaporating before it has time to soak into the lawn where it needs to be.

Most lawns require anywhere from 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week if you don’t receive sufficient rain. A rain gauge can be a valuable tool for monitoring how much rain has fallen and if your lawn is still thirsty. Most experts recommend watering until the moisture has penetrated six inches below the surface.

One of the reasons it’s a good idea to have an irrigation system installed by a professional is that the high-tech systems available now can be programmed to water at the proper time and they can even detect the amount of rainfall so lawns aren’t overwatered. They take the guesswork out of the best time of day to water the yard.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Landscaping and Irrigation go Hand-in-Hand

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a beautiful landscape is ensuring it has sufficient moisture to thrive. Providing the water it needs when required can be a lot of time intensive work. It’s just one of the reasons that landscaping and irrigation go hand-in-hand.

Landscaping provides an aesthetically pleasing environment and adds value to any property. The same is true of an irrigation system. Modern systems are wonders of technology that are able to detect when plants need to be watered and can compensate for local rainfall to save property owners money.

Irrigation systems need to be installed and configured by a professional. They have the experience, knowledge and expertise to design an appropriate system, install directional sprinkler heads, program the system, and calculate the correct amount of water for different areas of the landscape. Drip irrigation can also be installed in appropriate locations.

When an irrigation system is installed, the designer will factor in a wide variety of elements. Those encompass soil types, different kinds of plantings, any areas where pooling or puddling are likely to occur, and runoff potential.

They’ll also configure the system so clients only water the soil and moisture isn’t directed to streets, sidewalks and walkways. An irrigation specialist will be able to adjust the water pressure appropriately so water is distributed in a uniform way.

Without the proper moisture levels at the correct times, everything from grass and flowers to bushes, trees and vines will wither and die. Conversely, too much water will drown them and lead to the growth of mold and mildew that can be expensive to alleviate.

For attractive and well-maintained landscapes, irrigation is a necessity. It eliminates the time and effort of watering by hand, saves water and money, and ensures the right amount of water is distributed in each zone. Irrigation ensures that every inch of properties are lush and green.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Irrigation During the Dry Season

Keeping landscapes sufficiently watered during the dry season in Florida can be tricky without an automated irrigation system. Watering by hand or with a sprinkler and hose system can create far more problems than insufficient moisture in the ground. Irrigation during the drier, winter months is dependent on soil composition, type of grass planted, and the presence of shade trees.

More abundant rainfall during the summer months may have prompted homeowners to turn their irrigation systems off, while others are trying to control their irrigation systems manually. Without an irrigation system that can correct for rainfall and other variables, watering the landscape becomes a paramount concern. The University of Florida Extension Service recommends watering two days per week. That can be adjusted to tailor moisture to different areas.

Exact location is also a factor in watering and the type of plants within the landscape. If grass is walked on and the footprints don’t readily dissipate, the lawn needs moisture. Another sign is if the blades of grass are folding or the color is off. When those signs are present, ¾ inch of water should be applied. Make sure that all areas are being watered equally.

A good way to determine how long sprinklers should be run involves placing shallow cans or containers in various places around the yard. Run the sprinklers for 30 minutes and see how much water has accumulated in the containers. If they have ¾ inch, 30 minutes of watering is sufficient. If there’s ½ an inch, water for 40 minutes or 50 minutes if there’s only ¼ inch in the cans.

Watering should be performed early in the morning whenever possible at any time of the year to minimize evaporation. Following a measured water regiment for landscapes will keep them healthy throughout the winter months and save money on water bills.

 

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Commercial Irrigation is no Joke

An irrigation system is one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to have an attractive commercial property while saving money on the costs to maintain it. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t understand the importance of irrigation and still have visions of old-fashioned systems that were wasteful and expensive.

Modern irrigation systems are no joke. They’re highly complicated and complex systems that are carefully designed and planned. They contain automated systems to ensure the plants on a property have the proper amount of water without overwatering. The systems are designed to meet the needs of plantings that also take into account soil composition, land slopes, available water pressure, and drainage concerns.

There is also the type of sprinkler head to consider. There are multiple types, they emit different amounts of water, and will cause problems within the irrigation system and the health of the plantings. An irrigation professional will know how far apart to place each head for the specific needs of the property.

Wiring is required for the valves that determine how much water each zone receives and to shut off when the watering cycle is complete. One of the most important services an irrigation professional will provide is aiming the flow of water that comes from the sprinkler heads. Water will be directed toward plantings and not onto sidewalks or over curb edges. Some areas even have laws against watering sidewalks due to the potential for slip and fall accidents.

Modern irrigation systems are programmable and will be set to water during the late evening or early morning hours. Water during those times results in maximum absorption for plantings, while aiding in preventing the growth of mold, mildew and fungi. The high-tech systems also have sensors that detect when rain has fallen and will prevent irrigation from commencing until the soil is dry enough.

Commercial irrigation systems eliminate the work of watering and the guesswork of trying to determine if plantings have received enough moisture. They reduce water usage and costs, while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance for any type of commercial property.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Waterlogged: How to Prevent Fungus From Growing and Spreading

Excessive rain, overwatering, and poor drainage can result in fungal growth in lawns. It can appear as a white looking dust or brown spots. A fungal lawn infection may also display as patches of gray, black, yellow, orange, red or purple areas. When wet, it may have a greasy or slimy appearance.

Preventing and treating fungal lawn infections is a multi-step process and while the average homeowner can address some problem on their own, it’s always best to call in a professional. There are multiple types of fungus and additional problems may need to be remedied.

One of the first steps is identifying if thatching has occurred. It’s a combination of dead and/or built up grass, stems and roots that are produced faster than they can decompose. It heats and dries out quickly, robbing grass of the moisture it needs. Thatch can also provide a breeding ground for fungus and insects.

Thatching can happen after extensive rains, improper watering habits, and in hot and humid climates. The wrong fertilizer, compacted ground, the wrong grass for the soil, and mowing grass too short can all lead to fungal diseases.

It’s important for lawns to be properly aerated by loosening the soil and it’s a task that should be done every 1-2 years. Motorized and non-motorized lawn equipment is available to do the job. Aeration allows water, fertilizer and air to penetrate below the surface, reach the roots, and nourish the lawn. Individuals that are doing it themselves should thoroughly water the lawn 1-2 days before aerating.

If fungus is detected in the lawn, folk remedies range from baking soda and neem oil to compost tea for small patches, but they can also damage the lawn. A lawn or landscaping service is experienced in treating the fungi that affects lawns and can apply the correct fungicide based on the severity, type and soil condition.

Lawn fungus can happen anytime, in any weather conditions, and to lawns that are well-cared for. There are numerous types of fungal infections that can damage lawns and the best solution is to consult with a specialist. They will have the experience needed to diagnose and treat the fungus effectively.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Common Irrigation Problems

When to Call in the Pros

Irrigation systems are a wonderful convenience that saves water, energy and eliminates the need for tedious watering tasks. However, problems with landscape irrigation systems can arise. The trick for homeowners is identifying when a simple fix is available and when to call in the professionals.

Ideally, homeowners should be inspecting their irrigation systems each month for broken heads, especially after mowing. Soil settles and even small changes can expose a sprinkler head to clipping by a mower. A broken sprinkler head wastes a tremendous amount of water and that translates into dollars on monthly water bills. It’s a problem that needs a professional.

Misting is also a common problem that’s usually the result of too much water pressure. Inexpensive pressure reducers can be purchased and installed by homeowners that will maintain the optimal 30 psi.

Few things are more frustrating than finding the irrigation system working while it’s raining. It’s a problem that’s easily remedied with a wireless rain sensor. Models are available that can be installed by the homeowner.

Modern irrigation systems include a controller that can be programmed to deliver water to landscapes on a regular basis. Depending upon soil composition, runoff can be a problem if water is applied to fast. Just engage the cycle and soak feature. Older irrigation controllers don’t have many of the abilities of modern systems, in which case it’s a good idea to call in a professional landscaper to upgrade the system.

Many individuals are eschewing conventional irrigation and calling in professionals to install drip irrigation systems. They can use up to 50 percent less water, save on water bills, eliminate runoff, and prevent soil erosion. They include all the modern conveniences available with state-of-the-art irrigation systems. They’re eco-friendly and are beneficial for aiding in the control of fungal diseases that can be especially prevalent in hot, humid climates.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more