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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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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 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 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

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

Standing Water

Over the past months, we’ve received several inquiries about how to fix puddling and ponding during these wet summer months. If you’ve noticed this problem, you’re not alone! The frequent showers and thunderstorms may not last for long, but the ground doesn’t have enough time to soak up the saturation before the next bout of rain, leaving you with frustrating puddles. Of course, the reason your lawn is remaining saturated may be totally different than your neighbor’s. Here’s what some of our clients are saying about their standing water problems:

  • Excessive rain causes water to run under one end of our home, which could take days to day out underneath the house!!
  • Need some help with water getting into crawlspace, etc.
  • I have a drainage issue where I have standing water in the front yard and a slope in the backyard where water runs down is eroding the ground.
  • We have existing water flow and ponding problems and would be interested in discussing with you to see what options are available.
  • Appears our backyard is holding water in several areas. We have pipes connected to all downspouts but possibly clogged going down to small creek in back yard.
  • Need to install catch basins and french drain in low lying area of backyard to reduce standing water.  Roughly 4 catch basins and 100 feet of french drain.
  • 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.
  • After rain water accumulates and stands on front sidewalk and step.
  • The 12 x 6 ft. are in front of my son’s house has water ponding up in it and needs a solution before he can plant anything in that area.

Ponding water has several negative effects, including drowning your greenery and creating the perfect breeding ground for insects with infectious diseases. Here are some ways standing water can develop, so you can begin to avoid it in the future.

  • Poor Soil: Soil needs to be porous to breathe and let water pass through. Overly compacted soil will create a barrier, leaving water to stand until it is evaporated. Poor soil, for example soil containing heavy clay, will cause a recurring problem with standing water. The quality of your soil is extremely important to avoid this.
  • Poor Grading: Your property’s grade is vital in determining whether you will have drainage problems. A grade that slopes toward your house or lays completely flat will cause these standing water issues. However, even if you have a sufficient grade, you might run into problems with neighbors having undesirable ones. While you can’t make them change their landscape, you can certainly adapt yours to prevent more problems.
  • Malfunctioning Irrigation System: Gutters and downspouts have a certain job, but they sometimes just end up dumping water onto your lawn if they are old or improperly installed. Preventative maintenance is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen during the rainy season, but we can also repair, install, and maintain your systems for maximum performance any time of the year.

Since every drainage problem is unique, our services are tailored to your particular situation to produce the best and most effective solution. 


We even receive some great messages about company recommendations as well as customer recommendations 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.

>>> Our lawn maintenance company recommended you.

>>> I was recommended to you by [Cary drainage company].


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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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