Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
21 Apr 2012

Smart Controllers make once per week watering much, much easier and water far more efficiently.

Once per week watering is a pain in the neck to calculate.  As
mentioned in our article on watering once per week, at best you’ll
need 6 start times.  You have to calculate how long the total watering
time will be so the Water Police don’t ticket you accidentally running
past your allotted time.  Is there an easier way?  Yes.  Just like
your phone, we now have smart controllers.  We started using
Weathermatic’s Smartline Controller in our personal lawns during the
droughts we had several years ago, following Plano’s once per week
watering schedule.  While many people were complaining about what bad
shape their lawns and landscapes were in due to the watering
restrictions, our lawns were growing so fast the maintenance crews
were struggling to cut them.

The Smartline controller uses a weather monitor that senses the high
and low of each day.  We program into the controller what type of soil
and sprinklers you have, what type of plants each zone has, how much
shade and how much slope each zone has.  Then we tell it what your
current water restrictions are.  If your watering day is Saturday
except between 10am and 6pm, starting Sunday the controller will
calculate how many inches of water your lawn and landscape lost and,
since it knows it can’t water Sunday due to the water restrictions, it
will store that information daily until Saturday.  On Saturday at
midnight it will start watering.  During the summer it normally will
calculate about an hour per zone but it knows you have clay soil so it
will water each zone in 5 minute bursts (less if you have a slope)
with 30 minute soak times in between.  If there isn’t enough time to
finish watering before the 10am cutoff, it will pause and then at 6pm
it will start where it left off.

Sound complicated?  The programming we do is pretty in depth but once
we’ve done the programming you really don’t need to adjust it again.
Does it water perfectly?  Nope.  We’ve noticed in the winter it will
occasionally over water but it is certainly simpler to operate and
waters much more efficiently than programming by hand.

How much does it cost?  The installed price for most homes is $800
including the programming, so this controller isn’t for everyone but
water restrictions seem to be here to stay, and Smart Controllers are
the future of protecting your plants and foundation.

19 Apr 2012

Is once per week enough to water my Dallas lawn, even in the summer?

Most cities in the Dallas area have settled on a once per week
watering schedule.  Is that enough to keep your lawn and landscape
healthy?  Unless you have a very large lawn and landscape, the answer
is yes. Most cities allow watering from midnight to 10am and from 6pm
until midnight which is 16 hour.  That’s plenty of time to water but
you have to be creative in your watering schedule.

Studies have shown the key to healthy watering isn’t how often each
week you water, it’s the number of minutes per week.  As long as
you’re putting back into the soil the same amount it’s losing each
week, the lawn doesn’t care whether you’re watering daily or weekly.

During the summer, lawns in the sun lose roughly an inch of water per
week.  Sprinklers using normal spray heads, like the one pictured,
typically put out an inch of water per hour which means you need to
run each zone an hour on the one day per week you’re allowed to water.
The catch is our clay soils can’t absorb an hour of water all at once
which is why you have to be creative.  You need to break up your
schedule into several start times – the simplest is three start times
in the morning and three at night running 10 minutes each.  If you
have rotors (sprinklers that turn) you usually need to double the
length of time I just mentioned.  Since the cities allow 16 hours, you
need to water roughly an hour per zone so that means unless you have
more than sixteen zones or and don’t have lots of rotors you have
plenty of time to water your lawn – even once per week.

The main problem we’ve seen with the once per week watering isn’t with
the lawn, it’s the sprinkler controller.  There are quite a few that
won’t allow 6 start times.  Water restrictions seem to be here to stay
so it may be time to consider replacing your old controller.

Note:Be sure to double check your math so your sprinklers don’t
accidentally run past the water window you’re allowed.  If your math
isn’t very good you’re always welcome (actually encouraged) to call us
and one of our wonderful sprinkler technicians can stop by and help
you set your controller.

 

16 Apr 2012

Dallas Area Sun Loving Summer Annuals – Portulaca

Portulaca, otherwise known as moss rose, is makes a carpet of bright
colors – yellow, red, orange and white.
They reach about 6″ in height.  These love the heat so much they are
almost desert plants.  You have to make sure they’re in full sun most
of the day because as the sun goes down the blooms close.  Again,
you’re better off under watering these a little because the foliage
will turn yellow and you’ll lose the blooms.

14 Apr 2012

Dallas Area Sun Loving Summer Annuals – Penta

Pentas are another good choice for an annual in a sunny location
in the north Dallas area.  They reach about 12″ in height and have
red, pink and purple blooms. They are very hardy and, since they’re
not quite as popular as some annuals, they stand out as a little
different from the rest.

10 Apr 2012

North Dallas water restrictions by city…

A week or so ago the water board relaxed its water restrictions. As usual, each city has its own twist on the requirements so here is a list of the current water restrictions by city:

Allen Water Restrictions

Dallas Water Restrictions

Frisco Water Restrictions

Fairview Water Restrictions

Garland Water Restrictions

Murphy Water Restrictions

Plano Water Restrictions

Richardson Water Restrictions

Sachse Water Restrictions