Tag Archives: sprinkler systems

How To Maintain Your Yard In The Hot Summer Heat

In the throes of summer heat, going outside to work on the yard is a chore that most want to avoid. With a bit of planning, though, less time can be spent sweating over your space, in favor of enjoying the fruits of your labor! Here are our tips for performing maintenance that will last through hot weather.

Create a Watering Schedule

Watering in the middle of the day will cause the water to evaporate, robbing foliage of essential hydration. Plan on watering early in the morning or later in the evening, after the heat of the day has subsided. If a sprinkler system is in place, set the timer to go off at optimal periods. Not only will it take the guesswork out of knowing when to water, but it removes the risk of over watering plants and grass, saving on water bills!

Know When To Mow – And Fertilize

There are benefits to lawn upkeep in the hotter months, besides enjoying barefoot strolls across the grass! The longer the blanket of grass is, the better protection the lawn has in the unrelenting summer temperatures. Not only is the immediate surface of the lawn protected, but the soil underneath will have a welcome shield from direct sunlight. Keep the length of the blades longer, but stick to a consistent mowing schedule all the same.

Contrary to popular belief, fertilizing can do more damage to a lawn in the summer months. The nutrients will produce a new crop of grass, which will have a hard time surviving in the heat. Save the treatments for the colder months following summer, when new sod can flourish, and take care of existing grass to the best of your ability.

Protect Outdoor Furniture

Faded, sun-damaged furniture is no picnic to look at, much less to use and enjoy. Consider investing in furniture covers for when the sun is beating down on more permanent fixtures, such as pool tables and grills. Covering furniture is essential to protecting the temperature as well, especially for metal or heat-retaining stone, which will save your skin when it’s time to wander outdoors.

For lighter pieces, simply move them in the shade or indoors. Be sure to remove cushions and smaller plants from direct sunlight. That way, the color won’t be washed out of fabric fibers or plants, keeping them attractive and fresh into the next year.

Call Blue Tree

Blue Tree Landscaping knows how to beat the heat! Let us assist you in planning the upkeep of your yard from the beginning of summer and beyond. Call or email us to get started today!

How To Save Water With Your Landscape Design

Blue Tree Landscaping

 

Get the most out of your yard without the water-wasting. Read on to learn how you can save water with an updated landscape design.

 

Tips to Conserve Water with Landscape Design

Native or Regional Plants

Using plants that are already part of the natural landscape typically requires less work and upkeep, since they are accustomed to the soil and climate. Most require no more than the usual rainfall to thrive, and you likely won’t need to haul out the fertilizer or pesticides too often. They have a hardiness that other non-native or non-regional plants tend to lack.

Group by Watering Needs

Some plants are water hogs. Figure out which group of plants have similar watering needs, and place plants that don’t need a lot of water further out in your lawn. Plants that require the most water can take advantage of roof runoff, and should be placed closer to your home. This way, you won’t overwater or underwater any particular area. It will keep every part of your yard looking its best!

Saving Space

Avoid overcrowding your plants, and fight off the impulse to cram as many plants into a single space as possible. While it may take a few seasons to fill in your lawn, if you use fewer plants, you will use less water. The same goes for hedges. Some popular hedge varieties have been genetically engineered to grow taller than ever. If you only want a hedge that’s five feet tall, don’t plant a hedge that can reach fifteen feet.

Finishing Touches and Soil Savers

Mulch is more than just the finishing touch to your landscape. It can also help you conserve water, stall evaporation, and keep plants cool. Mulch fills in the space around your plants, preventing water-stealing weeds from growing. Natural mulches, like compost, bark chips, grass clippings, and pine needles will return nutrients to the soil as they decay. A healthy soil encourages deep roots—and better retains water.

Hardscaping

The hard elements of your landscape design, like concrete, let rainwater run exactly where you don’t want it to go: the street. Keep garden pathways porous so the rainwater stays put. Gravel, pebbles, or bricks, are all great options. To help prevent weed growth, line the area with old newspapers before laying these options down.

Water Conservation

When the rest of your Philly neighborhood is facing ever-increasing water bills, you can enjoy an efficient, environmentally-friendly landscape without the extra work. It’s time to go green.

 

If you want to conserve water, but aren’t sure where to start, turn to the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping. We are your one-stop-shop when it comes to everything yard. From planning to design and maintenance, we can make your dream of a water-saving landscape a reality. Call today.

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Sprinkler System

3 Tips for choosing the Right Sprinkler SystemDid you know that it takes more than 600 gallons of water to keep 1,000 square feet of grass green? When you are ready to give up the fight against tangled hoses, and scorched plants, it’s time to choose a sprinkler system.

How do you choose the right sprinkler system for you? With 30% of your water bill going toward yard care, we have three tips to help you find the most efficient option for keeping your Philly yard healthy.

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Sprinkler System

Water Pressure

It’s an often overlooked factor, but water pressure is a major part of choosing the right sprinkler system. Too much, or too little can greatly impact the look of your lawn. If you aren’t sure how to gauge, get it tested, or do-it-yourself. Use a pressure gauge at the hose bib, and see how it checks out. Low pressure readings (anything under 30 psi) would work best with drip irrigation, while high pressure areas should utilize a regulator to avoid misting.

Wide Open Spaces or Small Groups?

For landscaping that covers a large area, an in-ground pop-up sprinkler system does the hard work for you. A scheduled timer can keep your plants properly watered at the times they need it most, without any additional work on your end. If you possess a few shrubs or bushes, with plenty of space in-between them, drip irrigation is a stand-out choice. It will deliver the water you need, to the places that need it most. Even better, it won’t water the areas in-between, so you can avoid weed growth, and conserve water. If you already possess an underground sprinkler system, your landscape professional can convert it to a drip irrigation system.

Budget Friendly

For anyone on a budget that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, look to an above-ground sprinkler system. Basic, inexpensive, and perfect for a large lawn, the above-ground sprinkler can cover a wide range. The downside? The watering is often uneven, and sometimes inefficient. However, it will still get the job done as far as ensuring your yard still thrives.

Achieving Ideal Landscaping

First, consider the area you need to cover, and decide how much you can spend on an irrigation system. Then, get in touch with the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping.

 

From planning, to construction and design, Blue Tree Landscaping is your one-stop shop for creating, and maintaining the landscape of your dreams.

8 Summer Garden Watering Tips to Help Your Plants Thrive

Summer Garden WateringAny seasoned gardener knows that gardening is hard: there’s a serious science behind all of it, from planting the right plants in the right places to giving them the correct amount of water. The science behind proper watering is why professional irrigation sprinkler systems have become so popular.

When it comes to watering, more isn’t necessarily better. A professional irrigation sprinkler system that targets the right areas might be a great solution to look into. But in the meantime, to help you water in the most efficient way (for your plants, your budget, and the environment) we’ve put together our 8 top watering tips:

1. Don’t Water Too Often

Healthy plants require healthy roots—and watering too often is inefficient for the root system. Allowing the roots to dry out a little before watering encourages their growth, which makes for healthier plants. So, don’t water everyday (unless it’s one of our scorching hot Philly summer days, and the earth is bone dry). Generally, watering 2-3 times a week is plenty.

2. Water Well

The above point recommends not watering everyday (especially for flower beds), but when you’re watering a few days a week, be sure to water thoroughly—although don’t create an impromptu swimming pool.

3. Time your Watering

Whether you’re standing there with a hose or have an automatic irrigation sprinkler system, time your watering correctly. Ideally, you want to water early in the morning or late in the evening. Avoiding watering midday will keep the majority of the water from evaporating, and you’ll keep your leaves from burning.

4. Avoid Watering the Leaves

Watering the leaves instead of the base/roots of the plant can keep them from burning, but it will also encourage mold and plant diseases. Plant diseases thrive in hot, moist environments—especially on the leaves themselves.

5. Don’t Water All at Once

If you have plants that require a large quantity of water, it’s better to water them in parts. So water the flowerbed, then move on to another section. Once the water has seeped into the soil you can return to water the flowerbed again.

6. Water Distribution

Be mindful of where you’re watering plants, as continually watering one side over the other will encourage lop-sided root growth. Lop-sided roots disrupt healthy nutrient absorption.

7. Use Moisture Sensors

If you want to be a high-tech, environmentally-conscious gardener, you can install water sensors that will alert you to the right density of water. Installing these on existing irrigation systems can make a big difference on your water bill (although it will take some time for them to ‘pay for themselves’).

8. Never Ever Over Water

More truly isn’t better with garden watering. Overwatering, aka ‘waterlogging,’ can deprive the roots of much-needed oxygen. Roots can drown in water.

Proper watering can enhance an already beautiful garden. If your garden and overall landscaping is lackluster, then call the pros here at Blue Tree Landscaping. Our professional landscapers in the Philadelphia area can help you plan your garden with the right plants for specific locations based on sun patterns, drainage, and a number of other critical factors.

Irrigation systems mean less work and higher payoffs!

Blue Tree LandscapingSummer is supposed to be a time of relaxation. It’s also supposed to be a time of beauty, with gardens of vibrant reds, blues, yellows and greens in full bloom. Cultivating that beautiful garden, however, can be quite the hassle. Not only is routine watering necessary, but you also have to prepare for droughts and periods of higher-than-average heat.

At Blue Tree Landscaping, we want you to have both the beauty and the relaxation. One way you can reduce your gardening workload is to invest in an automated irrigation system.

Just the right amount

“The more the merrier” does not apply when it comes to watering your plants. Too often, above ground and manual irrigation methods oversaturate your garden. Just as destructive as forgetting to water the plants, though, is is watering too often. This can deplete the plants’ nutrients as they get lost with the run-off. On the other hand, you can calibrate your irrigation system to water the right part of the plant with the right size water droplet. As opposed to the spray of a hose, irrigation systems spread smaller water droplets that can hit the roots instead of the leaves. This is key, as standing moisture on the leaves fosters diseases, while large water droplets can compact the soil and damage the roots.

Of course, watering too much also means wasting your time. With some simple planning, you can set up an automated watering routine with your irrigation system tailored to your specific watering needs.

Less water, less money, more value

Time is money, and so is water. As mentioned, a properly calibrated irrigation system cuts water usage in two ways: the frequency of the watering and the size of the water droplet. The more efficient your irrigation system, the more efficient your budget. It’s as simple as that. In addition, implementing an irrigation system also creates value for your property.

Proper installation with Blue Tree

Installing an efficient irrigation system is no small task. More goes into the design than you might think. Ensuring uniform watering requires appropriate spacing, and this can only be achieved with an accurate analysis of your lawn or garden’s needs.

Efficiency isn’t the only goal, however. Safety is a big concern when it comes to irrigation system installation, as electronic sensors and timers are critical components of any irrigation system.

Thankfully, Blue Tree has a team of experts ready to safely and efficiently install your irrigation system. Call us today to discuss your lawn’s unique needs!

Sprinkler System Options

SprinklersIf you’re tired of tangled hoses, heavy watering cans, and remembering (or forgetting!) to water by hand, it may be time to consider installing a sprinkler system. Sprinkler system options range from the classic above-ground sprinkler to the more efficient and complex drip irrigation system. At the end of the day, the goal is to maintain a healthy lawn and a lush, thriving landscape. Consider the following sprinkler system options, then talk to a landscaping expert to figure out which one is right for you.

Above-ground sprinklers

Your most basic and inexpensive option is the above-ground sprinkler, which is ideal for watering large, open expanses like lawns. Usually connected to a hose, the classic above-ground sprinkler can be purchased with a stationary or rotating head, and should be placed in a central location to cover as much ground as possible. The downside of these sprinklers is that a lot of water will be lost in the process (at times, 50-70%) and the watering is unlikely to be even. If you have flowerbeds, trees, or shrubbery that need gentle and attentive care, read on to explore more efficient watering options.

In ground pop-up sprinkler systems

A professional in ground sprinkler system will water your entire landscape on a scheduled timer. The sprinkler systems generally spray a large amount of water over a large amount of land, so they work best when the landscape requires uniform maintenance. Those interested in installing an in ground sprinkler system should work with a landscaping expert to determine an irrigation plan that’s right for your specific yard — water pressure and soil makeup must be checked, in addition to existing water, gas, and electric lines. For this type of system, trenches will need to be dug in order to place pipes 15-18” underground. Valves will be attached to control water flow, and then the appropriate sprinkler heads must be attached, in addition to wiring, a timer, and a backflow preventer. If you plan on using a traditional in ground sprinkler system, try to lay out your plants in groups — ones that need heavy watering, average watering, and little to no watering.

Drip irrigation systems

Drip irrigation systems are low-pressure systems that conserve water and deliver just the right amount to the different parts of your yard through flexible tubing connected to individual emitters. Drip systems are the most efficient watering option, as they lose the least amount of water through evaporation or overspray. Supply lines can lie directly on the ground and be covered by a thin layer of mulch, or remain exposed until the plants flourish and spread. More advanced landscapes that involve flowerbeds, vegetable rows, or shrubbery can benefit from drip irrigation systems, which are precise in the amount and method in which water is delivered. The controlled water flow also prevents weeds, as the in-between areas are not watered. If you already have an underground sprinkler system in place, you can work with a landscaping expert to convert it into a drip system. Pop-up sprinkler heads can easily be replaced with drip irrigation water emitters, which save water and water more efficiently.

 

There are various ways to maintain a healthy, green landscape. Do your research or consult a landscaping expert at Blue Tree to figure out which watering method is best for your yard.