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3 Winning Formulas to Strengthen Your Lawn for Winter  

Posted by: Terry Brady
Strengthen-Your-Lawn

The winter months usually aren't very harsh for us in South Carolina, but you still need to do some seasonal work to get your lawn ready for the cooler months. Taking care of your lawn before winter sets in will ensure that it grows in green and lush when spring arrives.


Here are some winning formulas to strengthen your lawn for the winter:

Fertilize Before Winter

You'll want to revitalize the nutrients in the soil after the long summer months. Late fall, preferably before the first frost, is the best time to do this. If you apply a low nitrogen lawn fertilizer before the ground freezes, it will nourish the roots of your lawn all winter long.

Mowing

During the last month of mowing season, gradually lower your lawn mower's blades a little bit each time. Cutting the grass lower over time will allow it to winter well. The key to knowing the proper mowing height for your lawn, is to know the type of grass you have. Once you have determined the type you have (warm season or cool season), you can maintain it at the suggested height.

Clean off the Lawn

Rake up all the leaves before winter arrives and remove any lawn furniture or other items from the grass. Leaving something on top of the grass can produce an ugly dead spot that you'll have to deal with in the spring. With that in mind, remember that your lawn is not a parking lot during the winter months. If you can minimize foot traffic on the lawn during the winter months, that will help as well.


The key is to do these things before winter arrives and not at the last minute. If you have any questions on landscaping or strengthening your yard, contact Irrigation Outlet for quality products and professional advice.

3 Drainage Issues Solved

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
Drainage-Issues-Solved

Drainage problems are unsightly, exposing bare tree roots and creating water trails throughout your yard. Other signs of lawn drainage issues include standing water on soft or hard surfaces, areas where grass refuses to grow, water seeping into your basement or crawl space, and sunken areas around your home's foundation.


Here are 3 common landscape drainage issues and how to solve them:


1. Poor Slope Around the Home

To keep your home's foundation dry, the ground surface of your yard should drop a few inches every 10 feet to provide a positive slope away from the home. The grade around your home can be altered due to topsoil erosion from heavy rains or planting flower beds and other landscape renovations.


You can solve this improper grading problems by creating a pitch away from the house with topsoil or installing a sub-surface drainage system such as a French drain to collect rainwater and direct it away from the home.

2. Too Many Paved Surfaces

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Believe it or not, urban areas are prone to drainage problems due to new construction that doesn't account for proper storm water drainage. If your home and community has more hardscape surfaces than landscaping, you may experience issues with improper drainage.


Divert surface water away from your home with a trench drain. These concrete-lined channels are perfect for homes with too many paved surfaces.

3. Water Run-off Erosion

The downspouts on your home can wash away soil and alter the grading. If the gutter spouts on your home are dumping water at specific locations, expect the grade of this area to be altered.


Either modify the down spouts by attaching extensions to route the water away from the home's foundation, or as an attractive option consider a dry creek bed with colorful rocks to divert water and stop soil erosion.  Catch basins can also be used to collect the water from down spouts and pipe it away from the house.



Contact the experts at Irrigation Outlet when you are faced with drainage problems around the home's foundation or in your landscaping. We have the products and the knowledge to help homeowners keep their foundations dry and their yards properly drained.

Storm-water Ruining Your Landscape? Learn How to Prevent Problems with a Catch Basin!

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
catch-basin

You've just gotten your landscaping just right? Your yard looks beautiful, and then a thunderstorm dumps inches and inches of rain and ruins your hard work. What's the answer?

Catch Basin - A Solution for Excess Water in Your Yard

A catch basin is an enclosed receptacle that is buried underground, usually at the lowest point in your yard. Its purpose is to collect excess rainwater and carry it off your property.

The opening at top of the basin has a grate installed to prevent it from clogging, either from leaves or storm debris. The opening underground is connected to a drainage line which lies in a sloped trench leading to a public drain system or creek (where legally permitted) or sandy area where the water filters back into the ground.

Where Can a Catch Basin Be Used?

  • Drain off water from your house gutters.
  • Collect and drain from a low spot in your yard.
  • Drain water that collects near your home's foundation.
  • Drain water from a low area in your driveway.
  • Remove standing water from a stone patio or pool deck.

Why Catch Basins Are Important for your Property

Damage from excess water is expensive to repair - water seeks its own level, ending up in unsuspected places.

  • Standing water kills trees and ornamental plants.
  • Standing water kills grass and expensive sod.
  • Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • If standing water seeps into your foundation, your foundation may crack or sink.

Before beginning your drainage project, prepare a list of the items you'll need. Don't forget connectors and pipe. You'll also need stone for your trenches.

Call or email the professionals at Irrigation Outlet. We'll make sure that you have everything you need to complete your job.

3 Best Ways to Prevent Weeds

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
prevent-weeds

You put a lot work into your home and you do not want to let weeds take over your yard. Take some proactive steps to make sure that weeds never stand a chance! Here are three of the best ways to prevent weeds from growing in the first place.

1. Feed the Grass

Weeds don't stand a chance against a healthy, lush lawn. Give your lawn the proper amount of fertilizer every six to eight weeks during the growing season. If the grass in your lawn stays healthy and full, it prevents weeds from sprouting in the first place. Be sure to rake up excessive grass clippings on a regular basis, so they can't build up and create a "dead spot" on the lawn (weeds love those dead spots).

2. Raise Your Mower Blades

Weeds cannot sprout if they do not receive sunlight. Raise the blades on your lawn mower to one of the two highest settings. This will allow your grass to grow just a little bit taller, which prevents sunlight from reaching all the way down to where the weed seeds are.

3. Water Properly

If you water your lawn more frequently, with smaller amounts of water, your grass will grow shallow roots in response. A better option is to water deeply and less frequently. This way the roots of your grass will dig more deeply into the soil, to absorb as much water as possible. A deeper root structure for your grass will provide less room for weeds to sprout.

What to Do If the Weeds Start to Win

Sometimes the weeds may start to take hold, despite your best efforts. If that happens, give us a call at Irrigation Outlet at (803) 461-0561. We have selective herbicides available that will target the weeds in your lawn while leaving your grass green and healthy.

Reasons Your Irrigation's Water is Pooling in Your Yard

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
water-pooling-in-yard

If you have water pooling in the yard every time you run your irrigation system, something needs to be corrected. Sometimes the problem will just require a simple fix, like replacing some sprinkler heads. But first, you have to identify the problem. Here are some possible reasons why your yard looks more like a pond after you run the water.

Reasons Your Irrigation System's Water Pools in the Yard
  • Broken Sprinkler Heads: If your sprinkler system is automated, you might be running it at night or while you're at work. Turn the system on so you can see it in action. A busted sprinkler head can shoot water straight up in the air the entire time. Spray head nozzles are quick and easy to replace.
  • Misplaced Sprinkler Heads: If your home has an irrigation system that was a DIY installation, it may not have properly accounted for a slope in the yard. Call in the pros to check your system and determine if it needs to be adjusted or reinstalled.
  • Broken Sprinkler Lines: Just because your sprinkler lines are underground does not mean they are unbreakable. A broken line can cause water too pool on the surface.
  • Thatch & Yard Debris: Sometimes pooling water will have nothing to do with your irrigation system. If you have a lot of leaves or grass clippings built up on the lawn, it can prevent water from reaching the soil quickly enough. Take a rake to your yard and see if clearing off the thatch can reduce the problem.

If you just can't determine the cause of water pooling on your lawn, give us a call at Irrigation Outlet to check your system at (803) 461-0561.

4 Essential Sprinkler Tips for Your Home

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
sprinkler-tips

A well-watered lawn is the ultimate landscaping hack; it's not only beautiful but also takes your home’s curb appeal to the next level. However, watering efficiency is a concern for many homeowners. While different elements of your lawn such as grass, flowerbeds, and trees have different watering needs, it is vital to learn a few tips to water them more efficiently.

Here are 4 essential sprinkler tips for your home

Time your sprinkler right

The ideal time to water your lawn is in the early morning. During this time of the day, you will lose less water to evaporation. The foliage will have time to dry during the day and make your landscape less susceptible to disease. Avoid watering during the heat of the day and at night.

Water by zones

The different plants in your landscape each have different water needs. Some require water almost daily, while others can go for a week or more. Having your system zoned properly can allow you to water on different schedules. Look for irrigation controllers that have multiple programs and you can devise a watering schedule that your plants will love, and you can enjoy the reduced water costs.

Practice interval watering

Watering your lawn frequently for short periods of time not only wastes water, but isn’t healthy for your lawn. Watering longer but less frequently, encourages deeper more healthy root growth and saves water in the long run as your lawn becomes less dependent on irrigation. Pay attention and look for runoff. Once water starts running off it is no longer being beneficial for irrigation. Dial back on the length of your run time if this happens. You can also look into aerating your lawn a couple of times per year to loosen tight clay soils and allow more water and air to penetrate the ground.

Ensure proper sprinkler coverage

If your lawn doesn't have proper sprinkler coverage, you will have spotty growth and wasted water. Check your sprinkler coverage before each watering session. You can do this by placing measuring cups around your lawn and running the sprinklers for 10 to 20 minutes. Ideally, the water cups should have the same amount of water at the end of the session. If the water levels are too varied, adjust your sprinkler placement.

At Irrigation Outlet we supply high-quality irrigation equipment. Get in touch with us today for rotors, spray head nozzles, impact sprinklers and other irrigation supplies.

Does Your House Have Improper Grading? Find out!

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet
improper-grading

At the time your home was constructed, engineers calculated the proper grade (or slope) of the surrounding landscape, to make sure issues of saturated soil after heavy rains would not be a problem. The final grade can also add to the home's aesthetic value, creating a visual contrast to neighboring homes. But, what happens and how do homeowners know if their property has an improper grade?

Signs that your home's landscaping may not have the right slope will be evident if you notice the following:

  • land does not seem to slope away from the home or slopes towards the home's foundation
  • wet, spongy places in the yard after rainfall, indicating a level grade (not properly sloped)
  • water that pools near the home's foundation and eventually enters the basement
  • water stains in the basement, mold and mildew accumulation, or cracks in your concrete surfaces

If you notice these issues are evident on your property, there are a number of factors that can contribute to improper grade. In addition to workers laying an improper slope during the construction phase of your home, if you've had a landscaping renovation that added areas of mulch or dirt material for plantings - then the slope and drainage system may have been altered.

Improper grading issues can be difficult to determine with the naked eye, so always contact a professional contractor that can accurately determine if your home's grading is the cause of water pooling or foundational issues. There are also many useful DIY products that can help reverse the water drainage issues created by a negative grade or a level grade.

Visit Irrigation Outlet for a complete line of drainage products that can catch and channel water away from your home's foundation.

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