We Repair Lawn Sprinklers!
Monday - Saturday: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
23 Aug 2018

5 Steps to Prep Your Garden for Winter!

 

Here are a few simple steps to prep your lawn and garden for winter. With these easy steps, you can protect your lawn and garden throughout the harsh weather, and prep them for next spring!

 

Clean Beds: Ensure that you have cleaned up all dead foliage and fruit from your garden to prevent spreading disease between plants. Take a rake and remove all dead plant remains before winter hits.

Use Leaves: Autumn weather provides us with the perfect compost for our lawn and gardens. Rake up leaves that fall from your trees and add them to your compost pile. In addition, spread them over your lawn and use a mulch mower to grind them up into small enough pieces that they can slip between the blades of grass and nourish the soil.

Mulch Mowers: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/mulch-mowing-47700.html

Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs: As soon as temperatures drop below 50 degrees at night, it’s time to plant your spring flowers. Plant large bulbs 8 inches deep, and small bulbs 4 inches deep.

List of Spring-Flowering Bulbs: https://garden.org/ideas/view/dave/2278/The-Top-50-Most-Popular-Spring-Blooming-Bulbs/

Don’t Mow Too Short: Allow your lawn to be a little bit longer than you would have it in the summer to encourage good root growth. Raise your mowers to it is keeping the blades at around 3 inches.

How to Raise your Mower Blades: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/adjust-blades-walkbehind-mower-88605.html

Winterize your sprinkler system: Winterizing your sprinkler system is a necessity in order to protect your system from winter damage. Damage caused by incorrect winterization is the number one source of sprinkler damage. Don’t cost yourself tons of time and money in the spring! Give us a call, and our techs will come out and prep your sprinkler system for winter.

 

If you need a hand with your sprinkler system, we can help!

Source:

  1. http://www.costafarms.com/get-growing/news/get-your-garden-ready-for-winter
03 Apr 2018

$65 Spring Sprinkler Startup

We use an 8 step process to make sure your sprinkler system is running right.

The 8 Steps

  1. Reseal all sprinkler plugs or drain valves.
  2. Open main stop and waste or main sprinkler valve slowly.
  3. Do visual inspections of the main line, valve manifold, and backflow unit.
  4. Make adjustments to the sprinkler valves by turning off the bleeder screws and adjusting the flow control to the proper setting for your system.
  5. Power up the sprinkler timer, then run through each zone to make sure it is getting power and turn the valve on correctly.
  6. Check to make sure that sprinklers are working correctly on all zones and make any minor adjustments.
  7. Check each lateral line to ensure that they boost each individual zone. Then perform a thorough examination of the lateral supply lines. Check sprinkler heads and risers for proper process and direction. Appraise each area for correct coverage and accurate performance pressure. Any alterations, modifications, or repairs needed will be noted. Several common repairs/adjustments are:
    1. Garden sprinklers may need to be raised due to shrub or flower growth.
    2. Pop-up sprinkler heads may need to be transferred due to shrub or flower growth, landscape changes, fence or tree installations.
    3. Bad sprinkler nozzles that are not spraying right may need to be replaced
    4. Sprinkler lines, main or lateral lines, that are broken need to be repaired.
    5. Sprinkler electrical issues, such as a timer or valve solenoid problems, need to be resolved.
  8. Adjust the Sprinkler timer to the weather for the season and program it for how long it will run and what days/time of day it will come on.

Sprinkler Master specializes in sprinkler repair for all types of systems and every type of lawn and/or garden. We strive for outstanding customer service through excellent communication and work quality. Our goal is to make sure that you are satisfied with your Sprinkler Master experience!

14 Mar 2018

The Ultimate Lawn Care Guide – A Monthly Breakdown of What to Do!

The lawn is often the largest area of our garden, particularly if we have pets or kids, but although they take up the most space, we often give them the minimum amount of time and care.

This is because grass is boring compared to tasty veggies and butterfly-covered flowers, but there’s nothing worse than a brown, bare, and unkempt lawn with scuffed bits that gradually goes yellow over the summer and turns into a mud-bath in the winter. Who wants to spend time on that?

There’s no way around it, if you want a good looking lawn you’ve got to put in some time –  but it’s not that bad because a few days each month can make a real difference.

I’ve created a monthly guide to caring for your lawn, but because I’m busy and I know you are too, it’s not going to be labour intensive. I’ll give you the basics and then a bit more if you can fit it in.

I promise sprucing up your lawn is worth the effort. A short green lawn is attractive and encourages the family outside.

Make the most of your outdoor space this year by actually having a lawn worth treading on!

monthly-lawn-care-guide-header-2

January

Tis bleak out there in January. If you didn’t get that last cut in before the wet weather descended back in late autumn its likely your grass is rotting and looking muddy. Don’t walk over it unless absolutely necessary, and don’t cut it yet.

You can brush off the leaves if it’s carpeted, but leave a few so the worms can drag them down into the soil and provide some great fertilization for free.

Why not throw out a few seeds out for the frozen, bedraggled birds too – at least something will enjoy the lawn in January and they may hang around in springtime, nesting in your hedge and raising some baby birds.

February

It’s still pretty cold. That wet lawn is now freezing but at least the white frosty covering is a change from the bare, wet mud. Again, try not to walk on it.

This is a good month to start getting your tools ready because March is all systems go. We’ll be revving up those engines and groaning in unison as we kneel down to clip the edges.

Keep your eyes peeled for signs of life this month such as catkins and tree blossoms because a sudden increase in warmth can boost the garden.

If we get some warmth in February and the grass dries out, use a wide rake and start to loosen the moss and dead grass thatch in the lawn. This gives the living grass room to breathe, soak up the sun and drain properly.

If it’s dry you can also use an aerator now. It’s possible to buy rollers with spikes (wear proper, tough shoes please) or simply use your garden fork to prick holes in the grass and let in air. This stimulates roots and lets nutrients soak through.

March

This is when the work starts.

The arrival of spring and the drier, warmer weather means your grass will start to grow. If you haven’t already done so rake it over to remove the dead bits and aerate.

The first cut should be done in March, but not too short. If you can, adjust your mower blades. Put them on the highest setting and just take the grass tops off or it may go brown or yellow.

A maximum of two cuts are usually needed in March, let’s take it steady to begin with. If you can tidy up the edges, it’ll save a bigger job later on.

Now is a good time to feed your lawn. Choose a quality feed and follow the packet instructions because too much will kill the grass. Feeding your lawn increases its vigour and toughness, and helps prevent weeds or moss from getting establishing.

Do you have weeds and bare patches? March is a good time sort those out too. Dig away any weeds or rough, course grass and put down some new grass seed.

If you were wondering – here’s how to sow grass seed:

  • Break up the soil surface and rake it smooth
  • Break out any lumps and remove the stones – this groundwork is important as it’ll make a big difference to the final lawn
  • Read the sowing instructions – you’ll need less seed than you think! A reasonable amount is 15g for a square metre.
  • Rake the seed in
  • You can press the seeds down or leave them – experts disagree on the best method. I’ve grown grass both ways and it doesn’t seem to make a difference
  • You should see new growth within two weeks
  • Water the seeds if there’s no rain, but use a watering can or a fine spray hose to avoid dislodging them
  • Only mow it when it’s gained a good amount of growth and only use the highest blade setting.
  • Be gentle and try to avoid walking on it this year

If you have problems with cats or birds you’ll need to use some netting. If you do, keep an eye out for wildlife, particularly hedgehogs, who will snuffle through that freshly dug earth for worms and may get their hapless prickles in the net. Check daily, every morning.

Re-seeding your lawn is the cheapest way to patch it up, but it’s time consuming. If you can’t wait buy some turf.

Buy turf first thing in the morning as some garden centres have a tendency to leave turf rolls in baking sun. Lay it straight away on forked and raked soil. Tread it down and water every day for a week.

April

family-on-grass-in-spring-e1489757903428

We should be blessed with some warm sun in April, so keep your grass under control – don’t let a meadow appear. In a beautifully warm April it might need mowing once a week, but usually every 14 days is sufficient. It’s time to lower the blades too.

If you didn’t feed or re-seed the lawn last month do so now. It makes a big difference particularly if a hot summer is the horizon.

By April you’ll be able to see if you have moss. There are several types of moss and they all crowd out your grass giving it an uneven colour.

Mossy lawns feel springy to walk on. I will confess I quite like a mossy lawn because it cuts down on watering, but it’s not very durable and doesn’t look as good as well kept grass does.

Deal with moss by raking the lawn frequently. This may pull out all of your ‘lawn’ but you can re-seed on clear soil to create a brand new lawn in no time.  Removing moss improves the drainage and vigour of the remaining grass too.

You can use moss killer if you don’t fancy all that hard work. Follow the instructions carefully and keep your kids and pets away from treated areas.

May

Mowing is a weekly job now, some say twice a week, but we don’t have time for that.

Raking before you mow makes a big difference to the quality of your grass, if you can fit it in, do so especially around clover or weed strewn areas.

Don’t forget the edges as this makes the whole effort look pulled together, in fact if the in-laws are dropping by and you don’t have time for the whole lawn, just do the edges for a more polished look. Pick up the grass clippings and flick soil back onto the border. No-one will ever know.

June

June is the time to feed your lawn again if it’s still looking sorry for itself. You should leave two months between lawn feeds to avoid killing the grass with too much nitrate.

Keep up that weekly mowing. It’s a boring job for sure, but you can make it quicker and less dismal with a decent lawnmower and long handled-edging shears.

You may need to water your grass if it’s been baking hot, especially any newly planted bits.

Use enough water so that it soaks into the soil. Water running off the dry soil is of no use and tends to teach your grass that shallow surface roots are the best, when in fact you need long reaching roots that can find their own moisture.

July

lawn-care-advice

Take a deckchair outside at least once a week to admire your lawn. This is essential work. There’s no point putting in effort if you’re not going to appreciate the results. This job could take all morning if you do it properly.

Keep mowing, watering and aerating. If it’s really hot you should lift the mower blades to keep some length on the grass as this avoids soil-scorch and brown patches.

August

Mow once a week during August. As a general rule, you should pick up the grass clippings each time you mow but if it’s really hot and the ground is baked, leave the clippings down to help retain moisture. If you have a lot, place the clippings around any plants that are struggling too.

Brown patches may start to appear in August and that means watering is essential. The best time to water anything is during the early morning or evening before the sun gets too hot and evaporates the water. Leave off frequent mowing if it hasn’t rained in a while as longer grass preserves moisture.

If cracks appear in the earth fill them with a mixture of sharp sand and soil.

September

Towards the end of September begin to decrease mowing as grass needs some length to protect it from the colder weather that’s looming. Raise the blades if you can and cut weekly, or if you have immovable blades cut back to every fortnight.

October

gardener-raking-leaves-in-autumn-e1489758001321

It time to start raking out the thatch again, aerate and fill any cracks with soil and sharp sand. If you have bare patches of lawn October is another good time to sow seeds.

If you are thinking about springtime, try planting bulbs in the lawn such as mini daffodils. They look great in early February when they push up out of the soil and provide some much needed colour.

Mow around them and when they’ve finished mow over them. Experts say you should let the leaves die and mulch on their own, but I mow mine over each year after the flowers have faded and they always come back for more – try and see, they are cheap enough.

November

You may get in a few mows before the snow starts. Its best not to let your grass get too long as it’ll rot in the winter. Keep an eye on the forecast so you can cut the grass on a dry day.

Brush in the worm casts and rake up leaves if there’s an excess.

December

frost-on-lawn-in-winter-

There’s not much to do now, but try to keep excessive leaves from the grass and don’t walk on it regularly.

December is a good time to clean your tools, change or sharpen lawn mower blades and oil down any shears, edging tools or clippers.

 

Lawn Tips and Tricks

  • What on earth does scarify mean?

Nothing to do with frightening people, but a term that means raking out the moss, dead grass and debris entangled in your grass.

  • Got a dog?

If you spot it peeing on the grass pour some water over the urine spot. This can help prevent yellow patches.

  • My border edges have collapsed

If your border edges are looking slack take a spade, cut out a square and then turn it around. The ragged edge quickly backfills and you’ll have a sharp edge to your border. Tread it in and water. Just like magic!

  • Choosing the right grass seed

Faced with a shelf of different grass seeds, you may whimper ‘I just want some seeds’, but there is method here.

High traffic areas need a hardwearing mix with some ryegrass, if you’ve a shady lawn look for a shade tolerant mix. If you walk over your grass occasionally and there’s sunshine and shade, pretty much anything will do.

It’s a good idea to choose grass seed mix that has at least two types of seed involved.

  • I’ve got volcanoes

Weird little volcanoes in the lawn, particularly if it’s sandy or chalky, means mining bees. Lucky you. Don’t block them up – we need all the bees we can get. Just keep your shoes on and tell your children not to poke the holes with a stick.

  • Small heaps of fine dirt

This is most likely an anthill. Brush it away and make the soil wet, but don’t use boiling water because that causes unnecessary suffering. Ants are intelligent creatures just trying to get on with life. They don’t like wet conditions though, so just make the nest damp every day and they’ll get the message to move on.

  • Large mounds of earth

Are most likely molehills. I have molehills and l love them. They’re sculptures that show life carries on beneath our feet.

If you don’t like molehills brush them flat. Lots of moles can be discouraged with a sonic device.

  • Small, muddy poo-like piles

It’s worm poo, but not poo as we know it.

Worms eat vegetation and it passes through their digestive systems. Basically worm casts are highly effective fertilisers so brush them back into the grass and carry on as usual.

  • Jazz up your lawn

Ooo laa lawn – If you want to jazz up your lawn plant some herbs in it.

You can whizz over these with the lawn mower and it creates an amazing scent. Creeping red thyme is my favourite. I have little pockets of it in the lawn and in patio cracks. Don’t plant mint in your garden though, because it’s a rampant warlord and you’ll never be rid of it. If you like mint put some in a pot so its roots are contained.

 

One Tinsy Request

If you have space think about leaving an area of uncut grass for our wildlife.

Studies show that wildlife thrives in longer grass and those dandelions are an essential source of nectar for our pollinators.

Long grass also makes the perfect hideaway for beetles, slugs and snails that our frogs, toads and hedgehogs.

Pop a shallow, heavy bowl of water in the longer grass to create a mini eco-system. It’ll be less work and the satisfaction of seeing our native wildlife in your garden is something special.

Lawns are hard work, but they can be managed with little and often. You are more likely to use your garden if it looks appealing, so show that lawn some love, crack out the BBQ and have a picnic outside on your well-kept but practical green grass.

Original Article:

02 Sep 2017

Be your own boss. Franchise with Sprinkler Master

Want to be your own boss?

Franchise with Sprinkler Master! All it takes is a truck and the desire to be successful.

With six more weeks of winter, you have just enough time to start a Sprinkler Master franchise before the sprinkler repair season begins. Call (385) 240-1105 or visit https://www.sprinklermasterfranchise.com today to get started!

15 Jul 2017

Causes of Dry Spots and How to Fix Them

Sprinkler Master Repair knows that nobody wants dry, brown spots on what should be a lush, green lawn. So we’ve compiled a list of the common causes of dry spots and possible remedies so that YOU, our customer, can have a healthy and thriving lawn this summer. When it comes to your sprinkler system, don’t forget to give Sprinkler Master Repair a call. We specialize in sprinkler repair, as well as sprinkler installation and maintenance.

  • Animal Urine
    • Dogs are the most common culprit, but large birds and other animals can cause urine spots, too. Urine usually causes your lawn to turn yellow in spots, sometimes with a bright green ring around the edges where the diluted nitrogen in the urine acts as a fertilizer. Cut out the dead spot and fill it with plugs cut from sod. Head to a nursery with a clump from your lawn and find a strip of sod that matches, or wait until the fall and sow fresh seed after clearing the dead grass and loosening the soil.
  • Buried Debris
    • Buried debris, such as lumber, rocks, metal, etc., can have an obvious effect on the surface of your lawn. Use a screwdriver to poke around beneath a dry spot to see if anything is underneath the sod. If possible, remove the debris.
  • Chemicals
    • Gasoline, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides can cause dead spots if spilled. If fertilizer is applied unevenly or incorrectly, it can burn the grass. Even insect repellents can burn your lawn when sprayed on the grass blades. Pour chemicals, fuels, and sprays on your driveway, not on your lawn, and follow application directions.
  • Compacted Soil
    • Aerate to relieve soil compaction. Add organic matter and reseed.
  • Diseases
    • Fungal Diseases
      • Brown patch and other fungal diseases thrive in moist conditions, most often in midsummer (when nights and days are hot and humid) and spring (as snow melts). They may show up as circular or irregular brown spots, or you may notice a spotting or infected pattern on the blades or a generally dying/thinning out. Increase air circulation and sunlight as much as you can, to make your lawn less inviting to fungus. Note the size and shape of the damage as well as the frequency of watering, fertilizer, mowing habits, and sunlight in order to diagnose the disease correctly. Take a sample of the affected grass (blades, roots, and soil) to your local cooperative extension office for analysis.
  • Dormancy
    • Cool-season lawns can go dormant during the heat of summer while warm-season lawns go dormant during the winter. If your lawn has a mix of grasses, you’ll have curious brown patches as some areas go dormant while others stay green. Seasonal dormancy is normal, but make sure your lawn is healthy and strong to prevent unnecessary browning.
  • Drought
    • Lawns need one inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation. Dry, compacted spots are more easily drought-damaged. Keep an eye on dry, sunny spots, especially if your soil drains poorly. If you irrigate, make sure your entire lawn is watered evenly.
  • Dull Mower
    • Dull mower blades tear your grass, causing damage and gradual death to the grass. Sharpen your blades in fall and spring. After mowing, examine your grass to see if the mower is cutting cleanly.
  • Erosion
    • Water tends to run off slopes, taking grass seeds and young shoots with it, and leaving bare ground or dried out areas behind. Aerate your lawn to increase water absorption. If the slope is steep, consider building terraces or planting groundcover.
  • Excessive Pesticide Use
    • Applying too much insecticide or herbicide can “burn” turfgrass and lead to yellow or brown grass. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications on amount and frequency of application.
  • Foot Traffic
    • Aerate to relieve soil compaction and reseed. Redirect the traffic. If that proves impossible, install a walkway.
  • Hot and Cold Temperature Extremes
    • Wait for a change in the weather. Keep your eyes open for early signals of lawn problems.
  • Iron
    • Another reason for discoloration could be lack of iron in your soil. Some of the more common areas of the yard that you might find turning yellow from iron deficiency are those adjacent to things made of concrete. Driveways, sidewalks and concrete planters can be the culprits. The high alkaline content in concrete tends to absorb the iron found in soil, reducing the amount of iron your lawn or garden receives. Iron deficiency appears in patches. Blades may yellow but the veins retain their green color. Iron deficiency may not affect growth. Alkaline soils (such as those in the Midwestern and Western states) are especially susceptible to iron deficiencies. You can add iron as a soil supplement to neutralize alkalinity and help replenish the iron that occurs naturally in the soil. Apply as directed on the package. Remove the product from masonry or concrete surfaces before watering to avoid staining.
  • Nitrogen
    • Lawns that are not getting enough nitrogen (the key component of lawn fertilizer) will begin to change to light green and then yellow. The color change usually begins to show first in the lower leaves. Reduced growth is also a sign of nitrogen deficiency. Normally the entire lawn is affected. Adding nitrogen will help restore the green color if you fertilize properly. Applying too much at the wrong time can do more harm than good. Follow the package instructions carefully. Grass cycling – leaving grass clippings on your lawn after mowing – adds nitrogen naturally to the lawn.
  • Pests
    • Grubs
      • Grubs are a common problem in mid to late summer, and most easily identified when your sod easily pulls back from the ground like a carpet. Pull back a section of sod and inspect for fat, white curved worms. More than ten per square foot can cause lawn damage. Grub control products are available at your garden center.
    • Chinch bugs
      • Chinch bugs are a common summer pest in warm-season lawns, especially in hot sunny patches beside driveways and sidewalks. Inspect your lawn closely, and look at your shoes as you walk through the grass – you should be able to spot the small black and white adults. They’re resistant to many pesticides, but there are products available to target them.
    • Other insects
      • Caterpillars and other pests can live part of their life cycle in lawns. Watch your lawn closely – look for crawling and munching insects and for grass blades that look eaten. Also watch for birds and wasps feeding on these pests in your lawn.
  • Poor Soil
    • Soil quality can vary in your lawn, and poor soil can occur in patches, causing brown, bare areas or moss. Take a screwdriver and push it into the soil. If it doesn’t go easily, your soil is likely compacted. Try aerating and top-dressing to incorporate organic matter in the soil. When you aerate, take a look at the plugs, to see how the quality and texture of your lawn varies in different spots. Keep this in mind as you amend and improve your soil.
  • Roots
    • Large trees or shrubs usually win the battle for water and nutrients. The area under trees is notoriously difficult for growing grass. Consider mulching or naturalizing areas under trees and shrubs.
  • Scalping
    • If your mower blade is set too low or there are lumps in the lawn, it can cut the grass too short and cause damage. Practice proper mowing techniques by raising your mower blades, and smooth out high spots by digging up the sod, removing some of the soil underneath, and replacing the sod.
  • Shady Areas
    • If you can’t beat the shade, join it—by replacing the grass with flowers and plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight. Wax begonias and torenias are two flowering annuals that add pops of color. So do New Guinea impatiens, and they’re not susceptible to the mildew-induced disease that has infected garden impatiens in recent years. Among perennials, lungworts produce pretty blue, pink, or white flower clusters, and their leaves are spotted with silver or white. Also check out plants with pretty foliage. The deep red leaves of the coleus, an annual, and the peach-colored foliage of the perennial coral bells will brighten a shady area.
  • Too Much or Too Little Fertilizer
    • Too much fertilizer causes excessive growth. Too little does not provide enough nutrition to promote the strong roots, crowns and leaves needed to withstand disease. Follow the proper feeding schedule for your turfgrass.
  • Too Much or Too Little Water
    • If the lawn is not getting enough water, the turfgrass begins to resemble straw. Walking on the lawn leaves footprints in the turf. Water only when needed to prevent overwatering. Do it as early in the day as possible to allow evaporation from grass blades. Be sure to follow any watering ordinances or restrictions for your area.
  • Watering During the Day
    • It is actually best to water your lawn in the early morning, before the sun has risen, or in the late evening, after the sun has set. Water droplets on grass can act as magnifying glasses for the sun’s rays, which will actually burn the grass instead of hydrating it. Setting sprinkler timers for optimal watering hours will help with this issue. For help with setting up a sprinkler timer and/or repairing or installing a sprinkler system, call Sprinkler Master Repair today!