Watering

MY Grass ISN’T Greener Over HERE!

 

burning-question-mark.jpg

Welcome back to the Wonderful World of Weed Man!  This week we have an addendum to our ‘The Grass IS Greener Over There!’ series.  We thought we said all we could say on the subject, and we thought wrong.  It became apparent to me, that we sometimes will get questions on why a homeowner’s lawn just isn’t greening up like they hoped.

Though, uncommon, we do hear a customer say, “My lawn looks worse than my neighbors!  We do exactly what they do!”  Or, “My lawn was WAY better last year, and I’m not doing anything differently than before.”  The frustration is audible, and understandable.  Time, effort, money go into making your lawn beautiful and the results are less than expected.  The bottom line is that you just want your lawn to be healthy and look great!

So what happens when you do everything the same year in and year out and the lawn just isn’t as good as you remember it from its glory days?  What do you do when you do everything right and the grass just isn’t greener?  It’s easy to question the product you are using on the lawn, or even the professional service being used on the lawn.  That’s natural, and even warranted in some instances.  However, not all lawns are the same.  There are also, MANY, MANY variables that play are part in the overall health of your lawn, it may not be the product or professional service that is causing the problem.

It’s important to ask yourself what might be different this year?  Are the kids playing in the sprinklers more or less this year?  Are there any new pets in the household?  Any new animals in the neighborhood?  Have you seen an abundance of wild bunnies in your neighborhood recently?  What is different this year versus last year?

The question being asked may not have a quick or simple answer.  In fact, more often than not – ‘doing the same thing as last year’ turns out to not be as similar as one might think.  Many factors that affect the lawn are rarely the same year in and year out.  To better understand why a lawn might not be up to par, I wanted to talk about some of the outside influences that can affect the health and beauty of your lawn.

Neatly cut grass

Neatly cut grass. Full frame short with wide depth of field.

Fertilizer

Some products are not designed for long term results.  They are designed for color over health.  They will make your lawn green, but not necessarily healthy.  Are you using the exact same product you used in the past or did you switch products?  Is your neighbor using the same product? Not all fertilizers are equal.  Timing is important as well.  Some fertilizers will only last a few weeks, some 6-8 weeks, and others 8-12 weeks.  Watering, soil temperatures, and coating are all factors in the breakdown process of fertilizers.  A fertilizer that lasts 8-12 weeks will tend to run out towards the 8-week mark during the heat of the summer due to the warmer soil temps and increase in watering.  Is your lawn a little overdue for fertilizer?

Soil Type/Conditions

It’s easy to see on the surface if a lawn is doing well or not, however the soil under the surface has an important role in the life of your lawn.  Like fertilizer, not all soils are the same.  Your neighbor might have a claylike soil.  You could have a sandy soil.  Clay soils hold nutrients better, but drain poorly.  Sandy soils are the exact opposite.  Even year to year your soil conditions can change.  Clay soils, since they drain poorly become compact more often.  Did you aerate last year?  This year?  Never aerated?

Mowing

Are you using a mowing company or doing it yourself? Did you sharpen the mower blade this year?  Are you mowing more often when sunlight is on the lawn 16 hours a day which causes it to grow like crazy?  Or letting it grow crazy and then cutting it down really short, stressing your lawn out.

Are you mowing at the same time of day? I have different schedules for work throughout the year so it affects when I can mow my lawn sometimes.  Mowing in the early morning when the lawn is wet is not recommended.  Mowing later in the evening when it is cool is not a good option either.  Your lawn is more susceptible to disease and fungus at night.  When you mow the lawn, it basically has an open wound.  Just what disease and fungus like!

If you are hiring a mowing company, are you using the same one?  Are they mowing at the same time?  Are they mowing at the correct height and frequency for your lawn and the time of year?  Are they sharpening their mower blades regularly?  Do they have a new mowing technician?  Do they regularly clean their equipment?  It’s important to keep in mind that a mower can unknowingly bring in disease from another lawn as well.

Watering

Watering your lawn, is not as simple as turning the timer to the ‘ON’ position and letting it be.  In fact, if you are doing that assuming that last years’ times were adequate, then you have just pinpointed the problem.  How you water in September/October will be different than how you water in March/April and different still for July.

Assuming you have the correct length of time and frequency for the time of year in which you are watering.  You need to consider whether or not others in the neighborhood are watering at the same time.  Are more neighbors watering at the same time this year vs last year resulting in lower pressure. Lower pressure means less water on the lawn in the same length of watering time.

Are you watering during the heat of the day when the water can evaporate up 50% before penetrating into the soil?  Are all your areas getting adequate coverage when the sprinklers are on?  Do you need a sprinkler system tune-up?  Have you checked out the sprinkler system yourself or are you trusting that the watering at 3 am when you are sleeping is working like it’s supposed to.

Weather – This is a variable that is completely out of everyone’s control.  Weather affects your lawn SIGNIFICANTLY.  In fact, it is probably the largest contributing factor for a lawn looking great one year, and not so great the next.  The Treasure Valley, last year, had the hottest June on record since 1869.  We saw temps in June we normally see in July.  That is stressful for the lawn.

This year it is drastically different.  We did have some warm days this month, but lots of cooler than normal days too. We went from a high of 101 to a high of 62 in 7 days.  7 days with a 40-degree variance in the high!  When you extend the highest high to the lowest low that week you went from 101 to 37 in a 7-day period.  Almost a 65-degree variant.  Plants do not like that much of a variance.  It can drastically affect them.   Watering for 100-degree weather is vastly different than watering for 62-degree weather.  Without any effort on your part you may have went from under watering to overwatering within a week, just from not noticing the weather.

Just taking temperature into account it affects how you need to water, and if you aren’t watering to the weather/season you can easily run into lawn issues.  This doesn’t factor in wind, humidity, dew point, or rainfall.

InsectsLawn damaging insects do not respect property lines or lawn history.  Unfortunately, grubs do not care if they have never visited your lawn before.  You don’t have a lot of control in this circumstance other than applying a preventative grub control.  This might be the difference you are seeing in your lawn this year.

Education – What you know about lawn care definitely affects how well your lawn looks.  If you are not very knowledgeable, it can be easy to assume that you are doing everything correct, and there has been no change, therefore the results should be the same.  The exact opposite can be true as well.  Perhaps you know quite a bit about lawn care.  Perhaps you have been doing the same thing for years and it always looks ok, except this year.  Sometimes doing the same thing might be slowly, slightly, damaging your lawn over time.  Perhaps you break a watering rule or a mowing rule.  Just one rule, but it’s broken continually because it never caused a problem in the past.  Shallow frequent watering and short mowing will train your grass roots to sit near the surface and one day your lawn will struggle to grow.

 

If your lawn is not looking the way it used to, you need to figure out what is different.  We bring these variants up, not to shift blame from us a service provider.  We are extremely confident in our products, training, and technicians.   We bring these variables up, because as the expert, we understand what affects your lawn.  It may be something little and easy to fix.

Asking and answering these questions will show you where your lawn might need a little extra help.  Remember, your lawn is a living organism.  It’s easy to talk about on paper, not as easy to treat in real life.  The best question you can ask is:  Did I follow all of Weed Man’s recommendations to have an amazingly beautiful lawn?  If you did, then you would have hired us, in which all you have to do is call us!  We will do a free lawn inspection to determine what is going on with your lawn, so you don’t have to figure it out yourself!

www.weedmanboise.com 208-888-9911 #wecareforyourlawn

Weed Man Updated Logo

Mr. Peanut Goes to War…On Your Lawn!

Mr._Peanut_Goes_to_War.jpgIt is another great week at The Wonderful World of Weed Man.  We hope you are enjoying your summer in spite of the terribly weird weather temps.  Alas, that is Idaho.  The weather has already improved since I started writing this article.

Last week we touched on a perennial weed we find very difficult, but possible to treat – Canadian Thistle.  This week, we wanted to talk about another lawn weed we come across quite often – Nutsedge.  Below is a picture of nutsedge in a lawn via the University of Minnesota.

nutsedge minnesota

Every time I am on the lawn and diagnose a ‘grassy weed’ someone is curious about as Nutsedge, I get a look like I’m teasing them.  Peanuts in my grass?  Yes, and no…  This sedge gets its name because in some cultures it is actually a crop that is edible.  Nutsedge is cultivated for its tubers, called earth almonds.  Apparently all parts of the plant development are edible and the tubers taste like almonds.  Who knew?  Mr. Peanut is wreaking havoc on your lawn!

Nutsedge is actually somewhat easy to treat.  It has its own set of difficulties, but in comparison to thistle or crabgrass it is easier to deal with.  It is referred to as swamp grass, sometimes called water grass.  Other names include Nutgrass, or Peanutgrass.  Nutsedge, though it looks like grass, it is actually a sedge.  They look similar but are distinctly different plant types.  Nutsedge has three long blades that protrude from the base of the plant.  They grow very quickly and are slightly yellow/light green in color.  Because of the growth and color of the plant it generally stands out in your lawn, especially if you haven’t mowed in a few days.  Standing out so easily in your lawn will quickly disrupt your beautiful uniform colored lawn.

nutsedge1.jpg

This particular plant can reproduce itself in a variety of ways: through seed, rhizomes, and tubers.  Nutsedge is a perennial plant that will typically emerge in May in our area when it begins to really warm up.  It will continue to grow and develop until the first frost in the fall.  The cold weather will kill the above ground portion of the plant, but the tubers will survive underground over the winter.  The dormant tubers will germinate and emerge throughout the next year or remain dormant in the soil for longer.

Let’s take a moment and analyze Nutsedge by the numbers:  1 seed can turn into a basel clump (the base of the plant) which produces umbels (3 blades).  The umbel can produce 1500 seeds in one season.  In addition, the plant will reproduce itself via tubers that can spread out rhizomes.  The tuber will produce the rhizome which can produce 1900 new plants which can multiply to 7000 new tubers in one season.  Each tuber can have up to 7 buds/rhizomes with the reserves to sprout them all.  Essentially via rhizome, tuber and seeding, 1 seedling can create a whole plant system capable of producing 90,000 seeds within one year.

nutsedge.JPG

Great, now you know what Nutsedge is and that it multiplies like rabbits, what do you do?  Well Howard Garrett, the ‘Dirt Doctor’, states “There is only one guaranteed, foolproof method to completely kill Nutgrass,” he recounts: “First, dig out every tiny piece of the plant including the seeds and nutlets (tubers). Make sure you sift the soil through a mesh screen. Dump the collected material on the driveway and burn it. Sweep up all the ashes and seal in a concrete box. Drive to the coast and dump the sealed box 20 miles off shore.”

That is one labor intensive surefire way to eliminate Nutsedge.  Barring the drastic, what does the average homeowner need to do.

Cultural Practices:  Remove the cause of your waterlogged soil.  Aerate, change your watering habits, or fix your leaky sprinkler pipe. 

I referred to Nutsedge as a swamp grass or a water grass earlier in this article.  Nutsedge will show up in soils that are waterlogged

The reason I bring it up, is that the Treasure Valley climate is considered a semi-arid or steppe region.  However, we are on the low rainfall side of the spectrum.  To be classified as a desert the area needs to have 10 inches or less of rainfall every year.  We get 11 inches.  So for all intents and purposes we are a desert.  All the responsibility without the cool title or benefits!

Yet even in our climate, Nutsedge can grow if it has a constant source of water.  This can be from poor drainage in the soil, watering too frequently, or you have a sprinkler pipe leaking.  Leaky pipes are easy enough to fix.  Poor drainage can be a result from a compact soil.  An aeration will help relieve this issue.  However, a vast majority of the time that we see Nutsedge, it is on a lawn that is being overwatered.  Unfortunately, some homeowners’ lawns have become a main tributary for the Boise River via their ever flowing sprinkler system.   Without that constant source of water, Nutsedge, would have a hard time growing naturally.

The modern sprinkler system has done wonders for moving water in an efficient way to help with lawns, but it has taken away our ability to think like a farmer or remember our 3rd grade botanical lessons.  When summer rolls around and temps get about 100, we think our lawns need constant watering.  Your lawn does not like that often of a watering.  But you know what does?  Insects, fungus, disease….and certain weeds like NUTSEDGE.  It’s easy to get carried away with the watering and slowly bad things will begin to happen to your lawn.

Avoid overwatering your lawn.  We live in a desert, but if you water strategically, your lawn will get the moisture it needs, and unwanted non-desert swamp plants will not.  3 times a week for a good period of time is all you need even when it is REALLY, REALLY HOT.  Not 4 times a week, nor 5 times a week. Not daily, NOT TWICE DAILY!  You get the point…

If you have questions about watering, please refer to an earlier article we published.

If you don’t get the waterlogged soil resolved, you will be fighting a losing battle.  You have to solve this before any other resolution will be effective.  Nutsedge will come back over and over and over again, worse each time.

Mechanical Practices:  Pulling Nutsedge can become an exercise in futility unless you catch the plant early.  When you pull on the Nutsedge blade, they will just detach from the tuber.   The plant is still alive and has the reserves to produce more shoots.  The key catching the plant at an early stage where it has to use up its reserves to produce new shoots before it can reproduce more tubers.  Usually you can do this when it only has 3-4 blades coming up.  Be warned:  This is a very slow and arduous process.

You can also dig up the tubers and remove the plant through tillage.  Again, not the best option for a lawn.  Great advice for a garden area where digging up the weed will not disturb the surrounding plants that are wanted.

Another digging option exists that we are aware of:  PIGS!  Pigs love to eat the tubers of Nutsedge.  They are very quick to find the buried tubers and will dig them up and eat them.  This is probably not the best option for you finely manicured lawn though.  If you happen to have a Nutsedge problem in a field though….

Chemical Practices:  Really the most effective and quickest way to deal with Nutsedge is through herbicides.  Currently, there are preemergents available to help reduce Nutsedge, but they do require a professional pesticide applicator.  Unfortunately, preemergents for Nutsedge are not safe to use on turf grass….so post emergent is the best option for Nutsedge in the lawn.

You can kill Nutsedge with Round up, however, Roundup will kill everything else around it as well, unless you can spray the Nutsedge with surgical precision.  Selective herbicides labeled for Nutsedge will work to kill it without killing your lawn!  Selective herbicide is the way to go.

Always be careful when applying herbicides, and please read the label and follow directions accordingly.  Better yet, hire Weed Man to take care of the issue for you.  We can also help diagnose and advise on watering habits to prevent re-occurrences.  Give us a call!  208-888-9911, www.weedmanboise.com #wecareforyourlawn

Mulch Much?

lawn-mower-938555_960_720.jpg

Welcome back to the Wonderful World of Weed Man!  We are nearing the end of our ‘The Grass IS Greener Over There!’ series.  We have journeyed through the instrumental practices of a healthy and beautiful lawn and have a few remaining stops.  This week’s adventure stop will help answer the question of mulching or bagging the lawn clippings!  Unbeknownst to the average homeowner there is a raging debate within the industry regarding this topic.  OK!, perhaps it really isn’t raging, nor is there a real debate – I just wanted to create some drama to capture your interest!  Let us move forward with a little less ‘creative license’ on our subject.

Mulch or Bag?  While the question is not overly complicated, it definitely can be too simplified in reasoning what to choose.  Before I was educated on the topic, I would choose based on how lazy I felt.  Unfortunately, I was doing myself a disservice by thinking it was that simple.

Mulch – what is it?  As it pertains to your lawn, simply stated, it consists of grass clippings from the mowed lawn.  The cut blades can be sliced into fine pieces that fall easily onto the top surface of the soil.  Soil microorganism will help break the mulch down and reintroduce nutrients back into the soil.

Don’t grass clippings cause thatch buildup? No – It’s a common misconception that thatch is just grass clippings that do not get broken down in the lawn.  Thatch is actually a matting of stems and roots that form just below the surface of the lawn.  For more info on thatch, our last blog article touches on the subject when we wrote about aeration.

Do I need a mulching mower?  Not necessarily.  A mulching mower will help break the grass blade down into smaller pieces than a regular mower. Mulching mowers are specifically designed to limit grass clumps in the lawn.  Nevertheless, a regular mower will do the trick as well, if you mow often enough, or are only cutting a small amount at a time.

So when should I mulch?

  • When you want to provide extra nutrients back into the soil. Some experts will tell you that if you mulch all year, it is equivalent to an extra application of fertilizer on the lawn.
  • Increase organic matter in your soil
  • Save time and effort! When you mulch you don’t have to spend extra time collecting and disposing of clippings.
  • If you prefer not to add to landfills with grass that can be easily broken down naturally in your own lawn.

When should I bag clippings?

  • When you prefer the look of a ‘clean’ lawn. Typically mulching, when done properly, will not leave much of a visible footprint.  Whatever is left behind breaks down fairly quickly though.  Grass is 85% water, it won’t take much for it to dry up and disappear.
  • Bag, when your lawn is overrun with weeds. You don’t want to run the risk of putting more weed seeds down into your lawn.
  • Bag your lawn when the grass is wet or too long, as it won’t break down quickly and will leave piles of grass or clumps on the lawn. This will also make it difficult for existing grass to grow, breath, or get sunshine.
  • Bag if you want to start a compost pile that can be used in other areas of your garden.

If you are like me, there are appropriate times to bag and appropriate times to mulch.  I really like to bag my lawn during the seasons that I want to add mulch to my garden areas.  Sometimes it’s just quicker to mulch the lawn if I need to get it done before an incoming rainstorm!   Bagging during the fall is also a great way to cleanup leaves in your lawn with minimal effort.  I also like to bag my lawn clippings, when my lovely wife tells me to!

Really whether you bag or mulch, the choice is up to you.  Doing one practice over the other will not cause death and destruction to your lawn.  If you have a preference and it is working for you, great!  Now you may have further reason to stick with it, or consider changing your particular practice.  Either way, in the immortal words of G.I.JOE, ‘now you know, and knowing is half the battle.’

Weed Man Updated Logo

 

 

 

If You Don’t Wash Your Lawn It Will Get Dirty!

raintrain-traveling-sprinkler-17243.jpg

Thank you for rejoining us for the next installment of our ‘The Grass IS Greener Over There!‘ series.  Last week’s installment, located here, covered Weed Control.  This week will explore watering practices for your lawn.

We have been seeing an increase in calls at our office lately about sprinkler startups.  For more information we did post a DIY article on starting your own sprinkler system this spring.  If you still need this done and cannot do it yourself, I recommend having a professional address it soon.  Pushing this chore off may result in a drought damaged lawn. The weather changes so much around here, you never know if it will be record highs or record lows.  As the old axiom goes, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes.”

Once you have your sprinkler system set and ready to go, it is important to understand certain truths about watering your lawn.  If you are faithful to water your lawn like a professional, you will always have great results.

Watering properly is much more an art than a science.

Every lawn is different, and there are many variables that affect how you should water. Some of those variables include:

  • Grass type
  • Soil compaction
  • Soil PH
  • Grass height
  • Shade
  • Wind

Two neighboring lawns may have exactly the same watering lengths and frequency, but due to the differing variables the results may be a different outcome.  For example, if one lawn is mowed at a higher cutting, they will require less water than a lawn mowed shorter.  A longer grass blade will shade the soil longer which results in a slower evaporation rate of water in the soil.

As you can see, it can get very complicated very quickly if you aren’t confident in how you should water.  With a little education, you will be watering like a professional!

When I visit a lawn and a customer asks me about watering, I always give them a starting point.  Again, every lawn is different.  If you can begin with a few good standards, then you can make the necessary adjustments to your specific needs.

  1. Water regularly – your lawn will need 2-3 inches of water weekly depending on soil type, rainfall amounts, wind, and ambient temperatures.  You will water more in the summer, than in the spring or fall.  However, it still needs to be watered regularly all times of the growing season.
  2. Early morning watering is the best time to water.  Watering during the hottest time of the day really is a waste of watering.  Up to 50% of the water you put on the lawn during this time can evaporate.  So if you watered for an hour, it really was like watering for 30 minutes as far as your grass is concerned.  Evening watering is only slightly better than midday watering.  Evening watering can promote the spread of disease in your lawn as the top layer of water in your soil won’t evaporate quickly enough.  Sometimes you don’t have  choice in your watering as many HOA assign watering times – so water when you can when you have no choice.
  3. Water deep and infrequent.  A long watering 2-3 times a week is much better than watering daily for a shorter amount.  Think about – if you water 1 hour 3 times a week, that is 3 hours of watering per zone for the week.  If you water 30 minutes every day, that is 3.5 hours of watering per zone for the week.  You save water, and the longer/deeper watering allows the water to go deeper in the soil where it will not evaporate as quickly.  Your grass roots will go deeper in the soil to find that water,which results in a much healthier lawn.  The alternative is watering all the time – it will cause your lawn to get a disease and be unhealthy, albeit slowly.  Let me use a metaphor to illustrate what happens to your lawn when it always has water on it.  Pretend your lawn is a finger.  Water is a band-aid.  What happens to your finger when you have a band-aid on it for several days without changing it.  It begins to decay!  Same thing happens to your lawn.  Don’t water everyday!
  4. Rule of thumb for sprinkler heads.  If you have the large rotor heads that turn, water 45-60 minutes per zone 2-3 times a week (2 in the cooler months, 3 in warmer months).  If you have the pop up spray heads, water 30-45 minutes per zone 2-3 times a week.

Now that you have the basics down you can fine tune any areas that look like they might need a littler more help.  If you are watering 45 minutes 3 times a week and an area just isn’t greening up, bump your times up to 60 minutes.  Don’t add a 4th day of the week, keep it at 3 times a week maximum.  You can even raise your mower, remember a higher grass blade helps shade the soil.

Remember,

If You Don’t Wash Your Lawn It Will Get Dirty!

Failing to water your lawn will result in drought stress, which can lead to dead grass, which will turn into a bare dirt patch in the middle of your lawn.

If you want further help with watering your lawn or have questions that we may not have answered here, please get in contact with us!  We would love to help you with your lawn needs.  www.weedmanboise.com  In the meantime, we hope you will join us again next week with the continuation of our blog series.

 

Sprinklers – The Life Blood of Your Lawn!

Impact_Sprinkler_Mechanism_2.jpg

Welcome back to the Wonderful World of Weed Man!  We are on part 3 of our ‘The Grass IS Greener Over There’ Series.  If this is your first visit, you can catch up on last week’s post, ‘Fertilizer is the BEST Weed Control!’

This week I wanted to discuss Sprinkler Systems!  For most of our local population, gone are the days of dragging hoses around the yard to make certain your lawn is watered.  The automated sprinkler system has greatly improved the quality of life for homeowners and lawns.  When a sprinkler system is maintained and utilized correctly your lawn can really look amazing!  Your sprinkler system really is the lifeblood of your lawn.

If, however, your sprinkler system is not maintained or incorrectly utilized, you may have more work on your hands than when you used to drag a hose around the lawn.  We will talk more about watering practices in a later blog post, but for now it is important to know that your lawn can have a slow death by under watering or even over watering.  In the mean time, there are steps you can take to make sure your sprinkler system is properly maintained.

With irrigation already flowing in some areas of the valley, now is the time you should be thinking about your spring sprinkler startup.  Here are 10 easy steps you can take to make sure you start off the year right and limit your headaches later on in the year.

  1. Check the Soil – Before turning your main line on to your system, you should check to make sure the ground is not frozen at the level your pipes are set.  Lower levels of soil are the last to thaw when spring hits and if you turn water on to frozen pipes you can really have a costly repair on your hands.  Use a shovel and probe about 12 inches down.  If its hard as a rock then you should wait a week, and check again before starting up.
  2. Seal/Close all plugs and drain valves – Watch out for unwanted critters!  Spiders like to hang out in valve boxes – clear out any cobwebs and then close valves/plugs – if you don’t you will have a flood on your hands.  I’ve run into this one before – I forgot to plug my blowout access one year, and I quickly had a valve box fill up before I could shut the water back off.  I then had to wait a bit for the water to settle/drain – prolonging my task at hand.
  3. Open main line SLOWLY  – Once you are ready to supply water to your system you will want to open up your main source of water, but do this slowly.  There can be an immense amount of pressure in the line and introducing it all at once may damage your system and you will have to deal with a  costly repair.  You most likely will need a large metal sprinkler valve key to open this.  Any hardware store should be able to supply this for you if you do not have it already.
  4. Visually Inspect –  Check your main valve box for any leaks or issues – if you find any, shut your main line off and proceed to any repairs or adjustments needed.  If repairs are needed in the main valve box they can be complicated or costly.  Seek out professional help if you are not comfortable with taking care of it yourself.
  5. Manually Test and Adjust Line Valves – Each valve in your manifold should have a method to turn it on manually.  Either a lever, a knob that will turn, or small plastic screw can allow you to turn on/off the valve without the aid of electricity.  Now is a great time to test each line and adjust the pressure from the valve to make certain each line is in working condition.
  6. Power Up the Timer – Now that the main part of your system has water and is working, you can set up your timer to make sure it is ready to go as well.  Each timer is a litter different, so you will need to consult the owners manual for yours.  Make sure it is plugged in/turned on.  If it has a battery backup, now is a good time to replace it.  Battery backups are nice so you don’t lose your timer settings.  Once on, you can now individually check each zone.  One at a time make sure all of them turn on/off.
  7.  Inspect Each Zone/Headsprinkler.jpgWith the control system and main manifold correctly functioning you can move to the individual zones and heads.  Do one zone at a time.  (you might want to do this on a sunny day if you can, because you will be getting soaked)  With the individual zone on, check to make sure every head is operating.  If you have a burst line, you will know right away as it will look like old faithful has made a visit to your lawn.  Barring any pipe busting, you can now focus on unclogging any heads.  Adjusting the direction and reach of head as well. The reach of a head, ideally, will stretch to the adjacent heads around it.  Do the best that you can though – some systems may not have been installed with this in mind.
  8. Check Coverage  – At this point you want to make sure that your entire lawn is getting coverage.  You don’t want to have any surprise dry spots when it warms up.
  9. Adjust the Timer to Match the Season – The watering times for spring are going to be very different than the times for summer.  Spring and Fall watering should be an 30-60 minutes per zone 1-2 times a week.  Summer will require 30-60 minutes per zone 2-3 times per week.  Every lawn is different, every system different – these times are just a good starting point.  Adjust as needed
  10. Test and Re Test –  Now that everything is visibly working, you should do the tuna can test.  Depending on your lawn and where you live and time of year 1-3 inches of water are needed per week to keep your lawn healthy and green.  The best way to test this is with a tuna can.  Tuna cans are about an inch thick and if you place one in your lawn you can see how much water is accumulating in that area each time you water.  It is good to do this periodically throughout the year, especially if you are seeing areas turning brown when it gets really hot!

Following these steps will help get you started off right this year!  If you feel you do not have time or the expertise to go through theses steps, then reach out to a professional.  If you are a Weed Man Customer, we have a sprinkler professional we utilize to help our homeowners.  Sprinkler Startups start at $45! Just give us a call or visit us at weedmanboise.com.

The Grass IS Greener Over There!

Fertilization.JPG

Welcome to the wonderful world of Weed Man!  I’m Brian and I will be your guide!  We started this blog to help inform and educate our customers so they will get the most out of their lawns.  Whether you are a Weed Man customer or not, you are welcome here, and we hope you gain something by your visits.  This week I would like to overview where we are headed in the near future – lawn care tips!

It happens…you work hard on your lawn.  You spend countless hours and untold amounts of money to get the results you want to no avail.  Your neighbors lawn looks amazing and you just can’t seem to match the deep green lawn that he has.  On the other hand your other neighbor has a black thumb with a degree in growing weeds…that like to invade your lawn.

Just before you give in and give up let us offer some advice!  Sure you could hire a professional – Weed Man Boise, in particular.  We would love that!  Nevertheless, even Weed Man customers are given the expectation that achieving and maintaining a great lawn is really a partnership.  So whether you take the professional lawn guide approach or DIY approach we would like to help you have an amazing lawn.

Over the next weeks, we will be detailing how you can have an AMAZING lawn your neighbors will be joyously talking about.  (They may talk anyways, but lets be honest, nobody wants to be the black thumb homeowner who specializes in weeds.)

We have 11 tips for lawn care that every homeowner should be aware of:

  1. Mower Startup
  2. Fertilization
  3. Sprinkler Startup/Maintenance
  4. Over seeding/Lawn Repair
  5. Weed Control
  6. Watering Practices
  7. Mowing to the Season
  8. Bug Care
  9. Aerating
  10. Mulching
  11. Hire Weed Man!
  12. Addendum: I did everything you said, MY Grass ISN’T Greener Over HERE!

Each tip will have a separate posting unpacking the details of how to take advantage of each practice.  Please check back often to get updated!  We would also love to hear from you about any lawn care questions or subjects you would like discussed.  Feel free to leave a comment below and we will incorporate it in our 11 tips!