Monday, 22 May 2017

Gold is the new brown as drought-hit California drops lawn fines | Reuters

California residents who let their green lawns turn brown and brittle will no longer face the possibility of fines for an unkempt yard under a new law to encourage water conservation during the state's drought.

The measure, signed on Monday by California Governor Jerry Brown, prohibits a city or county from imposing a fine on a homeowner for the failure to water a lawn or for having a brown lawn during the drought emergency.

Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, who sponsored the measure, said she knew of a number of cities and towns that had been leveling fines on homeowners for allowing their grass to go brown even as state officials have asked the public to "severely limit" outdoor water use this summer.

Part of the state "Save Our Water" campaign urges Californians to let lawns "fade to gold for the summer."

California is in the fourth year of a catastrophic drought that has Sprinkler System Installation Rockwall led the state to issue a series of steps to reduce water consumption, including the first-ever mandatory cutbacks Sprinkler System Installation Rockwall in urban water use.

Starting this week, California parks will no longer offer showers for people to wash sand and salt from their bodies at the beach.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Paul Tait)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Visit Ohio's Beautiful Public Gardens

Don't Miss These Public Gardens and Arboretums

Stan Hywet-The Seiberling mansion and its grounds.

If you go to Akron, Ohio don't miss this destination. It is closed during the winter months of January to March, but reopens in April. The grounds are well kept and full of interesting gardens of several types. Warren Manning designed the gardens, and Ellen Biddle Shipman redesigned the English garden. Warren Manning advocated "informal and naturalistic "wild garden" approach" (1) in much the same way as William Robinson, famous for changing English gardening tastes to this style from the stiff Victorian bedding and decorative garden fashions. Ellen Biddle Shipman was once called the "Dean of American Women Landscape Architects".

Besides the sunken garden in the English style, there is Mckinney Sprinkler System a Japanese garden, a Rhododendron walk, and a famous Birch allee; the wildflower "Dell" and the Lago on are other features. This is one of the few grand residences and gardens in our state that mimic the great gardens of England. Many wedding photos take place here for good reason. I think two of my favorite features has always been the birch walk and the Japanese garden, which winds down the hillside.

(1) Warren H Manning

Stan Hywet official site

Dawes Arboretum - the legacy of the Dawes family

A famous Ohio family (Beman Gates Dawes, brother of Charles Dawes who was the 30th Vice President of the United States) created this arboretum with gardens around his historical home. Perennial gardens, a Japanese garden, Rhododendron dell, along with the many examples of trees and shrubs, fill the 1,800 acres of the arboretum. It is a short drive from Columbus, located about 20 miles east in Newark, Ohio.

I enjoy the perennial gardens the best, situated down a hi llside from the visitor center, followed by the fern garden, and the magnificent Japanese garden. In fact, Dawes is a great place for the Japanophile. Besides the large Japanese garden with teahouse, there are fine bonsai on display in their own garden connected to the visitor center.

My Dawes post, Japanese garden.

Dawes Arboretum official site

Franklin Park Conservatory -adjacent to the suburb of Bexley

Rain or shine, gardener or not, Franklin Park Conservatory is fun to visit. Inside are fine displays of climate zones, sometimes with special art exhibitions, sometimes with a live butterfly event (usually beginning in March and running through the summer months.) Outside are botanical gardens, but it is indoors where the real show resides. Walking from desert climes through tropical rainforests is Sprinkler System something few can do in a daytrip, but you will find that here. Everyone seems to l ove the live butterfly event, where the tropical plants vie with attention that clouds of exotic, brightly colored, and friendly butterflies attract as they float through the rainforest enclosure.

Franklin Park official site

Kingwood Center Gardens - a former estate garden

Gorgeous gardens, especially in spring. The sunken garden, an orangery, garden flower collections of peonies,roses,daylilies and iris mean there is quite a show in early to mid summer, too. The beautiful season displays are accented by fountains and many like to enjoy a picnic on the grounds. Greenhouses full of interesting plants and a beautiful herb garden are not to be missed. Forty seven acres that many visitors feel are like a storybook come alive. Only a parking fee is charged.

The house is open and costs a small fee to enter, and there are events throughout the year. Located in Mansfield, closed in January and February, it is an easy distance from Columbus, Akron, Cleveland and Malabar Farm State Park is not far.

Kingwood Center Gardens

Whetstone Park of Roses- Columbus promises a rose garden

Within the city, right off High Street, is a lovely park; inside the park is a grand rose garden filled with roses, with a gazebo, with a perennial garden, and an herb garden as well. The height of rose season in June is the best time to visit, but with the wooded surroundings and the other gardens, it is a peaceful and beautiful any time of year. This is a favorite place for weddings and you might see one being celebrated here.And what is more romantic than thousands of roses blooming and filling the air with fragrance? An old fashioned rose garden is at the highest point of the garden from which to view the main axis of a formally laid out garden plan, or you can climb to the top of a wrought iron viewing platform. It is a gem of a garden and isn't to be missed, whether it is high season for roses or not. There are private gardens to see which surround the park and offer intriguing glimpses through their gates as one tours the garden and follows the avenue back out into the bustling city. One of my Gardener's Top Ten favorite places to go in Columbus.


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Landscaping :: Should I Winterize My Sprinkler System?

It's the end of the year, which brings with it many beloved traditions such as getting the family together for Thanksgiving, searching for a Christmas tree, putting it up and decorating the house in advance of once again welcoming family for the big day.

And if you live in the northern parts of the country, there's a whole additional list of traditions, not all of which are all that beloved. But preparing for winter is an unavoidable part of life in these cold-weather areas, and if you have a sprinkler system, winterizing it is something you need to consider adding to that list. Here are some things to ponder as you determine whether or not you will begin winterizing a sprinkler system.

Where do you live? Obviously you know the answer to this one! And where you live will have the biggest impact on the sprinkler system winterizing decision. If you're in an area in which it gets cold but below-freezing temperatures are not the Sprinkler System norm, you can consider taking your chances and not investing in winterizing a sprinkler system.

However, those who live in the areas of the country that endure extreme weather in the winter--such as the northeast and the northern Midwest Sprinkler System states--should seriously look into a winterized sprinkler system. A sprinkler system that freezes can create several problems for homeowners and make it impossible to pick up where they left off, in terms of watering the lawn, come the spring. Water that stays in piping can freeze and eventually damage many or all of the parts of the sprinkler as well as crack the PVC piping, all of which could ruin the sprinkler system.

So what do you do if you've decided a sprinkler system winterizing is the way to go? Any winterizing a s prinkler system must begin, of course, with shutting off the water. If you don't know where the master shut off valve is, make sure to identify it--such as with a tag--once you find it (usually in the basement or crawl space). Then make sure to drain the system manually, which shouldn't take too long but which could be a wet process.

All the water won't come out manually, of course, so after that, an air compressor should be hooked up so that the sprinkler system winterizing process can really begin. It is usually recommended that homeowners begin winterizing at the highest elevation point on the property and work their way down. Go one area at a time and watch as the water comes out of the sprinklers, turns into a mist and then turns into air. Once that happens, work on the next area.

Sprinkler system winterizing can be a bit of a time-consuming endeavor, but the further north you live in the country the more advisable it becomes. If you're worried about the possibility of your sprinkler getting damaged by the nasty and unpredictable winter weather, look into winterizing it before the first freeze of the fall arrives!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Fix Your Yard: Repair Your Own Pop Up Sprinkler Head Or Sprinkler System

With an evergrowing desire to have manicured lawns that keep up with the rest of the neighborhood, more and more homes have sprinkler systems that manage their lawn to keep it green and lush. These systems may be as simple as a few sprayers to a 12 station system with a rain detector and a Sprinkler System device that injects fertilizer into the sprinkler system. For the most part, these systems are comprised of several simple systems organized into one complex system. For that reason, many of these parts can be easily repaired or adjusted.

Many of these systems are somewhat neglected and rarely gain attention until they are not working properly due to damage from lawnmowers, grass growing over them, or any number of reasons. For this reason and others, sprinkler systems and sprinler heads often need adjustments to their spray pattern, adjustment to head height, etc.

Although many homes now have irrigation system s in one manor or another, many homeowners are compelled to do much of their own home improvement or repair due to the fiscal constraints that most people are feeling. These sprinkler systems are an easy area that you can save some money around the home and get to know your lawn at the same time.

Properly adjusting or repairing your sprinkler system will require some basic plumbing knowledge, a few tools, and most of all, the ability to follow some simple instructions. This website will show you the basics of most sprinkler systems and what areas are most likely to need repair or adjustment along with how to go about those procedures.

The most common issue that arises with sprinkler systems is the need to adjust the spray patterns. Spray patterns can change over time due to several different reasons:

Vibration from the head can move the settings

Sand/sediment can become lodged in the head or the heads filter

Surrounding grass can move the whole s prinkler

The sprinkler may have been run over by a car or lawnmower or hit by something

Usually the spray pattern is one of the easiest things to adjust on the sprinkler. If your head is a simple sprayer that does not rotate, check to see if the head has an adjustable pattern. If so, you may have to rotate the head to set the beginning of the pattern, then move the adjustment on the tip of the head to "open up" the pattern to your desired amount of spray. If your sprinkler has a fixed pattern you will simply twist the head tip to the appropriate placement. You may need to twist the sprinkler body if twisting the head tip makes the sprinkler leak.

style of sprinkler. Some rotating heads can simply be rotated to the right position while lifti ng on the end of the head, but most require a tool to be placed in the top of the head and rotated toward a + or - to widen or narrow the pattern. If you do not have the tool for your brand of sprinkler you will need to find a dealer that sells that particular brand.

For instance, Hunter PGP sprinkler heads have to have their tool inserted into the top of the head to adjust them. Once inserted, you will turn the tool toward the + while the head is moving toward the -, or turn the tool toward the - while the head is moving toward the +. If you need to move the left end of the pattern you will have to rotate the whole sprinkler. That can be done by rotating the sprinkler or by unscrewing the head from the case, pulling it up, and rotating it to the desired location and sliding it back down into the grooves in t he case. You will not want to do this often, especially if the sprinkler is old, because as the seal from the case to the head wears it will begin to leak. Once this seal leaks on this type of head, the head will need to be replaced.

Occasionally your spray pattern may be disrupted by sand or sediment being caught in the sprinkler's filter. With most sprayers you can simply unscrew the spray tip from the sprinkler revealing the filter. If this is the case, simply wash the filter out and replace the tip, adjusting the pattern back to its correct position. If you have a rotating sprayer or another type of head, you will want to consult your sprinkler instructions to make sure how to access the filter if the head has one.

If your head has been moved by Spinkler Installation being hit or ran over, you will want to rotate it back to its correct position. In doing so, be sure to not put too much pressure on the head as it may have been damaged. You may want to move away some dirt/sod from the head to make sure to get it back to its original position then replace the sod after making sure of the pattern and that the head was not damaged.

If you own a lawn or plant sprinkler system, at some point you will have a leak. It is inevitable. Just accept it. Leaks can come at the actual head tip, on the sprinkler case, between the sprinkler and the shutoff valve, or before your shutoff valve. Most leaks occur around the head due to damage to the head or sometimes due to freezi ng damage.

For most leaks you will want a plumber if you are not knowledgeable about plumbing repair, but some leaks can be easily repaired as a part of your regular sprinkler maintenance. If your sprinkler tip is leaking, you will probably be able to simply tighten the tip. If you do so, remember to rotate the whole sprinkler to realign the spray pattern. If your sprinkler is leaking from under the sprinkler, check to see if the leak is coming from where your sprinkler is screwed onto the riser that comes from your pipe. If so, you may simply need to tighten the sprinkler down or unscrew it, replace the Teflon tape around the riser threads, and return the sprinkler to the riser.

If your sprinkler case is leaking where the popup screws into it, remember that is generally not repairable. Make an attempt to tighten the connection, but you will probably have to replace the whole sprinkler head. The reason for that is once the o-ring has been damaged, dried out, over-compressed, or covered in calcification, it is not able to correctly seal again. It is possible to use some PVC glue to stop the leak for a short amount of time, but eventually that will no longer hold.

Often after a system has been working for a while, say a year or two, you will have a head that does not want to pop up as it should. This often results in water spraying straight up and usually creating a nice green area around the head while the rest of the area suffers. The same thing can also occur shortly after installation or a system repair. Generally wh en this happens on a new system or just after repair it is due to dirt or sediment in the line. An easy fix is to take the head off and clear out the line.

On older systems, though, this can be due to sand or sediment building up inside the sprinkler or a broken part on the head. You may be able to unscrew the sprinkler from its outer case and clean off any sand, grit or calcium build up and return it to its working order. However, remember that often these heads will develop large leaks if the head is older and is taken apart. Unless the problem is sand in the filter or sediment or a rock in the line coming into the sprinkler head, it is often an easier and less time consuming fix to just replace the sprinkler altogether, especially if it is only a $10 - $15 head.

Adjusting the flow on a sprinkler is one of the easiest and most overlooked adjustments that can be made to your overall system. If a sprinkler head regularly overshoots other heads, covering too large of an area, or if it is casting too much spray near the head and not shooting far enough, you may want to adjust the flow or the stream disruptor. You may want to adjust flow if you have too many heads on at one time and need to make it work. Cutting back on the flow of each head will spread your overall pressure better to all of the flowing heads.

The two most common ways to adjust flow are with flow inserts or with the flow disruptor. Flow inserts are the small pieces with a certain size hole that that the water actually flows through. Most brands have various different sizes of these and they can be changed out fairly easily to flow more or less gallons per minute (gpm) through a particular head. Sometimes dropping a station's flow inserts one size can make a huge difference in reach while also saving some water.

The easiest way to adjust flow is by using the disruptor screw that comes down into the stream to break it up. This disruptor breaks the stream up so that water is spread evenly from the head to the farthest reach of the stream. The more you screw it in, the stream will be broken up and its reach diminished. This disruption also cuts back a small amount on the overall flow of the head, meaning if it is in full use, the head will not put out as many gpm due to a slowing of the stream.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Home Improvement Archives -

Home Improvement

Should You Repair or Replace Your Sprinkler System Installation Driveway?

Mar 09, 2017

by ArticleCity Blog



A well-paved Sprinklers driveway is a safe driveway, but when is it time to replace rather than repair? If you're unsure, you'll find your answers here....

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