Early Fall

As we come into late September, it is starting to look more and more like fall. We are starting to see more fall color in the trees.

Fall is a transition season for many of us. We go from relaxing in the summer to life getting busy again as kids are back in school, church programs start again, fall sports, and much more. The same is true for trees as they are getting ready to overwinter.

Even though some of us may not want summer to be over, that is what the case is as we are heading into fall. It is just a part of living in West Michigan, the changing seasons.

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Sprinkler Height

This is a re-post from last year, but I thought that it would be a good fit into the series about proper watering.
This post is the fourth part in a four part series about watering your lawn and landscape.

Improper sprinkler height

An underground sprinkler that is sticking too high out of the ground.

Underground sprinklers can be quite a help in the summer when we get into a dry spell. But occasionally those sprinklers do break, and they will need to be replaced. When replacing a sprinkler head, it is best to make sure that it is at the correct height out of the ground.

Sprinklers can too often be installed too high above the ground or too low in ground. Many times when a sprinkler is installed too low, it goes unnoticed until it breaks again. If the sprinkler is too high above the ground it is easy to notice. The main reason it is so easily noticed is because it is a tripping hazard. Or it is noticed that it is too high because it gets broken by a lawn mower quite regularly.

The correct height for a sprinkler head is to have the top of sprinkler head just above the soil surface. No more than a quarter of an inch above the ground level. This lowers the tripping hazard, and a lawn mower can go past it without causing any damage.

When you can see the sprinkler head sticking out of the ground it is too high. If the sprinkler head is too high, the next step would be to adjust the riser, or re-dig the funny pipe, and reset the sprinkler to the correct height. If neither of these are possible, then a specialty shorter sprinkler may be needed for that spot for the sprinkler to be installed at the correct height. Having the sprinkler at the correct height will help to save you from having to repair that sprinkler head as often. Like the saying goes, “if you are going to do something, do it right the first time”.

Underground Sprinklers vs Hose and Sprinkler

This post is the third part in a four part series about watering your lawn and landscape.

An underground sprinkling system does have it’s perks, it also has it’s drawbacks. The same can be said of using a hose and sprinkler to water your lawn.

Underground sprinklers, specifically the sprinkler clocks can be a very nice convenience. The sprinklers will turn on and off once the clock is set. The clock can go off at a time that works for you.

Remembering to adjust the sprinkler clock can be an issue though. You cannot just set the clock in the spring and expect it to be the correct settings throughout the entire growing season. You will have to make adjustments as time goes on. This is where a hose and sprinkler work the best. You can adjust as the weather changes quite easily.

Underground sprinkling has a higher chance, if properly installed, to provide coverage that is even. However, no system is perfect. This is where a hose and sprinkler can shine because you can add more water to localized areas that are starting to dry out. This is especially true during hot and dry stretches.

When repairing a hose and sprinkler, it is easy to diagnose and simpler to repair. An underground sprinkler system has the majority of it’s parts underground. This means that it can be harder to diagnose a problem, and there may need to be digging up the grass to make repairs.

Now both ways to water your lawn has its pros and cons. And there is no single right answer for watering your lawn, it should be what works best for you and your lawn. The main thing is to keep your lawn watered and healthy.

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Lawn Watering Frequency

This post is the second part in a four part series about watering your lawn and landscape.

How often should you water your lawn? That is a good question, however there is not a simple answer. The simplest answer would be enough water to keep the grass hydrated. But how much is enough?

The biggest factor for that answer is the weather. Is it hot? Cool? Rainy? Dry? Windy? The hotter, drier and/or windier it is, the more water your lawn is going to need. And the reverse is true for cool or rainy weather, the less water your lawn may need.

The soil type that your grass is growing in can change the amount and frequency of water that is needed. Sandy soils do not hold onto water that well, but clay soils do. If the soil can hold onto water, you may be able to go a little bit into a drier spell. With sandy soils, the water will filter through faster, thus needed to replenish the water for the grass more frequently.

The variety of grass can be another variable. Fescues can go longer without water compared to bluegrass. Ryegrasses are in the middle of the two. Some varieties within a species will last longer/stay greener in a drought situation.

Because of all of these factors, there is not a simple answer to how much water your lawn needs. What we recommend is to monitor your lawn, and adjust the amount of water it receives as needed.

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Necessity of Irrigation

This post is the first part in a four part series about watering your lawn and landscape.

Every living thing needs water. This includes the grass and plants all around us. Some plants need more water than others, but all plants need hydration.

We have had some hot and dry stretches this summer. As a result, some of the grass and some landscape plants are starting to show it. They are looking lighter green to even brown, and looking dry and starting to wilt. Now most of these plants will recover when mother nature provides rain, but it is best not to find out which ones will and which ones won’t. We have already seen some plants that have fallen victim to the heat and lack of water. This can be avoided.

The best thing to do is to keep your lawn and landscape properly watered. This way your plants will stay healthy. And when it comes to the fall and even next season, the plants in your lawn and landscape can provide the show they are supposed to, and not be catching up from the heat of the summer that has gone by.

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