Prevent Backflow Theft

Winter is quickly approaching and we are scheduling your irrigation system shutdown. Over the last few years we have seen a tremendous increase in the theft of backflows

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Due to this increased theft we recommend removal of you backflow(s) and storing in a secure off-site location. We are offering services to prevent a possible urgent expense of up to $6,000 later in the season.

Why wait to protect your investments until it is too late? Theft comes when you least expect and then you can’t provide enough protection fast enough. The good news is that we can help prevent these thefts from reoccurring at a fraction of the costs involved for total replacements.

Replacing these backflows can cost as much as $6,000!

While the scrap metal value for the brass and copper contained within these fittings is only about $250, brazen thieves are making short work of stealing as many as they can, sometimes twice from the same properties!

products-shg-headerThe thieves drive up, sometimes dressed in orange vests to look like city employees, take a saw and cut the valve off at the pipes. The whole process can take less than two minutes.

These thefts have occurred in broad daylight and also have happened at prominent and visible locations.

Their removal by thieves will also interrupt water service for your property and tenants as well as the possible water damage created from the water running uncontrolled through the open connection.

CLIPPING FROM THE RGJ.COM

The city of Reno in Nevada lost more than $100,000 last year from scrap-metal thefts - and it wasn't alone. Cities across Nevada detailed similar problems on Wednesday to lawmakers considering a bill to increase penalties for such crimes. Officials from Henderson, North Las Vegas, Las Vegas and Reno all testified in support of SB37 before the Assembly Judiciary Committee. "These problems are an indication of our times," said Cadence Matijevich, assistant city manager of Reno. "People are desperate and looking for materials they can turn and sell for a quick profit." Current law classifies scrap-metal theft based on the monetary value of the stolen material, with possible penalties including fines, prison time and community service. In general, the thefts are considered misdemeanours if the value is less than $650. If it exceeds $650 but is less than $3,500 it's a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A thief who takes more than $3,500 could land behind bars for 10 years. The bill under consideration by the assembly mandates 100 hours of community service for a first offence, 200 hours for a second offence, and 300 hours for third and subsequent violations. Previous legislation that increased penalties for stealing copper - one of the more valuable scrap metals - has done little to curtail the problem, Matijevich said. Of Reno's $103,000 in losses last year, $27,000 came from a single incident when thieves took copper wiring from a downtown railroad trench, Matijevich said.

 

 

Save 10% on your water bill each month – KTVN Channel 2 says how

10% is easier than you might think

TMWA’s 10% voluntary water usage reduction is in effect and you might be wondering just what you can do to save that water. If you have an irrigation system installed at your home, there are some simple changes you or your landscaper can do to quickly cut your water usage each week.

 
  • Walk your system to check for leaks and to ensure your sprinklers are directing water to the proper locations… is water going where it’s supposed to?
  • Swap out your old and inefficient spray nozzles for highly efficient ‘rotator nozzles’. Easily purchased from you lawn & garden center, these nozzles will spray a heavier amount of water to properly irrigate your turf and allow the water to soak in to the turf. And they usually take less time to water than the older nozzles too!
  • Program your clock for the seasonal climate. Before June, you will most likely benefit from a twice a week watering program. On your two watering days, set you clock to water once in the am and once in the pm. When it warms up, you can add an additional time mid-day. It’s not till the temperatures regularly top out at 80° will you go to a 3x weekly watering program. 
Hunter_mp_rotator

Water efficient Hunter MP Rotator Nozzles save 10% to 30% on most household irrigation systems.

 

KTVN News Channel 2 interviews our own Steve Fine to learn what we need to do to our part to save 10% on our monthly watering usage.

If you have thoughts or concerns on how best to prepare a watering program for your landscape this spring, call Tim at Signature to receive a free consultation on steps to take.

Submit Online Service Request

Reducing landfill waste

Celestial Seasonings tea is packaged without a string, tag, staple or individual wrapper for its teabags. A few years ago they realized that eliminating these elements from their product would save more than 3.5 million pounds of waste from entering landfills each year.

Scott Tube-Free Tissue

This year, the Scott paper company introduced its no-tube toilet paper product. The full-page ads that launched this product announce that each year 17 billion TP tubes are thrown away. Scott’s innovation may change how things roll in the bathroom – and to the landfill.

Many industries are on board with reducing the waste they generate and that includes the landscape industry.  One of the landscape industry’s major commitments is to reduce the high volume waste produced by mowing lawns and pruning trees and shrubs

 

Grass clippings
During the last 20 years, most lawn maintenance companies have converted to mulching mowers which finely cut grass clippings and deposit them back on top of the lawn. This practice alone has removed tons of green waste that would have headed to the landfill each year.

In addition, this process of grasscycled mulch reduces the amount of fertilizer needed on the lawn because as clippings decompose, they create nutrients for the lawn. These clippings also help hold moisture in the soil which reduces water needs.

Pruning debris
Every year, tree service companies and landscape maintenance companies cut down dead trees and prune live trees to remove dead branches and keep trees properly shaped and healthy. This activity produces tons and tons of debris that is recycled for compost or chipped and ground to create wood mulch. Many recycling and composting centers throughout the state accept pruning debris from landscape companies and homeowners.

Mulch derived from pruning debris can be put right back into the landscape as a healthy amendment. Because this mulch is derived from organic material, it settles onto the soil and does not blow away like mulch that has been recycled from treated or dried wood products such as pallets. It must first be watered in so that it settles. Over time, the mulch breaks down and completes the cycle of returning back to the earth from which it came.

Mulching tip: when using wood mulch, do not use landscape fabric under the mulch as its slick surface will cause mulch to blow away in the wind.

Need help adding mulch or dealing with spring landscape chores?  We have dozens of pros in your area to help you get your garden, your landscape and your well-being situated for the season.

Call Julie at (775) 827-5296 to learn more.

Are the communities you manage protected from the devastating risk of fire?

KNOW THE LAW
“Persons owning, leasing, controlling, operating or maintaining buildings or structures requiring defensible spaces are responsible for modifying or removing nonfire-resistive vegetation on the property owned, leased or controlled by said person.”
International Wildland-Urban Interface Code, 603.2 Fuel modification


Drought & Defensible Space

Figure 603.2

Figure 603.2 (enlarge)

WHAT IS DEFENSIBLE SPACE?

Defensible Space is the area around a structure where vegetation has been modified to reduce the fire threat. The size of your defensible space will vary, depending upon property size, location, and topography. Sometimes a defensible space is simply a homeowner’s properly maintained backyard. Yet another property owner might need to provide over 200 feet of defensible space around their property.

Start the Spring with Fire Safety

There are a few simple things homeowners can do to help protect their property before a wildfire.


 

SIGNATURE’S DEFENSIBLE SPACE TEAM WILL ALWAYS:

  • Reduce vegetation by pruning, hand crews or mowing
    Space between plants & trees removes the continuous fuel bed that might otherwise exist
  • Remove dead & flammable vegetation from slopes
    Debris, branch piles, & various materials add up to become fuel for even the smallest sparks.
  • Replace flammable vegetation with less hazardous choices
    Shorter plants are better than taller plants & nonwoody plants are better than evergreens or junipers.

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Landscaping During a Drought

Prepare your landscape for the dry summer

Turf can significantly cool down your house but many people are looking to get rid of all their grass altogether.

KOLOlogoIf you plan on living on your property for another five or ten years, you can take it out and create a beautiful landscape with a third of the turf and probably using 1/10th of the water you’re using now.

But before you fork out thousands of dollars, there are cheaper alternatives, like changing your sprinkler nozzles. You’ll save 20-30% on your water bill right off the bat.

Click to view the full KOLO 8 News Now story from Catherine Van.

 

KOLO TV provides some smart tips on what homeowners can do in the area to prepare for drought.

  • Aerate your turf in Spring as well as in the Fall
  • Walk your irrigation system and check for leaks
  • Swap out older inefficient nozzles for water-smart nozzles (for your turf irrigation)
  • Whenever possible, move to DRIP irrigation to water trees and shrubs
  • Program your clock for the seasons – spring, summer, HOT summer, fall then winterize properly
  • Have a licensed Irrigation Technician set up your system each spring

If you have thoughts or concerns on how best to prepare a watering program for your landscape this spring, call Tim at Signature to receive a free consultation on steps to take.

Submit Online Service Request

Watering Starts Early & TMWA Water Restrictions Too!

Prepare Landscape for Spring

The Truckee Meadow’s temperatures are going up as we’re just a few days away from the first day of spring. Find out why it’s important to start watering your lawn early and what water restrictions we can expect this summer. Signature crews have been busy all around town prepping people’s homes for the spring and summer months.

 

Channel2cpKTVN News Channel 2 interviews our own Steve Fine and Cesar Marin to learn what we need to do to prepare for the upcoming spring… as well as getting ready for the drought conditions sure to hit this summer.

 

If you have thoughts or concerns on how best to prepare a watering program for your landscape this spring, call Tim at Signature to receive a free consultation on steps to take.

Submit Online Service Request

The Gift of a Beautiful Landscape

Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give?

How about a gift of a beautiful yard with a Signature Landscapes Gift Card!

» Use a Signature Landscapes gift card for fertilization & aeration, weed control, yard clean-ups, tree pruning services, mulching, edging & weeding, Christmas lights and much more!

Purchase Gift Card Today

 

GIFT CARD design with halo

  • A Thoughtful Housewarming Gift
    A unique gift that will warm their hearts AND their new home. Express your friendship and goodwill with a thoughtful gift they’ll treasure every day!
  • A Gift for Family Members
    Mom and dad probably have a lot to do – and backbreaking yardwork isn’t necessarily where their time should be spent. You don’t want to rake and clear either! Let our talented team help you help your loved ones enjoy a beautiful yard this season
  • A Father’s Day Surprise
    Think outside the box for your Father’s Day surprise. This year, why not let us take care of the dirty work and give your dad a day (more like weeks!) off.
  • For the Person Who has Everything
    It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves before: how do you buy a gift for the person who has everything? It stumps us at nearly every holiday, including birthdays, Valentine’s day, and anniversaries.
  • For a Different Perspective
    Do you ever look at your yard and think, “Something is missing. I can’t put my finger on it, but it just isn’t quite right.” We can almost guarantee that you’ve heard your spouse or partner say the same thing! So why not do something about it?

Gift cards are delivered by email and contain instructions to redeem them at checkout. Plus, our gift cards never have additional processing fees!

How gardening helps grow kids

Did you know that 98 percent of kids who grow their own vegetables will actually eat them? That means kids will want to eat peas, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli and maybe even spinach! This is the official word from the American Gardening Association which offers programs to encourage kids to head outdoors and into the garden.

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and community. Click this link to listen to a truly inspirational gardener! » Watch TED Talk

toddler gardeningGardening is catching on in schools all across the country and that includes a big emphasis in Nevada. Every year, more schools are building gardens on their campuses and using them as an educational opportunity. And some of the produce ends up in the school cafeteria.

If you have children, consider getting them involved in gardening at home as well. Already, kid-sized tools and boots are showing up in garden centers. Helping kids pick out their own properly sized implements will make the process more fun.

Then head over the seed aisle and let them select veggies, herbs and flowers they would like to grow. This kind of involvement is more engaging than handing them your packet of seeds early some Saturday morning when it’s time to plant.

Here are four ways to keep the engagement going:

  • Help kids to learn by doing. Even a 3-year-old can tuck some seeds into the soil and will love holding the water wand to sprinkle water over newly-planted seeds. What child doesn’t like to play in the dirt or spray water? Older children can do more – and as the growing season takes off, you can make pulling weeds a game rather than a chore.
  • Keep it simple. Kids are most motivated when they grow plants that are easy to grow and that show fast results. Sunflowers and pumpkins, for example, grow quickly and are dramatic in their size and shape. They can be started indoors before it’s time to plant outside. Kids can stand by the window sill and check out the changes as seedlings emerge and become little plants.
  • Make it “mine.” Remember those seeds that the little ones selected? Create an area for those plants and allow children have their own group of plants to care for. Having them water and weed their own plants – and pick the harvest later on – imparts pride of ownership.
  • Teach value. At harvest time, weigh some of your harvest and write down how many pounds of zucchini, tomatoes or other veggies your young gardener has grown. Then go to the grocery store, find the current price of these items and help them do the math. There’s a good lesson in knowing that you’ve just grown $5 worth green beans!

Unlicensed Contractors on the Rise in the Area

“The Nevada State Contractors Board recently cited eight alleged unlicensed contractors for violating statutes of contracting without a license and advertising without a license during a February sting operation.”

» CLICK TO READ RGJ ARTICLE

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Click to visit the NSCB

Heads up Northern Nevada.With the added growth in the market, we’ll also begin to see unscrupulous service providers popping up all over. Just this week, the RGJ reports the Nevada State Contractors Board cited eight violators in February.

What does this mean to you? Very simply put, always make sure the person offering services has a license to do the work they’re selling you. Ask for a license on paper. And be diligent if they can’t quickly come up with documents of proof. You have time to make sure they have the skills, resources and licensing to do your job right, so exercise your right for validation. This goes for landscapers of course, but all other trades as well. The end result could be catastrophic for your home or business if issues arise – and they typically do.

Search NSCB Database for Company Name

Why should I hire a licensed contractor?

  • Unlicensed contractors do not carry Workman’s Compensation insurance, so if they get injured on your property, you could be held liable.
  • Homeowners who use unlicensed contractors are not eligible for the Residential Recovery Fund, and by law a contract with an unlicensed contractor is null and void.

The NSCB encourages anyone who comes across unlicensed contracting activities to report the information to NSCB’s unlicensed contractor hotline at 702-486-1160 or 775-850-7838. Details to provide include the unlicensed contractor’s name, address (business and/or physical location where work is being performed), phone number, vehicle description, license plate, business card and/or advertisement, contracts signed by the unlicensed individual, etc.

 

Ten Tips for Making Sure Your Contractor Is on the Level

  1. Hire only licensed contractors.
  2. Check the contractor’s license number by utilizing our Online Contractor Search or by contacting the Nevada State Contractors Board:

9670 Gateway Drive, Ste 100
Reno, NV 89521
Phone: (775) 688-1141
Fax: (775) 688-1271
Hours of Operation – Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm

  1. Get three references and review past work.
  2. Get at least three bids.
  3. Get a written contract and do not sign anything until you
    completely understand the terms.
  4. For pool contracts, pay 10% down or $1,000 – whichever is less, if a deposit
    is required.
  5. Don’t let payments get ahead of the work. Keep a record of all payments.
    Don’t make a final payment until you are satisfied with the job.
  6. Don’t pay cash.
  7. Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project.
  8. Check the contractor’s record with the Better Business Bureau in your area or visit their website at www.bbb.org

Landscaping During Changing Weather

Late Winter Lawn Care

Yards are trying to turn green, trees are budding and if your yard is like Erin’s, daffodils are coming up confusingly early. Our warmer weather is challenging the plants around the yard. Our best advice is to water the trees but let the lawns stay dormant until things warm up a little more.


Here’s a link to the original piece by KTVN:
http://www.ktvn.com/story/28192449/with-lawn-care-watch-the-timing

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