Archives for Irrigation

Maintaining Sprinklers

Maintaining Sprinklers Saves Money and Water

An irrigation system is convenient, saves money, and ensures that plantings receive the proper amount of moisture to accommodate their individual needs. The systems require monthly inspections to ensure the sprinkler heads are clean. Clogged sprinkler heads wastewater and leads to higher water bills.

Sprinkler heads can become clogged by dirt, debris and ground residue. The heads can easily become clogged and present a variety of problems that interrupt water flow. The situation will be detrimental to plantings and expensive on the wallet.

When an irrigation system is installed, each sprinkler head is calibrated to deliver a specific amount of water to different areas of the lawn. Water flow is adjusted to meet the moisture needs of the plants within its sphere of influence. Modern systems can be set to deliver different amounts of water depending upon the season and even sense when the dryness of the soil.

Mowing, fertilizer and even flooding can take a toll on sprinkler heads. They can also become misaligned, producing puddles in some areas, depriving other locations of enough water, or end up shooting water onto homes, vehicles, fences, and driveways and sidewalks. Those errors waste water, damage property, and creates potentially hazardous runoff.

Individuals should check each month to see if any of those situations are causing a problem in their yard and that all heads are functioning correctly. Sometimes a head becomes clogged and stops throwing water. It may instead distribute water in a very small area directly around it or simply put out a mist. Clogged sprinkler heads can also produce problems in water pressure.

Individuals can learn how to clean their own sprinkler heads, but there may be other problems involved that an irrigation professional is best equipped to handle. Keeping the heads of an irrigation system clean and free of debris will ensure that all areas of the lawn are watered appropriately and plantings remain healthy. It also saves individuals money and aids in protecting a valuable natural resource.

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 has 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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Yard transformation

Sprinklers in the Cooler Months

Lawns need moisture 12 months of the year, but that requirement is significantly less during cooler winter months since the rate of evaporation is far less. Many popular lawn grasses enter a dormant phase in the winter to wait for warmer temperatures in the spring. However, using a sprinkler system correctly in the winter will help ensure the lawn has a healthy return in the spring.

In the South Florida climate, an automated irrigation system is almost a necessity to avoid overwatering or underwatering. The systems can be adjusted to accommodate highly sensitive seasonal needs. Homeowners that don’t know how to set their irrigation system should definitely engage the services of a landscaping professional.

Water Requirements

Lawns will typically require 1 inch of water during the winter. Beginning in Sept., experts from the University of Florida recommend that lawns be watered twice a week for 48 minutes and reduce that time to 43 minutes in Oct.; 32 minutes in Nov.; 16 minutes in Dec.; 12 minutes in Jan.; and 17 minutes in March.

Overwatering

When a lawn is overwatered, homeowners are essentially drowning the roots of their grass. The roots are unable to breathe and the part of the root system that survives is shallow, which opens the door to predation by insects and diseases. Overwatering also supports the proliferation of weeds, which adds an additional level of stress to shallow root systems.

Lawns that are overwatered aren’t able to absorb the nutrients they need through the roots. The result is grass that’s unhealthy and lacks the desirable rich, green color. It will also lead to extra work during the upcoming spring and summer months to rectify the damage done.

Underwatering

Even though the grass isn’t actively growing during the winter months, it still requires a certain amount of maintenance moisture. A lawn that’s underwatered will have grass blades that are brittle, fragile, easily damaged, and the lawn may not return in the spring.

 

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 has 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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Maintaining Sprinklers

Landscaping and Irrigation Go Together

One of the most important aspects of landscaping is the installation of an irrigation system. It’s a facet that’s highly overlooked in the South Florida climate. It’s true that the area receives significant rainfall, but plants and trees need water during drier months too, but in different amounts. There are numerous reasons why an irrigation system is an essential feature in the landscape.

Seasonal Needs

There are times of the year when rainfall isn’t as plentiful and an irrigation system will ensure that adequate moisture is provided over the changing seasons.

Type of Plantings

Water requirements vary among plantings. Lawns are a good example. St. Augustine Grass is a common lawn covering and it’s more water-dependent than other species.

Conservation

Irrigation systems are an important way to maintain a beautiful landscape while conserving a critical natural resource. Programmable irrigation systems deliver the correct amount of moisture for the season. Monitoring systems with sensors “know” when water is needed. They automatically apply it and at the correct time of the day to maximize efficiency and minimize the amount of evaporation.

Efficiency

The sprinkler heads of an irrigation system are adjustable. They’re able to apply different rates of water to different areas throughout the landscape. It ensures that numerous types of plantings can be enjoyed in the landscape and moisture application is customized. It also prevents wastage because driveways, streets and sidewalks aren’t being watered along with the landscape.

Multiple Options

Individuals can choose wide-use watering irrigation systems, drip irrigation systems, and a combination of both. Wide-use is what’s typically utilized for lawns and large open areas. Drip irrigation systems are an ideal way to conserve water, particularly when watering flowerbeds. Moisture is delivered slowly at the ground level where it’s need most and prevents flowers from being crushed or drowned from the output of traditional sprinkler heads.

Savings

The efficient watering of landscapes minimizes water waste, which will save money on water bills. It also saves individuals a considerable amount of time and effort over water by hand, which is the most inaccurate and inefficient methods to employ.

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 has 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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Don’t Skimp on your Irrigation System

An irrigation system will keep your lawn and other plantings healthy throughout the year. It’s a smart investment that will save you a considerable amount of time, effort and money on your water bills. However, irrigation systems can be expensive and many people are tempted to do the work themselves or skimp on materials. It’s a decision that could come back to haunt you.

Water for All

Trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers all need water, but they need them in different amounts. Watering them all in the same way will result in some plants getting too much, while others are water-starved. Installing irrigation heads in the right number and calibrating the output is essential.

Different Methods

A properly installed irrigation system typically incorporates sprinkler heads for lawns, along with a drip system for flower beds and similar areas. Trusting in lawn sprinkler heads to water delicate flowers can beat smaller plants down with the force of the precipitation.

Output and Boundaries

Sprinkler heads should be adjusted to operate at different output levels for varying amounts of time, depending upon the area being watered. Without proper calibration, you can also have overspray in which the precipitation is dispersing water over your boundaries and into your driveway, sidewalk, and roadway.

Coverage Area

Each type of sprinkler head has a maximum distance over which it disperses water. Putting in fewer sprinkler heads than necessary will result in dry areas where the moisture doesn’t reach. You’ll be plagued with dry areas where plantings don’t receive sufficient water.

No Rain Shut Off

Florida receives a substantial amount of rain that feeds the moisture needs of plants. Every irrigation system should include a rain shutoff setting that senses the amount of moisture in the soil. It ensures the sprinkler system only activates when necessary for plant health and water savings for you.

Technology and Professionals

It’s well worth the money to hire irrigation professionals. They have knowledge of, and access to, the latest technological advances. They know how to calculate coverage area, adjust sprinkler heads for appropriate output, and install systems that ensure every planting receives moisture according to its own needs.

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
Yard transformation

Efficient Irrigation

The most efficient and cost effective way to water the landscape is with a programmable irrigation system that delivers an exact amount of water in different areas according to the needs of the plantings. For those that haven’t had a system installed, there are other ways to make the task of watering less tedious, time consuming, and more cost effective.

Efficient irrigation doesn’t have to be an elaborate or expensive set up. Those caring for small gardens can purchase drip/trickle irrigation or soaker hoses that connect directly to an outside faucet. Rather than spraying water through the air, drip and soaker hoses release small amounts of water directly onto the ground around plantings. They can reduce water usage by 30 to 70 percent.

Soil sensors are a great way to monitor the moisture in lawns and beds. They eliminate the guesswork of trying to determine if the lawn needs to be watered. The devices can be incorporated throughout lawns or beds to ascertain if a specific area requires water. The sensors help to eliminate over or under watering.

A spray hose attachment is another alternative. With the attachment, individuals can direct water at the plants that need it while leaving surrounding soil dry. An added benefit is that aids in minimizing weed growth.

Watering at the right time is equally important. Watering at night or early in the morning minimizes evaporation from the sun’s rays. It also helps to minimize the scalding of plants. Consider collecting rainwater and using it to water small areas and hanging baskets.

Mulching does much more than reduce weed growth. It also works to retain moisture around plantings and enables flowers, trees and shrubs to go longer between waterings.

Some professional landscapers are adding water retentive gels or granules to soil. They soak up water like a sponge and retain it where it’s available to plants. Individuals shouldn’t try to utilize this method on their own. Creating the right formula of soil to granules is a very precise science.

Individuals should also consider plantings that require less water to flourish. There are numerous options available that are aesthetically pleasing and accommodate gardeners’ desire for unique plants and brightly colored blossoms.

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

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

Read more
Yard transformation

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

Read more
Yard transformation

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more