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7 Things You Need to Know to Winter Proof Your Garden

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
Winter Garden

For gardeners, fall and winter come too soon. Throughout the spring and summer, you work hard to nurture your garden or yard. Don't let winter destroy your hard work and landscaping. Take a few steps to winter-proof your garden.

7 Things You Need to Know to Winter-Proof Your Garden

1. Insulate or Protect Your Bulbs

The University of Minnesota Extension suggests moving bulbs indoors so they don't freeze. Plant them in a shallow pot, leave the "nose" exposed, but otherwise cover with quality soil then water.

2. Mulch Leaves, Grass and Other Plant Remains

Spread a thin layer of mulch over your garden to help nourish and prepare the soil for next year. Depending on where you live, a cover crop might also be a great way to protect your soil during the fall and winter.

3. Consider Baskets and Container Plants

Container plants and baskets are a portable option to add beauty to your landscape throughout most of the year. When the weather grows too cold, simply move the pots into the garage or a storage shed. However, once the weather gets too cold, the Old Farmer's Almanac advises gardeners to empty outdoor containers so they won't crack in freezing weather. Store these containers upside down.

4. Keep Watering Evergreen Plants

Don't forget to water evergreens, conifers, and hollies " to help protect against root damage. The best time to water these is in-between frozen spells.

5. Prune Trees and Shrubs

Trim away any diseased or damaged branches. Consider hiring a professional if you are not sure of the best practices for any high-value trees or shrubs.

6. Do a Little Fall Cleaning

Clean remaining debris and tidy your lawn and gardening space. Also, take the opportunity to turn the soil using a rake.

7. Drain Hoses and Prepare Irrigation

Drain your hose before the temperature drops to freezing levels. Next, gently roll the hose and store it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on winterizing your irrigation system. It is easier if you choose the right irrigation system for your landscape.

Do your garden a favor and contact the experts at Irrigation Outlet for more information on which irrigation and drainage systems are right for you. Let Irrigation Outlet be your first stop for your garden equipment needs.

5 Foolproof Ways to Avoid Ice Patches In Your Landscaping

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

Ice presents the biggest risk of winter weather damage to landscaping. Extremely cold temperatures can cause small or large patches of ice to stay on your lawn and plants for weeks. This can damage your grass and plants. It also invites injuries as people are more likely to slip on ice. Here are some proven effective ways to prevent snow and ice buildup that can damage your landscape.

1. Reduce Foot Traffic.

Under heavy ice and snow, grass and plants become brittle and easily uprooted and vulnerable to fungal diseases. Walking on fragile frozen grass packs snow more densely onto your lawn, increasing the density of the snow blanket and causing it to take longer to melt. Prolonged melting increases the likelihood of snow refreezing as ice when temperatures fall at night. Then, the ice-packed grass is even harder to walk on without damaging your lawn. Minimizing foot traffic helps snow stay light and melt quicker. So, encourage everyone to use the same pathway to the door of your home.

2. Remove Snow.

Using a shovel to dig and pitch snow can damage grass roots. So, be very careful when shoveling on your lawn. Most snow-related landscape damage is caused by people using shovels, snowplows, and snow blowers. Pushing, or mechanically blowing snow creates a manmade snow cover - a denser than normal snow cover - which is, therefore, slower to melt and more prone to refreezing as ice. Heavy, dense snow and can damage grass and even break strong plants and shrubs. Use a snow blower, if possible, to move snow. It's a less harmful solution for grass and plants than other snow removal methods.

3. Keep Your Roof and Rain Gutters Clear.

Remove snow from your roof, if it is possible to do so safely. Allowing heavy accumulation of snow and ice to remain on your roof can increase risk of large piles of snow sliding off onto your plants from gravity or high winds. A large mass of falling snow can destroy plants near your house. And, piles of snow from the roof, compacted by hitting the ground, are more likely to refreeze as heavy, plant-damaging ice. Additionally, eliminating an extreme snow load from your roof protects your home's structure.

4. Break Ice Patches as They are Forming.

Thick sheets of ice can build up during ice storms, rapid thawing and refreezing. Thicker ice is more damaging to landscaping. If tree limbs or trunks are bent or breaking under heavy ice or snow, then severe damage can result. Break up ice, being careful not to damage plants. And, gently shake off or push off heavy snow. Watch for areas where water is accumulating, and break up ice formations with a hammer or other tool. Be careful of slip hazards.

5. Use appropriate materials for melting ice.

Use sand or clay-based kitty litter to melt snow and ice from walkways and driveways, if necessary for safety, or to prevent buildup that may damage grass and plants along the edges. Using salt can damage grass and plants when it is washed off of your driveway or sidewalk and onto your landscape by the melting ice or snow.

Keep in Mind

Don't be concerned about natural blankets of snow or windblown drifts. Leave these as they are, even if the snow is deep, as long as none of your plants are bent or nearly breaking.

  • Naturally occurring snow cover acts as insulation.
  • And, as snow melts, it provides needed water to thirsty plants during the winter.
  • So, only remove snow or ice from plants that are bent or breaking.

And, remember that it is actually the increasing of snow density of snow by shovel, machine (or foot traffic) which most strongly promotes ice patches that can endanger people, grass, and plants.

For More Information

If you would like more information about preventing ice patches in your landscaping, or about other measures to protect your investment in your landscaping, contact Irrigation Outlet to speak to one of our experts. We are here to answer all of your questions.

3 Reasons Your Fountain Isn’t Circulating Correctly

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

A water fountain is a beautiful addition to almost any indoor or outdoor area. Flowing water adds a sense of peace and tranquility to a space. However, if your water fountain is not circulating as it should, you cannot enjoy its benefits.

If the water in your fountain is not flowing as it should, the pump is often the problem. However, some other things could be wrong. Try these troubleshooting tips to get to the root of your problem and start enjoying your fountain once again.

#1 Inspect the Tubing

If your water fountain is not working as it should, the first thing that you should check is the tubing that circulates the water from the pump to the fountain. Sometimes, the hose can get twisted, crimped or become loose or disconnected from the pump. Carefully inspect the tubing and if you notice any of these issues, then remedy them.

#2 Make Sure the Impeller Is Not Jammed

A water fountain has a reservoir from which it draws water. The pump is submerged in the tank. A spinning impeller draws water into the pump and then forces it out. A hose circulates the water from the pump to the fountain. The impeller can get clogged with dirt and debris. Check the impeller by placing your hand on top of the pump while it is running. If you feel whizzing, the impeller is functioning. If you don't feel any buzzing, run water through the pump backward. This should remove anything jammed inside.

#3 Check the Water Level

For your fountain to properly function, the hose that circulates the water through the pump must be completely immersed in water. One telltale sign of water level problems is a loud gurgling noise. All that you have to do is add water to the central basin to fix this issue.

These are three easy fixes for a water fountain that is not working properly. If these things do not work, contact a specialist at The Irrigation Outlet. They can help you troubleshoot other issues or order a pump if yours is worn out.

3 Essential Ingredients for a Killer Lawn

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

If you want to have a lush, green lawn next spring, now is the time to prepare your lawn. With autumn's occasional rainfall and cooler temperatures, your lawn is absorbing nutrients, moisture and energy to prepare for the long winter. There are a couple of easy things that you can do to get a head start on lawn care for the spring. Here are some ingredients for a killer spring lawn.

#1 Fertilizer

Your lawn can take a boost in nutrition throughout the year. However, the beginning of the spring season and before winter starts is the best time for fertilization. A regular fertilization program is a must. Applying a slow release fertilizer is still OK on warm season grasses. As fall approaches avoid high nitrogen fertilizers.

#2 Pre-Emergent Herbicide

If your lawn is taken over every spring by broadleaf weeds, now is the time to control them. Don't wait until the spring when the weeds have a solid foothold in your lawn. By applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall, you'll prevent the weeds from even showing up in the autumn. Most herbicides should be applied when the temperatures are above 60-degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a pre-emergent herbicide that has both trifluralin and isoxaben as the ingredients. These chemicals do an excellent job at preventing a variety of weeds from germinating.

#3 Fungicide

If you have the signs of a fungal lawn disease, such as large brown patches, you will need to apply a fungicide to treat them. For warm-season turfgrass, it is of particular importance to use fungicides in the fall for the best control.

For more information and lawn care tips, chat with the experts at Irrigation Outlet. They will quickly help you find the best products for your lawn care needs.

4 Ways A Smart Controller Will Radically Change Your Lawn  

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

Watering your lawn can be a costly endeavor if done incorrectly. It is the most important aspect of lawn maintenance and therefore should be done in the best way possible. Having a smart controller to regulate your lawn's watering system can be a huge boost to your watering management.

Here is how:

1. It will help reduce water waste

Smart controllers help reduce water waste dramatically. They allow you to properly schedule irrigation run-times and any necessary adjustments to meet your grass needs. They also ensure only the required amount of water is sprinkled and hence prevent wasteful water run-off.

2. It will help your lawn to flourish

Smart controllers help boost your lawn's nourishment by ensuring there is no over or under watering. Under watering results in an unhealthy lawn while over watering contributes to disease and a poor root structure. By providing optimal watering, smart controllers ensure the lawn grows healthy, stays green throughout, and is weed-free.

3. It will help you save lawn maintenance costs

By ensuring there is no water waste, smart controllers will help you save on your water bills in a big way. They will also help you save on irrigation labor costs because now you can effectively take charge of your lawn maintenance even with an app on your phone.

4. It will help you save time

Lawn irrigation can be time consuming when done manually. However, with a smart controller it's simple and fast. You can easily control your sprinklers with your phone as you drive off the compound.

If you want to learn more about the specifics of smart controllers and why you need them now, consult the experts at Irrigation Outlet to learn more.

3 Ways to Tell If You Have Enough Water Pressure to Have a Sprinkler System Installed  

Posted by: Marketing Irrigation Outlet

Water pressure is very critical when planning to install a sprinkler system in your yard. It determines how far apart your sprinkler heads will be spaced to work properly, as well as the type of sprinkler head that is the best choice for your application. In the United States, water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI); with the average water pressure for homes and businesses ranging between 30 psi and 50psi. Most sprinkler systems are designed to use water pressure that is around 40psi. The pressure can vary widely from home to home and therefore determining your specific water pressure is crucial to your irrigation plan.

Here are 3 ways to find whether you have enough water pressure to have a sprinkler system installed;

1. Measure your water pressure using a water pressure gauge

You can simply measure your water pressure by using a water gauge attached to an outdoor faucet. Water gauges are pretty much available in any hardware store. This pressure reading is called the static pressure. In other words, this is the water pressure with no water flowing. This tells us what the potential water pressure will be. In order to properly design a sprinkler system, the designer will want to know the dynamic water pressure. In other words, the pressure with water flowing.

2. Call your water supplier

You can also simply call your water supplier and ask them for the static water pressure in your area/neighborhood. If they give you a range of say 30-60psi, note the low number on this range.

3. Determine the elevation of your landscape

You need to determine whether your sprinkler system will be installed at an elevation that is higher or lower than where you will be tying into your water source. If the location is uphill or above the water source, then the pressure will be lower. If the location is downhill or below the water source, then the pressure will be higher. The pressure lost or gained by elevation change is 1 PSI per 2.31 feet of elevation change.

Getting advice from the experts at the Irrigation Outlet is your best bet in ensuring your water pressure questions are addressed fully.

4 Landscape Irrigation Tips to Make Your Lawn Look Its Best

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
Dog in Yard

Irrigation is a very key aspect of lawn maintenance. It needs to be done right to ensure that your lawn flourishes and stays healthy. Overdoing it or under-doing it will expose your lawn to several challenges such as the risk of disease attack and drying up respectively.

Here are vital irrigation tips to follow through with to ensure a beautiful and eye-catching lawn;

1. Water management

Managing your lawn irrigation water is vital. It not only helps you conserve water bills by a large extent, but also makes sure your lawn gets the right amount of water always. Automated sprinklers work well in ensuring water management is optimized.

2. Irrigate your lawn in the morning

Irrigate your lawn early in the morning so that the sun can help dry the grass afterwards. Watering at night may result in prolonged moisture accumulation on the grass blades, exposing it to the risk of attack by some diseases.

3. Water less often, but for prolonged periods

It is always best to water your lawn less often but for considerably prolonged periods. And remember, just wetting the grass isn't watering the lawn. The lawn needs to soak in adequate water so that the moisture gets into the soil well.

4. Adjust your sprinklers accurately

Make sure that your sprinklers are evenly spread to guarantee that all areas of the lawn receive equal proportions of water. If they are not well spread out, some areas will be over-saturated and this will create some inconsistency in the growth of your lawn.

These are just but a few of the essential lawn irrigation tips to keep your lawn healthy and flourishing. Try them today.

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