Carson Tahoe Named Nation’s 5th Most Beautiful Hospital

A hospital that makes patients feel better on arrival? It’s true, beautiful hospitals have been shown to speed healing. And Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center has just been recognized for its commitment to the patient, being named the fifth most-beautiful hospital in the U.S. by Soliant Health, one of the largest healthcare staffing companies in the country.

Signature Landscapes couldn’t be more excited for the hospital and is proud to have installed this amazing landscape years ago – and still maintains this beautiful facility today.

most_beautiful_hospitals-2014“There is a special feel to hospitals with inviting public spaces and soothing private rooms,” said Gale Yochum, a nine-year Soliant operating room travel nurse. “Patients who feel satisfied with the facility may recover faster and have shorter stays, which is good for both hospital and patient.”

Soliant judges said they could see this hospital being used as an exterior location for any number of big-budget Hollywood sci-fi movies. In the words of hospital officials, the newly-constructed facility is meant to celebrate the wonders of the natural world that surrounds it, “capturing and embracing the healing forces of nature’s elements.”

If you would like to learn more about the Carson Tahoe Health facility, simply visit www.carsontahoe.com. Article photo by: Richard Stokes for CTRH Publication.

Dave Dabner Joins Signature Landscapes’ Commercial Team

Dave Dabner

Dave Dabner

Signature Landscapes is proud to announce Dave Dabner has joined their commercial landscape management division. A farm boy from Willows, CA, Mr. Dabner has devoted his career to the landscape industry; from managing nurseries and irrigation supply firms, to managing municipal parks for the City of Orville. He ran his own Northern California landscape operation for 16 years before moving to Reno more than a decade ago.

His leadership in the industry includes past president of the Nevada Landscape Association (NLA), holds a C-27 Landscaping Contractor license (CA), holds a Qualified Commercial Applicator Certification (CA), and is a certified paver with an ICPI certification.

Mr. Dabner helped usher in the newer, more refreshing California Style of landscape to the Truckee Meadows. Key introductions included a larger plant palette that was colorful throughout the seasons, and smart landscape designs to help reduce ever-increasing maintenance expenses. His efforts also helped bring smarter water management programs to our larger properties where he has been a driving force for water conservation ever since.

Signature is proud to welcome Mr. Dabner into the umbrella of Signature’s premium services.

Weathering winter drought – watering required

Commercial & Residential Landscapes Affected by Winter Drought

In much of Northern Nevada, we’re experiencing a serious dry spell. Warm winters without snow appeal to people, but cause winter drought. Specifically, the lack of soil moisture and atmospheric humidity can damage plant root systems unless they receive supplemental water. Truckee Meadows residents are in for a shock if watering doesn’t take place in the next few days.

 
Washoe County Parks has issued an emergency watering rule for all turf areas. Take this as a warning… let’s get our landscapes watered this month!

KTVN Channel 2 Interview

Do you remember last year’s dry December and January?


Affected plants may appear normal and resume growth in the spring, only to weaken or die in late spring or early summer because the amount of new growth produced is greater than the weakened root system can support. Lawn grasses also are prone to winter damage. Newly established lawns, whether they are started with seed or sod, are especially susceptible to damage in dry weather. Pay particular attention to turf on south exposures.

If you have any questions or comments about how to ensure the survival of your landscape plants, shrubs and trees, give us a call at (775) 857-4333 and ask for Tim, our irrigation landscape specialist.

woodlandvillageTrees and shrubs at risk from dry winters include recent transplants, evergreens and shallow rooted species such as lindens, birches, and Norway and silver maples. Evergreen shrubs, particularly those growing near a house, may suffer root system damage during dry spells.

Water during winter only when air temp is above freezing.In the future, you should plan on watering plants when the leaves start to fall in the autumn. This will send them into winter with adequate soil moisture. For recent transplants, a soil needle or deep-root-feeder can be used on low water pressure for one minute at each site to water the root ball and surrounding soil.

Water during winter only when air temperature is above freezing. Apply water early in the day, so it will have time to soak in before nighttime freezing. If water stands around the base of a tree, it can freeze and damage the bark.

In most years, one or two winter waterings will be enough to keep plants from suffering winter damage.

Special thanks goes out to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Landscape for information on this article.

Water Conservation Tips for HOA’s and Large Commercial Properties

The challenge of watering Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and other large commercial properties during a drought can be greatly reduced by using proven maintenance practices, integrating irrigation technology designed to water more efficiently and incorporating Xeriscape principles.

 

Following are practical tips provided by Signature’s landscape experts to help large properties keep landscapes healthy while using less water.

Tip #1: Determine the best water plan

drip-hoaIn communities where mandatory water restrictions have been enacted, large properties are typically faced with two irrigation options: watering on assigned days or participating in a designated water budget program. Because many commercial properties with large landscapes need more flexibility to deliver water to all their irrigation zones, property managers may elect to use a water budget. Water budgets determine a certain number of inches per year, gallons per square foot, or percentage reduction of water use based on evapotranspiration (ET). If using a water budget, the property can normally be watered any day of the week, but is limited to a prescribed amount of water. Irrigation professionals can help develop a program that is best for the property.

Tip #2: Perform proper irrigation maintenance

Improving irrigation system efficiency is one of the best ways to save water and money not only in a drought year, but every year. At system start-up and throughout the watering season, the system should be checked for leaks and broken heads and repaired promptly. Heads should be straight and not obstructed by tall grasses or plants.
Spray heads that mist or fog are indicators that the water pressure is too high and wasting water. Installing pressure-regulating devices will save water and help apply water directly to the plants.
Replacing mismatched nozzles and installing higher efficiency nozzles also save water. Many water providers offer rebates on high-efficiency nozzles, so be sure to check rebate qualifications online or ask your landscape contractor. Drip irrigation is recommended for watering trees, shrubs and flower gardens.
Drip irrigation systems are water efficient because they are not as susceptible to water loss due to evaporation, wind or surface runoff.

Tip #3: Incorporate water-saving technology

etsystemSmart controllers, also known as evapotranspiration (ET) controllers, measure soil type and characteristics, precipitation rates, plant water requirements, and weather to deliver only the amount of water needed. Controller types, features and costs vary, and some brands allow the entire system to be maintained remotely via the Internet.
Another important and inexpensive technology is a rain sensor, which prevents the irrigation system from watering during a rainstorm. Many water utilities offer rebates on water-saving technologies.

Tip #4:  Xeriscape

Xeriscape is more than a garden style or type of plant. It is a comprehensive approach to landscaping that combines seven landscaping principles to conserve water. The process includes proper design, soil prep, appropriate plant selection, water efficient irrigation, practical turf areas, mulches and appropriate maintenance. Converting all or part of an existing property to Xeriscape is another way to save water.

Tip #5: Schedule watering based on site conditions

Several factors must be considered when setting watering schedules on large properties, including soil, slope, plant types, exposures and existing irrigation technology. To adequately determine frequency and duration of watering, water application rates, soil characteristics, plant needs, weather variation and the capabilities of your irrigation technology must also be considered. For example in May, the controller might be scheduled to apply only 50 percent of the peak water budget that would be applied during the heat of July.
The amount of water applied at any one time should not exceed the infiltration rate of the soil or water will run off. Newer controllers allow for multiple start times so that the cycle- and-soak method can be utilized for better infiltration.

Tip #6: Hire a Pro

Not all landscape contractors are irrigation efficiency experts. When interviewing contractors, ask for water-saving successes from their work on similar-sized properties.
It is important to select a contractor who understands the principles of water management and also has the expertise to operate new technology. Providing the contractor the property’s water bill will help him better assess how to employ water saving measures.

 

greencoThis fact sheet is part of the Green Industries of Colorado (GreenCO) education series. GreenCO is an alliance of seven trade associations representing all facets of horticulture and landscape industries. This educational material is courtesy of GreenCO and made possible through a Water Efficiency Program Grant from the Colorado Water
Conservation Board (CWCB).

Property Management: Operating Lean and Mean

Ron Jones, president of local Nevada Commercial Services, says it best;

“The goal really doesn’t change very much. It’s to deliver the very best service as possible at the very best price possible and make the tenants’ occupancy as comfortable as it can be so they can focus on their business.”

The entire Signature Landscapes team couldn’t have said it better. While this goes for any industry, really. It hits right on the mark for the landscape industry and what drives us to serve our property management customers.

via Nevada Business Magazine article: Property Management: Operating Lean and Mean.

Jim Stanhouse Attends Pesticide Regulations and Products Workshop

Jim Stanhouse, manager of Signature Landscapes’ pest control division attended the Sacramento Workshop for pest control professionals. The educational program emphasized two tracks in the field of pesticide management: Understanding the Rodenticide Mitigation Label Changes and  Regulatory Updates, which focused on reducing children’s exposure to rodenticides, protecting wildlife from primary and secondary poisoning, and reducing home-owner miss use.

dprlogoThe second track was the highly acclaimed Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardeners and Landscape Professionals program, focusing on maintaining a healthy, vigorously growing lawn as the best way to prevent disease outbreak in turfgrass.

Stanhouse is a licensed pest control professional with more than 10 years experience in the application of pest control or pesticides. His licenses include the following:

  • Ornamental and Turf Control – The control of insects, weeds, vertebrates and plant diseases and the use of plant regulators on ornamental and turf in urban areas.
  • Industrial and Institutional – Control in and around industrial complexes, institutional complexes and dwelling units.
  • Aquatic – The control of insects, weeds and vertebrates in aquatic areas.
  • Right-of-way – The control of weeds in the maintenance of rights-of-ways, public roads, power lines pipelines and railway rights-of-ways.
  • Maintenance Gardener Pest Control Business – Authorizes the use or supervision of the use of pesticides in work as a maintenance gardener.

Understanding all facets of the pesticide industry is critical in Signature’s operation and the company strives to ensure education is one of the most important tools to manage today’s challenging pest control operation.

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.

Nevada’s Cheatgrass Problem in Detail

The significant problem facing large communities this summer is the threat of Cheatgrass igniting in or near structures. Large swaths of the invasive species have raised fire dangers to critical levels over the years. It’s an easily ignited and fast-burning menace to public safety for communities near open spaces

As we all experienced this spring, we had and extremely dry entry into the summer season. It only takes a quick glance outside your window to see the effects this has on our landscapes – cheat grass everywhere you look. We’ve reposted a few main ideas here previously published by many universities and governmental organizations, including some information from the great Ed Smith, of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

The cheatgrass invasion of vast areas of the West is uniquely intertwined with fire. Cheatgrass has increased the frequency and size of wildfires, and these fires have in turn allowed cheatgrass to expand its dominance.

Rangeland Ecolology & Management | March 2011


Cheatgrass
is one of the most notorious invasive species in the Truckee Meadows, causing dramatic and almost irreversible degradation of natural communities. As temperatures warm and cheatgrass growth rises… and the threat of enhanced fire activity rises right along with it.

It quickly colonizes disturbed arid lands and, once established, creates the conditions necessary for it to flourish. Growing quickly over the winter and dying after setting seed in early summer, cheatgrass leaves a dense cover of fine, highly flammable fuel. This abundance of fuel increases the frequency of fires, prevents the re-establishment of native plant species, and makes more space for cheatgrass. The cycle continues until large areas are covered with nothing but a cheatgrass monoculture.

Some level of cheatgrass presence may indeed be inevitable in the LTB, but ignoring the threat of further invasion and the factors that abet it could lead to serious ecosystem consequences. The most effective way to reduce the impact of invasive species is to identify new occurrences and eradicate them.

Predictive Modeling of Cheatgrass Invasion Risk for the Lake Tahoe | 10-2010

Cheatgrass typically completes its life cycle as a winter annual. It produces highly flammable standing dead biomass in early summer following seed production, greatly increasing the likelihood of subsequent fire.

Drier sites, especially those highly disturbed (e.g., close to roads and urban areas), were more suitable for cheatgrass than wetter, undisturbed sites. Quick action should be taken if cheatgrass establishment is documented.

Seed mortality is greatest with fires that burn while seeds are still attached to the plant, especially just before seed shatter in the summer. Removal of the grass before seeds begin to drop is always preferred.

Control and Management:

  • Manual cheatgrass control – Fire, mowing, grazing, tillage, and inter-seeding of competitive native plants have all been shown to reduce populations of cheatgrass.
  • Chemical cheatgrass control:  Cheatgrass can be effectively controlled using any of several professionally applied herbicides. But its effectiveness is limited by the environmental conditions during the cold early spring and early fall when pre-emergents should be applied, mainly lack of a suitable water supply to activate chemicals. This is when a competent landscape management company can really make a dent in the application of these herbicides.
It’s really about managing the threat. We’ve found a combination of labor, herbicides and time can effectively keep cheatgrass out of the large open areas near neighborhoods, schools and commercial buildings. As long as we’re constantly on top of the threat, we can one step closer to a FIRE-SAFE landscape.

Lebo Newman, Owner/Partner, Signature Landscapes

Signature Wins Back Meadowood Mall

Signature Landscapes is proud to serve Meadowood Mall once again

Signature is proud to announce our former client, Meadowood Mall, has once again enlisted the our premiere landscape management service to supervise all facets of the mall’s 8-plus acres of exterior landscape and maintenance responsibilities. By addressing the needs of the mall and understanding the acute challenges of such a large and mature landscape, Signature will again serve Meadowood and its thousands of daily customers starting July 1st.

Signature previously managed the property from 2002 to 2009 and is thrilled to welcome such a important customer back to organization.

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