formats

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%! >>

 
formats
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

 
formats

9_25_15_fallcare

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

 
formats
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

 
formats
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

 
formats
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

 
formats
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

 
formats
Published on January 24, 2015, in News.

Our landscape lighting designs are a custom fit for your property’s exterior. Every fixture and bulb is professionally installed to insure the very best landscape illumination.

Installing an outdoor lighting system designed by Rainy Days allows you the opportunity to discover the true potential of your landscape well after sunset. Custom designed lighting systems reveal the hidden beauty of your property.

Advantages of Custom Lighting:

  • Custom systems, tailored to your property’s exterior. Installation by trained personnel using state-of-the-art materials and techniques in a timely fashion, with minimum disruption.
  • High-End, affordable illumination. Nothing can accent your home better then proper and attractive lighting. The possibilities are infinite. You won’t believe the way you and your neighbors look at your yard.
  • Safety and security. A proven deterrent to crime. Outdoor lighting increases safety and protection for your family and friends.

Efficiently installing the fixtures and using the proper lighting techniques will result in the following benefits:

  • SAFETY & SECURITY
    A proven deterrent to crime. Outdoor lighting increases safety and protection for your family and friends.
  • VISUAL APPEAL
    Beautifully enhances any outdoor landscaping and architecture, increasing your property value.
  • PROVIDES MORE TIME
    Extends your living space to the outdoors. Illuminating pools, children’s play areas, outdoor cooking areas, patios, and walkways your exterior lighting system will allow you to enjoy your outdoor living space long after sunset in an elegant entertaining atmosphere.
  • LOW MAINTENANCE & LOW VOLTAGE
    LED Lighting Systems use 80% less energy and last 40 times longer than halogen. Because LED light bulbs use less energy than existing lighting systems, transformer and wire can support doubling the number of lighting fixtures after upgrading to LEDs.

Want your house to look great, but don’t know where to start? Start by contacting Rainy Days at (919) 779-9285, we offer lighting designs and layouts. Our certified technicians can walk your project, give ideas and suggestions, and even layout your entire system. Don’t delay, call today!

 


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

 
formats
Published on January 2, 2015, in News.

Rainy Days Request an Irrigation Service Design & Installation

Irrigation Services by Rainy Days

Rainy Days takes the design of our irrigation systems very seriously. Our irrigation systems are designed in-house by a Certified Irrigation Designer. We don’t rely on our suppliers to do this. Our designers know that a good irrigation design incorporates the customer’s needs, with the site conditions (plant species, sun exposure, slopes, soil type, water supply, and drainage situations).

We provide detailed estimates, will take care of all permits necessary, and provide an assortment of warranties and guarantees depending on the products and services. Our certified professional technicians have years of experience and are ready to help you with your irrigation needs today!

Get started now and request a quote or pick up the phone and call 919-779-9285! Rainy Days’ friendly and professional staff is ready to provide irrigation service to you.

 


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

 
formats
Published on December 19, 2014, in News.

The holidays are the time for family, health, and hearth. Taking time to slow down and spend quality time with family and friends is a must, so enjoy! 

Here are some fun facts about the holidays!

  • Americans buy 25-30 million real trees & 8-12 million artificial trees each year for Christmas.
  • The first decorated tree happened in the 1600′s.
  • 35% of Americans will use their mobile phone to do all their Christmas shopping.
  • North Carolina is one of the top 5 Christmas tree producing states in the US.
  • 2,200,000 people search for Christmas Poinsettias online.

Happy Holidays from Rainy Days to you and your family.

 


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