Month: January 2015
As the summer sun continues to get hotter, the threat of drought conditions increases. When it’s time to cut back on water usage due to dry conditions, those who value their landscaping often have a difficult time scaling back the amount of water they use. Of all the homes out there, nearly half of the water usage can be attributed to outdoor watering. Although some critics point out that people just want to have the best lawn in town, some may be surprised to find that well maintained landscaping can also aid in protection from erosion, brush fires, and other drought related issues. So what do you do if you want a nice looking lawn, while ensuring that you are doing your part in conserving water?
Aerate Your Lawn
One easy thing you can do to reduce watering frequency is by aerating your lawn every fall or spring religiously. This practice of removing bits of soil from the ground allows water and oxygen to more easily penetrate the dirt and grow stronger roots. Aeration also loosens up the ground a little, making it easier for water to absorb.
Make Sure it Needs Water
When it is hot and dry, you may sometimes be deceived into thinking that unpleasant weather automatically means your grass needs watering. If you want to potentially save thousands of gallons of water every year, the best thing you can do is check if your landscaping really needs the water. To do this, dig six inches down into the dirt with a trowel. If the soil from six inches down sticks together and is moist to the touch, your landscaping is good to go and does not need watering.
Don’t Mow Short
Although it is very tempting to mow your grass as short as possible so you don’t have to mow it as much, this can be damaging to both your grass and your water bill. In the heat of the summer, you will want to cut your grass about two and a half to three inches long. Longer grass shades the soil, causing less water evaporation.
Ensure Sprinklers Work Properly
Watering your sidewalk or driveway isn’t doing your landscape any good and it can add up to be a big waste of water and money. Every few weeks, make sure your sprinklers are placed where they are the most effective. Besides watering concrete, sprinklers can often get pushed down into the ground, causing them not to function properly. This could cost a lot of money and potentially cause damage to your landscaping due to too much water in some areas and not enough in others.
Check Irrigation Frequently
If you have an irrigation system, you may have realized by now that it tends to leak quite often. This can be a big waste of water and money, as well as a potential hazard for any plants or grass near the leak. To avoid this common problem, check up on your irrigation system fairly regularly. The most common leaking areas tend to be the sprinkler heads. If you notice a leak happening on a regular basis, contact a local landscaping professional so they can fix what is most likely a broken valve.
These are just a few of the endless ways for you to save money and water on your landscaping. By paying a little more attention to the care of your landscaping, it may be easier to cut back on unneeded watering. Summer, fall, or spring, water conservation is always important. By saving yourself money with water conservation, you are giving back to the community.
Written by Mike West, owner of WestCo Grounds Maintenance. WestCo provides the best solutions to landscaping Jefferson City MO has to offer. They also specialize in irrigation and lawn sprinkler service.
One of the most critical elements of being ready for the rainy season is to make sure your gutters are good to go. What does that mean? Read on…..
What your gutters actually do
Gutters are probably the most central and important part of the drainage system of your property. They are responsible for quickly capturing water from the roof and redirecting it to the base of the house through downpipes. As downpipes are connected to stormwater drains, this also protects the lower floor and foundations of your home. Damaged gutters can create massive and very expensive problems down the track including:
All roofing and guttering will deteriorate in time and therefore, maintaining your gutters is really important. In particular, keep an eye on any metal surfaces as they can deteriorate very quickly (in as little as six months), if they’re not looked after.
The single most effective thing you can do to make sure your gutters are in good nick is to remove debris that has gathered in them. By doing so you’ll ensure that rainwater flows freely from your gutters to storm water drains on your property. If your gutters are full with rubbish, they will fill up and overflow, sending the rainwater into the eaves of your house. This will affect the structural timbers of your property and could even wet internal walls. However, before you get up on your roof, make sure you have all the right safety gear. Have a chat to experts like www.safeatheightsqld.com.au who can sort you out with products and advice to ensure you inspect your roof safely.
Also consider cutting back overhanging trees as they will fill your gutters up more quickly. If you have pine trees near your home, keep a close eye on the pine needles as they create an acidic environment inside your gutters that accelerates rusting. You may even want to consider installing one of the many new products on the market, such as a mesh system, that act as guards for your gutter by blocking airborne debris. Even with these systems, you’ll still need to clean out your gutters as leaves sitting on top of the guards will breakdown into smaller particles over time and drop through the barrier.
Make sure you physically get up and inspect your roofs and gutters regularly, particularly after significant weather events such as storms, hail and heavy rain. Storms and high winds can lead to rapid deterioration of weakened roofs and gutters, so visually check these areas regularly to spot and prevent problems early on.
If you have tried unsuccessfully to repair your gutters, you probably need to replace them. While galvanised iron has been used traditionally for gutters, there is a much wider range of products now available including steel coated with zinc and aluminium (Zincalume), aluminium eaves gutters and even PVC gutters. These products vary in price as well as their resistance to corrosion. Whichever product you choose, make sure that when you replace or repair sheet metal roofing or gutters, that materials are compatible.
Storms come and go quickly but their impact on our homes and communities can last for months afterwards. By getting your gutters in tip-top condition, you’ll significantly increase your homes’chances of coming out unscathed.