Smart Irrigation Month

Industry Resources

As a Signature Landscapes customer, you already know how an efficient irrigation system can save water and dollars. You see it every time our crews are out there working on your system, planting efficient plants and working with you or your staff to educate smart irrigation practices.

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We  feel this is just part of what separates a Signature landscape from a the ‘other guys’. So we’ve teamed up with the Irrigation Association to push Smart Irrigation Month, an industry campaign to increase public awareness of the value of water-use efficiency.

Whether you’re a large company, or a homeowner, we encourage you to call our certified landscape professionals to learn more:

  • Educate customers about efficient water-use.
  • Grow demand for water-saving technologies, products and services.
  • Provide real solutions to today’s water challenges.

Getting involved is as simple as adding the Smart Irrigation Month logo to your web site, ads or newsletter, or highlighting water-saving products during July.

Learn More

Download articles to get ideas and tips for a more efficient irrigation program:

Common Landscape Irrigation Problems

No two landscapes are alike

That’s why Signature Landscapes  installs some of the most diverse, durable and precise irrigation components in the industry. Whatever landscape problems you might have, be worry-free knowing Signature Landscapes has an efficient, hassle-free solution.

PROBLEM: Watering Slopes or Hills
Water can puddle or pool around sprinklers installed at the bottom of slopes or hills, causing soggy areas, which can kill grass or encourage fungus to grow.

SIGNATURE LANDSCAPES SOLUTION
3500 Rotors and 5000 Rotors with a Seal-A-Matic™ (SAM) Check Valve stop the problem of low head drainage and eliminate puddling. Or use Rain Bird Rotary Nozzles which deliver water at a lower rate, allowing sufficient soak-in time to prevent run-off.

Irrigation – a Nozzle for Every Need

Selecting the correct nozzle is one of the most crucial, yet overlooked, elements in irrigation system design.


Choosing the correct nozzle, whether it’s for a spray head or a rotor, is easy if you take the time to study the nozzle charts in a manufacturer’s product catalog and select one that best suits your needs; irrigation equipment manufacturers have put a tremendous amount of effort into developing nozzles to fit almost every application:

  • For slopes and compacted soils, select a nozzle with a lower precipitation rate.
  • For windy areas, select a nozzle with a low nozzle outlet trajectory.
  • To achieve even water distribution without having to separate part-circle from full-circle sprinklers, select a nozzle set that features a matched precipitation rate.
  • Another way to ensure uniform watering, if you’re working with spray heads, is to select nozzles that have an undercut nozzle. These nozzles have an second, undercut orifice for watering closer to the head.
  • For flexibility with spray heads, select a nozzle with an adjustable or variable arc.

Because nozzles are designed to work within a wide range of pressures, it is important to ensure you have the correct pressure at the base of the nozzle. Too much pressure, as is commonly the situation with spray heads, will result in misting. Misting creates a reduction in the radius of throw and you may experience uneven coverage, and cause wet and dry spots. To correct this, several manufacturers offer devices that can be installed at the nozzle or are integrated in the sprinkler, such as the Rain Bird PRS Series.

If you’re working primarily with rotors, keep in mind that too much pressure can cause the rotor to rotate too quickly. The nozzle stream of a fast moving rotor will “horsetail” and cause a severe reduction in the radius of coverage. Too little pressure will also result in a reduction in the radius of throw and uneven water distribution.

For more information on proper nozzle selection, contact Signature Landscapes Landscape Industry Certified irrigation pros (775) 857-4333. We’re here to help your landscape grow!

 

Watering Variations & Sun Exposure

Over- or under-watering often results because not every part of your yard and garden requires the same amount of moisture due to exposure to the sun.
SIGNATURE LANDSCAPES SOLUTIONS
Easy-to-set controllers with multiple, independent programs, like the ESP-Modular, allow additional watering times to be programmed for areas with more sun exposure. Low-volume drip allows the customization of precise water delivery to individual plants or groups of plants, based on specific watering needs and exposure to the sun.

Call (775) 827-LAWN (5296) for a quick and helpful phone quote. Or visit SigLands.com and schedule a free consultation. Our team will help you get the most out of your current irrigation system today. We’re proud to use Rain Bird products for a green, healthy lawn!

Smart irrigation controllers – A Greener Idea

A Greener Idea

You may be able to upgrade your current irrigation system with a smart controller. Some new components are designed as easy add-ons to existing systems.

ESPModular

If you’re a typical homeowner, you probably put your automatic sprinkler system into the same category as your home’s heating and cooling system. You expect it to work reliably and efficiently with minimum fuss. The latest technology offers just that — and more.

Automated irrigation systems offer convenience while protecting your landscape investment. A well-maintained system keeps your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, while minimizing water waste.

To raise awareness of the benefits of efficient watering practices, Reno Lawn & Landscape is promoting Smart Irrigation Month throughout the month of July. Make time this summer to be sure you’re getting the most out of your irrigation system, while keeping utility bills low and helping to protect the environment.

NEW $21 DISCOUNT: Signature will take $21 off any Rain Bird ESP Model controller. Just mention this article! Call today (775) 827-5296


 Sprinklers Get Smart

The new generation of “smart” irrigation systems monitor weather, soil conditions, evaporation and plant water use and automatically adjust your watering schedule.

The secret to smart systems is the controller. Smart controllers use weather and/or site data to determine when and how long to water. Then, sprinklers apply just enough water at exactly the right time in each zone of your yard.

Smart controllers

  • Save water. Smart systems automatically suspend watering during rain, freezing or high wind conditions. Careful scheduling minimizes evaporation and encourages water to soak in, reducing the total amount of water needed. Preventing overwatering actually keeps plants healthier by encouraging stronger roots and discouraging weeds, disease and fungus growth.
  • Save money. Smart systems can reduce your annual water bill by as much as 30 percent by preventing water waste. Plus, many local water providers offer rebates for purchasing specific smart controllers.
  • Save time. Once an irrigation installer has programmed your site data into the smart system, the controller adjusts the watering schedule based upon weather conditions and soil moisture without manual intervention.
  • Add convenience. Smart controllers adapt to seasonal weather changes without requiringreprogramming. And their “set and forget” technology is perfect for complying with any local watering restrictions, as well as for frequent travelers and vacation or second homes.

 

Renovating A Bland Yard Will Energize Your Outdoor Living

Backyard living spaces have seen increased popularity in the Truckee Meadows. Did you know we’ve been bringing imaginative outdoor rooms to locals like you for decades?

Our hands-on approach will help to identify the indoor functions you’d like to extend outdoors such as a fireplace, seating area, spa, living room or even the kitchen. We’ll develop a sense of your design priorities as ideas emerge for these outdoor options.

We suggest you consider the following:

  • Gathering areas for kids, pets and visitors
  • Health and relaxation objectives
  • Recreation and entertainment opportunities

As you prioritize your functions and separate “nice to do” from “must do” you’ll quickly establish a surprisingly comfortable outdoor room your entire family will enjoy for decades. Why not let us turn your design and budget into an beautiful opportunity to enhance your Reno lifestyle?

BACKYARD BASICS: WHAT’S HOT TODAY?

The projects coming across our drafting tables are excellent indicators of what’s on the minds of your neighbors~specific to backyard renovations. When it comes right down to it, there are some pretty basic “must haves” when prioritizing a backyard landscape:
1. make it livable
2. keep it green

So we wanted to give you some food for thought on the top two issues as you consider your yard makeover this summer.

LAWN RENOVATION

What is lawn renovation?
Lawn renovation involves killing existing turf and replacing it with new grass without tilling or changing the grade which is normally done during the establishment of a new lawn. Locals with older homes are finding they love grass, just not their old tired turf installed when the home was new.

Why renovate a lawn?
The lawn species/variety is frequently attacked by disease or insects causing the lawn to thin.
Your yard has become increasingly shady over time & the original lawn is thin and unhealthy.
The lawn was severely injured or totally killed by disease, insects, drought, or hit by winter.
You want to completely convert from one turf species to another.

(re) INSTALL SPRINKLERS

If you are going to install a sprinkler system, the best time to do it is before installing your new turf. It will be easier to install and be in place to help your new plants grow. This service goes hand in hand with service on the left. With our semi-arid climate, an efficient system has several benefits.

An efficient sprinkler system will:

  • Save more water than you might expect

  • Make it easier to water at the best times

  • Adjust flows with temperature and humidity

Typical issues in local households

  • Pop-up spray heads, impact sprinkler or rotor
  • sprinkler nozzles or sprinkler bodies are broken.
  • Sprinkler head above or below grade.
  • Spacing of sprinklers inappropriate for the head.

Trees are people too!

Drip Line IllustrationSometimes we take our trees for granted because they are always there and don’t turn brown as fast as a heat-stressed lawn. We forget that they, too, can be water-deprived. Right now, your tree needs to soak up water–and nutrients–to survive the dormant season.

So how do you help your trees?

Water them now and water once per month through October. Use a deep root watering device that attaches to a garden hose and soak the soil 6 to 8 inches deep.

To know where to water, draw an imaginary circle of where the outermost branches extend over the ground.  That circle is called the drip line of the tree.  Water at various points within this drip line.  Be sure to probe and water some points that are closer and some points that farther away from the trunk as you move around the tree.

Fertilize?  The deep-root watering device can also deliver fertilizer while you water.  But wait until about Labor Day to add fertilizer.  Look specifically for a fall blend that has the micro-nutrients that are beneficial for the fall fertilization.

Remember, Signature Landscapes has two skilled and knowledgeable ISA Certified arborists on staff to help you with your tree questions. Call us at (775) 857-4333 and we’ll work to keep your gentle giants happy, healthy and ready for the coming winter.

Northern Nevada Drought – Things you should know as you program your irrigation clocks

It’s a warm, dry spring and we’ve known for months the Truckee Meadows is in for a very dry summer.

So…other than an extremely elevated FIRE season, what does this mean for all of us who have a front lawn to mow, veggie seeds in the ground and a some trees to offer cools shade on the hot side of the house?  Can we tend to our plants and still save water?

Lawn watering tip for now through mid-June:  After watering the grass, let the top 1/2″ of the soil dry out before watering again.  This is when the roots are growing deep to seek water in the soil.  By letting that top 1/2″ dry out, you’re building a more healthy, drought tolerant lawn.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. While landscapes do take water, they also give back. Landscaping is part of our eco-system that cleans the air, shades buildings, mitigates pollution in both the air and storm water, produces food and cools the urban environment. Landscapes give back to us much more than they take.
  2. Water-deprived landscapes become unhealthy ones that are susceptible to weeds and disease. Even in dry times, we need to protect the long-term value of our landscapes while conserving water. LOW water does not mean NO water. We simply need to water responsibly.
  3. Now is the time to get busy and do the things that save water–like simple, budget-friendly upgrades to the sprinkler system.  Irrigation clocks/timers/controllers are terribly sophisticated these days – and the price on the good ones are surprisingly affordable. Plus they’re very user friendly!

Remember Xeriscapes from years gone by?  Now a globally-known concept, it was invented in Colorado about 30 years ago and its principles apply today.  Xeriscape isn’t a “look” or a specific kind of landscape, rather, it’s a whole system that starts in the soil and ends with a rich plant palette and vibrant healthy landscape.

What it looks like in your yard is up to personal preference and individual interpretation that comes about with a good design.  If you’re planning to renovate or installing a new landscape this year, check out what Xeriscape really means, because that vision of rocks and yucca plants is nothing more than pure urban legend!

Call our Landscape Design Center at (775) 857-4333 and schedule a free consultation to help visualize how a water-smart landscape could actually save you money while looking the best on the block.

Plus, all new landscapes qualify for our 180-Days Same-As-Cash landscape and paver program. So you can take your own sweet time to pay a landscape to last you and your family a lifetime.

REDUCE AND DIVERSIFY WITH X-E-R-I-S-C-A-P-E!

Reducing turf areas, lowering water costs and bringing a more organic look to the landscape was the big ‘to do’ for us in 2009. In other words, Xeriscaping was back into favor with homeowners, designers and contractors. I have a good feeling it’s going to top 2010 project list again.

Now, before you get the idea this translates to a few cacti, scotch broom and a cover of river-rock mulch, you just might want to take a new look at Xeriscaping. At its most basic, this is a practice designed to help make low-water-use landscaping an easily recognized concept. Here in the Truckee Meadows, water costs, mandatory watering schedules and plant deaths have demonstrated Xeriscaping is a smart choice and can look magnificent.

Xeriscaping represents a multi-step approach to incorporate soil amendments, compatible plant material and efficient irrigation into a well thought-out design. Try to look at your landscape in a simpler way and choose appropriate plants, native and naturalized, for our area. Use plantings that will survive and thrive Northern Nevada’s climate. And think organically at all times; part of your overall earth-wise gardening solution will conserve water with native and adapted plants and consume less synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, while reducing emissions from lawn equipment.

Planted veggies line a walkway

You don’ have to sacrifice style and grace to create a beautiful Xeriscaped garden. Instead of roses, peonies and Hydrangeas in flower beds, showcase the plants in a pot or urn that can be appreciated close up and maintained easier. For a green, clipped European-themed garden, you can spend a lot less effort, money and water using native plants to achieve the great designs and the first place to start is by asking questions of your landscaper or nursery. They have the professionals on staff with the native plant knowledge to steer you in the right direction.

 

 

 

Xeriscaping can reduce landscape water use by 60 percent or more and increase property values by as much as 15 percent, according to Colorado WaterWise – an agency focused on promoting water-efficient landscaping


Be Water Smart

Drip irrigation is gaining popularity in our state as we’ve begun to experience more drought and watering restrictions and should be part of our commitment to the intelligent use of water. Drip products are made of control zone components that control water flow (valves, filters and pressure regulators), distribution components that get water where it needs to go (blank tubing or dripline emitter tubing) and emission devices (drip emitters and low volume microsprays).
Drip systems are often the perfect solution for sparse planting schemes. Applying water directly to the plant roots without watering the areas in between, you not only cut down water use but also help prevent weed growth. It’s also ideal for plantings near buildings and paved areas, greatly reducing runoff and overspray that are wasteful and can ruin wooden structures – such as your fence or the side of your house.

Grass is still OK!

Xeriscape garden does not have to look dry and desolate, and it doesn’t require the absolute absence of turf grass. We loves turf and use it frequently in moderation as in a ‘turf medallion’ in an arid-type garden, or as a focal point, a destination or a way to set off the plantings that surround it. Your landscape will still benefit from turf’s summer cooling properties and even more exciting, the sizeable water expense savings.

Also, you might highlight interesting architecture and use brightly painted yard art, urns, stones and plants with colorful flowers, foliage, fruit and bark to lend year-round intrigue to a Xeriscape.

For any questions about how you can produce a wonderful Xeriscaped landscape, give your landscape professional or nursery a call. They’ll spend the time to provide you with smart, affordable ideas on how you can transition your old-school yard into a stylish, sturdy outdoor environment designed for Nevada.

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