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How Far Apart Should You Place Your Sprinklers?

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

Spacing is important when it comes to sprinkler systems. If you place sprinklers too far apart you will end up with donut shaped brown spots in your lawn. If sprinklers are spaced too close together you can overwater areas and create water logged spots that suffocate grass roots. At Irrigation Outlet, we recommend using head-to-head coverage. This means that the sprinklers are placed so that the water spraying from one sprinkler touches all adjacent sprinkler heads. This applies to both rotors and spray heads. You will need to space the heads to overlap from one head to the next. Each head should throw enough water a great enough distance to hit the next head.

Get Started

We recommend beginning with the rectangular spaces in your lawn. It is best to map out your space using marking flags to make sure you have a clearly defined plan before you break ground. Start by installing sprinklers at the corners of the space and then add more along the perimeter as needed, your lawn may also require one in the center for equal coverage.

For unusual spaces, you can use more specialized nozzles like side-strip nozzles for edges, or corner strip nozzle for tight corners. You can also find sprinkler heads that have adjustable pattern nozzles for odd shaped areas.

You never want to have rotors and spray heads operate on the same zone. Rotors and spray heads need to be piped separately.

Factors to Consider When Laying Out Your Sprinkler System

Before you install the sprinklers, consider how the following factors affect them:

  • Gallons per minute
  • Location
  • Slope
  • Sprinkler head
  • Types of plants
  • Water pressure
  • Wind conditions

The size of the area you wish to irrigate is the determining factor in whether you should use a spray head or rotor. Since rotors cover a much larger area, this is the best choice for an expanded area. You can also space them further apart, which means that you need fewer overall heads and will need to complete less trenching. Rotors typically throw water between 20 and 70 feet.

Spray heads cover a much smaller area of four to 15 feet. It's common for many irrigation designs to require a combination of both types as well as drip irrigation to ensure even coverage for the entire landscape. Just remember not to include rotors and spray heads on the same zone.

Need More Advice?

We are happy to help if you need input setting up a sprinkler system or choosing the right products. Feel free to contact us at 803-461-0561 or send an email inquiry. You might also consider signing up for our newsletter for additional tips.

7 Common Lawn Issues with New Construction Homes

Posted by: Splash Omnimedia

New home construction can leave the lot rutted, bare and strewn with man-made and natural debris. It can also leave topsoil in bad condition, with poor-quality subsoil mixed with topsoil, due to digging for foundation work and utility trenching. Sometimes topsoil is entirely scraped away. With the necessary soil preparation and the appropriate grass mix, you can succeed in establishing a lawn after construction. Here are some common lawn problems after new construction and ways to correct these.

1. Construction Debris

Remove construction debris, such as concrete rubble, unused bricks, strewn screws and nails, chunks of caulk, bits of PVC, etc. Remove natural debris, such as large rocks, dislodged tree roots, logs and fallen branches. etc. Remove anything that can present a safety hazard or impede grass growth in a newly seeded lawn.

2. Topsoil Slopes Toward House

Grade topsoil sloping away from the house. You can use a bow-style garden rake for this task. Also use the rake to break hard clumps of dirt and to remove any previously missed rocks or masses of plant roots. Grade the soil to promote proper drainage away from the building.

3. Missing Top Soil

Digging was necessary during construction and topsoil may have become mixed with other soil, resulting in poor soil quality for growing. Spread a layer of topsoil 4" to 6" deep across the area prior to seeding. Till the new topsoil into the underlying soil, to promote root penetration beyond the topsoil layer.

4. Insufficiently Fertile Soil

Use a drop spreader to apply starter fertilizer. Choose fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content, to encourage root growth. Talk to one of our experts for advice on appropriate nutrient and mineral ratios. Use a grading rake to work fertilizer into soil to a 2 to 4-inch depth.

5. Soil Compacted or Poorly Constituted

A building lot with compacted soil, or soil dense with rock or gravel at the surface may require more through tilling and slightly deeper than usual additional top soil. Severely nutrient-depleted soil may require additional treatment. Allow heavily worked soil to settle for at least one week prior to planting.

6. Little or No Grass

Fill a rotary spreader with a type of grass seed appropriate for conditions in your yard (shade or sun). If you want to grow grass quickly to cover bare ground, use a seed blend that contains perennial ryegrass that establishes grass quickly. Apply half the seed along rows (at the rate recommended per 1,000 square feet for your seed type). Then, apply in rows moving in the opposite direction across the same area. Gently rake about 1/8 inch of topsoil over the seed to cover it. Of course if you want an instant lawn, laying sod is also an option.

7. Dry Area

Water the newly planted area until soil is moist at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Water lightly but frequently, until the seed germinates (usually within 2 weeks). Then, water seedlings every other day as they become fully established. Reduce watering to once or twice per week, depending on weather. Consult with your landscape irrigation expert, for advice on possible need for an irrigation system.

What You Need for Establishing a New Lawn

  • Topsoil
  • Garden Tiller
  • Drop Spreader
  • Bow Rake
  • Grass Starter Fertilizer
  • Grass Seed

Additional Tips for Starting a New Lawn After Construction

Obtain guidance from your landscape supply expert to determine whether or not you may need to install an irrigation system, have more extensive soil replacement work done, or undertake other measures in order to have a successful lawn in your area. Additionally:

  • See your property survey for your lawn dimensions, in order to calculate the correct amount of soil amendments, seed and fertilizer to use.
  • Keep foot traffic limited on the new lawn during the first season it is established.
  • Remember that it may be up to two months before you should start mowing your new lawn.
  • Seeding in March, April, September, or October generally gives new grass the best chance of becoming well established. New grass can be seeded during other months, after new construction is completed, but consult with your lawn supply expert for advice on additional help for starting a lawn immediately after construction.

Irrigation Outlet

We are an online irrigation supply company. We help professional landscape maintenance companies and homeowners with their landscape and outdoor living needs. For more information about establishing a lush new lawn after new construction, contact Irrigation Outlet, to speak to an expert.

5 Reasons You Have Mushrooms In Your Lawn

Posted by: Splash Omnimedia

Fungi live in the soil, and mushrooms are the reproductive part of that fungi. The fungi usually stay out of sight, busily working to break down organic material below the surface of your lawn. When conditions permit, mushrooms spring up and appear above ground. While mushrooms are visible, they spread their spores into the air. Then, they disappear when sunlight returns, or when the soil becomes dry again.

You can control the emergence of mushrooms by altering certain conditions in your yard. Here are some reasons why mushrooms may be growing in your yard, and some methods for prevention or treatment to eliminate unwanted mushrooms.

1. Standing Water

A particular mix of shade or (cloudy skies), moisture, and organic material in soil provides the right environment for mushrooms to grow. If your lawn remains damp for extended periods after rain, or has areas of standing water, you are likely to see mushrooms sprouting. Level out depressed areas of your yard, or add a drainage system to prevent standing water that promotes mushroom growth. Also, make sure that you are not running your sprinkler system too long.

2. Shade Issues

Mushrooms can thrive in shade. Abundant sunlight prevents mushrooms from appearing. Trim branches or shrubs to allow more light and decrease shade.

3. Drainage Issues

Decreasing moisture by increasing drainage discourages mushrooms and increases oxygen to the roots of your grass. Aerate your lawn to improve drainage. Thatch in your lawn that is over a half inch thick absorbs moisture and attracts fungal growth. Dethatching can help prevent mushroom growth.

4. Old Trees

Dead roots underground, beneath stumps or from trees or stumps that have already been removed encourage mushroom growth. Have stumps removed. After removal, keep the area raked and aerated, to facilitate optimal drainage.

5. Pet Droppings

Pet waste and wildlife droppings on the lawn can promote mushrooms. Keep animal feces cleared off of your lawn, to help keep mushrooms in check.

A Good Thing About Mushrooms

Mushrooms indicate that your soil contains abundant organic material. Mushrooms are helpful in breaking down the material, to make your soil even more organically productive. If you do not have serious shade or drainage issues, after a rain, you can just pluck or knock down the unwanted mushrooms with a garden hoe.

Other Fungi

Other kinds of fungi can be more problematic. Fusarium blight, rust, and brown patch are some of the diseases that can proliferate in damp yard conditions.

Irrigation Outlet

We are an online landscape and irrigation supply company for landscape and irrigation professionals and homeowners. We provide our customers with solutions to a vast range of landscaping problems and needs for improvement of outdoor living spaces. For more information about mushrooms and other fungi in your lawn, contact your Irrigation Outlet expert for guidance.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Your Landscape Drains

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

When it comes to your landscape, a well-designed drainage system is a must. If you don't have proper drainage solutions in place, then water might collect in areas. This can turn your backyard into a wet swamp. Here is a guide to selecting the best drainage solution for your landscape.

Do you Have A Drainage Problem?

Here are some common signs that you have a drainage problem. If you notice of these issues in your residential or commercial lawn, your best bet is to contact an irrigation specialist for the best solution for your landscape.

  • Frequent flooding
  • Water in your basement
  • Sunken areas around your foundation
  • Grass won't grow
  • Areas of standing water

If you notice any of these issues, then you need a good irrigation and lawn drainage system in place. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your landscape drainage system.

Where Is The Problem Located?

If you have a buildup of water next to your driveway each spring, then you'll probably need a channel drain. These drains are similar to roof gutters. They are usually placed at the edge of a driveway or patio. Channel drains collect water that flows over the surface and redirects it to another location.

Standing water in your yard, on the other hand, usually requires a catch basin to remedy the situation. A catch basin is a box-shaped drain that is placed near areas of standing water to help the water drain.

For more information about landscape drainage, contact a professional irrigation specialist today.

8 Invasive Plants That Could Take Over Your Home's Pond - Until Now

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

Some common plants found in residential ponds in the Southeast can multiply very aggressively and alter your pond's or lake's chemical composition, threatening indigenous aquatic plants and fish populations. And, they can make your pond or lake less enjoyable. So, it's important to take control of invasive plant problems as quickly as possible. Here is some helpful information about eight plants that South Carolina pond owners are advised to learn to identify, followed by a list of recommended ways to control or eliminate these plants from your home's pond or lake.

1. Egeria (Brazilian elodea)

The Egeria weed is a perennial. The slender branching stems grow up to 6 feet high. The leaves have linear, finely serrated margins. The small 3-petal flowers bloom above the water. Egeria grows year-round, but it is very competitive during summer in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

2. Cabomba [Cabomba caroliniana]

Cabomba is an annual plant with green or reddish leaves that are dissected, opposing and fan-shaped, soft and flexible. Its small flowers blossom above the water level, and are three-leafed, white, cream, pink or yellow, and sometimes spotted.

3. Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)

Hydrilla is among the most common invasive aquatic plants in the US mid-Atlantic region. Its slender, branching stems grow submerged up to 20 feet long. Its leaves are small and pointed, with a spiny ridge on back. The tiny flowers are translucent to white. Hydrilla forms thick mats, which may float up and cover water surface areas. Hydrilla looks similar to Egeria, but is smaller and rougher in texture.

4. Chara (muskgrass)

Chara may look like a plant that will flower, but it is really a multi-cellular macro-alga. It grows clinging to the bottoms of lakes, ponds, rivers, and even ditches. It forms beds of vegetation that can grow from several inches to several feet in height. It has no leaves, just 6-8 branches growing along the stem. Chara is also recognizable by its strong garlic-like odor.

5. Lyngbya (Blue-Green Algae)[Lyngbya agardh)

Lyngbya grows into thick floating or submerged mats of cells covered with its own external sheathing. In warm months the mats may completely cover a body of water. During the spring, Lyngbya is black, and it gradually forms hair-like filaments through the summer and fall that are green, black and white. Lyngbya can flourish in extreme temperatures, from icy water to hot springs.

6. Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)

Coontail is a free-floating, rootless, submerged plant that thrives in stagnant ponds, lakes, and rivers. Its stems can grow up to 15 feet in height. Its small, feathery, fan-shaped leaves grow in whorls around the stem (giving it an appearance resembling a raccoon tail). The leaves have tiny teeth-like edges that give the plant a rough feel. Its tiny flowers grow in its leaf axils.

7. Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

Eurasian water milfoil has slender stems and feathery, thread-like submersed leaves. Its small, 4-petal flowers grow in the axils of the plant above the water. Coontail looks similar to milfoils, but without individual leaves.

8. Brittle Naiad (Najas minor)

Brittle Naiad grows submersed. It's an annual weed with numerous branched stems up to 4 feet long. Its small, linear, toothed leaves become brittle with age. The plant has a bushy appearance, with barely noticeable flowers in the leaf axils.

Strategies for Controlling Invasive Species

Invasive plant species may grow submerged, or live on the surface of your pond. Each species comes with its own potential impacts on your pond's ecosystem health. So, each type requires specific strategies for remediation. Commonly recommended approaches to controlling invasive plant species include:

Mechanical - Rakes, harvesters, seines, hoes, grappling rigs, and other tools can be used to quickly clear out invasive plant growth. If you use your pond or lake for recreational boating or swimming, this is an efficient method for restoring its pristine natural beauty.

Biological - Lakes and ponds are ecosystems. They must function healthily as such. Introducing natural predators can be effective in eliminating invasive plants that are crowding out other vegetation. Disposing of unwelcome plants properly is fundamental for controlling their numbers.

  • Include recommended species of fish and insects.
  • Check your plant purchases for unwanted plant fragments, seeds, fish, or snails.
  • Don't dispose of unwanted plants or animals by releasing them in other water bodies.
  • Don't throw plant debris in your composter. Seeds can transfer elsewhere. Dry the plants completely and then dispose of them in a trash can.
  • Follow regulations governing sale, possession and transport of invasive plants. If you are unclear on what is allowed, use only native plants.
  • Avoid putting your pond very close to natural ponds or lakes that may contain invasive plants which may be too easily transferred to your area.

Physical - Altering your pond's or lake's physical properties can help promote healthier water chemistry and limit damage that can be caused by invasive species. There are several simple, long-term solutions to a range of water quality problems that contribute to growth of algae and various other invasive species. Consider adding one of the following features to your pond or lake.

  • Fountain
  • Aerator
  • Waterfall

Herbicides and Algaecides - Applying commercial products to control the proliferation of unwanted plant life in your pond or lake can be a very efficient method.

  • When this approach becomes necessary, it is of paramount importance to have the process performed by a qualified professional.
  • A trained professional can assess your specific needs for applications and ensure minimal negative impact on other plants and animals.


Invasive plants can be carried from other waters or by discarded plants from aquariums, by winds or birds transporting their seeds to nearby public waters. They may then begin to rapidly over-take lakes, creeks, or rivers. This encroachment often leaves indigenous plants and animals to perish in un-survivable water conditions.

You may need to combine some of the above methods for managing your pond to prevent encouragement of invasive plants. For instance, biological or mechanical means may be effective interventions for clearing out some nuisance plants. In other cases, careful application of appropriate amounts of herbicides that are professionally recommended for your specific needs can be used to eliminate invasive plant species.

For More Information

For more information about how to overcome encroachment by invasive plants in your pond or lake, or for irrigation issues, contact Irrigation Outlet any time for help from our expert team.

Get More Eyes On Your Lawn and Save Money by Watering Wisely

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

Water is essential to your lawn. It is the key to a healthy lawn. Most lawns need approximately 1 to 1.5 inches per week of water to stay healthy. The exact amount depends on a variety of factors including the amount of sunlight, type of grass and climate. It is important to ensure that your lawn gets adequate water. One way to do that is to be sure that you are irrigating your lawn correctly. This will help keep your lawn green and lush and save money. Here are some important irrigation tips to keep in mind when you water your lawn.

#1 Check Your Irrigation System

If your sprinkler system is not working correctly, you could end up using more water than you need to. If your irrigation system is working correctly, it should deliver water in the most efficient way possible. Observe your sprinkler system while it is working. If you notice an uneven spraying pattern or signs of leakage, then contact a professional for advice on repair and/or replacement of the system.

#2 Check Out New Advances In Irrigation Technology

New irrigation technology can make watering your lawn more efficient, therefore saving you money. Rotary nozzles, for instance, deliver water in an even, slow stream. These produce a slow, deliberate water delivery, which is more efficient.

#3 Consider Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is very efficient as it is highly effective at supplying water to the soil with little evaporation or run-off. It is excellent for use in flower gardens and mulched areas as it directly soaks the soil without washing away the mulch.

For more tips on saving money on lawn care, visit Irrigation Outlet. Our professionals will be more than happy to answer any questions that you have about irrigation or lawn care.

3 Mowing Tips Guaranteed to Help Your Grass Flourish

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

Have you ever walked or driven by a dense green lawn and wondered how you can get your grass to look the same? A lot of it has to do with how you mow your lawn. While mowing might seem like a very straightforward task, it is actually an art-form. Here are 3 tips from Irrigation Outlet that are guaranteed to help your lawn stay healthy and green.

#1 Start With a Sharp Blade

When was the last time that you had your lawn mower blade sharpened? It is important to start with a nice sharp blade. Sharp blades lead to a cleaner, better-looking cut. They also help prevent fungal diseases in your lawn. A dull blade damages the edge of your grass, making it more susceptible to disease and pests. If you do notice signs of a fungal disease, make sure that you treat it promptly with a fungicide.

#2 Alternate Your Mowing Pattern

If you mow your grass in the same pattern week after week, it will lean in the direction that you mow it. To encourage upward, healthier growth, alternate your mowing pattern each time that you mow.

#3 Do Not Bag Clippings

If you bag your grass clippings because you think it looks neater, you might be right. However, you'll end up with healthier grass by mulching as you mow. Leaving behind the grass particles on your lawn helps add healthy nutrients, such as nitrogen to your lawn.

For more lawn care tips, visit our blog. You can also contact us anytime for questions or concerns about your lawn.

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