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Published on July 24, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Have you considered making your own compost pile, but aren’t really sure where to start?

Good news—it’s simple. All you need is a large drum container or small fenced-in bin to get started. Start a routine and turn what you may think of as useless organic material into nutrient-rich soil. This not only provides healthy soil for gardeners and farmers, but it also reduces the amount of waste we put in landfills. Be careful though! You can’t throw just anything into a compost pile and let nature do its thing. When you’re unsure about an item to be composted, check before you chuck. You want to enhance your soil, not detract from it!

Here’s a list of interesting items that you may not have thought of composting.

 

  1. Freezer-burned fruits and vegetables. If you’re like me, you can’t handle that freezer-burned taste. Don’t throw your money down the drain, throw it in your pile!
  2. Algae and aquarium plants. You can add extra nitrogen to the soil by composting material from freshwater tanks.
  3. Dryer lint. It’s easy to toss aside, but it’s smarter to toss it outside.
  4. Human hair. Clean out your brushes, make a hair stylist friend, and throw that fringe in the pile.
  5. Tea bags. Don’t let your tea bag’s journey end in the trash, give it a new life in the ground!
  6. Coffee grounds. From cup to compost, let that caffeine give the soil a boost too. Don’t be selfish.
  7. Old bills. Bills, receipts, coupons—protect your information and enrich the soil, it makes great fodder!
  8. Pet bedding. Don’t bag it and trash it, use that expensive hamster, rabbit, guinea pig bedding for something useful.
  9. Graded homework. Doesn’t matter if it’s an A or an F when it’s deteriorating in the soil!
  10. Wool fabric. Be sneaky and throw out your husband’s old holey socks into the compost bin. He won’t check there!
  11. Seaweed. If you live near water, wash and dry the seaweed and let your soil soak in the nutrients.
  12. Pet hair. Go ahead and brush your best friend, then toss it in the pile (the hair…obviously).

Maybe more importantly, here’s some things to NEVER compost!

 

  1. Human and animal feces. If it’s from a meat-consuming creature, DO NOT put it in the compost pile.
  2. Glossy pages. Heavily printed or metallic paper (i.e. magazine or catalog pages) don’t break down easily and the chemicals can contaminate organic crops.
  3. Dead plants. If the plant died from bacteria or fungal issues, it could hurt your healthy plants.
  4. Used cooking oil, pasta & baked goods, milk products. These will attract unwanted Jumanji-like attention from birds, rodents, and insects.
  5. Rice. Raw rice will not only attract unwanted pests, but cooked rice will almost always breed bacteria.
  6. Walnuts. This nut contains juglone, which is toxic to some plants.

Could our services be the answer to your lawn problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the best solution for your drainage and irrigation issues.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on July 17, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Rainy Days National Irrigation Month 2015

How are you going to celebrate National Irrigation Month? You can start by checking up on your irrigation system to make sure it’s running at peak efficiency, or have one installed! No matter what you do to celebrate, you can always find more ways to conserve water. Here are 3 tips to help you start on the right foot!

Perform Proper System Maintenance

When you first turn your system on after installation or a winter, as well as throughout the season, check for any broken sprinkler heads and leaks and repair immediately. Adjust the heads to be straight at ground level and ensure they are not leaning or being block, as this can deflect and waste water. It is best to install pressure-regulated devices that prevent misting & fogging, which indicate high water pressure. An inexpensive way to save water is to replace mismatched nozzles and install high-efficiency nozzles.

Program Your System Correctly

Don’t ever set the timer and forget it. Consider the time of year, precipitation, and plant needs, then adjust accordingly. For example, shady areas will require less water than a sun-exposed area, same with spring and fall as opposed to summer. When your plants become established is another good time to adjust the timer since they require less water. You can check your soil by inserting a screwdriver into the soil–the easier it is to push, the more water the soil already has. In the summer heat, it is best to cycle and soak to allow the ground to absorb the water without puddling.

Consider ‘Smart’ Technology

You can easily save water by eliminating human error and installing a smart controller, such as evapotranspiration (ET) technology. This technology uses weather data to determine the best times to water based on scientific information. Another technology, rain sensors, eliminate watering before and after a rainstorm. You can check your water provider’s website to see if they offer rebates or discounts on smart controllers and shut-off devices.


Could our services be the answer to your lawn problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the  best solution for your drainage and irrigation issues.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on July 10, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Typical cool season grass types include:

Bentgrass was originally cultivated for use on golf course greens. An important advantage it has is that it tolerates extremely close mowing very well. In fact, if you don’t mow this grass close enough and allow it to grow to a normal height, it will take on an shaggy appearance.

Kentucky Bluegrass  is the most common cool season grass and probably the best known. The grass will go dormant in hot, dry weather as well as during the cold winter months common in North America. It does poorly in extremely shady areas and is not recommended for extremely hot climates. This grass will require supplemental irrigation during hot, dry periods.

Rough Bluegrass  is a yellowish-green grass with soft leaf blades which are glossy beneath and have a narrow boat-shaped tip. It spreads by stolons and forms dense, thick patches. The leaf blades are upright at first, but tend to lay down and mat as the patches become older. Because the root system is shallow, the patches are easily pulled up in tufts or clumps. This grass thrives when cool, moist conditions prevail, and when management is high.

Red Fescue is used in northern and temperate areas. This is a cool-season grass used in cool, shaded, mountain sites, such as camps, resorts, and cabins where low-input of mowing, fertilization, and irrigation is desired. Red fescue prefers shadier and cooler areas than most other cool season grasses.  It has non-aggressive tendencies and looks good in un-mown conditions such as along roadways.

Annual (Italian) Ryegrass is often found in low priced grass seed. This grass germinates quickly and can be used as a temporary ground cover while the slower growing bluegrass plants take hold. This grass is used mostly as a forage plant for animals. DON’T plant grasses intended for home use in pasture areas, as certain toxins could be harmful to grazing animals.

Perennial Ryegrass  is used as an overseed to maintain winter green in the lawn after the warm season grasses go dormant. However, it will not survive the summer heat. The ryegrasses are best adapted to moist, cool environments where temperatures are not extreme in the winter or summer.


Could our services be the answer to your lawn problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the  best solution for your drainage and irrigation issues.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting

 
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Published on July 3, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Disease Overview

No trickery here, this disease gets it name from the silver dollar sized spots found on green lawns. On home lawns, these spots will be from 3-6 inches in diameter and sport a tan color. The size of these spots have a correlation with the mowing height and blade size of the grass; for example, higher mowing height causes larger spots. These spots usually won’t get bigger than 8 inches and are commonly misidentified as animal urine damage. Your lawn will most likely show signs of this disease when it is low in nitrogen. This means that you may be fertilizing infrequently, using an organic fertilizer with low nutrient content, or a soil problem may be blocking the uptake of nutrients. Be careful, though, because using too much fertilizer can predispose the grass to other diseases.

Symptoms

This lawn disease can show up in a few different ways, such as producing an hour-glass lesion bordered by a purple band, or it might start browning from the tip down. When the roots become damaged, the grass will shed the damaged roots and replace them with new ones, to no avail. The new roots will experience the same cycle, essentially starving the grass. It can be spread easily, by mowing or foot traffic. In extreme cases, these spots can grow up to several feet in diameter and form highly irregularly shaped patches.

Stress

Dollar Spot Lawn Disease will not become severe if treated quickly enough, usually with an application of water soluble nitrogen for blade growth. Grass is more susceptible to disease when it is under stress, such as when it is low in nitrogen, resulting in a struggle to produce chlorophyll and carbohydrates. Another factor that can cause stress is over watering and shallow watering. Only water when the grass is in need of it, and water deeply to wet the soil 3-4 inches down. Shallow watering leads to shallow rooting and the grass then becomes stressed during dry, hot weather. A balanced fertility program is necessary, as well as reducing dampness as much as possible. If reseeding becomes necessary, use a more resistant variety to deter such lawn diseases.


Could our services be the answer to your lawn problems? Call Rainy Days Irrigation today at (919) 779-9285 and one of our trained technicians can advise you on the  best solution for your drainage and irrigation issues.


Rainy Days Irrigation, Inc. | 115 Sigma Dr. | Garner, NC | (919) 779-9285
Irrigation | Drainage | Backflow | Landscape Lighting