Tune Up Your Sprinklers in Spring

Tune Up Your Sprinklers in Spring

This is when it’s time to turn irrigation systems back on for the spring. But taking the right steps is crucial to ensure pipes or other irrigation components aren’t damaged. Our irrigation services are second to none.

First, we’ll open the system’s main water valve slowly to allow the pipes to fill with water gradually. If it opens too quickly, it subjects sprinkler main lines to high-pressure surges and uncontrolled water flow, which can cause cracking, since the system is likely empty from months of non-use in the Winter.

Next, verify each station or zone is operating properly by manually activating each zone from the controller and walking through them making sure sprinkler heads are rotating properly and providing adequate coverage and that there aren’t any leaks. As we go through each zone, adjust heads as needed and clean the filters on poorly performing sprinklers looking for proper operating pressure because that can clue us in on system problems. For instance, low pressure can indicate a line break or missing sprinkler.

Then, reprogram the controller for automatic watering as necessary and take care of any controller needs, such as replacing the backup battery. If the system has a weather sensor, you’ll need to uncover and clean that as well and check the backflow preventer to ensure it’s working properly.

Irrigation Systems Need A Professional Eye

As First Response Lawn Care goes through its spring sprinkler maintenance jobs, we usually find that 40 to 55 percent of them have an issue we can fix to make the system work better, such as having sprinkler heads adjusted or moved or detect leaks or valve adjustments that may be needed. Generally, it’s best to let us start the system up for the first time for you to prevent any additional damage. This is the best time to get your system inspected for any problems this season.

Having a pro maintain your landscape irrigation system is crucial to avoid any problems, such as wasted water, inadequate watering, and flooding. Take care of your landscape investment this spring with a water-efficient system that provides years of trouble-free operation.

If you want a healthy, lush lawn this year, let’s get started! Call the Irrigation experts at First Response today at (214) 701-7622!

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Winterizing Your Irrigation System

Winterizing Your Irrigation System

Wintertime can be hard on your sprinkler system. In Texas, winter weather related damage, can have a lasting effect on watering systems.  The freeze/thaw cycle in the winter months can damage pipes and create leakage issues you might not know are there until your next water bill.

Follow these easy steps to help minimize the chance for winter lawn irrigation problems in the coming Spring.

  • Turn off the water main to the irrigation system itself.
  • Set your irrigation controller to the “rain” or “off” setting.
  • Turn on each valve manually to release pressure in the pipes.
  • Drain water out of irrigation components that might freeze. (This is usually done at the lowest elevation point or sprinkler head of the system.)

Above ground piping will need additional TLC such as insulation of the system components that are susceptible to to freezing. Using heat trace tape designed to keep the pipes warm during colder temperatures can keep these parts free of problems later on.

Questions? Contact First Response Lawn Care irrigation specialists by clicking the link below to ask about our expert irrigation services.

Contact First Response Lawn Care Today!

Fall Lawn Tips for North Texas

Fall Lawn Tips for North Texas

In the fall when temperatures are more moderate, it’s a great time to perform lawn maintenance and prep. Here are some fall lawn tips for North Texas on how to cultivate the perfect lawn, and radiant flower beds here in Texas that will have you sitting back and relaxing with minimal regular maintenance.

Check Irrigation
Use water systems which are low profile to ensure you’re waste of water is minimal and that the plants receive the majority of it. Be cognizant of plants that require greater amounts of water than others, and try to group them in the same locations. Rather than frequency, aim for an increased length of time in watering. And, finally, ensure your equipment is properly cleaned, functioning, and covering all areas for which water is required. Efficiency increases effectiveness. If you need a checkup of your irrigation system, call First Response Lawn Care!

Mulch and Compost
The effective use of mulch and compost in your soil beds will go a long way toward providing the natural nutrients which are required by your plants, thereby reducing the need for extra fertilizer. They also help to reduce weed growth, and some organic mixes can increase water and oxygen retention as well as carbon-trapping. The best time for compost placement is in the spring, however, mulching can be done in the fall to help protect the root systems of your plants.

Prune
Prune with a purpose. Do not “top” any trees or shrubs including crape myrtles. Never leave stubs. Cut flush against remaining branches on shrubs and along the branch collar on trees. Peach and plum trees should be pruned to encourage horizontal branching, remove any strongly vertical shoots.
Continue to prune evergreen trees such as magnolias, live oaks, and wax myrtles to minimize possible ice damage. Re-shape evergreen shrubs and shade trees, as needed (even during dormant winter months).

Avoid pruning spring-flowering trees and shrubs during the fall, as pruning now will reduce spring flowers. Continue to cut back spent flowers of annuals and perennials to encourage fall blooming until first frost. Trim dead or damaged wood from trees and shrubs but best advice is to avoid drastic pruning.

If you need help with any of the above fall gardening prep, call First Response Lawn Care at (214) 701-7622!.

When Heat Rises Increase Watering Your Garden

When Heat Rises Increase Watering Your Garden

When Heat Rises Increase Watering Your Garden

Now that the summer temps are reaching triple digits, we need to take extra care in watering the lawn, plants and vegetable garden. We happen to notice that our tomatoes weren’t producing much, and the pepper plants looked particularly wilted recently. Veggies need water to produce, so watering the garden correctly is crucial in the hot summer especially when we are not getting enough rain. Tomatoes are especially unforgiving if they dry out, then get wet and get dried out again. This creates problems like blossom end rot. And if you start noticing cracks in your fruit, this happens when water follows a drought, causing the fruit to expand suddenly and split the skin. The only way to avoid this is to keep the soil consistently moist. We’ve put together a list of tips for watering your garden that should help in this heat!

Water your vegetables two to three times a week or more. 

During really hot summer weather, watering the garden deeply and often is critical. The water needs to penetrate the soil to encourage deep roots and get away from the hot soil surface. If you aren’t using a sprinkler or drip system, put a cup or can in the garden soil and don’t stop watering until it has collected at least an inch of water. If your veggies are in containers like pots, you need to water every day during the heat because containers dry out faster than the ground. To hand-water a small plot, or pots, use a nozzle turned to the “shower” setting for gentle, rain-like watering. If water just puddles on the surface of the soil at first, move on, and come back several times to be sure the water is actually soaking in to the soil. The soil needs to be thoroughly moist.

Watch your garden for an “indicator” plant.

The first indication of a wilting plant in the garden is your dehydration indicator. When you notice a plant with droopy leaves, you need to take action. The first is usually a plant with big leaves like squash, cucumber and melon because those lose lots of moisture fast. But in our veggie garden, we noticed the peppers and tomatoes wilted first. Of course, it’s better to water consistently so that this never happens. We all have busy lives and even the attentive gardeners get caught by wilting plants in the summer months. Note that in very hot, dry, and sunny weather, the big-leafed plants will wilt a bit mid-day no matter what, but they recover quickly in the evening. We keep a watering schedule programmed in our cell phone to remind us to check the more vulnerable plants each day at some point.

Avoid wetting the plant’s leaves. 

If you use a sprinkler system, it is impossible not to wet the leaves when watering the garden, so in that case, water early in the morning so that the foliage will dry early and quickly to minimize disease risk. You can put the sprinkler on a timer so that it comes on just before daybreak, when the leaves may already be wet with dew. The gardening principle here is to avoid adding to the length of time that the leaves stay wet because many diseases need moisture to thrive.

Help keep water in the ground. 

Use mulch! We recommend organic mulch like chopped up leaves, finely ground bark, wheat straw or pine needles, but any mulch is better than none. Spread mulch around and under plants. This creates a barrier between the moist soil and the blazing sun. You need a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch in hot weather. This will act as a shade cloth to keep in moisture and cool plant roots. Without mulch, the intense sun bakes the soil requiring even more watering.

If you need help reviving your lawn in the heat of the summer, call your lawn care experts First Response Lawn Care at (214) 701-7622. We serve Rockwall and surrounding cities Royse City, Fate, Rowlett, Sachse, Wylie, Lavon, Forney, Heath, Garland, and Mesquite Texas. We are here to help!

Texas Summer Lawn Watering Guidelines

Texas Summer Lawn Watering Guidelines

Texas Summer Lawn Watering Guidelines

During times of prolonged summer heat and dry weather we need to provide plants, trees, flowers, lawn sod and seed with extra watering. Weeds are very opportunistic and will take advantage of dry, thin turf to quickly spread. Keep your lawn healthy to serve as a natural weed prevention. We’ve got the goods on the sweet spot!

Save these watering guidelines as a handy reference during the hot, dry days of summer:

For best results, water your lawn thoroughly three times a week if you do not get significant rainfall.

  • In hot, dry weather, water shrubs and flowers daily.
  • Morning, around 2 to 8 a.m., is the best time to water. Why? The a.m. is the best time to water the lawn because the air is cooler and there’s usually not much wind to blow the droplets. In the middle of the day, water evaporates too quickly. And in the evenings, water can cling to the blades of grass overnight, which can cause lawn diseases.
  • Watering at any time of day is better than not watering at all.
  • The rule of thumb for lawns is to water one-inch deep each time you water. It’s better for the lawn to water heavily and less frequently, than to lightly mist it every day.
  • Use a rain gauge to make measuring an inch of water easy. If you don’t have a rain gauge, place a tuna can (or similarly sized vessel) in your yard as you water. When the can is full, you’ve watered enough!
  • Pay special attention to high-sun areas of the lawn.
  • Don’t forget that even mature trees need water, too.

Follow the watering guidelines above to ensure a dense turf throughout the summer.

If you have an irrigation system that isn’t working properly or have any questions about maintaining a healthy lawn, call First Response Lawn Care today at (214) 701-7622. We service Rockwall, Royse City and surrounding areas.

IRRIGATION

Now is the Time for Spring Landscape Planning

Now is the Time for Spring Landscape Planning

Spring Landscape Planning

There are a lot of landscaping and gardening procedures that you can plan for in early spring. Call First Response Lawn Care today at (214) 701-7622 to discuss your landscaping needs and ideas for this coming Spring and Summer.

Spring weeding

Begin your gardening and landscaping design now, and remember that it is never too early to weed. Weeds that have seeded in your soil are just waiting to sprout up at the first sign of Spring. Our pre-emergent services are ideal for this time of year, and getting an early start in weed control will save countless hours rectifying any unwanted growth when the sun starts shining.

Soil prep

Whether you plan on adding new shrubs, grass, or a vegetable gardens this year, we can start prepping your soil early. Soil prep will ensure young plant health. Aerating and fertilization are best stated earlier in the season as well. Breath-ability must be preserved for healthy soil.

Irrigation

It’s never too early (or late) to plan your irrigation. A sufficient irrigation system will make sure that your plants always have the optimal amount of water. If you already have an irrigation system set up, now is the time to check for broken sprinkler heads and leaks. Get your system up to par before the sun hits and any issues prevent your lawn from getting the hydration it needs.

Spring Cleaning

We can handle your spring cleaning chores by clearing out broken branches, leftover leaves, and all of the other winter debris and trash that has accumulated.

If you take the rights steps now, your garden or yard will be completely ready for the spring planting season.

Call us today – (214) 701-7622 and ask about our landscaping services and be ready for the spring planting season.

For more information about First Response Lawn Care’s services click on the banner below.

Landscaping