Tips of the Month

Last month Lifescapes mailed our maintenance clients a brochure from California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) concerning the wise use of water. This month when the weather is generally quite hot, we thought it wise to reprint the highligths of this brochure.

Why The CLCA Wants You To Use Water Wisely - Today, giving your landscape the water it needs - and only the water it needs - is a matter of dollars and sense. Most homeowners know that plants and trees suffer without enough water. But do you know that overwatering can take an even greater toll on your landscape? Soggy, water-soaked soil can prevent air and nutrients from reaching plant roots. It can also invite problems like root rot and other plant diseases that result in serious damage and unwanted replacement costs down the road. Watering too much or too often can also impact your water bill. Implementing just a few simple pratices can produce the dramatic results of a healthy green landscape and save money too.

Getting To Know Your Landscape - Different areas of your yard are exposed to varying levels of sun, shade and wind. Shaded and sheltered areas are likely to require less water than open areas in full sun. For best results, take time to walk around your yard and make a water-using inventory. Look for telltale signs of overwatering, such as puddles, mud or the growth of moss or fungus. Also note areas that are dry. Make notes if you see you should make some adjustments. During your inspection, see how water is being used on sloped or graded areas. These areas may need less water at more frequent intervals to soak in adequately.

How Much Water Do You Need? - The amount of water needed to keep shrubs, trees and lawn areas healthy depends on a wide variety of environmental factors, including climate, season, type of soil, grading and the specific type of plant, tree or grass. Together Greg Kandler and Billy Cowley have years of irrigation technology experience. They can help you set and maintain your system. They will evaluate the performance of your control valves, sprinkler heads, the controller (also called the time clock) and check the battery on the controller. They can also advise you about replacing existing sprinkler spray nozzles with more efficient rotating sprinklers that have a lower water application rate. It is best to let the lawn area dry out slightly between watering.

When Is The Best Time To Water? - In general, it is best to water in the early morning when it is cool and the winds are usually at their lowest.

Controlling The Controller - Your automatic controller or time clock tells the valves of your irrigation system when to turn on and when to turn off. Programming the time properly is critical to efficient water use. Make sure your time clock can be adjusted for changing weather and landscape requirements. If your system is not already outfitted with a sensor that stops watering when it's raining, call us and we can determine if a sensor can be added to your system. All time clocks control the three basic functions: duration of watering cycle, what time the system will water, and what days the system will water.

What About Drip Irrigation Systems? - Drip systems are designed to deliver low volumes of water, under low pressure, through flexible tubing to specific plants or plant areas. They can be used almost anywhere (except on the lawn). Consider a drip system for container plants, hedgerows or shrubbery where lawn equipment, pets or people won't disturb the tubing. It is necessary to maintain the tubes and prevent them from becoming dislodged.

Avoid Runoff - Don't water anything you don't want to keep green. Water should never puddle up on sidewalks or patios or driveways. And keep sprinkler heads from spraying your foundation walls and other hardscape surfaces.

Stewarding Our Environment - Lifescapes believes we can save water and money by wisely using this wonderful natural resource. We appreciate your business and want to serve you in the best way possible. Please call us with all your landscaping needs at (530) 894-5433.

• April is the time to mulch!

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