Precision Lawn Care, Inc. July 2012

Heat Wave

Heat WaveLast month we talked about the 4th warmest winter on record. On Friday and Saturday, the last weekend in June, Atlanta experienced record breaking high temperatures. We'll leave what all this means to the rest of the world with the pundits. Our main concern as your landscape maintenance company is the wellbeing of your plants and lawn. So the question rises, how do I water in the midst of this heat?

First, check for any watering restrictions in your area. Georgia is still under an odd/even watering system. You can find the Georgia water use schedule here . If you do not live in Georgia, do a local search. Do not break local laws.

Second, let the rain do your work for you. Install a rain sensor to automatically turn the water off when it rains. Use a rain gauge to determine how much rain you received, and then water a bit more if needed. Avoid watering if rain is expected later in the day. Your grass should be fine, even if it looks stressed.

Next, in this heat, do not water between 9:00 am. and 12:00 midnight. In the heat of the day, when you use sprinklers, more water evaporates than reaches the plant roots. On a hot, windy day, the amount of water that never reaches your grass can be quite substantial. The small amount of water that does increases the chances for fungus and diseases. None of us wants that! Water early in the morning sometime between 4 A.M. and 9 A.M., when the air is still cool and the wind is usually at its calmest to reduce loss to evaporation.

IrrigationWater deeply. Too often, people "sprinkle" their gardens and lawn, and think it's enough. Shallow watering encourages weed germination, and shallow root growth. This leaves the plant more susceptible to drought and diseases. Watering only when your grass really needs it encourages the roots to grow deeper. But you need to apply enough water each time to penetrate the root zone.

How? Estimate how much water you'll need based on your soil type. If necessary, water 15 - 20 miutes, wait 10-12 hours and break the ground with a shovel to see how deep the water went. In general, 1" of water will penetrate sandy soils to 12", loamy soils to 6-8", and clay soils to 4-5". Using these estimates isn't quite as accurate as digging, but it's pretty close, especially if you have a good knowledge of your soil composition. Figure out how long you need to keep your sprinkler or sprinkler system on and calibrate your sprinklers accordingly.

Do not allow a lot of run off. Rotating between one area and another will also do the trick. Rotate through zones or move sprinklers to get the desired results. If water starts to run off your lawn before you've been able to give it a deep watering, turn off the water for 15-20 minutes to let the ground absorb the water, and then continue watering as needed.

Then, do not be afraid to water problem areas by hand. Some lawns have a couple of spots that require more water than the rest of the lawn. If you water your entire lawn every time you need to water these hot spots, you'll likely overwater everyplace but these spots. Instead, water them by hand or use a separate sprinkler that's not attached to the rest of your irrigation system.


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The Freedom, Independence, and Revolutions of July

Independence DayThe 4th of July (Independence Day in the USA) falls on a Wednesday in 2012. This is the commemoration of the date that the "Declaration of Independence" was signed in 1776 by representatives of all thirteen colonies. The representatives who signed for Georgia were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton. Please notice that each one of these men has had a county named for them in the State of Georgia.

When we think of the content of the "Declaration of Independence" we often recall the words used at the beginning which are: "When in the Course of human events," and in the second paragraph: "We hold these truths to be self-evident," which go on to explain why our forefathers were declaring their own independence from the tyranny and military occupation of King George III of England. But we do not often read the last paragraph, just before the signatures.

After stating twenty-eight reasons for declaring their own independence ranging from the Kings refusal to approve laws for the common good of the people of the colonies, including his military invasion and murder of many residents, to the many times they had petitioned for redress in the most humble terms and found the King to be a tyrant who was unfit to be the ruler of a free people, they finished their declaration with these words:

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

BastilleDayJuly 14, 2012 is Bastille Day which is set aside to commemorate the storming of the Bastille which started the French Revolution in 1789 and resulted in the modern nation of France coming into being. France was founded upon the "Declaration of the Rights of Man" which was approved by the National Assembly of France on August 26, 1789. Here is the first paragraph of that amazing document:

"The representatives of the French people, organized as a National Assembly, believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, unalienable, and sacred rights of man, in order that this declaration, being constantly before all the members of the Social body, shall remind them continually of their rights and duties; in order that the acts of the legislative power, as well as those of the executive power, may be compared at any moment with the objects and purposes of all political institutions and may thus be more respected, and, lastly, in order that the grievances of the citizens, based hereafter upon simple and incontestable principles, shall tend to the maintenance of the constitution and redound to the happiness of all. Therefore the National Assembly recognizes and proclaims, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen:"

What comes next is the list of 17 articles describing the laws and circumstances of liberty and duty for all the citizens of France.

Canada DayCanada Day (official day moved to Monday, July 2, 2012 because July 1, 2012 falls on Sunday) is Canada's Independence Day. This celebration commemorates July 1, 1867 when Queen Victoria approved a plan that permitted them to become an independent country with their own government. They started off including the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick but have grown by six more provinces plus three territories. The Canadian Coat of Arms has a motto which says "A Mari usque ad Mare" which means "from Sea to Sea." This motto comes from Psalm 72:8 which reads: "He shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth." In their national anthem, which is part prayer, they ask God to keep their land glorious and free.

It appears that Queen Victoria, knowing the history of France and of the United States of America, decided to simply grant independence to Canada and skip the expenses of war which strain relations and the treasury far beyond human endurance! She was so much more friendly and wise. All of these foundings took place within about 90 years of each other and all of them happened in July.

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