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.

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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

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

Weed Control in Spring Time

Now is the time!

Here’s the skinny…while we’re not calling an end to winter – the weed seeds on your property are saying it right now. The weather is unusually warm and this means all of us in the Truckee Meadows need to step up our weed control programs considerably.

quotess2Beautiful landscapes begin by eliminating weeds before germination

Lawn maintenance requires attentive weed control.

The most effective way to control weeds is to apply pre-emergent herbicide early in the year to prevent unwanted growth from appearing. Call our helpful weed-pros to schedule your treatments this week – before the seeds on your property germinate.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL Professional Pre-emergent Application + Turf Aeration Service – Save 10% on any service this month up to 3,000 square feet!


Call Julie to schedule a free weed control consultation (775) 827-LAWN (5296)

  • Weeds hurt the healthy and vibrant plants in the landscape stealing water, nutrients and light.
  • Many people are allergic to weeds and can suffer skin reactions or breathing difficulties.
  • They’re unattractive additions to any property and can cost thousands of dollars to eliminate if left untreated.
  • The aesthetic factor: weeds hurt the look of a landscape.

Timing Weed Control

Pre-emergent herbicides only work if they are applied to your lawn before the weed’s growth period. Weeds are persistent and crafty, and managing them really is a matter of outwitting, outplaying them, and outlasting them. They come back every season, twice a year. According to garden experts across the U.S., pre-emergent fertilizers should be applied so that they activate before seasonal weeds make an appearance.

Turf & trees have different water needs

Trees and turf often share space in home landscapes, but they have different water needs. Understanding this can help conserve water and save money.

A tree is a thirty-year investment that can easily add up to $5,000 to a property’s value!


Tree suffering from overwatering

Tree suffering from overwatering

Bluegrass turf requires about 1inch of moisture per week during the spring and fall and about 1 1/2 inches in summer, depending on temperatures and winds.

Water should be applied once or twice a week on heavier soils in spring and fall, and potentially two to three times during the heat of the summer. For lighter, sandy soils watering may be needed more often.

This frequent irrigation is good for the turf, but not so for the trees that live within the turf.

This frequent, shallow watering encourages trees living within the turfgrass to develop shallow roots. When periods of drought occur, these trees do not have a deep root system that would allow them to pull water from deeper in the soil profile and that’s when we see them become drought stressed.

One other problem that trees encounter while living in the over-irrigated turfgrass environment is that daily watering of turf also prevents the soil from drying out, this also is harmful to trees.

Tree roots need oxygen to develop correctly. Soil that is constantly saturated with water will prevent oxygen from being present in the soil. This will prevent proper root growth and this will lead to drought like symptoms.

Furthermore, trees planted in irrigated turf must try to compete with turf to capture moisture and nutrients within that top 12 inches of soil. Inevitably the turf will win every time.

Homeowners will find it more practical to meet the differing needs of trees and turf if they group trees within large mulched beds. Trees would prefer to be watered deeply and less frequently than lawns. They should be given 1 to 2 inches per application.

Healthy grouping of trees on a separate drip line

Healthy grouping of trees on a separate drip line

We encourage watering trees deeply and infrequently to encourage them to develop a deeper rooting system, which makes them structurally stronger and more resilient to years of drought because they can capture water deeper in the soil profile.

A typical tree has most of its water-absorbing roots in the top 12 to 24 inches of soil. Those roots also expand out more than one and a half times further than the drip line of the tree. These massive root systems allow trees to draw moisture from a larger area.

The objective to watering trees should be to irrigate to the depth of the root zone and provide adequate water to the area under the drip line and beyond.

Trees would prefer to receive moisture every seven to 10 days, possibly even 14 days, depending on species. The best way to know if a tree needs to be watered is to insert a soil probe or a 12-inch-long flat-head screwdriver into the ground. If it goes in easily there is no need to water; if it is difficult to insert into the ground, it is time to apply some moisture.

It’s also important not to apply too much water or fertilizer around the trees near the end of the growing season, prior to first frost. That would stimulate tender new growth that could be damaged by the freeze. However, after the leaves have dropped, if winter is dry, water should be added once a month.

Other factors to consider when trying to figure out a watering routine and amount to apply are:

  • Soil: Heavy soils require more water less often. Sandy soils require more applications, but in smaller amounts
  • Location in the landscape: Trees placed on south and west sides of buildings and homes require more frequent watering than trees on the north and east
  • Time of year: Trees need to be irrigated less often in the spring and fall, because temperatures are lower and less evaporation is occurring
  • Species of tree: Some trees species require more water than others

Knowing trees’ water requirements is more than a good way to conserve water; during a drought, it might be the key to saving valuable trees. If water restrictions are enacted, homeowners should give trees higher priority than turf.

 

Special thanks to Amy Seiler and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for information on this article.

Defensible Space Specialists

Signature Landscapes is a leading defensible space landscape contractor for the Truckee Meadows, Carson and Tahoe/Truckee region. This means our expertise and manpower can quickly and effectively help to provide our firefighters with a safe place from which to defend your home from an approaching wildland fire.  Homes with adequate defensible space are more likely to survive a wildland fire, even without firefighter assistance.

Defensible Space
Defined as the area around your home where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the fire threat.  The size of a home’s defensible space varies, 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. 

Call Signature Landscapes today and take steps to create a fire-safe landscape for your home as well as your neighborhood. It takes a community to keep everyone’s home safe from the devastation of fire.

Local fire departments would like to encourage you to create a defensible space around your home.  You can do this by implementing the three “R’s” into your landscaping design: Removal, Reduction, and Replacement.

Start the Spring with Fire Safety

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


  • Remove dead or flammable vegetation. 
  • Reduce vegetation by pruning or mowing.  Providing space between plants and trees removes the continuous fuel bed that might otherwise exist throughout your yard.  The more continuous and dense the vegetation in your yard, the greater the wildfire threat to your home. 
  • Replace flammable vegetation with less hazardous choices.  Shorter plants are better than taller plants, and non-woody plants are better than evergreens or junipers.

“Shifting our thinking now is critical given some disturbing projections from the nation’s wildfire experts:”

  • Fire seasons will become longer, more intense, and wildfires will be more difficult to control.
  • The number of people living in or adjacent to high fire-hazard areas will increase.
  • Our firefighting resources will not keep pace with the increased wildfire threat.

Ed Smith, Natural Resource Specialist University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

 

Download the following PDF booklets to learn how you can create a landscape in fire-prone areas:

Fall Cleanup is Coming: Leaves

Clear leaves and cut back ornamental grasses as an important first step to your fall prep.

Fallen leaves and debris from uncut ornamental grasses, perennials and flowering shrubs can smother and kill turf.

Perennials, which can have a woody stalk or stem left after the blossom fades, should be trimmed back to both promote the plant’s health and maintain a neat appearance.

And remember, bugs that love the outside during the summer usually move indoors when winter hits. They want to be cozy and warm too.

Whether you own a home or live in a managed association, taking care of leaves will keep your home looking good on the outside and bug free on the inside.

 

Brown Spots on Your Lawn?

How to deal with brown spots

In the heat of July, almost every lawn has brown spots and we all see them. Brown spots are really the lawn’s S-O-S call for help. The grass is obviously stressed and of course, we think it needs MORE water.

We’re tempted to turn up the sprinkler system so it waters longer. But watering longer won’t solve the problem if the water isn’t getting to that brown spot to begin with.

So, how do we find the problem?

Many brown spots can be solved right at the source of where the water comes out – at the sprinkler heads themselves. Four common problems are quick fixes that can get much of your system back in order. If you do the work yourself, it shouldn’t take a lot of time. Whether it’s a DIY project or you bring in the Signature Landscapes technician, the benefits will be a healthier lawn and hopefully, less water use and costs.

4 Causes of brown spots

  • The nozzle – the part in the sprinkler head where the water comes out – is clogged. Dirt and debris often get into the nozzle and once it is cleaned out, the head will spray water where it’s intended.
  • The direction of the nozzle’s spray is out of adjustment. The nozzle may be directing water too low or too high. Either one will keep the water from hitting the area it is supposed to reach. Making the adjustment will solve the problem.
  • Rotor heads – the ones that oscillate back and forth – may be pointed in the wrong direction or stuck. A head that’s aimed at the street rather than your lawn is the culprit for the brown spot and wasting water in the process. Getting the head back into adjustment will put the water where it needs to go.
  • Sprinkler heads aren’t popping up high enough. Equipment damage or soil build-up over the years may mean the sprinklers are no longer popping up high enough to clear the top of the grass blades. Water will hit the grass closest the head and be deflected. Raising the heads – or replacing them with sprinklers that pop up higher – will solve the problem. 

More advice for brown spots

For a few days if temps remain high, you may want to hand water just those brown spots to give them extra TLC – but avoid making the entire sprinkler system run longer just to deal with problem areas. That’s a waste of water – and added cost.

Need help getting your sprinklers in good running order? Your Signature Landscapes Landscape Certified Irrigation Technician can help you find the perfect formula for a healthier greener turf.

TURF HELP

Call 827-5296 to green-up your grass today

Tips for Turning on Your Sprinkler System with KTVN Channel 2

Spring Water System Check

Sprinkler systems all around the Truckee Meadows are coming out of hibernation following a long, cold winter. Local lawn services are scrambling to turn on sprinkler systems now that the weather has warmed up. Scott Leonard of Signature Landscapes says his crews are responding to calls from customers who are ready to start watering. “The weather changed from last week and freezing temperatures to near 80 degrees right now. It’s about getting water on as fast as we can,” said Leonard.


 

via Tips for Turning on Your Sprinkler System – KTVN Channel 2 – Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video –.

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.

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