Precision Lawn Care, Inc. August 2012
Summer Landscaping Tips
Last month we talked about watering you lawn in the summer heat. You can continue to follow the advice we cave you there. You may also be interested in knowing that the State of Georgia has relaxed the rules allowing you more flexibility in your watering habits.
Effective June 1, 2012, you can water your lawn and garden any day from between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. This means you can now run automated irrigation systems, lawn sprinklers or water by hand daily without following the odd/even numbering rules. BUT, outdoor water use for any other purpose, such as power washing or washing cars, is still restricted to the current odd/even watering schedule. Odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses are allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
learn more at Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Now that we have that out of the way we can discuss some other things you need to do as the thermometer rises.
Check Your Irrigation System
Check your irrigation system weekly for broken or misaligned sprinkler heads and drip emitters, which can be prime water-waste culprits. You may also need to upgrade your irrigation clock. Replace your irrigation system with a "smart clock" and save water and money. Also check rain sensors. A properly tuned irrigation system will automatically shut off when it rains.
For future reference, always develop a landscape plan before designing an irrigation system. Improperly placing the wrong plants in the wrong areas will cost you in the long run. The best money you will ever spend on your new landscape is money paid to an expert who can help to assure that your landscape will remain healthy, fun and efficient for years to come. Even if you are redesigning an existing property don't be afraid to call the experts. It is not necessary to do everything he/she suggests at once. Landscapes properly installed according to a plan even over a period of time can look finished, even when they are not.
While we are talking about planning, think about proper placement of trees. A well-positioned tree can save up to 25 percent of your home's energy for heating and cooling. A single shade tree equals the cooling power of 15 air conditioners -- and it runs for free!
We cannot stress enough the proper use of mulch in landscape beds, gardens, container pots, around trees and other plants. Used correctly, mulch will reduce soil moisture evaporation, reduce soil temperatures, suppress weed growth and provide many other benefits. Mulch can reduce evaporation of water from the soil by 50 percent, which is a tremendous benefit.
Mulch comes in organic and inorganic forms. Organics are excellent because they break down in time adding humus and nutrients to the soil. Because mulching retains moisture at the base of your plants and shrubs, it will support the growth and development of the plants in the heat of the summer. The layer of mulch should be renewed as needed to maintain a 2- to 4-inch depth. On previously mulched areas apply a 1-inch layer of new material.
Inorganic mulches include rock, plastic, shredded tires and glass. They don't break down, are resistant to floating and blowing, most are resistant to flames and reduce water evaporation from the soil. Rock mulch has become very popular, but use caution before adding it to your landscape. Decomposed granite, crushed stone, lava rock, pebbles, pea gravel and other rock materials absorb heat from the sun and release it into the surrounding areas during the day and night. They actually increase the temperature of the area which increases plant stress and water needs. Inorganic mulches can increase cooling costs if it is near an indoor or outdoor living space.
And take care of yourself!
When working outside in the summer heat, drink plenty of fluids. And if you start to wilt, go sit in the shade until you or the outside temperatures cool off. Then go finish your project.
Might want to take a look at the latest blog posts. The newest is on Japanese Beetles. Remember, If you are on our regular lawn care rotation, you dont need to worry about these pests. We've got you covered! Interesting reading though!