September 14, 2021
If there’s one thing that this fall is teaching Denver residents it’s the importance of water. With all of the fires currently raging in the state, water is quickly becoming the most precious resource in our state. The government is starting to put restrictions on how often residents can water their gardens and lawns. So, what can you do to keep your fall plants thriving during the water ban? Just because you can’t turn your Denver sprinkler system on to water your plants doesn’t mean you have to watch them die. Here are a few easy tips to help you keep your plants happy without violating your neighborhood watering ban.
Save Your Dish Water
You still use dozens of gallons of water every day even when there are use restrictions in place. This means you’re still generating tons of gray water—water that isn’t safe to drink—every hour. The biggest generator of that gray water is, hands down, doing dishes. Use this to your advantage. Start collecting at least some of your old dish water every time you do the washing up. Store it in a watering can and use it to water your potted plants and any super-thirsty plants in your garden beds. Just make sure to use eco-friendly or biodegradable soap to wash your dishes instead of standard detergent. This way, you won’t have to worry about the soap changing the soil’s pH content or hurting your plants’ growth.
Collect Rain in Rain Barrels
Though the weather forecast has been dry for the last few weeks, there’s always a chance that we’ll get a good rainfall or two before the freezing weather hits. If possible, collect that rainfall in dedicated rain barrels. Set the barrels beneath the gutters on your property and let the runoff flow into the barrels instead of the ground. You can then use this water to keep your plants hydrated and in good condition even when there’s a severe drought. Keep in mind that the barrels can be expensive, but once you install them, they’ll continue to work without requiring any maintenance down the road. Even better, during the wet season, using that collected rainwater can save you on your monthly water bill. The less you have to run the faucet, the lower your water bill will be.
Never Toss Out Old Water From Your Cups
Think about what happens when you collect the dishes from the table and around the house. Some of the cups, mugs, and glasses will be empty but others often have a few sips of liquid left. Instead of flushing the remnants down the drain, save what you can. If you’re drinking water or iced tea, collect it and use it to water your plants. Save it in a jar or watering can and collect enough to keep your plants hydrated. This way, nothing will go to waste and your plants will be able to benefit from regular watering even during times of drought and water bans.
Collect Cold Water in the Shower
How often do you shower? If you’re like most people, it’s at least once a day. And unless you have an on-demand water heater that gives you hot water instantly, you need to run the tap to let the water warm up. Though it might only take a few minutes, that’s tons of water that you’re just sending down the drain. Instead of letting cold water run down the drain until the water heater kicks on, collect that water and use it to water your plants. Pick up a 5-gallon bucket at your local hardware store and set it beneath the faucet before you shower. You can then refill your watering cans or use the water to rinse clean dishes if your plants are getting enough water elsewhere. This can end up saving you on your water bill over the course of the year.
Spread Mulch in Your Planting Beds
One of the best things you can do to keep your plants and garden beds happy even during dry spells is to spread mulch over the topsoil. The mulch helps keep the moisture in the soil by the plants’ roots where it belongs and reduces the risk of evaporation and erosion. If you choose the right mulch, it will also add a fun and beautiful dynamic to your garden that brings color to your yard even when the plants go dormant in the winter.
Keep Track of Watering Guidelines Often
Watering guidelines and restrictions can change by the week. Get in the habit of reviewing those restrictions every few days and see if there are any changes. If the city or county lifts the watering ban or lets you water on set days of the week, you’ll want to take advantage as soon as you can. If you’re not sure where to look, contact your local county office for guidance or check the state’s website for further information.
The most important thing to remember is to be respectful of the watering ban. If the ban is in place, don’t turn the sprinkler system on and water your lawn with abandon. At best, you’ll aggravate your neighbors. At worst, you’ll end up facing an expensive fine from the city or county. Follow the guidelines as best you can and only water with your irrigation system or sprinkler system when you’re legally permitted to. Remember, the state needs access to as much water as it can get to contain the wildfires and keep them from threatening more towns and cities along the Front Range.
Water Bans Can Be Tough
Water bans are a fact of life for everyone that lives in the Southwest, but they’re still a relatively new concept for many Denver-area homeowners. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to keep your yard looking great at all times, no matter what the watering restrictions are like. Once spring rolls around and you’re ready to start watering your lawn after a (hopefully) wet winter, contact us to schedule a sprinkler system tune-up.
August 30, 2021
Moving to a new home is both exciting and stressful. Not only do you have to get settled in the house, but you also have to find contractors to help you with repairs and maintenance. If you’re like most homeowners, you know that relying on internet reviews isn’t always the best option. You want to get to know your contractor to make sure you’re choosing the best service possible. Here are a few simple questions to ask your Denver sprinkler maintenance team before you schedule your first tune-up.
Are You Licensed and Insured?
Your homeowners insurance policy will help protect you from liability, but it won’t always cover errors due to poor workmanship. This puts the burden on your shoulders and, if something happens during the tune-up, you could end up having to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket. Before you agree to work with a contractor, make sure they’re fully licensed and insured.
Reputable sprinkler repair technicians have valid business licenses to perform repairs in your area. They’ll also have a valid insurance policy that covers the cost of any damage that might happen during the course of their work. And if one of their employees gets injured while working on your system, their insurance should cover the cost of their medical treatment. This helps protect you from liability and can save you money in the long-run.
Do You Have Experience Working on My Type of System?
There’s a huge difference between different types of sprinkler and irrigation systems. Older units require different types of repairs than modern versions and it’s best to work with a company that’s familiar with the type of unit you have.
Head out to your sprinkler control system and take a look at the make and model of the system. Use this as a reference point and ask your contractor if they know how to work on it. If they’ve worked on similar systems, they should be able to get it tuned up quickly and easily. If a contractor hasn’t worked on systems like yours, keep searching. Inexperienced technicians can often do more harm than good and the last thing any homeowner wants is a broken sprinkler right when the weather starts to warm up.
Do You Have References I Can Speak With?
Reputable contractors with extensive experience have worked with many residents over the years. In most cases, they’ll have clients who are willing to attest to their workmanship. But you always have to ask for them. When speaking with a sprinkler repair service, don’t hesitate to ask to speak with their previous clients.
Once you have a few references, follow up on them and find out what those clients think about their work. If they’re still happy with the repairs and tune-ups, you can expect to receive the same quality of service. If the references all have similar issues or concerns, pay attention. Remember, if more than one customer has the same negative experience, you may end up having the same issues.
Do You Provide Written Estimates?
When deciding on who to work with, you need to be able to compare their services and their prices. This helps you decide which company is the best deal and best suits your budget. Unfortunately, not all companies are willing to stand by their estimates and won’t offer you a written estimate before you agree to work with them.
If a contractor won’t provide a written estimate, keep looking. Reputable companies know that written estimates are the best way to help customers make the right decision. Not only do those estimates help you set a budget, but they also help you keep track of the types of repairs that need to happen.
Do You Offer Warranties or Guarantees on Your Work?
Believe it or not, some contractors are only out to make a fast buck. These individuals make shoddy repairs and often won’t respond if you have an issue stemming from their work in the future. Luckily, you can avoid these unsavory contractors by asking if they provide warranties and guarantees on the work performed.
Reputable companies always stand by their repairs and are happy to come to your property to fix any issues that come up. At Water Solutions, we’re proud to offer a 5-year warranty on all systems and guarantee our work every step of the way. If you have any problems with a repair or are concerned about the way the system is running after installation, we’re just a phone call away.
Will You Walk Me Through How to Use the System?
Moving to a new house means you may not know how to use the sprinkler system on your property. And the previous owner may not have left instructions or had time to walk you through the system before you took possession of the keys. This can lead to some confusion when spring rolls around.
The best thing you can do is get a walkthrough of how to use your new sprinkler system. If a contractor isn’t willing to show you how to use the system you have, keep looking. The best experts will show you how to use and care for your sprinkler system after they get it tuned up and ready for spring. Keep in mind that you will have to ask—after all, it’s your property and most contractors will assume that you know how to use and program your sprinklers.
Book an Appointment Now
Staying on top of sprinkler system maintenance is key in keeping your system running smoothly for years to come. The key is to find the right contractor that can work with your budget and the system itself. At Water Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing the best service possible to customers throughout the Denver metro area.
When you work with us, you’ll know that we’ll take care of your system and do everything we can to make sure it’s able to handle everything you can throw at it. Contact us today to schedule a spring tune-up and get your system ready for the growing season.
The Front Range is well-known for its crazy wind storms in the spring. Gusts can get well over 70 miles per hour, taking out fences, trees, and even causing power outages. When the winds kick up, watering your home’s landscaping can become a huge challenge. Even the best-maintained sprinkler system won’t be able to do a great job keeping your plants hydrated when it’s gusty. That doesn’t change the fact that our dry climate makes it imperative that you stick to a regular watering and plaint maintenance schedule. So, how can you keep your plants in good shape when the wind picks up? Here’s what your Denver sprinkler repair team wants you to know.
Change Your Programming
Most modern sprinkler systems allow you to program a watering schedule into the unit. The system will follow that schedule unless you tell it to skip a day or if your rain sensors detect enough water to make it unnecessary to run your sprinkler system. If the wind kicks up and it looks like it’s going to interfere with your watering schedule, change the programming.
Winds typically die down at night or early in the morning and pick back up during the afternoon. This leaves you with the perfect window to water your plants: any time before mid-morning. When you water during this time, you won’t have to worry about losing spray to the wind or leaving your plants lacking the moisture they need to thrive.
Water By Hand
If the wind is bad enough and you forgot to change the programming, your plants will still need a little TLC. Unfortunately, the best way to take care of their hydration needs is to water them by hand. This can take time but if you’re really worried about your lawn, it’s well worth the effort. Use a spray nozzle on your hose and spray close to the turf.
As a general rule, it’s best to water by hand only if your yard truly needs it. If you can, wait another day or two until the wind dies down completely. This way, you won’t have to waste water and you’ll spare yourself the potential backache that comes from bending down over your grass.
Bring Potted Plants Inside
Serious wind gusts don’t just pose a risk to your home’s fence line. They also pose a risk to your potted and hanging plants. Instead of leaving them outside to get battered by the wind, bring them indoors. Once the wind dies down, you can put them back outside. But leaving them exposed to the wind and flying debris is the fastest way to guarantee that they won’t make it through the growing season.
If, for any reason, you can’t bring your plants indoors, try to move them to a sheltered spot in the yard. Give the pots something to brace against so they won’t topple over during the windstorm. They may still lose some of their leaves and flowers, but they’ll likely be able to survive the wind.
Support Younger Trees
Young trees take time to get established in the soil. Their roots are often shallower and they’re more likely to get damaged by high wind conditions. The best thing you can do to keep them in good shape is to add supports around the trunk.
All you need to do is drive a few sturdy stakes into the soil a few feet away from the trunk. Be careful where you place them—the last thing you want to do is accidentally hurt the roots. Then, use landscaping ties to secure the trunks of the trees to the stakes. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own, contact your landscaping team and ask them to help. They’ll be able to make sure your trees are protected from windstorms quickly and can make sure the roots aren’t damaged by the placement of the stakes.
Cover Sensitive Flower Beds
When winds kick up, it’s normal for flowers to lose their petals. During the height of the growing season, this can spell disaster for the look and feel of your garden. The best way to protect those flowering plants is to cover them with a durable tarp.
Keep in mind that you’ll want the tarp to be suspended over the bed. It shouldn’t touch the flowers themselves as this will just cause the petals to drop more quickly. Once the winds die down, you can remove the tarp and let your flowers do their thing.
Stay On Top of Pruning
One of the best ways to protect your landscaping from high winds is to stay on top of pruning and trimming. This helps remove excess growth, reducing the weight your plants have to deal with. When the winds do kick up, the pruned and trimmed shrubs and trees will then have stronger supports and can better withstand those windy conditions. Even better, you’ll prevent unwanted breakage in the long-term.
Get Your System Tuned Up Ahead of Time
When you’re battling with windy conditions, you want every watering session to count. This means you need to know that your sprinkler system is in good shape at all times. Schedule a regular tune-up at the beginning of spring and let your repair team inspect the system for signs of damage or wear and tear. If they see anything, they’ll be able to fix it quickly so you can start relying on your sprinkler system immediately.
During that tune-up, listen to their suggestions, too. If your system is old or outdated, it may be better for both your budget and your plants to replace your old sprinklers with new and more water-efficient technology.
Schedule an Inspection Today
At Water Solutions Sprinkler Service, we want to help you keep your yard looking great no matter the weather. Our dedicated team will help you keep your sprinkler system working properly so you can count on it to water your lawn when it needs it most. Don’t wait to schedule an inspection. Contact us today and make an appointment before the growing season is in full swing.
Like it or not, leaf scorch is a major issue for almost every home’s landscaping. As the weather warms up and the sun starts shining for more hours each day, your plants are at increased risk for scorch and damage. Once it happens, fixing those damaged plants can be a serious challenge. Your Denver sprinkler maintenance team wants to help you keep your plants looking great and healthy throughout the growing season. Here are a few easy ways to prevent leaf scorch no matter how hot or sunny it gets.
Water the Right Way
One of the most common causes of leaf scorch is inadequate hydration or watering throughout your landscaping. Watering too much can be just as damaging as watering too little. When the leaves are consistently wet, the sun can burn those wet spots. When they’re consistently dry, the plants lack the needed moisture to stand up to the sun’s harsh UV rays.
The easiest way to keep your plants happy is to water them correctly during the summer months. Check in with your landscaping team or local garden center and get advice on how much water each type of plant needs. Make notes and use this information when you’re caring for your yard.
Use Shades on Hot Days
Even full-sun plants can get a little too hot for their good during the summer months. That’s where shades can help. During the hottest parts of the day, spread a light shade cloth over the plants. If possible, mount the cloth on stakes so it can sit over the plants without putting pressure on the leaves. Once the weather cools down, you can remove the shade and let your plants enjoy the sun without worry.
Plant in the Right Conditions
Different plant species require different planting conditions to thrive. If a plant needs full sun, avoid planting it in a part of the yard that’s in almost constant shade. And if a specific plant needs full shade, don’t plant it in part of your garden bed that gets 8 or more hours of sunlight. This is the easiest way to cause leaf scorch and can, if left unaddressed, cause your plants to grow poorly or even die prematurely.
If you’re not sure where a plant should go, do a little research. Search for the plant’s name online and read up on the ideal growing conditions for each new addition to your garden. If you see that some of your existing plants are struggling where they’re planted, research them, too. You may need to transplant them to a better location to improve your results.
Be Careful with Fertilizer
Fertilizer helps restore nutrients in the soil and gives plants the added boost they need to grow properly. But it must be applied properly if you want it to help your plants rather than hurt them. Too much fertilizer can scorch the roots, making it hard for your plants to grow and pull up the nutrients they need from the soil.
Before you fertilize, make sure you’re following the instructions on the label. Ideally, fertilize in the spring and late summer rather than the warmer months of the year. This will help preserve your plants’ health and ensures that they get the full benefit from the fertilizer without scorching.
Mulch Your Garden Beds
Mulch is one of the best ways to trap moisture in the soil and keep your plants’ root systems cool and damp. Spread a thick layer of mulch over the topsoil in your garden beds and around the bases of trees and shrubs. Once it’s in place, you can water as normal.
The mulch will eventually break down and will need replacing from year to year. As it breaks down, the minerals and nutrients inside the mulch get deposited in the soil and become available for the plants to use to further improve their growth. Just be mindful of where you spread it. Mulch needs to be spread close to the base of the plants. If you pile it too high or put it too close to sensitive leaves and new growth, you could end up hurting your plants.
Fine-Tune Your Sprinkler System
When the soil is wet, water soaks into the roots of your lawn, trees, and shrubs. This helps keep your yard growing well. But the water has to reach those roots to give your plants the moisture they need. If your sprinkler system isn’t hitting the entire yard or the sprinkler heads aren’t hitting your lawn at all, you need to schedule a tune-up.
Contact your sprinkler repair experts and let them inspect your system. During the tune-up, they’ll make sure the controller is working properly and can inspect the heads to make sure the placement and spray patterns go where they’re supposed to. If anything looks off, they’ll be able to make the necessary repairs quickly.
Monitor the Soil’s pH
Plants thrive in different soil conditions. Some prefer more acidic soils while others prefer more alkaline soil. Soil conditions can change over time and you’ll want to keep an eye on the conditions throughout the year. Test the soil’s pH every season and make notes of any issues you find.
If the soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it can hurt your plants and you’ll need to supplement the soil with specific fertilizers and plant foods. Leaving the soil at an undesirable pH for your plants increases the risk of scorch and underperformance. If you’re not comfortable testing and correcting soil pH, don’t panic. Contact your landscaping expert and let them help.
Get Your Yard Ready Ahead of Time
The best way to keep your yard healthy and to prevent scorch and burning is to make sure your landscaping is ready for everything the growing season can throw its way. Contact us to schedule a sprinkler system tune-up today and let our pros help you keep your yard hydrated and happy no matter how warm the weather gets. Your plants will thank you.
You rely on your home’s Denver sprinkler system to keep your lawn in good condition. But sometimes, all that water can do more harm than good. When this happens, your lawn will show signs of root rot and won’t be able to grow to its full potential. Though it can be an issue with your sprinkler system that’s causing the excess water buildup in your soil, that’s not usually the case. Often, it’s due to bad drainage on your property. Without proper drainage, your yard can’t get rid of excess water easily. Luckily, bad drainage is easy to spot if you just know what to look for. Here are some of the most common warning signs.
Pooling Water Around Downspouts
Your home’s gutters are designed to funnel excess water from the roof away from your home. When they’re working properly, all that water should flow away from your home’s foundation and toward a designated drainage area. But if you have drainage issues, you’ll notice puddles and pools of water collecting around the base of your gutter system’s downspouts. That water can lead to fungus growth and root rot around your landscaping as well as increase the risk of foundation problems around your house. You’ll need to call your roofer to get the gutters fixed to deal with this type of drainage issue.
Soggy Patches in the Grass
Poor drainage doesn’t always show up in obvious places. Sometimes, it surprises you when you’re walking across the lawn in the form of a soggy and slushy spot in the grass. Take a walk around your yard and pay attention to the way the grass feels under your feet. If it’s sturdy and doesn’t leave your shoes soaked between watering sessions, you’re likely in good shape. But if you notice a squelching sound with every step or end up stepping into a puddle in the middle of the yard, you have a drainage issue. The best thing you can do is contact your local landscaping pro and get them to take a look at your lawn. They may be able to add drains around your yard to reduce the amount of buildup you see.
Your Foundation is Becoming More Visible
Your home’s foundation is one of the most important structural elements of the house. Under normal conditions, it’s partially underground and often gets covered up by your landscaping. But if you have drainage issues in your yard, the soil around your foundation can start to wear or erode away. When this happens, you’ll notice the foundation itself becoming more visible on the outside of your home. Over time, your foundation can start to absorb water and weaken. When this happens, you’ll see an increase in cracks along the exterior, elevated moisture levels indoors, and possibly even mold growth inside.
Consistently Wet Walkways
You know what your walkways look like immediately after the sprinkler system kicks on. They’re likely wet, especially along the edges that border your lawn. After a few hours, the water they absorb should dry. If you notice that parts of your walkways take an extremely long time to dry or are almost always damp, you likely have bad drainage in your yard. Even if your lawn is in otherwise good condition, you’ll want to get this fixed as soon as possible. Letting your walkways stay wet encourages the concrete or pavement to break down quickly. This results in costly repairs and could force you to redo your driveway or sidewalks far sooner than you otherwise should need to.
Believe it or not, poor drainage in your yard doesn’t just impact the health of your landscaping. It can also creep into other areas of your home. Over time, this excess moisture can cause the floors inside your home to bow or warp. While it’s not necessarily a safety issue, it can make your home feel like a funhouse. If it’s addressed quickly enough, you may be able to save the floors themselves. But if you leave it to sit too long, that warp could end up being permanent. This could force you to have to replace your flooring, costing you hundreds of dollars that you otherwise shouldn’t have to spend.
Topsoil Moves After Rainfall
When your yard has proper drainage, rainfall soaks into the soil and hydrates your landscaping. This helps you save money on your watering bill, but it also helps keep your garden beds in good shape. When you have poor drainage in your yard, you’ll likely notice piles of soil, mulch, and dirt collecting on your walkways or even on your lawn. That’s because it floats away on the water that doesn’t soak into the ground. Soil erosion can be a serious problem if you let it continue for too long. Over time, the roots of your plants will get exposed and will become more susceptible to the weather, pests, and plant diseases. Getting your drainage issues fixed will help preserve the life of your garden beds as well as the lawn itself.
The Best Thing You Can Do Is Check
When it comes to monitoring your yard’s drainage, preventative maintenance is key. Check your yard a few days after every major rain storm and be mindful of the way your walkways look every day. If you notice any of these signs, take the next step and get the damage repaired as quickly as you can. The sooner you get your bad drainage fixed, the healthier your plants will be.If you think your drainage issue is due to a flaw in your home’s sprinkler system, don’t ignore it. Contact the team at Water Solutions Sprinkler Service as soon as possible. We’ll inspect your system for any signs of leaks and loose connections that could be contributing to the water buildup in your yard.
If we find any damage, we’ll help you make sure the problem gets fixed once and for all. Remember, you should be able to rely on your sprinkler system to keep your lawn lush without worrying about puddles and mud throughout your yard.