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

Published on May 8, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Buying a new home can be an exciting and often exhausting process. If you do your homework, it can be a positive and enjoyable experience. One of the most common areas of concern when purchasing a new home is the lot and proper drainage.

When water collects in a large surface area or flows a great distance, it has the potential to create significant problems.

Remember: Water Flows Downhill!

Make certain you understand how a property drains before you buy it. Visit the site during a heavy rain and observe the water flow. You’ll then be able to discuss your drainage concerns with your builder and get his plan for dealing with potential problems.

Proper New Home Drainage Means:

  • There is a reasonable slope away from your home; six inches of fall within the first ten feet from a structure is the basic requirement.
  • Significant amounts of water coming from other lots should be diverted into drainage swales, well away from the house.
  • Positive flow should be maintained on all disturbed areas of the lot, and water should not be allowed to pond anywhere.
  • All drainage across the lot, except as contained in drainage swales, should be gentle enough to allow grass to grow.

Finally, be aware that drainage is a major cause for conflict between builders and their customers. If you understand the flow of water across your lot prior to closing, and if you and your builder are in agreement about the final grading and landscaping of the property, you are much less likely to have to deal with drainage problems later. Have 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.

Rainy Days Irrigation specializes in Landscape Drainage Solutions. We are happy to help you with any concerns you may have and get you on your way to enjoying a beautiful Spring yard.

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

Published on May 1, 2015, in Information & Tips.

So, what is a French Drain?

You hear the name as a common drainage solution, but what is it and what does it do to improve your soggy landscape?

For starters, it must be properly installed. That’s where Rainy Days comes in! We bring expert technicians to your problem and leave with a solid solution in place. Our technicians are trained in French Drain installation. Here are some basics:

  • A French drain is a trench filled with gravel or rock or containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. A French drain can have perforated hollow pipes along the bottom to quickly vent water that seeps down through the upper gravel or rock.
  • French drains are used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations. They may be used to distribute water, such as a septic drain field at the outlet of a typical septic tank sewage treatment system. French drains are also used behind retaining walls to relieve ground water pressure.
  • French drains can lead to a downhill slope or to dry wells or rain gardens where the extra water is held and absorbed by plants. This is useful when city water systems or other wastewater areas cannot be used.
  • These drains are installed around a home foundation in two different ways: Buried around the foundation wall on the external side of the foundation, or installed underneath the basement floor on the inside perimeter of the basement.
  • External French drains or drain tiles are installed around the foundation walls before the foundation soil is back-filled. It is laid on the bottom of the excavated area, and a layer of stone is laid on top. In many cases, a filter fabric is then laid on top of the stone to keep fine sediments and particles from entering. Once the drain is installed, the area is back-filled and the system is left alone unless it clogs.

Could the popular French drain be the solution to your landscape needs?

You may be saying “Rain, Rain Go Away!” lately as the southeast experiences heavy rain fall. There are some things you can look for. Common signs of lawn drainage problems:

  • Mildew/Mold in Crawlspaces and Basements
  • Settling Foundations
  • Loss of Plant Material
  • Insect Problems
  • Mechanical Damage from Mowing Equipment/Footprints
  • Soil Compaction
  • Standing Water or Puddles
  • Yellow Grass or Plants that Wilt or Appear Unhealthy

Ask our professionals at Rainy Days Irrigation to provide a consultation.

Let our 29 years of service history help you! (919) 779-9285

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


The Garner NC area has seen an extremely wet Winter this season. Our soil is already soggy and moist going into Spring, which is typically a wet season for our area as well. You may be noticing your yard is staying wet in areas, bubbling or squishing when walking on grass, and your plants may not be growing or blooming like they usually do. These can be signs of significant drainage problems with your landscape.



Winter Lawn Care

Cabin fever? Winter doldrums got you down? There are things you could be doing to your yard during the Winter months to ensure that your lawn and plants look great by Springtime. February is a good time to work on several maintenance items regarding your grass, plants, and trees. See these tips below for great ideas:

Pruning- Excluding maples and birches, mid-Winter is a good time to prune trees. If limbs are more than an inch in diameter, use the three-step method for removing branches. Make the first cut on the underside of the limb around 6 to 8 inches away from the trunk. Cut about half the thickness of the branch. Go to the top of the limb, and cut off the limb halfway between the underside cut and the trunk. The resulting stub should then be cut within 1-2 inches of the trunk.

Lawncare- Apply spot applications of post-emergence herbicides to control weeds, or hand pull weeds to control. When selecting a herbicide, make sure you follow label directions, and that the product is approved for your particular grass type. Otherwise you may injure or kill it.

Cut branches―When forsythia, quince, star magnolia, and saucer magnolia buds show a touch of color, they are easy to force into bloom indoors. Cut branches, taking care not to destroy the natural shape of the plant. They should be in full bloom several days after you place them in a vase of water.

You may also have some questions, or concerns about proper drainage in your yard. Our area has seen a lot of rainfall this Fall and Winter. Drainage is very important to maintain the integrity of your retaining walls, as well as preventing damage to your grass and plants root system.

Find out more information about your lawn care needs at Rainy Days Irrigation. 28 years of experience serving you!

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