Latest News from Water Solutions

 
 
 

Fall Landscaping Tips


September 19, 2018

Fall is just around the corner and before you know it, cold weather, snow flurries, and the harvest season will be upon us. While the cooler weather can send most home gardeners back inside to wait for spring, you don’t have to give up on your landscaping as soon as the temperatures drop. In fact, with a little work and preparation, you’ll be able to keep your garden going strong well into the cooler months. Your trusted Denver sprinkler installation pros have put together a few tips and tricks to keep your landscaping and garden looking great this fall. Here’s what you need to do:

Cut Back on Fertilizer

Fertilizer may make everything grow more rapidly and more vibrantly, but continuing your fertilization schedule into the fall months can put too much strain on your plants. Instead, cut back your fertilization efforts as summer starts to fade. You’ll still want to fertilize once more before the growing season ends, but once the lawn starts getting those first few brown blades of grass, it’s best to let the lawn rest. Otherwise, the soil could become overdrawn on nutrients, leaving you with an underperforming lawn come springtime. 

Keep the Lawn Clean

Falling leaves have a way of cluttering up even the most pristine and cared-for landscaping. Instead of leaving them where they fall, pick them up. Try to clear the lawn every week at least. Remember, even into mid-fall, it’s not uncommon for lawns to stay green provided they have enough water. Fallen leaves block the performance of your home’s sprinkler system, keeping the water from reaching the grass in the first place. When you clear away leaves on a regular basis, the grass will still be able to get the much-needed water from your sprinkler system and your landscaping will continue to look as great as possible for longer. 

Aerate Your Lawn

Fall is the perfect time to schedule a lawn aeration appointment with your landscaping crew. This process involves poking hundreds of holes through your lawn to allow air and water to better circulate throughout the lawn’s roots. This helps keep the soil light and allows the lawn to draw nutrients from the soil more easily. Neglecting this step causes the soil to grow more compacted with each passing season. Eventually, the soil will become too dense for the roots to draw enough water or nutrients up, leaving you with a patchy and brown lawn even in the height of spring. 

Mulch Your Garden Beds

Mulch helps protect the roots and soil of your garden beds from the elements. Even if you’re not actively growing anything in the beds once fall rolls around, it’s always a good idea to spread a new layer of mulch. This will keep your perennials roots insulated against those random cold spells early in the season and protects them well into the winter from premature frost and damage. As an added precaution, consider mulching around the base of your trees to protect them from everything those harsh Colorado winters can bring. 

Transition to Container Plants

If you’re looking for a way to add some fall color without disrupting your existing garden beds, consider incorporating a few container plants into your yard. Hardy flowers like chrysanthemums, pansies, and million bells all offer a pop of bright color when other plants are starting to fade. Best of all, by keeping them in individual pots rather than planting them in the garden bed, you’ll be able to protect them from early frosts and freezing temperatures. Simply bring them inside the house on nights when the temps drop and set them back outside when the sun is back out. 

Mow the Lawn One Last Time

To give your grass a fighting chance against disease this winter, cut it back one last time. Go as short as your grass can handle—for most species, keep the blades no taller than three inches. Shorter grass withstands heavy snowfall better, keeping the individual blades intact even under the weight of the snow. If the blades are too long, the snow will compress them, causing the soil to retain excess moisture. The more moisture there is, the higher the risk of mold in the roots.  

Take Care of Pruning

Fallen limbs are always a hazard for homeowners in the Denver area. However, they can be controlled by pruning the trees in the fall. Schedule an appointment with an arborist and let them carefully trim away damaged or dangerous growth. This way, when the snows fall, the limbs will be less likely to break, keeping you and your home safe. Trim back perennials and shrubs as well to prepare them for the winter cold. When done properly, pruning will help keep the plants healthy through the coldest months of the year so you can better enjoy them when summer is in full swing. 

Schedule a Sprinkler Maintenance Appointment

Sprinklers and cold weather don’t mix and it’s important to get your system ready for freezing temperatures ahead of time. Before the first freeze of the year, schedule a fall maintenance appointment and let your sprinkler service inspect the lines and system for damage. This will allow them to fix the problem long before spring and ensures that you’re ready for the growing season when it returns. During that appointment, they’ll also blow out the lines, removing any excess water still trapped inside the system. This keeps the lines from freezing and saves you from unexpected burst pipes and costly underground leaks. 

Getting your landscaping ready for fall doesn’t have to be a challenge. Follow these tips and contact your trusted landscaping experts at Water Solutions Sprinkler Service to get your yard ready for winter. Our experienced team will help with everything from winterizing your sprinklers to making sure your lawn’s drainage is ready for the winter snows. Call us today at (720) 435-1495 to schedule a free estimate and see the difference that a little preparation and TLC can make in getting your yard and landscaping ready for winter. 
 
Read More...

Common Causes of Brown Lawn Spots Explained by the Denver Sprinkler Repair Pros


September 5, 2018

You expect your lawn to stay green and lush during the growing season. While a regular watering schedule will help give your grass the resources it needs to grow well, it’s not always enough. Unfortunately, many homeowners have to combat ugly brown spots and areas of dead growth in their yards. Brown spots can be caused by many different issues, ranging from underperforming irrigation systems to soil malnutrition. Your Denver sprinkler installation pros explain some of the most common causes of brown lawn spots and what you can do to help your lawn recover.

Improper Mowing Technique

Mowing your lawn is a part of your weekly yard maintenance routine. However, there’s more to mowing the lawn properly than simply running a few passes over the grass. Cutting the grass too short will shock the lawn and cause areas of otherwise healthy growth to die prematurely. Ideally, take no more than a third of the grass’s height off at any time. If the grass looks too tall after you mow, let it recover for a few days and mow again. Remember, grass grows slowly and when you cut it too short, you’re setting yourself up for an underperforming lawn.

Dull Lawn Mower Blades

Dull lawn mower blades have the tendency to rip and tear at the grass rather than cut it smoothly. This causes splits down each individual blade of grass, exposing more of the plant to sun and air. The increased exposure causes the plant to dry out more quickly, resulting in dead patches on the lawn. Keep your lawn mower blades sharp and tune up your mower once every three months. The more you pay attention to routine maintenance, the better off your lawn will be.

Weed-Killer

Weeds are a problem in every lawn. However, reaching for that commercial weed killer at the hardware store can take a major toll on your landscaping. Many of these weed killers destroy the root systems of all plants indiscriminately. While it will get rid of dandelions, bindweed, and prickly lettuce, it will also likely kill the grass around the weed. If you’re worried about weeds taking over your lawn and landscaping, look for a product rated for use on lawns. Better still, hire an experienced landscaping crew to get rid of the weeds for you once and for all. Pros have the training and experience to get rid of weeds without doing long-term damage to an otherwise healthy lawn.

Pet Activity

Believe it or not, your four-legged friend might be responsible for much of the damage on your Denver lawn. Their claws can rip up the turf when they dig or run, leaving patchy areas of grass in the areas they play most often. Pet waste is also notoriously acidic. In areas where dogs tend to mark their territory, it’s not uncommon to see grass wither and die after frequent exposure. If you’re looking to keep a particular part of the lawn in pristine condition, keep the pets away from that space. You can repair the damage, but it won’t be instantaneous. You’ll have to wait for a new layer of grass to grow over the brown patch.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Water and fertilizer helps your lawn grow, but when you overdo it, the lawn can suffer. Too much fertilizer deposits more nitrogen than the soil can handle. This, in turn, causes the grass to die in the affected areas, leaving brown patches behind. Similarly, overwatering and not sticking to a water schedule can drown the roots in parts of the lawn. Once the soil becomes oversaturated, you’ll need to wait for it to dry out thoroughly before assessing the damage. If the grass has died from overwatering, an experienced landscaping company will be able to help revive the lawn by removing the areas of dead growth and laying fresh sod or seed over the damaged area.

Compacted Soil

With regular watering, human activity, and time, the soil beneath your lawn will gradually become compacted. Once this happens, the roots of your lawn won’t be able to spread or become established, resulting in poor growth and brown patches. Having your lawn aerated in spring before the growing season begins in earnest will help keep the soil light and nutrient-dense. This also helps keep the soil at appropriate moisture levels, reducing the risk of fungal growth that can damage other plants in your garden.

Thatch Buildup

Around the same time as the aeration, you’ll also want to de-thatch your lawn. Thatch is made up of dead and dried bits of grass leftover from mowing. As it collects, it weighs down the sod, further compacting the soil. Additionally, thatch makes it hard for water to reach the roots, holds excess moisture in the soil encouraging fungal growth, and chokes out the remaining healthy grass. To remove thatch, use a stiff rake and gently pull up the clippings until you can see the soil underneath. Take care not to dig the rake into the soil as the prongs will cut the healthy roots. Once removed, the water from your sprinkler system will be able to absorb into the soil properly.

Brown Spots Are Easier to Prevent Than Repair

The easiest way to get rid of brown spots is to prevent the damage in the first place. Work with an experienced landscaping team to help keep your lawn looking its best year-round. They’ll be able to implement the proper fertilization, aeration, and watering schedule designed to keep your plants happy and reduce the risk of premature root decay and brown spots across the lawn.

At Water Solutions Sprinkler Service, we believe every yard should look its best. Whether you’re worried about the quality of your landscaping’s irrigation system or want an experienced landscaper to assess the condition of your soil, we’re ready to help. We understand the unique challenges that Denver homeowners face when caring for landscaping in our often unpredictable weather. We’ll make sure your yard is prepared for everything the weather can bring. Contact us today to schedule your free no-obligation estimate.
Read More...

Denver Sprinkler Repair Experts Explain How to Improve Your Lawn’s Drainage


August 22, 2018

You rely on your Denver sprinkler system to keep your yard looking its best. However, for many homeowners, managing their yard’s drainage is an almost uphill battle. Without the proper drainage in place, your yard can see dozens of puddles of standing water, all of which can damage your plants and ruin your landscaping. If you’re battling poor or improper drainage in your yard, you’re not alone and the trusted experts at Water Solutions Co. want to help. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your yard’s drainage and prevent your treasured lawn from turning into a muddy swamp.

Understand That Overwatering is Not the Only Cause

While overwatering your lawn and landscaping is a primary cause of a flooded yard, it’s not the only reason water collects in the low spots. In fact, standing water can be caused by heavy rainfall, underground water leaks, improper roof drainage, and many other issues. While it’s important to water your plants properly and ensure that the soil has a chance to dry before being watered again, there’s more you’ll need to do. Maintaining your sprinkler system, monitoring your water bill, and being mindful of the forecast are all simple steps you can take. By catching leaks early and not watering your lawn when a major storm is expected, you’ll save yourself a ton of frustration.

Inspect the Slope and Grade of the Lawn

A completely flat lawn may be visually appealing to some, but it’s a major hazard when it comes to proper drainage. Every lawn and landscape needs to have at least some degree of a grade to allow water to run off to a designated drainage area. When the grade is too flat, water simply collects on the surface and puddles on the grass, often killing the lawn and causing damage to the rest of the landscaping. If the lawn is flat, all you need to do is hire a landscaping company to regrade your yard. This will create enough of a slope for water to safely run off from the lawn and to a drainage area where plants and landscaping won’t be impacted.

Rake the Lawn

While mowing your lawn may help keep your grass looking great, all those clippings can clog the soil and make it difficult for water to drain off properly. Over time, the more clippings left from mowing, the more likely the yard is to develop puddles after watering or a large storm. To keep the buildup to a minimum, rake your lawn with a good metal rake. The sturdy prongs will reach through the blades of grass and into the thatching, pulling away any dead and unwanted grass clippings. For best results, do this every month or so during the primary growing season. This way, your lawn will get the hydration it needs from the sprinkler system without creating a bunch of unwanted puddles.

Aerate Your Grass

Aerating your lawn involves punching holes into the soil throughout the entire grass area. This helps break up compacted soil and gives water and runoff a place to go safely. If you plan on doing this yourself, use a garden fork or rent a lawn aerator from the local hardware store to get the job done as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that leaving the task to an experienced landscaping crew will save you time, the cost of the rental, and the potential backache. Lawn aeration is a physically demanding task and can take the better part of a weekend to accomplish if you’ve never done it before. For most homeowners, hiring a professional is the best option.

Install a Dedicated Drainage System

Sometimes, even the natural methods need a little boost to keep the lawn from flooding. If your yard is particularly prone to water retention and none of the other methods have yielded results, consider installing a dedicated drain to help manage the runoff. Many homeowners see success when they utilize a French drain method. This involves using a series of trenches around the yard to send excess water away from the grass. The trenches don’t have to be incredibly deep, just deep enough to channel water away from the lawn. Once dug, the trenches are lined with an irrigation pipe. These pipes have perforations along the length to allow some water to still reach the soil beneath. The pipe is then covered with gravel. After a rain, gravity will send the excess water through the channel and down the pipe to the designated drainage area away from both the house and your landscaping.

Schedule an Inspection

While pooling water is often caused by heavy rainfall or compacted soil, it’s not the only thing you need to worry about. In fact, leaks in the pipes, issues with your sprinkler system, and problems with the connection to the home’s water supply can all lead to excess water collecting in your yard. If you’ve tried the other methods to reduce the frequency of pooling water but haven’t seen any results, it may be time to schedule an inspection. Have a sprinkler service look at your system and check for any underground leaks or problems with the sprinkler heads. Schedule an inspection with a plumber and have them check the fittings, exterior pipes, and connections to ensure the materials are solid and not leaking or cracked. The sooner you catch a problem, the less water you’ll waste and the better off your lawn will be.

Whether you’re worried about your yard’s drainage or suspect an underground leak in your sprinkler system, getting the problem solved quickly is important. At Water Solutions Co., our experienced sprinkler repair experts will quickly assess the problem and help you find the right solution for your yard. We know that a soggy water-laden yard is never a pleasant sight and will work to restore your grass and your watering system as quickly as possible. Contact us online or call (720) 435-1495 to schedule a free estimate and let us help you keep your yard looking its best.
Read More...

Sprinkler Repair Experts Share a Few Benefits of Mulching Your Landscaping


By Tanya Clark - August 6, 2018

Your Denver sprinklers work to keep your yard and landscaping properly hydrated day in and day out. While they’re efficient and reduce the amount of water wasted on irrigation and hand-watering, they’re only a small component of your landscaping. You still need to focus on the plants themselves and properly care for the soil they’re planted in. Believe it or not, mulch is one of the best things you can do for your garden, whether it’s a fully landscaped yard or just a few decorative flower beds. Here are a few benefits of incorporating mulch into your landscape design. 

Maintains Moisture Levels In Soil

Mulch sits on top of the garden soil, shading it from the sun and helping to preserve moisture levels without forcing you to water more often. When spread evenly and thickly, mulch helps eliminate the risk of evaporation, even in sunny conditions common to Colorado. This allows the water from your sprinklers to soak into the soil appropriately, hydrating the roots and keeping the plants happy. Furthermore, natural wood mulch soaks up water as the sprinklers run. This water helps insulate the roots from high heat and allows the soil to stay moist in between watering.

Prevents Erosion

When we do get rain, many Denver homeowners have to combat erosion in their garden beds. Even a small downpour can remove much of the top layer of soil, leaving the roots exposed to the elements and making the plant more easily damaged. When combined with the high winds the Front Range gets almost every afternoon, that soil can quickly disappear. By spreading mulch over the top layer of your garden and flower beds, you’re helping prevent erosion. Over the course of a growing season, the mulch will save you money by reducing how often you’ll have to replenish the soil as it won’t go missing in the first place. 

Distributes Nutrients

While there’s no substitute for regular composting and fertilizer treatments for boosting growth, it’s still important to preserve the natural nutrients found in the soil. Erosion, heat, time, and sunlight can all leach the soil of the vital nutrients plants need to thrive year after year. By laying mulch throughout the garden bed, you’ll help preserve the existing nutrients while also distributing new nutrients into the soil As the mulch breaks down, the nutrients kept inside the wood chips get deposited in the soil. This makes the garden bed richer and helps ensure a productive growth season each year. Your landscaping contractor will be able to help you determine a new fertilization schedule after the mulch has been spread.

Reduces Prominence of Weeds

Weeds need light to grow and fully infest your garden bed. By covering the soil with mulch, you’re reducing the amount of sunlight that newly sprouted weeds receive. This cuts down on their ability to grow into mature plants, allowing you to enjoy a weed-free flower bed. If the bed already has weeds popping up between the plants, remove them from the bed and cover the soil with mulch. This will keep new weeds from developing, even if part of their roots remain in the soil. Keep in mind that you may still want to spray or treat your lawn as weeds are only prevented in areas where mulch covers the bulk of the soil.

It’s Affordable

Adding new soil and dirt to your yard, buying weed killer, and spreading fertilizer regularly can get expensive very quickly. Mulch, on the other hand, is incredibly affordable and typically only needs to be spread or replaced once every year. If you’re worried about knowing when the mulch needs to be replaced, don’t be. As the wood starts to decay, it changes color, losing much of the tidy appearance it had when it was freshly laid. If you notice the mulch looking pale or notice that the pieces break easily underfoot, it’s time to add a new layer to the garden bed. Remember, a little goes a long way. The mulch should be about 3 inches deep in each bed to adequately protect the plants and soil.

Keeps Plants Happy During Colder Weather

Just as mulch insulates the soil from excessive heat during the summer, it also protects your plants in early spring and late fall. The mulch traps layers of air close to the soil. This air is often cooler in the summer and warmer during cold weather. When the temperatures drop, these warm air pockets act as a buffer for your plants’ roots, keeping them from freezing prematurely. Though mulch won’t be enough to help plants withstand the temperature changes associated with deep winter, it will help you start your garden earlier in the year and maintain beautiful growth longer into the fall. 

Makes the Yard Look Polished

Mulch makes a great decorative border for most homes and gardens. Since it comes in so many different varieties and colors, it can be used to highlight certain areas of the yard and make other parts more uniform and well-kept. With the help of an experienced landscaping crew, you can easily add an air of elegance to the yard just by spreading a layer of mulch. Additionally, mulch can greatly reduce the number of pests and insects your garden receives. This helps keep the plants looking their best, reduces premature damage to your trees, and guarantees that the yard is set up for success without potentially harmful chemical pesticides.

The better prepared your garden and landscaping are, the more efficiently your sprinkler system will work to keep plants hydrated and healthy. By incorporating mulch into your garden, you’ll save money on water, spend less time clearing away weeds and keep your plants looking their best throughout the growing season. Best of all, spreading mulch has absolutely no impact on your sprinkler system and will never damage the sprinkler heads or plumbing beneath the soil. 

If you’re looking for help taking your landscaping efforts to the next level, contact the experts at Water Solutions Sprinkler Service. Our landscaping team will work to bring your ideas to life, whether you want to add a new walkway or dream of installing an outdoor fire pit. Call (720) 435-1495 to schedule a free estimate. 
Read More...

Denver Sprinkler Service Answers Frequently Asked Questions About New System Installations


July 25, 2018

Installing an automatic sprinkler system for your home is a great investment in your property. However, if you’ve never scheduled a sprinkler installation in Denver or have never had automatic sprinklers and irrigations systems in place, you likely have a few questions on your mind. This is completely normal and we want to help. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about lawn sprinklers and irrigation systems so you can know what to expect once you have one installed.

Won’t an automatic sprinkler use more water than I’m using now?

Contrary to popular belief, automatic sprinkler systems don’t use more water than hand-watering with the garden hose. In fact, they actually use less. Modern systems are designed with efficiency in mind and use only enough water to adequately serve the needs of your plants. Should you expand your garden or change the type of plants you have, the water rates can always be adjusted. Best of all, you never have to worry about accidentally leaving the hose dripping for an entire day after you water.

What will it add to my landscaping?

Simplicity. Water sprinklers can be set on an automatic timer, meaning they’ll kick on whether you’re home or not. This can make a huge difference when you’re looking to reduce the amount of time you spend on your landscaping. Once you set the timer, the system will start watering the yard at the appointed times without forcing you to get involved. For maximum convenience, you can opt to install a rain sensor so the sprinklers will turn off and stay off when we’re lucky enough to get rain in the Denver metro area.

Can’t I install the sprinkler system on my own to save money?

Installing a sprinkler system is more complicated than it might seem. Utility lines need to be located and marked out, electrical components must be patched into the grid, and water supplies need to be run properly to eliminate the risk of leaks or flooding. System installations require extensive experience in order to do the job properly. Handling installation yourself is not the best option and could lead to more expensive repairs in the future. By leaving it to the professionals, you’ll save money in the long run and keep your yard looking its best.

Will the water efficiency be great enough to make a difference on my water bill?

You may not see an immediate difference in your water bill after you install the sprinkler system. However, after a few months, the average usage should be significantly lower than it was when you watered with the hose. It all depends on how much you’ve been watering prior to having the system installed. If you’re the type of gardener that’s out in the yard four days a week, watering and caring for plants, you’ll likely see an immediate change. However, if you’re not watering your plants or have neglected the landscaping for a few months, the water bill may go up. Regardless of the circumstances, the amount of water the sprinkler system uses will still be less than hand-watering, ultimately saving you money.

What types of maintenance can I expect?

Like all home appliances and tools, your sprinkler system needs regular care and maintenance in order to function properly. In spring, schedule a tune-up with your installation team and let them inspect the system for damage from the harsh winter temperatures. If anything is wrong with the unit, they can repair it before you start getting the yard ready for the planting season. In late fall, schedule another inspection and allow a professional to prepare the system for winter. Periodically throughout the summer, keep an eye on the performance of the irrigation system. If your water bill is going up unexpectedly or you notice uneven spray from one of the heads, schedule a repair appointment immediately. The sooner damage is fixed, the less extensive repairs will be.

How much will the installation impact my landscaping?

Installing any type of irrigation system will impact your yard and disrupt the lawn to a certain degree. However, at Water Solutions, we do our best to minimize the disturbance and preserve the health of your landscaping whenever possible. As part of the installation process, we’ll first inspect the yard and let you know if there will be any major impact to the landscaping. Keep in mind that sprinkler systems and regular watering will help the yard recover more quickly, so most damage will no longer be noticeable a month after installation is complete.

What will I have to do to prepare for winter?

Lawn sprinklers use running water from your house’s plumbing system to provide the yard with adequate water. This means there are hoses and pipes underground that connect each sprinkler head to the water supply. Those water lines need to be blown out before winter, otherwise freezing temperatures could do significant damage to the system. Before the first deep freeze, schedule a blow-out appointment to make sure the lines are completely  cleared of water before the temperatures drop.

What happens if something breaks?

If something breaks or you’re simply confused about how to use the new system, call Water Solutions. We want you to feel completely confident in the use of your new sprinkler system and will happily walk you through how to use the system as many times as it takes. If anything goes wrong, we’ll come to the house and inspect the unit so you can get back to enjoying your lush lawn and beautiful landscaping without worrying about hand-watering.

Whether you’re looking for a new sprinkler system or want to have your existing sprinklers serviced, contact Water Solutions today. Our dedicated team will make sure your lawn gets the water it needs so you can enjoy your yard from spring to fall. We have years of experience and are comfortable working on just about every type of system, so you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your yard is in good hands. Contact us today for a free no-obligation estimate.
Read More...