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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 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 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 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 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 April 9, 2015, in Information & Tips.

Spring is an unpredictable time of year for your lawn. The weather varies from day to day, the soil is wet and soggy, and the plants and flowers are delicate with new blooms. It’s hard to know what to do to get your lawn maintenance off to a great start.

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