The Happy Gardener


Tips To Remember


  1. Don't hesitate; aerate. Aerating creates channels in the soil that fill up with water, allowing a deeper saturation to the root zone. It also reduces soil compaction which is very common in clay soil and in large grassy areas where sports games are played.

  2. Check your irrigation system bimonthly because it is mechanical and can get out of adjustment.

  3. When calculating for drip, remember that its gallons per hour, not gallons per minute, flowing through your drip emitters.

  4. When a sprinkler malfunctions, check the pipe for debris. Remove the sprinkler nozzle, turn on the system and run the water until it runs clean.

  5. Don't let a dry spot in the lawn or landscape cause you grief! Take a deep breath and remember that dry spots are primarily caused by simple irrigation problems that you can solve immediately.

  6. Giving the soil time to drink the water allows it time to soak into the deeper root systems. During the summer months this is especially important because more saturation means less watering.

  7. I f you are planning to begin the adventure of putting in a sprinkler system, keep in mind that the sprinkler parts are going to be the backbone of your yard maintenance. These are the tools that are going to keep your plants healthy.

  8. I f only plants could talk and tell us their stories. we'd be able to isolate their distress and take care of their needs as they occur. Like you and I, plants need a break sometimes. We can do things to change our environment, go on vacation, go indoors, but our plants must sit in the same spot and endure unseasonable weather. lack of rainfall in the winter, high humidity and innumerable insect attacks.

  9. G et prepared for the rains! Clean out your rain gutters and downspouts. Unclog drains in the lawn, landscape and patio areas.

  10. Proper maintenance of turf and landscape work hand in hand with water management. For example, grasses need to be cut at different heights throughout the growing season. You have to know when to cut low and when to cut high. For example, a higher cut shades the soil. Lawn mower patterns should be changed weekly or else ruts will develop. Did you know that the grass needs more water to recover from the cut if the lawn mower blade was dull than if it was sharp?

  11. Watering during the wee hours of the morning is more beneficial for these reasons:
    1. You receive better pressure because the system is running at an optimum.
    2. It slows down the reproduction of fungi and mold.
    3. It stops grass and leaf burn caused by water magnification.
    4. It keeps humidity down around the yard.
    5. It allows the high traffic areas to dry out.

  12. When used correctly, your automatic irrigation clock is the key tool that makes Water Management work for you. An automatic clock takes away the guess work and allows you to do a lot more with your water than simply turn it off and on. It also frees you from the task of hand watering the yard.

  13. T here are certain days, during heat waves for instance, when extra watering time is required. At that time, these instructions are to be followed: "When temperatures exceed 97 degrees, water your yard for one cycle to replace the water it lost through transpiration". This guideline helps to protect your yard during heat waves while it cools your nerves-You don't need to hit the panic button and overwater. Adding minutes to your watering time wastes less water than adding days.

  14. W hen you divide your watering time into thirds, remember to leave a 2 hour minimum dryout period in between the intervals. Similarly, when you divide your watering time in half, then the recommended dryout period in between the 2 intervals is 4 hrs.

  15. G et prepared for the rainy season. Clean out your raingutters and downspouts. Unclog drains in the lawn, landscape, and patio areas. After that, then disconnect and drain the gardening hoses and insulate the faucets. This will protect them from those freezing cold nights.

  16. W ater management works best when you have a clear understanding of all the functions of your irrigation clock. Setting your clock only one time and expecting it to get you through the year is a poor example of water management. Get in the habit of checking your clock monthly. Try your best to match your schedules to ours. Don't be afraid to use your clock because once you do you'll be happy and confident in knowing you can take a strong step in the water management of your home.

  17. Before you can understand how an irrigation schedule works, you must first know what type of sprinkler system you have. Then you match your irrigation type to the schedule and set your automatic irrigation clock accordingly. If you have trouble identifying your sprinkler types, go to our web site Know your irrigation parts page and use the pictures to identify your irrigation types. Our schedules are designed with these types of sprinklers in mind; 1) Pop-ups and risers, 2) Rainbirds (impacts), 3) Single and multiple rotaries, and 4) Drip.

  18. Our philosophy is to fix an irrigation problem immediately rather than to abandon it. Dry spots are most often caused by sprinkler heads that are either broken, clogged, or out of adjustment. Solving the problem by watering is no longer practical. Instead, look for foreign object in the nozzle. Sometinmes the grass around the nozzle is too high and obstructs the pop-up from rising above it. Sometimes adding a sprinkler head to the dry area solves the problem.

  19. One of the biggest challenges that homeowners still face is the knowledge of how to operate their automatic irrigation clock (controller). We want your water management approach to be a success. Don’t be afraid to use your clock because once you do you’ll be happy and confident in knowing you can take a strong step in the water management of your home.

  20. Our Water Management Program not only saves water but also helps to maintain a healthy environment for your home and landscape. Education is the first tool in managing water. Please remember, there’s always enough water to use, but never enough to waste.

  21. In the landscape it is beneficial to put a ditch or burrow around shrubberies and trees to allow water to penetrate more deeply. Covering the landscape areas with a 2-4” layer of mulch helps to deter weeds and can also maintain a level of moisture to off-set dry out periods between irrigations.


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