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Mid Spring Checklist

Early spring was the time to prep, prune, and plant, so now is the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor, right? Well, maybe, but there’s still more to do to keep your lawn and garden ready for the hot summer months ahead. We’ve compiled a brief list for your use to stay on track and ensure the health and prosperity of your lovely buds and bulbs.

Succulent

Prep for new summer buds

A great way to guarantee constant color through the seasons is to introduce complementary shrubs that will bloom throughout the season. Work on learning a few new flowers a week until you’re comfortable introducing new flowers to your garden.

Put the bird feeders away

Take down the bird feeders and store them away until fall or even winter.  ”How heartless!” you might exclaim, but we advise this for good reason. Feeding birds is most helpful when natural sources of seed are scarce, such as late winter or early spring. Birds need most energy when they are migrating or during extreme temperatures.

Enjoy the spring show

Take a seat and enjoy either yours or your neighbor’s hard work when the buds bloom and blossom all around you. At the very least, resolve to plan ahead for next year’s show and map out those garden beds.

Plant hardy annuals

Although annuals don’t typically last more than 6 months, they are easy to grow and their aesthetic is very rewarding. You can start sowing these from late February to early April; they can survive a light frost, but anything lasting will do them in quickly. If you are planting them before April, it’s better to start them inside, and transplant them outside after germination. This will allow them to survive outside in the case of any unexpected frosts.

Apply mulch

Mulch has extensive benefits, but one of your favorites (just guessing here) is the almost-no-weeding aspect of it. Throw some weed barrier cloth under the mulch to hinder weed growth even more, and prevent decomposition of underlying mulch. Just think–less hours weeding means more hours swimming!

For the perfect garden bed, get your drainage and irrigation checked up by your local experts—Rainy Days! Be the envy of your neighbors.

 
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Your Lawn Isn’t Static–Why Should Your Lawn Maintenance Be?

Irrigation systems might seem like a ‘set it and forget it’ lawn accessory, but have you ever noticed how your yard shifts and changes through the seasons? After heavy rains, dry summers, icy winters, and even hosting events with street parking, there are all kinds of reasons your landscape will change over time. Plants grow, bed lines change and intentional changes to your property create changes to your irrigation system layout. We’ll update your system to operate like when it was new.

Irrigation products are improving on a regular basis. Rainy Days can upgrade your system to save water, reduce damp areas and hot spots, avoid fines from water departments and keep your landscape looking its best no matter what the weather conditions. Below is a list of typical upgrades for existing systems:

  1. Drip irrigation
  2. Check valves
  3. Water efficient multi-stream nozzles
  4. Sprinklers with integrated high flow shut down
  5. ET based controllers
  6. Soil moisture sensors
  7. Pressure compensating sprinkler heads
  8. Pressure regulation of the water supply

This especially applies to our commercial customers. Sport’s fields, worn walk-ways, disturbed landscaping–these are all elements of a neglected irrigation system that we can revive. Considering the onset of spring and sweltering summer months on the horizon, now is the ideal time to check up and maintain your irrigation systems for peak performance.

Contact us today to get your sprinkler system to 100%! >>

 
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Published on March 6, 2016, in Information & Tips.

Ready, Aim, Sprinkle!

Spring is fast approaching as forecasted by the revered groundhog, meaning your lawn may need some much needed attention after the months of winter neglect. A little maintenance up front may save you a significant wad of bills down the road.

Before you kick start your spring watering efforts to get the flawless green carpet you’ve been pining for, first spruce up your irrigation system to save more green—as in your dollars and your environment. If you have a clock timer, you may be using up to 50% more water than if you weren’t using an irrigation system. If it’s programmed incorrectly, a small leak mysteriously appears after the cold winter months, or your sprinkler head is pointed in the wrong direction, you may be wasting even more.

Avoid these small yet costly missteps with these quick steps:

  1. Inspect: Take a preliminary look at your system for sprinkler heads that may be broken, clogged, or missing. Then call a professional to ensure everything is tip-top and ready to relieve your parched lawn in even the worst summer heat.
  2. Connect: Take a careful look at the points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses. If you notice large pools or wet areas in your lawn, this could potentially be a leak rather than a drainage issue. Did you know? A leak as small as 1/32 inch (that’s about the size of the tips of a ballpoint pen) could cause you to waste around 6300 gallons of water per month. It wasn’t your tears drowning you, it was your insane water bill!
  3. Direct: Check each sprinkler head to ensure you aren’t watering your driveway or passing cars. The most efficient direction to point your grass is somewhere in the vicinity of the actual grass–don’t cheat it by watering weeds or pinestraw.
  4. Set it: Have you updated your scheduled irrigation controller lately? This isn’t a product where you can “set it and forget it.” Forgetting to change it with the seasons will create big bills later on. Update it to align with the changing seasons or purchase a timer tool that will do this automatically for you.
  5. E: All of the above: You could do all these things by yourself, but your eye is most likely not trained to see the hidden flaws or potential future problems that are not yet so obvious. Hire a professional to maintain your irrigation system to save you the most money long term.


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

 
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Published on December 31, 2015, in News.

Happy New Year!

New Year Reminiscing

With the imminent new year, we’d like to take a moment to say thank you to our loyal clients. We have enjoyed working with you in 2015 to resolve your drainage & irrigation problems, create aesthetic masterpieces, & assist you in any way possible to make your lawn the best it has ever been.

In the new year, we would love to meet your friends with some much appreciated referrals! It’s an honor being a local business in this community, because we have the most supportive customers. Enjoy your new year & be safe! See you next year.


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

 
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Farmer's AlmanacHow the Forecast Affects NC

This winter is looking pretty, well…average. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this coming winter season is looking very similar to last winter. Texas and Southern Central States will be seeing a cooler winter, but nothing they aren’t used to. As for us, it’s looking pretty consistent, so we won’t be blindsided by any crazy snow…who wants any of that anyways…snowmen are lame… *sigh*

According to the Almanac’s editor, Peter Geiger,

“It’s like Winter Déjà vu, [...] last year our bitterly cold, shivery forecasts came true in many states including the 23 eastern states that experienced one of their top-ten coldest Februarys on record. This year many of these same states may want to get a jump start now and stock up on lots of winter survival gear: sweaters, long johns, and plenty of firewood.”

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the winter of 2015–2016 is looking familiar, meaning don’t get too hyped up about the possibility of a white Christmas. If you’re out looking to live the snow life, head to New England, the North Central States, or Ohio, where you’ll find plenty of snow to satisfy your snowboarding, skiing, and sledding needs. Before you go, however, make sure you gear up your home by winterizing your irrigation systems and prepping your home and lawn for the coming winter (since it seems to last forever!). 

We’ve talked about winterizing plenty before, so here’s some resources to refresh yourself  on what has to be done, and what could be done to make your life easier come springtime:

From our partner, Rain Bird:


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

 
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Using Autumn to Prepare for Spring

We’re commonly tricked into thinking that autumn is the perfect time to stop paying attention to our yards. WHOA! Not true. This is the BEST time to prepare your lawn for next spring. Right now, your lawn is absorbing nutrients and water to prepare itself for winter. If you put work into it now, you’ll be much happier to welcome spring as you watch your lawn flourish with little help.

1. Continue giving your grass a haircut | If you thought your days of mowing have come to an end until spring, I have bad news for you. Mow as needed until the end of fall, which is when you should drop the mower’s blades to its lowest settings for the last 2 times you mow. Don’t trim off more than 1/3 of the grass blades at any time though! The trick is to gradually lower the blades until the final 2 cuttings. By mowing this way, you’re letting more sunlight reach the crown of the grass, which makes your lawn less brown during the winter.

2. Let that soil breathe | This is the time to aerate your lawn to get oxygen, water, and fertilizer down into the roots of the grass. If you’re willing to do it yourself, you can rent a self-propelled machine that will aerate your soil and extract plugs of dirt. If you have a large lawn, you might want to hire a landscaping contractor.

3. Pull out the rake | When you let leaves pile up on your lawn, they will become wet, matted, and create a layer that will suffocate your grass and breed diseases (we’ve talked about these diseases before). Don’t wait for all of your leaves to finish falling before you start raking. If you absolutely detest raking, you can collect leaves using a lawnmower with a collection bag. This is most effective with a large yard with deciduous trees.

4. Fertilize | Listen: If you only fertilize your lawn once a year, do it in the FALL. Apply a dry lawn fertilizer in mid-to-late fall. For a more comprehensive guide based on your type of grass and climate, here’s a good resource. The fall is a great time to fertilize because while grass leaves grow slowly, the roots and rhizomes grow quickly regardless. Fertilizing now will deliver essential nutrients for growing deep roots and reserve those nutrients for a healthy spring.

5. Rogaine those bare spots | Nothing sticks out worse than bald spots on a lawn. The best way to fix this is with an all-in-one lawn repair mixture that has grass seed, special lawn fertilizer, and organic mulch. Loosen the soil in the bald spots before spreading a thick layer of the mixture over it. Lightly compact, water thoroughly, and continue watering every other day for a fortnight (ahem, 2 weeks).

6. Weed control | If you’re completely over weeding all those pesky little dandelions and thorny monsters, now is the time to solve your problem. Like all other plants at this time, weeds are absorbing everything that comes their way, including poison. If you apply weed killer now, you won’t worry about weeds in the spring. When you purchase your herbicide, make sure to read the instructions. Most commonly, it’s suggested that you apply during early-to-mid autumn when it’s consistently above 60 degrees F.


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

 
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Published on June 26, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Disease Overview

Brown patch, or Rhizoctonia Blight, is a lawn disease that becomes active in hot and humid weather. These somewhat circular patches can range from several inches in diameter to 3 feet, leaving behind a circle of brown grass. In older patches with this disease, the center of the grass will sometimes grow back, leaving a frog-eye appearance.

These symptoms can appear overnight when environmental conditions are right. On the outer edges of the patch, you might see a “smoke ring,” a blue-grayish ring that shows the reaction of the grass as it progresses outward to new grass. This ring usually looks water-soaked. This grass fungus also produces mycelium, a substance that looks like a cobweb which will show up in early mornings when dew is present.

Your grass will eventually grow out of this disease as long as it only affects the blade. If it spreads to the crown, however, it will die. Younger lawns stand a significantly smaller chance of surviving this disease.

Factors that favor lawn diseases:

  • Overnight temps stay above 70
  • Daytime temps stay above 85
  • Humidity greater than 86%
  • Abundant rainfall
  • Excessive irrigation
  • Soil stays damp 10+ hours/day
  • Over-fertilized lawns
  • Quick release, water-soluble fertilizers (i.e. ammonium nitrate)

Could our services be the answer to your new home drainage and irrigation 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 June 5, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Over the past months, we’ve received several inquiries about how to handle new homes with yard problems such as drainage, irrigation, and installments by previous owners. We’d like to talk about some of these questions and concerns!

Irrigation

  • I recently purchased a home with an irrigation system.  I would like to have someone come out and take a look at it to ensure it is operational.
  • The home I bought has an irrigation system, but it has not been used and I would like an estimate on what it would take to get it up and running.
  • I purchased a new home in July 2014. I have an irrigation system installed as well as an additional meter for the system but cannot find the backflow preventer valve as required by City. I will need an estimate to get this system “up to speed” before I install sod. Can someone please contact me about an onsite consultation?
  • Could you please call me to discuss starting a sprinkler system. I just bought a house and according to the previous owner, the system was winterized. I would like to get it started.

Even if we didn’t install the system, we are still able to repair and service all brands of systems to ensure you have the best lawn care possible. When purchasing a new home, whether it’s new construction or previously owned, it is a good idea to have all existing systems evaluated to determine if maintenance or replacements are necessary. We are happy to provided an estimate on any service.

Drainage

  • We have a new construction home which has drainage problems: particularly about 50 feet of side lawn stays wet, muddy, and has problems with grass developing proper roots. I want to install a French drain but don’t really have the time. I’d like to have you come out, take a look, and give me an estimated price.
  • I would like to discuss potential drainage issues in my backyard.

Drainage problems with new homes aren’t uncommon, even though they are supposed to be fixed before the sale is made. This means that it is up to the buyer to ensure everything will be taken care of to avoid the expense of repairing or installing systems once the closing comes around. The best way to ensure this is by having your agent include a clause in your contract that states:

The seller agrees that water must flow away from the structure, with a slope of at least six inches in the first ten feet, and agrees to correct any areas within the landscaped area where water stands for more than twenty-four hours following a rain.


We even receive some great messages about our customers recommending us to the incoming home owners when they move. Just another reason why we love our clients!

>>> Can you please cancel my account.  We had the tail end of our service completed today and we have sold the house and under contract.  I have provided the new home owners your info for future service.


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