Landscaping Tips

Answer: Let’s face it, most manuals today are filled with so much technical jargon it can really make the simplest task, well – not so simple. Luckily, your irrigation controller comes with a quick reference card inside of it that gives you the information you need without the hassle of consulting a manual. On one side of the card, you will find a listing of which valves control what, on your irrigation system. The other side of the card offers step-by-step operating instructions that will make it easy for you to program your timer, manually set the time and date, schedule run times, etc.

Answer: Hot Temperatures Plants respond to the unique environment in which they are in. When temperatures rise, it is not uncommon to see plants wilt in response to the heat. However, once temperatures start to cool down again, plants tend to perk back up to their natural state. If you do start to see your plants turn brown in color due to the heat, it is suggested to slightly increase their watering.

Answer: Low Temperatures Low temperatures can also cause plants to turn brown and make them susceptible to frost damage, eventually causing all or some of them to die. When temperatures drop to the 30’s and below, you should cover your frost-sensitive plants with light blankets, sheets, or burlap to help save them from frost damage. Keep in mind that many plants, such as the bougainvillea, can get frost damaged, go completely dormant, and re-bloom beautifully in the spring.

Answer: Damaged Irrigation Sometimes an automatic watering system becomes brittle with age, or clogged. One should do periodic checks on your automatic watering system to make sure it is fully functional and programmed appropriately for the season. Also, if plants are over-watered, it can result in their roots not receiving enough air, and results in them suffocating. It can also lead to root rot.

Answer: Overexposure to the Sun Another issue to consider is sunlight. Does the plant receive enough, or in other cases, too much sunlight? Photosynthesis cannot take place without proper sunlight, but in some cases, a plant can also become scorched from too much sun, combined with high temperatures.

Answer: Plant Disease One must also rule out diseases. Certain insects and other pests can transmit diseases that are harmful to your plants. If you don’t take action by picking off the pests by hand (preferable if possible) or using insecticides, eventually your plants may die. There are quite a few natural ways to prevent and eliminate these unwanted pests.

Pull out any weak or sickly plants, as these will attract more predators.
Use Healthy, Organic Soil – Natural composting and top dressing with mulch will do wonders to provide a healthy bio-terrain for your plants.
Add beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, praying mantis, lacewings, etc. to the problem areas. They will prey on harmful insects or their larvae.
For insects and fungal diseases, you can combine one tablespoon of cooking oil, two tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Spray onto the affected plants.

Answer: One reason your grass may be turning brown is because it is simply not getting enough water. You want to make sure that you water your newly installed lawn a minimum of three times per day for the first 10 days. You don’t want to overdo it, but you need to get plenty of water to the soil underneath the new sod. Also, keep foot and pet traffic off of your new lawn for those first 10 days, if at all possible. Do not attempt to mow your new lawn during this 10 day period either. After 30 days, you can begin fertilizing your new lawn and caring for it as usual.

Answer: Your ocotillo might not be dead, but it may have temporarily lost its green color while shielding its delicate inner stems from the hot sun. Ocotillo leaves also tend to fall out or go dormant in the winter but leaf out again by the fall. If you have recently planted ocotillo in your yard, be patient. Ocotillo can take up to a year or longer from the time of transplant before showing any signs of life. When it does bloom, the wait will be worth it!

Answer: These pipes are known as emitters, and they will release water whenever you program them to do so. You may see standing water from time to time after a watering, but this water should seep into the ground shortly thereafter. If, however, you notice that water is continuously coming out or that a pipe, shut off the water to your irrigation system immediately. At your hose bib, you will find a pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) with two shut-off levers on it. Turn one or both levers a quarter-turn. This will shut off the water going to your irrigation system until the necessary repairs are made.

Answer: When you notice that there isn’t any water coming out of an emitter, you will need to check it for a clog. Doing so is easy and will only take a few minutes of your time. Simply grasp the emitter in your hand and point it away from you (unless you don’t mind getting soaked)! Next, unscrew the cap off the top of the emitter. At this point, water should be spraying out.

If no water is coming out, take a piece of thin wire and swirl it around inside of the emitter to remove any built-up sediment or debris that may have caused the clog. Once the water starts to spray out, replace the cap back on the emitter, and you are done.

Answer: Some areas of soil in your lawn may be less porous than others, which could cause issues with standing water. If you notice that there is standing water in your lawn for more than 48 hours, please give our office a call. Keep in mind that it can take up to 72 hours after it rains for any standing water to fully dissipate.

Answer: The earth is constantly moving, and a natural material like flagstone will follow this movement. Flagstone will also move as the temperature in its environment changes, which could result in cracking. When you start to notice these cracks, please contact our office so that we can go over your options.

Answer: The little black spots that are appearing on your flagstone occur naturally and are nothing to be concerned about. Remember, flagstone is a natural part of the earth and will behave as part of nature. It is quite common for flagstone to chip, weather with age, and have little black spots appear on it over time. This is what makes flagstone so beautiful and unique. You will never find two pieces of flagstone that are exactly alike.

Answer: It is normal for cracks to appear when masonry walls are settling into the ground. It is best to hold off on repairing these cracks until the walls are permanently settled. Once they are, please contact our office so that we can schedule a time to come out and make the necessary repairs.