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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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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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Illuminate Your Home

Yes it’s still summer, but autumn is quickly approaching and those dark winter nights will be here shortly. Now is the time to start considering incorporating landscape lighting to your exterior to illuminate your home when the nights get longer and the daylight passes quickly. Here are 5 important reasons to have landscape lighting installed around your house:

 5. Decor | Your home is your sanctuary from work and you spend a lot of time making it look presentable. Why not showcase your landscaping and highlight the architecture of your home to highlight attractive areas? Decor is a great asset of landscape lighting, allowing you to experiment with illuminating your home in the most attractive way possible. Mood lighting will romanticize your exterior and welcome you home, while low-voltage exterior lights will showcase your plants and gardening for you to enjoy 24 hours a day. Don’t let darkness hide your house, allow your taste to shine through with tasteful landscape lighting.

4. Curb Appeal | We’ve all heard ‘curb appeal’ and houses used in conjunction and landscape lighting can be a huge benefit in increasing that appeal. A well-lit house displays a warm and inviting home that welcomes family, friends, and visitors. It shows that the lawn and house are cared for and well-maintained by the owner, which increases property value in the long run. It also helps visitors find your house in the darkness and makes them feel invited. The value of curb appeal also lies in the possibility of your home being listed for sale in the future. The exterior is the first impression, and it takes 8 following instances to change that impression. Make it stellar by setting it apart from the surrounding houses.

 

 3. Comfort | By expanding light outside of the confines of your home, you can extend your living space into the outdoors. Maybe you invest in a screened-in porch or a fire pit, any way you use exterior lighting can benefit your family, friends, and guests when hosting parties, dinners, or simply relaxing outside on a warm summer night. Use uplights and install lights on outdoor structures to illuminate your home farther.

2. Safety | The safety of your family, guests, and pets can depend on the lighting available outdoors. Use walkway lamps to light paths, and illuminate your pool, patio, deck area, and any steps that could be tripped over. This will ensure the safety of any activities you may host, and may prevent accidents.

1. Security | Exterior lighting offers many security factors including motion activated lights and remote control from your smart phone. Burglaries and break-ins are significantly reduced when the front door and windows shed light on anyone attempting to cause harm to your property. Talk to your neighbors about keeping an eye on your house when you are out of town, and leave your home illuminated especially when you are away for long periods. Motion activated lights are highly effective as well in keeping criminals away from your home.

LED Lighting Choices

There are more lighting choices available than ever before. Even with all the new choices, it’s still simple to recognize LED lights as having the best advantage. Because of their small size, LEDs are now being incorporated into bulbs and fixtures for general lighting applications and provide unique design opportunities especially for landscape lighting fixtures.

It’s Easy to Get Started! Want to upgrade to LED lighting? Need a landscape lighting design from scratch? Discover the difference LED lighting can make. Let Rainy Days Irrigation provide a consultation to find the right solution for your home. Rainy Days will create a custom design and perform proper installation of your new LED system so you can enjoy all the benefits for years to come.

We at Rainy Days Irrigation keep your best interests in mind first and foremost. Now is the perfect time to consider installing exterior lighting on your home. With summer ending and winter creeping around the corner, you can beat the early sunset by installing soon. Call today for an estimate or request landscape lighting service now! (919) 779-9285


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

 
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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 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 19, 2015, in Information & Tips.

 

Besides causing irritation and a drowning lawn, did you know about the diseases that poor drainage can cause to your lawn? 

Pythium blight is one of the most destructive lawn diseases, thriving in high humidity and hot weather. Often called ‘greasy spot’ or ‘cottony blight,’ it attacks turf of all kinds, from newly seeded to mature. It is known for how quickly it progresses, killing an entire lawn in less than 24 hours. This disease doesn’t only kill part of the plant, it destroys from root to tip, killing it all. Although it occasionally infects residential lawns, it is mostly a problem on sports turf such as athletic fields and golf courses because they are frequently irrigated during nighttime, when water is least likely to evaporate and most likely to pool.

Newly seeded lawns are highly susceptible, since pythium is not prone toward any certain type of grass species. “Damping off” refers to when the fungus attacks seedlings and begins rotting the grass crown and roots. The most susceptible are spring-seeded cool season grasses. Since seedlings need frequent, shallow irrigation for developing roots, too much water is usually applied, which in turn doesn’t allow the seedlings to dry. This leaves them very vulnerable to the disease.

To identify this blight, look for small, sunken spots that have appeared overnight. These spots will range from a few inches to a foot in diameter, and the grass will seem water-soaked and slimy. Soon after, it will turn brown and mat down, and  a cottony web of mycelium will cover the leaves in the early morning dew hours.

Since this is a lawn disease associated with water movement and poorly drained soils, the best way to avoid it is to correct drainage problems, relieve soil compaction,  redirect water flow, and fill in low spots. This disease can also influence other lawn diseases as well.


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 May 19, 2015, in Information & Tips.

How It Works

Does your home need gutter down spout piping to improve your landscape drainage? Water collected by a rain gutter is fed usually with a downspout or downpipe from the roof to the base of the structure where it is directed away from the home or building. If you do not have gutters installed, or they are improperly installed, that may be causing or contributing to your landscape drainage issues. Faulty gutters can lead to soil erosion adjacent to buildings and serious water and foundation displacement problems in basements and crawl spaces.

Damage of Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause:

  • Water leakage into the building as the water backs up
  • Stagnant water build up which allows mosquitoes to breed and also allows grasses and weeds to grow in the gutter.
  • Debris overflow
  • Foundation rot
  • Roof and/or structural damage
  • Damaged paint

Gutters must be maintained regularly to remove leaves and other debris to keep them from clogging. Effective gutter guards that keep debris out but allow water to enter are a good alternative to regular cleaning. However, gutters should be examined and repaired for cleaning twice a year.


Would gutters and down spout piping be the answer to your lawn drainage 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 issue.


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

 
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Published on May 15, 2015, in Information & Tips.

The Unsung Hero of Rain-Drenched Lawns

Catch basins are commonly used to manage drainage problems in a landscape area, or even in a parking lot or street. You’ve seen them, now you can learn about what they do.

catch basin, or storm drain, is a drain with the sole function of collecting rainwater from a landscape or street and transporting it to local waterways through a system of underground piping, culverts and drainage ditches. For residential purposes, they are designed to drain excess rain and ground water from lawns and gutters. The basin catches sediment and prevents solids from clogging the drainage pipe or storm sewer. They must be cleaned periodically to maintain their ability to trap sediment and prevent flooding. The periodic cleaning also helps prevent and eliminate bad odors and remove solid matter.

How is it different from other drainage solutions?

Catch basins have drain sections with a wide sloping inlet which collects runoff. If they are working correctly, as large amounts of water are being dumped into the system, there is little overflow. The inlet opens to a pipe that is covered with a grating. The grating traps large debris, keeping it from entering the piping. As water floods the catch basin, small particles that slip through the grate settle to the bottom. Drainage pipes are located above the bottom of this vertical pipe and this is what makes sure the water is without dirt or debris.

The basins must be cleaned periodically to maintain their ability to trap sediment and prevent flooding. The periodic cleaning also helps prevent and eliminate bad odors and remove solid matter.

Is this the solution for your landscape drainage problems? Rainy Days is available to send one of our trained technicians to assess your lawn issue and help fix it!


Learn more about drainage solutions from Rainy Days and contact us today.

Call us directly at (919) 779-9285.


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