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Five Myths of Irrigation

  
  
  
  

In my 30 years as an irrigation contractor, I have heard many misconceptions about irrigation systems, and how they operate. I have always wondered how these ideas have come to be the mainstream thinking. I’ll probably never know how they originated, but hopefully I can dispel these tales.

Myth #1. If you water in the middle of a sunny hot day you will burn your lawn and the leaves on the plants.

This is the myth I hear the most and this is false. The droplet on the leaf of a blade of grass or plant will not act as a magnifying glass and burn. It doesn’t happen after a rain storm and it does not happen with an irrigation system. Farmers water midday all the time and never experience this.  Probably what can happen is that if the water supply has been treated with chlorine or has dissolved salts in it then when the water evaporates it leaves a deposit on the leaf and that causes damage. It still is not a good idea to water during the middle of the day if you do not have to  because most of the water evaporates before it ever makes it into the soil and then into the plant.  However, if your turf and plants are dry then you should water as needed. Golf courses irrigate, also known as syringing (few minutes per zone) the greens on hot days because the irrigation water cools the turf down and reduces stress on the plant.Long Island Sprinklers

Myth #2. Watering at night creates fungus.

The best time to water is very early morning and/or just before the sun rises.  Typically 2am and later to start the system. The reason being:

  • A very calm time of day with little or no wind to blow water around.  
  • It is much more efficient time because little or no water evaporates so all the water goes into the soil.
  • The water pressure is usually better because less people are using water.
  • When sprinkler system is connected to house supply there is little competition or sharing of water with household usage.

Usually if you have a problem with fungus it is because of high humidity, heat, and overwatering. Certain types or variety, such as Kentucky Blue Grass, dislike the summer heat and humidity. 

Myth #3. Water your lawn deeply.

I am not quite sure what that means. The first thing you have to know is what kind of soil you have and what plants need deep watering. If you have a heavy clay soil, like we do on the North Shore of Long Island, then you can only apply 0.1” per hour. You cannot water deeply. If you run your sprinklers one minute more than required then you are over watering, wasting water and leaching nutrients. Twenty minutes on a rotary zone is enough and three minutes on a spray zone should be sufficient for clay soil. For sandy soil you can triple the run times per cycle. Sand holds little or no moisture. Some of my clients have to water every day and for long periods of time. The rule is 1” of watering per week in hot weather for lawns. If you have clay soil then you will need to water every day to apply this amount. You may have to water twice daily for small amounts of time to apply this amount. If you see puddles on your lawn, then you know you are overwatering!

Huntington SprinklersMyth #4. You can train your plants.

Plants, trees and turf have been around for thousands of generations and have done just fine without us.  They have chromosomes and genes that have engineered them to survive droughts, wet weather, freezing temperatures, and more. You are not going to teach your plants how to behave. If you want your landscape to do well and thrive then make sure you have great soil with lots of organic matter, good drainage, and plenty of sunlight. Put the correct plants in the proper place. For example; don’t put a shade loving plant in full sun. Only use organic and natural fertilizers, and water when your plants need it. They will respond and reward you.

Myth #5. An automatic sprinkler system uses more water then watering by hand.

I hear this all the time and it can be true. Typically, my clients call after they have received their water bill for the summer and it is higher than they have ever had before. I usually respond by asking “how does your property look?” and they reply “my place looks great!”  So your place looks great, better than ever and now could you have ever watered your place properly and had it look so great by hand? There is usually silence for a minute or so. Consistency and timing is the key work in maintaining a healthy great looking landscape. Watering, weeding, fertilizing, mowing, pruning, in the right amounts at the right time will save you money and time and have your  property looking great.

Myth #6. All plants use the same amount of water.

Grass, hydrangeas, impatiens and oak trees all use the same amount of water? I don’t think so. Grass uses a tremendous amount of water. It needs approximately 27,000 gallons of water per acre per week during the summer. A 200’ tall oak tree with a 150’ wide canopy – I don’t know how much but I am sure it is substantial. A pine tree or a spruce tree with needle like leaves uses much less. I work on landscape sites all the time and landscapers mix all different types of plants material together, which looks great- however they all have different water requirements and if there isn’t sufficient drainage then there is overwatering of one kind of plant and under watering of another. When working with your landscape designer and or landscaper in creating your yard, ask them about the watering necessities of the various plant materials. Inquire about the soil conditions. You are making an investment in your property and want to be assured it stays healthy.

Myth #7.  If you water every day you encourage shallow roots.

Plants have shallow roots because of compacted soil not because of watering. Plants, turf, and trees have evolved over many years to grow if there is sufficient moisture and good soil. Their   roots will grow deep and be abundant in the proper conditions. If you have heavy clay soil or compacted soil then the roots can’t grow deep! You need to amend the soil, you need to core aerate, you need to not try to grow grass in full shade, etc. With a sprinkler system you are always trying to replace water in the soil that is lost due to evaporation and evapotranspiration.  On a hot summer day here on Long Island you could lose up to .25” of water from plant and soil. The goal that I am always trying to achieve for my clients is to replace that. No more and no less. If I can achieve this then there is irrigation harmony.

Myth #8. When you move water from a big pipe into a smaller diameter pipe than you increase the pressure.

People always ask me about this and this is untrue because you can only increase pressure by either gravity from high location to a low location e.g. a water tower and/or by mechanical equipment such as a pump. The best thing about using a larger diameter pipe over a long distance is you have less friction loss and thus less pressure loss. When you hold your finger over the end of a hose and the water squirts 20’ the reason is that you are trying to hold back a relatively large volume of water that is trying to squeeze through a small opening made by your finger. The reduced flow results in more volume remaining at the end of the hose which in turn creates more velocity as the water leaves the hose.

Questions or comments? Email us at irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com! For a free analysis and quote, CLICK HERE, or call us at 631-423-2211.

Long Island Garden

Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 32 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Rain Rich~Creating Rain For Life

What Is The Best Way To Irrigate In Hot Weather?

  
  
  
  

There have been many discussions and debates regarding watering in hot weather and many experts agree that irrigating in the early morning between the hours of 2:00am – 10:00am is the optimum time for reasons listed:

  1. Little to no evaporation of water before infiltrating into the soillong island sprinkler
  2. Very calm time of day with little or no wind
  3. Better water pressure if your system is supplied by a municipal water district
  4. Little competition for water use when everyone is sleeping
  5. Little interference with outside activities

Obviously,  the hotter it is the longer you have to water and with many of the new controllers it is very simple to increase watering as the temperature rises by using the seasonal adjust dial and pressing the (+) button.  Increasing by 10% - 50% is simple and easy.  Start off with a lower % and see how your lawn responds. View a DEMO here.

Another feature I like is to run your sprinkler system semi automatically during the day. Our water comes from the Aquifer and is a constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Although much of this water is lost to evaporation or blown off course by the wind, the cool water distresses the plants and keeps them healthy. Golf courses water this way and it is called syringing.  It is a myth that the leaves will burn if you water during the day. See my upcoming blog about this myth.

Another method that I like a lot and have had great results with is “cycle and soak” and this breaks down the total watering cycle into two or three smaller watering cycles and allows water to percolate into hard soil such as clay.

For properties that have a mix of sun and shade it might be best to create multiple programs and have the sunny areas on one program that waters more frequently vs. a program that handles shady areas and requires less water less frequently.

As you probably have surmised that there are many ways to water and most often there is a trial and error period to find the best programming. In very hot weather it is best to error on the side of overwatering vs. under watering. Just remember that when the weather cools to dial back the watering because too much water too frequently will damage your landscape!

Long Island Sprinkler

Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 32 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

 

 

Now Is The Time For Lawn Aeration Services

  
  
  
  

Late August is the best time to improve and nurture your lawn. The warm days and cool nights are perfect for starting a new lawn or renovating an existing one.   The Rain Rich program is simple and inexpensive for cultivating your lawn and is also the same program used by golf courses and athletic fields.

core-aeration

The Rain Rich program consists of the following:
1. Core aeration
2. Soil test for pH and nutrients
3. Adding top soil if needed to fill in holes and ruts
4. Liming of soil to raise PH
5. Top dressing with organic compost to introduce biology
6. Fall fertilization
7. Seeding with Long Island superior blend of grass seed
8. Proper programming of irrigation controller for germinating new seed

9. Rain Rich manages your lawn care right up toThanksgiving


Lawn aeration is a MUST for making your lawn healthy. For Long Island 

soils and grasses, it is important to aerate 1-2 times per year with now being the optimum time. 

 Listed below are a few of the major benefits received from aerating your lawn:

•   Allows oxygen to infiltrate the soil and the root zone permitting it to "breathe" and stimulate growth.

•   Organic fertilizers and nutrients access to the root system.

•   Tight, compacted soil is loosened allowing roots to grow.

•   Enhances heat tolerance.

•   Increases the lawn’s drought tolerance and improves its overall health.


All of our programs are customized to your specific property and are guaranteed for your satisfaction. Rain Rich can provide all or part of this program, and we recommend an organic approach for long term benefits for you and the environment.  For a free analysis and quote, CLICK HERE, call us at 631-423-2211 or email us at irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

Long Island Grass


Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 32 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.


Rain Rich~Creating Rain For Life

Now Is the Time to Check on Your Sprinkler System

  
  
  
  

August is upon us and although it has been nice with below average rainfall and not too many hot days, the warm dry weather contributes to the need to water frequently.  When there is plenty of sun, plants need water!Long Island Sprinklers   

This time of year most clients have had their sprinkler system turned on and repairs completed. However, due to age of sprinkler systems equipment, tree roots, lawn mowers, construction, landscaping and other disturbances, sprinkler systems can break or stop working.

I recommend that you contact Rain Rich to visit your property and inspect your sprinkler system for pipe breaks, broken heads, adjustments, coverage and controller programming. It may be a very simple fix that can save your lawn, plants and expensive replacements.    

In a few weeks it will be time to rejuvenate your lawn and landscape. Now is a good time to make sure your sprinkler system is working 100%!
Call Rain Rich today at 631-423-2211631-423-2211 for an appointment, or to ask us for ideas on how to improve your sprinkler system.
 

Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.


 Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Summer Flower New York

Rain Rich ~ Creating Rain For Life ~

Smart Irrigation Month: Be Active

  
  
  
  

July is Smart Irrigation Month and is typically the month of highest water demand for lawns and landscapes. Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative to increase public awareness about simple practices and innovative technologies for homeowners, businesses, and property managers. Smart Irrigation Month

Be Active and start to conserve water today with these simple tips that will save you money and water!

  • When hand washing dishes, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water, energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
  • If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a WaterSense® labeled model.
  • Toilet leaks can be silent! Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
  • Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
  • Plant in the spring and fall, when the watering requirements are lower.
  • Make your own compost. Using compost in your garden or flower beds adds water-holding organic matter to the soil. Compost
  • Collect water from your roof by installing gutters and downspouts. Direct the runoff to plants and trees.
  • Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots, where it’s needed.
  • Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass.
  • Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every six inches will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.

For more tips, please visit Water Use It Wisely!

If you need further information or need help with any of the above please call us at 631-423-2211, Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

 Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Long Island Sprinklers

Rain Rich "Creating Rain For Life"

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Landscape Lighting

  
  
  
  
Why are so many of your neighbors investing in professional landscape lighting?   There are many reasons to install a Rain Rich lighting system; here are just a few:  Landscape Lighting
  • Beauty: Highlight the special architectural features of your home and natural landscaping.
  • Safety: Provide softly illuminated footpaths around the property so you and your guests can safely navigate steps and recreational areas.
  • Security: Deter vandals and unwanted visitors by projecting a secure, well lit property.
  • Enjoyment: Extend your time spent outdoors entertaining friends or just relaxing. 
    Create new, al fresco living spaces with tasteful accents to your pool, patio or children’s play area.   Glare-free lighting creates a warm resort-like atmosphere.
  • Cost: Low-voltage landscape lighting uses less electricity than conventional lighting.
  • Convenient: Our newest systems allow you to enjoy the convenience of light when you're away from home! With a Lutron system, you can control your lighting from your mobile device!

 Landscape lightingWhy Rain Rich?

  • For over 30 years Rain Rich Sprinklers has been a leader in beautifying area homes, designing hundreds of landscape lighting systems.
  • Rain Rich’s professional staff is experienced, courteous and fast.  Our team handles everything from small residential properties to large corporate offices.
  •  All of our landscape lighting systems are exceptionally energy-efficient, using the latest in LED and halogen technology.  Durable components insure lasting satisfaction.

 Don’t delay, illuminate your lifestyle now! 

If you need further information or need help with any of the above please call us at 631-423-2211, Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

 Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Rain Rich "Creating Rain For Life"


Smart Irrigation Month: Be Efficient

  
  
  
  

Smart Irrigation Month is a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use. Using water wisely:

  • Saves money on your utility bill.Smart Irrigation Month
  • Nurtures green spaces that deliver real environmental benefits.
  • Protects your community’s water supply for generations to come.
  • Minimizes needed investments in infrastructure to store and carry water, which must be paid for by property taxes or municipal bonds.

It is very important to use water efficient products, here are a few:

Programmable Controllers

1. Odd/even day programming
2. Multiple programming
3. Drip irrigation programming
4. Test programs
5. Water budget feature
 
Smart ControllersSmart Controller

1. Evapotranspiration capability
2. Weather station
3. Historical data
4. Rain sensors
5. Wind sensors
6. Freeze sensors
7. Soil moisture sensors
8. Flow sensors

Rain Sensors

Rain Sensors measure rainfall and automatically shut down the sprinkler system during a rain event. They also:

1. Conserves water
2. Prevents Garden Damage
3. Increases Irrigation Lifespan
4. Save Money

Soil Moisture Sensors

Soil Sensors reduce water waste by continuously measuring moisture levels in the soil and determining when to allow your controller to water. The also:


1. Universal, works on most controllers
2. Savings of over 40%
   
 
Drip IrrigationDrip Irrigation

The idea of slowly releasing water near the root zone of plants is a powerful one for modern irrigation systems. Plants receive water directly at the root level where it is required most. In an era where the cost of water is skyrocketing and shortages and restrictions are commonplace, Drip Irrigation is becoming an integral component of many irrigation systems. 

Drip Irrigation benefits include:

1. Save up to 50% on water costs
2. Faster growth, healthier plants, and fewer pests
3. Minimize and reduce soil erosion on slope areas
4. Highly uniform distribution of water, same distribution at the 1st and last emitter
5. Systems can be managed with AC or battery powered controllers, allowing automated irrigation in areas with no AC
6. Applies water at a slow steady rate and delivers it at the root zone.
   
Low Volume Sprinkler Heads

1. Rotary sprinkler heads with low volume nozzle choices
2. MP rotator with low precipitation rate nozzles
3. Nozzles that are of the highest efficiency

In honor of Smart Irrigation Month, don't forget to Sign up for a chance to win: 1 Toro Company EVOLUTION® Controller -Indoor OR outdoor,
4-12 zones, Smart Connect Device & a Toro ET Sensor.
Prize includes installation by Rain Rich Sprinklers!

Toro Clock

If you need further information or need help with any of the above please call us at 631-423-2211, Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

 Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Rain Rich "Creating Rain For Life"

Smart Irrigation Month: Be Smart!

  
  
  
  

July is Smart Irrigation Month and is typically the month of highest water demand for lawns and landscapes.

Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative to increase public awareness about simple practices and innovative technologies for homeowners and businesses.Smart Irrigation Month

Use Smart Irrigation Controllers! These controllers tailor watering schedules and run times automatically to meet specific landscape needs, improving outdoor water use efficiencies. Smart controllers use sensors and weather information to manage watering times and frequency. As environmental conditions vary, the controller increases or decreases irrigation run times. Smart controllers have the ability to turn off your sprinklers automatically during rain, high wind or low temperature.

Benefits of these controllers include:

Save money & water by reducing runoff and eliminating waterlogged gardens.

Convenience – smart control technology allows faster and more efficient landscaping management.Toro Smart Controller
Improved landscape appearance and health. Applying the proper amount of water improves landscape quality and makes your plants more durable.
• Consistently applying the proper amount of water to a zone often reveals installation, design and distribution uniformity problems that may have been masked by excess application in the past.

All of these systems are proven to save money & water. All the major sprinkler manufacturers such as Hunter, Rainbird, Toro, Irritrol, Netafim, and K-Rain are manufacturing smart irrigation technology. The key to having this perform properly will depend upon optimal irrigation design and hydraulics along with an understanding and input knowledge of onsite soil profile and plants. Proper programming of the Smart Irrigation Controller is vital to having smart technology work.

Enter to win a Toro Smart controller now!

Click Here To Enter

If you need further information or need help with any of the above please call us at 631-423-2211, Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

 Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Rain Rich "Creating Rain For Life"

Smart Irrigation Month: Be Aware!

  
  
  
  

July is Smart Irrigation Month and is typically the month of highest water demand for lawns and landscapes.

Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative to increase public awareness about simple practices and innovative technologies for homeowners and businesses can use to:

1. Save money on water usage.
2. Conserve water and protect the community's water supply.
3. Reduce runoff.
4. Public safety. When the demand is high for water usage the pressure and availability of water is reduced at fire hydrants.
5. Reduce nutrient loss.

Join Rain Rich Sprinklers in sharing this message together at the same time - automatically. Support us today and help us reach our goal! We are working with Thunderclap to raise awareness: A initiative to increase public awareness of the value of water-use & water-saving products, practices & services.

According to the experts, most homeowners and property managers over water by up to 30%!

If you need further information or need help with any of the above please call us at 631-423-2211, Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Rain Rich "Creating Rain For Life"

 

Natural Remedies For Mosquitoes

  
  
  
  

A damp spring will cause a rise in the number of mosquitoes and their activity. Besides their annoying buzz and itchy bites, mosquitoes carry disease including West Nile virus and The Chikungunya virus which was just reported. There are several items you can do to limit your exposure and keep the mosquito population to a minimum:

  1. Install our Rain Rich Mosquito Control System. The Rain Rich Mosquito Control System is a simple, organic, and effective way to deal with these annoying mosquitoes and other pests. The ProFeeder System is a precision liquid injection system that automatically repels mosquitoes through your sprinklers as you water.
  2. Get rid of standing water.  Mosquitoes can lay their eggs and hatch in less than a ¼” of water. Eggs can hatch within days (hours). Get rid of standing water in gutters, old tires, plastic, garbage cans, outdoor toys, recycle cans, outdoor furniture, bird baths, static ponds, and areas of poor drainage. Anything that holds non-moving water is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. mosquito
  3. Stay indoors in the early morning and at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  4. If you must go out, cover up arms, legs, neck, and head.
  5. Use natural repellants that contain ingredients such as rosemary, cedar, or lemon grass oil. Test to be sure that you do not have an allergic reaction by putting on a small area of your skin. You can also put the repellant on your clothes.
  6. Spray property on area where you entertain using these natural and safe oils.
  7. Mosquitoes can bite dogs and cats.  Test a small area, and then protect them with these natural oils by placing a few drops on their back between their shoulder blades.
  8. Make sure your screen doors and windows are secure.

For most of us the summer season is the best season of the year and to make the most of it please take care and enjoy. If you need further information or need help with any of the above please call us at 631-423-2211, Click here for a free estimate, visit us at www.rainrich.com or email us at  irrigationspecialist@rainrich.com.

Rain Rich Sprinklers has been serving Long Island for 30 years and prides itself on providing outstanding service and the best value.

Rain Rich "Creating Rain For Life"

 


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Please visit our older blog at http://blog.rainrich.com/ for additional articles and tips.