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Skydrop Ultimate Smart Controller

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Controller Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the controller manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

SRC Plus Series

SRC Plus Manual

Product Guide

For residential & light commercial systems. The SRC controller offers a proven track record of Hunter quality and reliability, as well as some of the features you'd assume might only be available on high-priced units.

EC Series

EC Manual

Product Guide

For residential systems. A masterpiece of modern technology that brings together the most desirable features, bundles them in a small, attractive package, and makes everything simple and easy to use. The new EC is designed for those who don’t want a big controller, but do want one with all the features that meet their irrigation requirements.

Pro-C Series

Pro-C Manual

Product Guide

For residential & light commercial systems. With its ability to customize to the particular size you need (from 3 to 15 stations), the Pro-C will always be the right choice

ICC Series

ICC Manual

Product Guide

The universal modular controller for residential & commercial projects

SRR Remote Control Kit

SRR Manual

Conveniently activate sprinklers without walking back and forth to the controller

SRP Programmer Kit

The simple, convenient way for professionals and homeowners to set or adjust irrigation system schedules using a personal computer.

PSC-Z

Residential and commercial systems.

PSR Pump Start Relay

Reliability at an economical price.

Whether you require the use of a booster pump or pull water directly from a creek or pond, it is imperative that your irrigation system includes a relay that can be counted upon to activate your pump each and every time.

PGV Sprinkler Valve SVC Series Product Manual

For isolated sites or power-restricted areas, and for the special needs of drip zones, Hunter provides the ideal economical answer.

Purchase SVC-Series Here
PGV Sprinkler Valve XC Series Product Manual

The new Hunter XC presents handy water management control in a compact, user-friendly controller that is capable of meeting the irrigation requirements for a wide range of residential landscapes.

Purchase XC-Series Here
 


Hunter Remote Control Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the remote control manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

SRR Remote Controller

SRR Remote Control Kit Manual

See Specs Page

Activate sprinklers without walking back and forth to the controller.

ICR Remote Controller
ICR Remote Control Kit Manual

See Specs Page

Reliable and powerful long-range, multi-site remote control.

SRP Programmer
SRP Programmer Manual

See Specs Page

The simple, convenient way for professionals and homeowners to set or adjust irrigation system schedules using a PC.

 



Rotor Sprinkler Installation and Adjustment Manuals

Note: If the rotor sprinkler installation or adjustment manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

 

PGJ Product Manual

PGJ Installation Guide

Radius: 15' to 37'

All the features and benefits of the PGP®, scaled down to fit typical spray applications. A rack of easy-to-install-and-change, water-efficient nozzles…just like PGP. Easy adjustment from the top of the sprinkler…just like PGP. The safety and durability of a rubber cover…just like PGP.
 

PGM Product Manual

PGM Installation Guide

Radius: 17' to 30'

Economical rotor, ideal for use in mid-range areas on all residential and light commercial projects.
Caught someplace between too-big-for-a-spray and too-small-for-a-rotor? Capable of working in tandem with larger rotors to combine big and small areas in a single zone.
 

PGP Product Manual

PGP Installation Guide

Radius: 22' to 52'  (6,7 to 15,9 m)

The world's best selling rotor for residential & light commercial applications.
With features like a large dirty water screen and the superior ability to deliver even water distribution from continuously improved, precision engineered nozzles, this is a residential and light commercial sprinkler that is simply unmatched for reliability, durability or versatility.
 

PGP-ATR Product Manual

PGP-ATR Installation Guide

Radius: 22' to 52'  (6,7 to 15,9 m)

Easily Upgrade Impact Sprinklers to Modern Gear Drive Technology.
The proven performance of the PGP rotor specially designed to upgrade impact sprinklers.
 

I-10/I-20 Product Manual

I-10/I-20 Installation Guide

Radius: 17' to 47'  (5,2 to 14,3 m) 

Upgrade to heavy duty, commercial grade features in a sprinkler that's ideal for residential and commercial projects.
If you're looking to upgrade over a typical residential grade rotor, this is where the search ends. No other rotor in its class gives you more.
 

I-25/31 Plus Product Manual

I-25/31 Installation Guide

Radius: 40' to 73'  (12,2 to 22,3 m) 

Attractive price, impressive performance and new and enhanced features. Ideal for commercial and recreational sites.
 

 

I-40/41 Product Manual

I-40/41 Installation Guide

Radius: 45' to 74'   (13,7 to 22,6 m) 

Our top-of-the-line Institutional Series rotor. High flow and long throw for commercial and recreational sites.
The number one choice at sports facilities the world over is also a winner for parks and commercial sites.
 

I-60 Product Manual

I-60 Installation Guide

Radius: 50' to 66' (15,2 to 20,1 m)

A large turf rotor engineered to meet the demanding needs of systems with lower pressures and smaller budgets.
 

 

 


Sensor Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the sensor manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Hunter Mini-Clik II Automatic Rain Shut Off

Mini-Clik II Sensor - Manual

Installation Details Page

Prevent your sprinklers from coming on during or after precipitation. Mini-Clik shuts sprinklers off in a storm and keeps them off, automatically compensating for the amount of rainfall that occurred.

Rain-Clik™ Hunter Rain-Clik Automatic Rain Sensor

Rain-Clik Sensor - Manual

Installation Details Page

Prevent your sprinklers from coming on during or after precipitation. Rain-Clik shuts sprinklers off in a storm and keeps them off, automatically compensating for the amount of rainfall that occurred.

Wireless Rain-Clik™ Hunter Wireless Rain-Clik Automatic Rain Sensor

Rain-Clik Sensor - Manual 

Installation Details Page

Prevent your sprinklers from coming on during or after precipitation. Wireless Rain-Clik shuts sprinklers off in a storm and keeps them off, automatically compensating for the amount of rainfall that occurred.

Hunter Freeze-Clik Freeze Sensor

Freeze-Clik Sensor - Manual 

Installation Details Page

Prevent irrigation systems from activating by automatically stopping the flow of water when the outdoor temperature drops to a near freezing level. 

Click Here Hunter Wind-Clik Wind Sensor

Wind-Clik Sensor - Manual

Installation Details Page

Shuts off irrigation systems during periods of high wind (shut down points are adjustable), then automatically resets the system when conditions are more favorable

Click Here Hunter Mini-Weather Station

Mini-Weather station - Manual

Installation Details Page

Each of Hunter's three different sensor devices combined into one single convenient unit.

Hunter Flow-Clik Flow Sensor

Flow-Clik - Manual

Installation Details Page

The Flow-Clik is user-set to activate at a specified level of flow; once that level is exceeded, the electrical circuit is broken and the valves are shut off. As a result, the amount of water loss in the event of high external leakage would be substantially reduced.

 

Nelson Controller Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the controller manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

EZ Pro Product Manual

SmartZone EZ Controller Indoor & Outdoor features 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 Stations. SmartZone Technologically superior electronics combined with the controller's advanced programming abilities make the SmartZone the best choice.

Purchase EZ Pro Controller Here
ESP-MC Sprinkler Controller EZ Pro Jr Product Manual

This EZ Pro Jr. Controller features 4, 6, 9, 12 stations for Indoor or Outdoor, a weather-resistant case, lithium battery back-up, 3 independent programs, delay between zones, and a "no fuse" diagnostic circuit breaker.

Purchase EZ Pro Jr Here
EZ Command Product Manual

Independent programming of an unlimited number of actuators (8030 or 8050 series) Plus 16 irrigation start times per actuator 14-day programming calendar and More.

EZ Command Controllers Here
 

Rotor Sprinkler Installation and Adjustment Manuals

Note: If the Rotor Sprinkler Installation and Adjustment manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

 

Pro 5500 Product Manual

Four interchangeable AcuCover? nozzles--ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 gpm. Better pattern coverage than turning down a mid-range gear drive. Reliable water-lubricated gear motor.
 
Pro 6000 Product Manual

Nelson offers the most comprehensive gear drive line in the turf irrigation industry. With models covering 18-74 feet, Nelson gear drives provide superior coverage to all residential and commercial applications.

Purchase Pro 6000 Series Here
Click Here Pro 7000 Product Manual

7000 Series Rotor w/ heavy duty spring, locking cover, and standard with anti-drain valve Radius 46' - 64'
 
Pro 7000 Product Manual

Six interchangeable Acu-Cover? nozzles?ranging from 9.4 to 27.5 gpm Two locking screws on rubber cap for vandal protection Gear drive that can be installed 1/2" below grade.
 
Click Here Replacement Rubber Caps

Replacement rubber cap/top for the Nelson Pro Rotor Series.
 

Nelson Sensor Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the sensor manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Nelson 8501 Rain-Trip Rain Sensor 

(No Manual Currently Available)

See Specs Page

Monitors rainfall levels and overrides controller to prevent unnecessary irrigation

 

Nelson Valve Installation and Operation Manuals

Note: If the Valve Installation and Operation manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Nelson Pro 7900 Valve Pro 7900 Product Manual

Body and bonnet made of glass reinforced nylon to prevent leaks and breaks. Simple valve configuration and design; few moving parts. Solenoid has stainless steel plunger and spring to prevent corrosion.

Purchase Pro 7900 Series Here
 

Rain Bird

Controller Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the controller manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

 ESP

Indoor and outdoor hybrid controller for residential and light commercial use

ESP-MC Sprinkler Controller ESP Modular

Indoor and outdoor controller for residential and light commercial use.
Easily upgrades from a four station base model to 13 stations with the addition of 3-station modules at installation or in the future

ESP-Si
ESP-TM

Indoor hybrid controller for residential and light commercial use

ESP-LX+

Indoor / Outdoor hybrid controller for light commercial and residential use. Advanced, easy to use features designed to meet diverse irrigation requirements, including low volume drip applications.

ESP-MC

The power of an advanced water management tool in an easy to use package. The ESP-MC is a commercial duty controller for the basic or sophisticated user.

Easy Rain

A professional battery operated single valve controller for automatic irrigation in the absence of AC power.

UNIK Field Transmitter Manual
UNIK Control Module Manual
TBOS Field Transmitter Manual
TBOS Control Module Manual

Battery operated controller with three independent programs to allow the use of automatic irrigation in the absence of AC power.

RC-Bi Series

Indoor electromechanical controller for residential use. Ideal for areas subject to either electrical storms or power surges.

RC-C Series

Outdoor electromechanical controller for commercial and residential use. Ideal for areas subject to either electrical storms or power surges.

RC-AB Series (No Manual Currently Available)

Outdoor electromechanical controller for commercial use. Ideal for areas subject to either electrical storms or power surges.

E Class

Indoor or outdoor family of controllers offers complete irrigation solutions for today's residential and light commercial landscape requirements.

Eccont.jpg (8026 bytes) EC Class

The Ec controller is designed for new residential landscapes. With the preset watering schedule options, including one for the establishment of new lawn, programming is quick and simple. The sleek compact design installs fast and, with programmability under battery power, can even be setup months prior to AC hookup to the job site.

IM Series Controller IM Series

Advanced stand-alone irrigation management. The Rain Bird IM is the most flexible, full featured irrigation management system available in a stand-alone package.

Wtd-1900.gif (8821 bytes)

WTD-1900

Your new WTD-1900 Electronic Water Timer uses the most up-to-date electronics available. The design of this unit is intended to provide years of trouble free service and flexibility in meeting your watering requirements.

wta1875.jpg (9041 bytes) WTA-1875

Your new WTA-1875 Mechanical Water Timer The design of this unit is intended to provide years of trouble free service and flexibility in meeting your watering requirements.

ISA 300/400

Indoor  family of controllers.  The ISA 300/400 Sprinkler Series Timers provide simple programming and flexible schedules to meet your landscape watering needs.

ISB-409

Indoor  family of controllers.  The ISB-409 Sprinkler Timers provide simple programming and flexible schedules to meet your landscape watering needs.

rainclock.gif (2712 bytes) PC-100 Series

Indoor  family of controllers.  The PC-100 Sprinkler Series Timers provide simple programming and flexible schedules to meet your landscape watering needs.

PC-200 Series

Your new dual program Rain Bird sprinkler system timer makes automated watering a reality for you. The state-of-the-art features will enable you to precisely program how you want your sprinkler system to operate

PC-500 Series

This is the most flexible timer on the market today and yet the easiest to program. Several innovative features allow you the flexibility to tailor your program to fit a variety of watering requirements

coverpic.gif (5121 bytes) Optima PC-306/PC-406 PS Series

The PC Sprinkler Series Timers provide simple programming and flexible schedules to meet your landscape watering needs. We recommend you read this Owner's Manual completely before installing the timer to ensure proper operation and safety.

optima.gif (19018 bytes) Optima PRT-4/PRT-6 Series

The PRT Sprinkler Series Timers provide simple programming and flexible schedules to meet your landscape watering needs. We recommend you read this Owner's Manual completely before installing the timer to ensure proper operation and safety.

CRC-4A, CRC-6A, CRC-8A CRC-4A, CRC-6A, CRC-8A

Discontinued Model. The design of this unit is intended to provide years of trouble free service and flexibility in meeting your watering requirements.

EZ-1D EZ-1D

Discontinued Model. The design of this unit is intended to provide years of trouble free service and flexibility in meeting your watering requirements.

HP-6, HP-8, HP-12 HP-6, HP-8, HP-12

Discontinued Model. The design of this unit is intended to provide years of trouble free service and flexibility in meeting your watering requirements.

ISC-B+ ISC-B+

Discontinued Model. The design of this unit is intended to provide years of trouble free service and flexibility in meeting your watering requirements.

RCM
(also TSC, CC, CIC & CRC)
RCM
(also TSC, CC, CIC & CRC)

Discontinued Model. The design of this unit is intended to provide years of trouble free service and flexibility in meeting your watering requirements.

Rain Sensor - RSD

Easy to install, durable and visually pleasing rain sensor device suitable for 24VAC residential and commercial applications. This high quality product saves water and extends irrigation system life by automatically measuring precipitation and keeping irrigation systems from watering in rainy conditions

Remote Control Systems

RMX-1 Receiver Manual

RMX-1 Transmitter Manual

RM-1 Receiver Manual

RM-1 Transmitter Manual

Offer reliable battery-operated communication with Rain Bird remote compatible controllers (ESP-Si and ESP-LX+) from anywhere on the job site.

 

Rain Bird

Rotor Sprinkler Installation
and Adjustment Manuals

Note: If the Rotor Sprinkler Installation and Adjustment manual you are seeking is not listed on this page,
please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the
manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

 

7005 Series Rotor

7005 Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 39 to 71 feet

The Rain Bird® 7005 Rotor is built rugged to withstand the harsh conditions and vandalism present in commercial rotor applications. It has been designed and tested to ensure the high reliability demanded by the market today. With its extensive customer identified features, it is versatile enough to fit all applications.

5000 Plus Series Rotor

5000 Plus Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

Low Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 25 to 50 feet

A powerful compliment to Rain Bird's top adjust rotor family, offering greater durability, enhanced Rain Curtain Nozzles, and superior Stream Control Technology for residential, commercial and athletic field sites with spacing up to 50 feet.

Click Here 5000 Series Rotor

5000 Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

Low Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 25 to 50 feet

A mid-range gear-drive rotor, offering durability, performance, and the convenience of arc adjustment from the top, for residential and light commercial applications

3500 Series Rotor

3500 Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 15 to 35 feet

A short to mid-range 1/2" gear-drive rotor, offering value and convenience of arc adjustment from the top, for residential applications

Click Here R-50 Series Rotor

R-50 Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 21 to 50 feet

Heavy-duty, closed-case rotor designed for residential and light commercial applications, especially where high durability and built-in vandalism protection are important.

Click Here Falcon 6504 Series Rotor

Falcon 6504 Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 39 to 65 feet

Closed-case commercial grade rotor ideal for large turf areas such as parks, athletic fields, cemeteries, schools, and other commercial sites.

Click Here Maxi-Paw Series Rotor

Maxi-Paw Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 22 to 45 feet

The Maxi-Paw's powerful throw permits maximum spacing and offers superior close-in watering and uniform water distribution. Low pressure loss and an efficient, straight-through flow design conserve energy and are ideal for dirty water applications. The optional Seal-A-Matic™ prevents run-off, puddling, and erosion caused by low head drainage. And most important, it's rugged and dependable, popping up on schedule again and again because of the multi-function wiper seal. The Maxi-Paw Rotor- a tradition of excellence.

Click Here Maxi-Bird Series Rotor

(No Manual Currently Available)

Radius: 22 to 45 feet

1/2" (15/21) riser-mounted impact head used for slope and large-area, above-grade applications

Click Here 15111B Pop-A-Way Series Rotor

(No Manual Currently Available)

Radius: 38 to 41 feet

Brass impact rotor with plastic open case, used in medium to large turf applications.

T-Bird Series Rotor

T-Bird Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

Radius+  Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius:
Rain Curtain Technology: 26 to 40 feet
Radius+ Nozzles: 29 to 50 feet

Closed-case, gear-driven rotor line offers superior versatility and performance in hard-to-reach 26- to 50-foot residential and light commercial applications.

T-40 turret offers interchangeable color-coded nozzles for the T-Bird Series rotor.

Talon Rotor Sprinkler Talon Series Rotor

T-Bird Series Rotor Manual

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

See Specs Page

Radius: 45 to 83 feet

Rain Bird's Talon rotor features a strong closed-case design for reliable operation even in the harshest conditions. Rain Bird's vast experience in nozzle engineering ensures uniform water application. The single snap ring design makes the Talon rotor easy to service

Mini-Paw Series Rotor

(No Manual Currently Available)

Standard Angle Nozzle Performance Charts

Radius: 33 to 41 feet

Multi-purpose impact rotor used primarily for residential applications.

 

Rain Bird

Valve Installation and Operation Manuals

Note: If the Valve Installation and Operation manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird ASVF Series Valve w/Flow Control

ASVF Series Manual

See Specs Page

Economical irrigation valve and atmospheric backflow preventer for residential and light commercial applications.

Rain Bird DV Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird DV Series Valve

DV Series Manual

See Specs Page

Economical irrigation valve for residential and light commercial applications.

Rain Bird DVF Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird DVF Series Valve

DVF Series Manual

See Specs Page

Economical irrigation valve for residential and light commercial applications where flow control is required

Rain Bird JTV Series Jar Top  Irrigation Valve  Jar Top Series Valves (JTV)

JTV Series Manual

See Specs Page

Provides versatility, reliability, affordability, and ease of service making it the ideal choice for residential and light commercial applications.

200PRV sprinkler valve Rain Bird 200PRV Series Valve

200PRV Series Manual

See Specs Page

When a water pressure reducing valve is desired for irrigation purposes, Rain Bird's PRV pressure regulator provides quality, performance and economy. Reduces high inlet pressures to lower outlet pressures.

Rain Bird PGA Series Sprinkler System Valve PGA Series Combination Globe/Angle Valve 

(No PGA Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Plastic globe/angle valve for residential and commercial applications.

Rain Bird PEB Series Sprinkler System Valve PEB Series Valve 

(No PEB Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Industrial-strength glass-filled nylon globe valve for commercial applications. The PEB Series is Rain Bird's most durable plastic valve.

Rain Bird PESB Series Sprinkler System Valve PESB Series Valve 

(No PESB Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Industrial-strength glass-filled nylon globe valve with self-cleaning scrubber and stainless steel screen for reliable performance in dirty water applications.

Rain Bird GB Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird GB Series Brass Valve W/ Flow Control  

(No GB Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Powerful brass irrigation valve for heavy-duty performance in commercial applications.

3RC Quick Coupling Sprinkler Valve
Rain Bird Quick Coupling Brass Valve

(No Quick Coupling - Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Industrial-strength brass quick-coupling valves for convenient water access.

Rain Bird RQC Series Plastic Quick Coupling Valve

(No RQC Series Quick Coupling - Manual Available)

See Specs Page

The quick coupler kit allows homeowners a convenient source of water without an unsightly hose bib. Applications include near a driveway for washing cars or adjacent to a garden plot.

Xerigation Control Zone Kits  

(No Xerigation Control Zone - Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Complete 1" kits provide automatic control of a drip zone when connected to a timer. Conveniently prepackaged with everything you need including remote control valve, in-line filter, ball valve and pressure regulator.

 

Rain Bird

Valve Installation and Operation Manuals

Note: If the Valve Installation and Operation manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird ASVF Series Valve w/Flow Control

ASVF Series Manual

See Specs Page

Economical irrigation valve and atmospheric backflow preventer for residential and light commercial applications.

Rain Bird DV Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird DV Series Valve

DV Series Manual

See Specs Page

Economical irrigation valve for residential and light commercial applications.

Rain Bird DVF Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird DVF Series Valve

DVF Series Manual

See Specs Page

Economical irrigation valve for residential and light commercial applications where flow control is required

Rain Bird JTV Series Jar Top  Irrigation Valve  Jar Top Series Valves (JTV)

JTV Series Manual

See Specs Page

Provides versatility, reliability, affordability, and ease of service making it the ideal choice for residential and light commercial applications.

200PRV sprinkler valve Rain Bird 200PRV Series Valve

200PRV Series Manual

See Specs Page

When a water pressure reducing valve is desired for irrigation purposes, Rain Bird's PRV pressure regulator provides quality, performance and economy. Reduces high inlet pressures to lower outlet pressures.

Rain Bird PGA Series Sprinkler System Valve PGA Series Combination Globe/Angle Valve 

(No PGA Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Plastic globe/angle valve for residential and commercial applications.

Rain Bird PEB Series Sprinkler System Valve PEB Series Valve 

(No PEB Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Industrial-strength glass-filled nylon globe valve for commercial applications. The PEB Series is Rain Bird's most durable plastic valve.

Rain Bird PESB Series Sprinkler System Valve PESB Series Valve 

(No PESB Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Industrial-strength glass-filled nylon globe valve with self-cleaning scrubber and stainless steel screen for reliable performance in dirty water applications.

Rain Bird GB Series Sprinkler System Valve Rain Bird GB Series Brass Valve W/ Flow Control  

(No GB Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Powerful brass irrigation valve for heavy-duty performance in commercial applications.

3RC Quick Coupling Sprinkler Valve
Rain Bird Quick Coupling Brass Valve

(No Quick Coupling - Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Industrial-strength brass quick-coupling valves for convenient water access.

Rain Bird RQC Series Plastic Quick Coupling Valve

(No RQC Series Quick Coupling - Manual Available)

See Specs Page

The quick coupler kit allows homeowners a convenient source of water without an unsightly hose bib. Applications include near a driveway for washing cars or adjacent to a garden plot.

Xerigation Control Zone Kits  

(No Xerigation Control Zone - Manual Available)

See Specs Page

Complete 1" kits provide automatic control of a drip zone when connected to a timer. Conveniently prepackaged with everything you need including remote control valve, in-line filter, ball valve and pressure regulator.

 

Toro Controller Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the controller manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Green Keeper Product Manual

Toro GreenKeeper? 212 Controller 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 Stations The GreenKeeper? 212 controller is worth another look. With a new look and added features, it's even more of a value.
 
ESP-MC Sprinkler Controller Turf Pro Product Manual

Turf Pro Series Controller Featuring 6, 9, 12 station, indoor& Outdoor, It offers an easy to use interface, optional EZ-Remote hand held capability and durability with reliable SurgePro surge protection.

Purchase Turf Pro Series Here
Custom Command Product Manual

Custom Command Series Controller Featuring 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 station, indoor/outdoor with plastic cabinet and rugged metal models.

Purchase Custom Command Series Here
 

Rotor Sprinkler Installation and Adjustment Manuals

Note: If the rotor sprinkler installation or adjustment manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

 

340 Product Manual

Acclaimed for its superior performance and recognized for its graceful "fingers of water," the Toro 340 Stream Rotor is even better. Standard Omni nozzle and arc tree with choice of nine plastic arc discs.

Purchase 340 Series Here
Super 600 Product Manual

These rugged, reliable sprinklers offer exceptional value for all medium-to-large residential and commercial applications. Radius 35'- 50'
Super 700 Product Manual

These precision-engineered, gear-driven sprinklers are an extremely popular choice for high performance at a terrific value. For all medium-to-large residential and commercial applications.

Purchase Super 700 Series Here
V-1550 Product Manual

Everything about the V-1550 says flexibility. Just dial your settings in to the exclusive Toro MultiMatrx? nozzle Radius 19'- 55'

Purchase V-1550 Series Here
2001 Product Manual

Arc adjustable from the top (30-360?) 6 main nozzles and 2 inner nozzles provided with each sprinkler Screw-in nozzles - no adjustment screw required for retention Color-coded nozzles provide easy identification Full 4" pop-up.

Purchase 2001 Series Here

 

 

Toro Sensor Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the sensor manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Toro Rain Switch Automatic Rain Sensor

(No Manual Currently Available)

Monitors rainfall levels and overrides controller to prevent unnecessary irrigation

 

Toro Valve Installation and Operation Manuals

Note: If the Valve Installation and Operation manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve EZ-Flo Plus Product Manual

It's easy with its jar-top design and threaded bonnet that allows you to reach internal parts without removing the valve from the system.

Purchase EZ-Flo Plus Series Valve Here

Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve 250 Series Product Manual

Highly versatile residential/commercial valves for use in light-to-moderate debris water.

Purchase 250 Series Control Valve Here

Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve 260 Series Product Manual

Highly versatile residential/commercial valves for use in light-to-moderate debris water. Three activation types for easy design, installation and maintenance.

Purchase 260 Series Control Valve Here

Rain Bird JTV Series Jar Top  Irrigation Valve 252 Series Product Manual

Extremely versatile, rugged large residential/commercial valves designed to provide a wide array of options for a variety of water conditions.

Purchase 252 Series Control Valve Here

 

Weathermatic Controller Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the controller manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .   We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

WeatherMate Product Manual

Available in 6,9,and 12 station models indoor & Outdoor. Dial based programming. Large, easy to read liquid crystal display. Non-volatile memory retains programs in the event of a power outage.

Purchase WeatherMate Series Here

SmartLine Product Manual

A 4 zone base model which is expandable up to 16 zones. This controller is for both indoor and outdoor use. Non-volatile memory retains programs in the event of a power outage.


Purchase SmarLine Series Here
 

Weathermatic Remote Control Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the remote control manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .   We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

SRR Remote Controller
Purchase WM-RC Weathermatic Remote Here

Optional Weathermatic remote control offers wireless link to controller. Good up to 600ft. (line of sight). FOR WEATHERMATIC WEATHERMATE CONTROLLER ONLY.
 

Weathermatic Sensor Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the sensor manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .   We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Weathermatic Rain-Stat (Auto Rain Sensor

(No Manual Currently Available)

Monitors rainfall levels and overrides controller to prevent unnecessary irrigation

 

Sprinkler Warehouse's
How To Resources for Do-It-Yourselfers!

Just in case you need help installing, replacing, or adjusting parts, we are here to help!


Click on the icons below to view more information about that item!
Installations - FREE Do It Yourself Information from Sprinkler Warehouse

Hunter Replacement Guide:
Replace Any Brand Sprinkler you have Using Hunter Sprinkler Heads!

 

Click on the icons below to view more information about that item!
Service & Repairs - FREE Do It Yourself Information from Sprinkler Warehouse!

Hunter Replacement Guide:
Replace Any Brand Sprinkler you have Using Hunter Sprinkler Heads!
 
 

Sprinkler Warehouse's
How-To Resources!
Drip Irrigation


Drip Irrigation Guide
 

ADVANTAGES OF DRIP IRRIGATION:

Low pressure requirements (leaks are less critical)

Energy savings (lower pumping costs with lower pressure needs)

Low flow rates (water large areas with small pipes)

Water savings (only specific areas are wetted)

Reduced or no runoff (another benefit of low application rates)

Reduced weed growth (areas between plants are not watered)

Reduced puddling (avoiding high evaporation)

Precise water control (a product of low application rate and highly accurate irrigation controllers)

Doesn't seal the soil (slow application avoids saturation)

Low installation costs (lower than underground sprinkler systems)

Efficient fertilizing (through injection systems)

Saline water use (higher salt content can be tolerated because water isn't sprayed on leaf surface)

Better plant growth (constant moisture available)

Less plant stress (wet/dry syndrome reduced)


DISADVANTAGES OF DRIP IRRIGATION:

High maintenance (system requires constant monitoring)

No environmental effects (like cooling or frost control with sprinklers)

Requires pressure regulation (usually pressure reduction)

Susceptible to vandalism (particularly surface systems)

Potential of salt build up (at perimeter of wetted area)

Potential of clogging (from calcium deposits in water or contaminants)

Filtration often required (to help reduce clogging)

Can't see drip working (compared to sprinklers)

Shoddy products (products are constantly being introduced, often disappearing after a few months. Failed products hard to replace or impossible to find or repair)

Slow learning curve process for the landscape industry:

Many irrigators are not comfortable with drip design

Many irrigators are not familiar with installation procedures of drip

Maintenance people are not familiar with drip system repair

Because the wetted area is much smaller when delivered by drip compared to sprinklers, control is more critical in application of water to avoid plant stress

Drip irrigation design seems to have two camps. One advocates that drip is very simple and easy to design and install. The second takes a more technical and practical approach, indicating that a certain level of expertise is required to design a properly functioning system.


 
 

Control Valves
 

How to Install an Electric Valve 
 

Additional Information from IGIN.com
 


 
 

Install an Electric Valve


Correctly installed, remote-control irrigation valves provide years of trouble-free operation. Diaphragm-type electronic valves are predominant in landscape applications, as they seldom require new parts and their design minimizes leaking.

There are specific installation steps that should be taken to protect the irrigation equipment while providing accessibility. Valve boxes, splice kits, multi-strand wire and other such material play an important role in the success of automatic valve installation and operation.

Place groups of valves, or manifolds, according to the sprinkler zones that will irrigate specific areas of the property. For example, all valves that operate the irrigation zones in the back yard should be grouped together in a manifold. Logically, the same can apply for front and side yards.

Locate the first valve manifold near the main water connection. Manifolds should be installed a minimum 6 inches below grade. This prevents equipment and traffic damage to the valves and lessens the likelihood of vandalism or thievery. In addition, the valves are easier to locate, operate, inspect and service if problems arise.

Manifolds should be encased in the appropriately sized valve box with fitted arches for the mainline. You don't want the weight of the valve box resting on any PVC or poly pipe. The box should be buried to grade, with approximately 2 inches of rock in the bottom. The valve manifold should rest atop the rock in the box to provide adequate drainage away from any structures. If possible, disguise the box in the landscape -- without compromising its accessibility.

After flushing the lines, screw the valve to the manifold with a nipple or appropriate adapter. Note the direction of water flow through the valve, generally indicated by arrows on the part. Never overtighten the valve on the manifold, and always use teflon tape for threaded parts, not pipe-joint compound. Once the valves are connected to the manifold, the lateral sprinkle lines may then be attached with threaded male fittings for PVC, or gear clamps for poly pipe.

 Empowering Equipment

Electrically operated valves for landscape applications usually require 24 volts to operate. Multi-colored multi-strand jacketed wire helps to coordinate valve zones with controller stations. it's a good idea to use multi-strand wire with one more wire than valves on the manifold, to troubleshoot valve or controller problems or to add a zone later.

Be careful when mixing different brands of valves and controllers. Inconsistent brands of valves and controllers can have different draws and requirements. Ensure that the controller can supply enough power for the valve to properly operate.

Attach a different colored wire to one wire on each of the valves on the manifold and a single common wire to each of the remaining solenoid wires on all of the valves on the manifold. It doesn't matter which wire on the solenoids is used for the common.

Wire splices should be secured with a wire nut and encased in a grease cap or other "dry-spliced" product. Electrical or other tape or dipping the exposed wire in PVC cement is not adequate and will create problems later. All splices should be accessible from the valve box and free of any debris or matter.

Run your multi-strand wire to the controller, generally in the same trench as the irrigation pipe. In areas where there will be a lot of planting or digging, it is advisable to sleeve the wire with PVC for protection. Affix the colored wire to the corresponding station on the timer and the common wire to the common terminal on the controller. Use standard 20-gauge sprinkler wire for distances less than 800 feet and 18-gauge wire for runs of 800-feet or more.

Most electronic remote control valves will have a flow adjustment device on the bonnet. This feature enables the irrigator to reduce flow and pressure to smaller zones and balance the hydraulics of specific zones. After installation, close flow-control and manual-bleed screws and handles. When the water is turned on the valve will remain closed. After the valves pipe, fittings and heads have been installed, turn the water supply on and check for leaks with the valves closed.

Turn the manual bleed screw to manually open the valve and then open the flow control valve to adjust the sprinkler heads to the desired coverage. Ensure that all of the heads are up and operating. If any sprinkler heads are "fogging" at the nozzle, reduce the flow until the fogging stops. Close the manual bleed screw and the valve is ready to be operated by the controller.

With your automatic irrigation control valves correctly installed and operating, you're ready to proceed with the landscaping. The real test will come when the plant material is in and the irrigation system must perform to sustain healthy flora.

 

 

Additional Information from IGIN.com

 

Tips for Watering Your Lawn

 

Watering Tips

The answers to the following questions:
When, how often, and how much should you water?
 What happens if you do not water enough, what happens if you over water?

 

When and How Much to Water Your Grass

Chart for Texas residents

 

Watering and Fertilizing Texas Turf Grass

Watering guide for Texas residents

 

Choosing an Irrigation Contractor

Help with your Irrigation Problems

 

Installation Guide

Installing your own System

 

Automatic Sprinkler System Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

WHEN TO WATER GRASS

Most grasses take on a dull, dark appearance and leaves begin to roll when they need water. The best time to water is early morning.

HOW MUCH TO WATER

Apply enough to wet the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches. One to 1.5 inches of water is usually adequate. Use a soil probe or screwdriver to determine the depth the water actually reaches.

  1. Use a sprinkler that emits large drops of water that remain close to the ground, not one that sprays fine mist into the air.

  2. Determine how much water your sprinkler applies:

    1. Set 3 to 5 empty cans at different distances from the sprinkler with the last can near the edge of sprinkler coverage.

    2. Run the sprinkler for 30 minutes.

    3. Add the inches of water in all cans and dicide the total inches by the number of cans to obtain an average.

    4. Multiply the average by 2 to determine how many inches of water are applied in 1 hour.

    5. Locate your area on the map to find out how many inches to apply every fifth day to bermudagrass during June, July, and August. Guffalograss needs about 25% less water and St. Augustine needs about 15% more.

    6. Subtract any rainfall from the amounts given on the map to determine how much water to apply.

 
Automatic Sprinkler Systems:
Commonly Asked Questions


The Advantages of Owning an Automatic Sprinkler System

Sprinkler FAQs Many people say convenience is the biggest advantage to an automatic system since they don't have to spend their time watering by hand or moving the hose around the yard. Others say extended plant life and lower water usage are the most important benefits. Still others believe a sprinkler system is one of the best investments that they can make in their home, since a home’s appearance is a key factor in determining market value. And guess what -- they are all right!

Q. Will an automatic sprinkler system use more water than I am currently using?

A. No. -- In fact, an automatic sprinkler system will conserve water. You will never have to worry about runoff from overwatering or about wasting water if you forget to turn off the hose. Plus, with a Rain Bird moisture sensor your system will know when it is raining and simply turn itself off when water is not needed.

Q. Does having a sprinkler system really save time?

A. Yes. -- You won't have to spend another minute of your valuable leisure time watering the lawn. Your new system will do all the watering for you - even when you are away from home!

Q. Will an automatic sprinkler system water as well as I do when I water by hand?

A. An automatic sprinkler system will do a much better job, because a professionally designed system delivers exactly the right amount of water to specific lawn and garden areas.

Q. We generally get 40 or more inches of rainfall a year. Do we really need a sprinkler system?

A. If it rained at your house every three days -- the same exact amount each time -- you probably would not need a sprinkler system. But nature doesn't work that way, and the only way to ensure healthy, lush yard is to make certain that your lawn and plants receive a regularly timed and evenly measured amount of water. In the dry season when there is little or no rain, your yard can suffer damage after just a few days without water.

Q. Are there different sprinkler systems from which to choose?

A. Although every system should be tailored to meet one’s individual needs, a typical system is comprised of a controller (which functions as the brains of the system), valves (which open and close to release and stop the flow of water to underground pipes) and sprinklers (which distribute water to specific areas). It is best if all of a system’s components are manufactured by the same company in order to ensure that they will work well together. Unlike Rain Bird, most companies make only one or two components of a complete system. However, Rain Bird, designs and manufactures all of the major components that comprise a complete irrigation system. Rain Bird also has a nationwide network of distributors that support contractors who install Rain Bird systems.

Q. How do I know what type of sprinkler system is best for me?

A. It is always best to work with a professional irrigation contractor who is knowledgeable about factors such as water source and pressure, soil type, planting materials, and weather conditions. A professional will take all of this into consideration when designing a system specific to the needs of your landscape.

sprinkler system questionsQ. Can I save money by installing my own system?

A. No! In fact, it could cost you more money in the long run. A professional irrigation contractor will design and install the most cost-effective and energy-efficient system possible. You can be confident that he will use the best equipment for the job and effectively schedule any maintenance required to keep your landscape in top shape.

He will pay special attention to important factors such as sprinkler patterns (it is important to overlap the patterns so that the outer edges receive sufficient water for healthy growth) and backflow prevention (which is necessary to protect your drinking water). Because your contractor is familiar with local plumbing and electrical codes, you won't have to worry about costly pipe installation or wiring mistakes. He can do the job faster -- with less disruption to your existing landscape -- and will guarantee his work.

about sprinkler systemsQ. Will I have difficulty operating my sprinkler system?

A. Your contractor will help you select the best controller for your needs, and he will program it with your customized watering schedule. Your contractor will also explain the system's operation to you. Then, ifnecessary, you will be able to easily change the watering schedule by simply following the easy instructions on the inside of the controller cabinet.

Q. How much will a good sprinkler system cost?

A. The price of a system depends upon many factors such as property size, type of landscaping, and special designs. But you can count on your professional irrigation contractor to design a cost-effective system comprised of quality Rain Bird products. He will be familiar with Rain Bird's many professional series products and will know how to put the right ones together in a system in order to achieve maximum results. He also knows that Rain Bird, as well as its nationwide distributor network, stands behind all of its products and is serious about commitment to quality construction and after-sale service.

Like most people, you probably have many questions that you would like to ask before finalizing your decision to purchase an automatic sprinkler system. This information should provide many answers for you, but please do not hesitate to ask your irrigation contractor any additional questions that you may have.

 

Lawn Care Info

Okay, so now you have a sprinkler system.... but will that be enough to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood?  

Probably not.  You will have to take measures to improve  your lawn's health. 

So, we thought we would make things easy on you and have  a list of the most commonly asked questions on improving your lawn's overall health. 

Please feel free to browse around.  We will be updating the information as new products or techniques become available. (That is a hint for you to bookmark this page for future  reference...) If you have found other techniques, please us.  Let us know...we are always learning and growing!

(Click on the topic you are interested in... it will lead you to  the answers you desire).

Fertilizing:
Fertilizing Schedule

Grass:
What type of grass should I choose?
What is cool season grass?
What is warm season grass?
What is a seed blend/mixture?
Why is my grass thinning out?
How do I get rid of...?
My grass is a funny color, why?
My grass is dying, what is wrong? what do I do?

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Watering:
When should I water my lawn?
How often should I water my lawn?
What happens if I water to much or not enough?
What do the different parts of my sprinkler system do?

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Organic Yard Care:
How can I keep my yard healthy?
How can I make grass grow in the shady areas?
How do I care for my trees and shrubs?
Why should I mulch?
Should I prune my trees and shrubs?
I don't want the tree roots showing in my yard... what can I do?
How can I prevent diseases, insects, and weeds?
Why should I fertilize?
What kind of fertilizer should I use?
How do I apply fertilizer and how much do I use?

Why should I care about the soil?
How do I get healthy soil?
How do I test my soil?
What nutrients are needed?
Why is nitrogen so important?
What are the different types of soil and which is best?


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Restoring your lawn:
How can I renovate my grass?
Tips from the pros.


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Lawn Debris:
Why should I compost and does it really work?
How long does it take to make compost?
But my compost pile smells horrible!
Do I have to remove my leaves?


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Weeds:
How do weeds get started?
Is there a way to get rid of my weeds without chemicals?
How can I prevent weeds?

What are the different types of weeds and how can I identify them?

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Diseases:
How can I tell if my lawn has a disease?
What causes lawn diseases?
How can I get rid of my lawns disease?
How can I prevent diseases from infecting my yard?

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Insects and Pests:
What should I look for if I suspect insects of being in my yard?
Insect control

How can I know what type of insect is attacking my lawn?
What pesticide application guidelines should I follow?
What types of pesticides are there and what kind should I use?
Identifying types of insects.

What can mice, voles, and gophers do to my lawn?
How can I keep rabbits out of my lawn?
Snails and slugs and their affects on the yard.
How to safely eliminate crayfish burrows.
Deer are cute, but they are eating everything!
My dog is ruining the appearance of my yard. What can I do?



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Lawn Debris / Composting

 

Why should I compost?

Yard trimmings account for 20 to 50 percent of what's dumped in our landfills. That makes home composting a real space saver. As an added bonus, compost turns leaves and other yard trimmings into a soil-like material that can be used on your lawn as a topdressing or your garden to aerate your soil, aid in drainage and return valuable nutrients back to the earth.

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How does composting work?

Your compost bin plays host to a varied cast of characters. Bacteria eat the easily digested organic material, fungi eat the hard-to-digest material and earthworms, pill bugs and centipedes aerate all of it. The process takes anywhere from several weeks to a year and leaves a pile of soil-like material about half the size of the original.

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What should I use my finished compost for?

Finished compost can be used as is for mulch or thoroughly mixed in with your garden soil to improve its texture, build up organic matter and improve its water retaining ability.

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Getting Started

What's the best way to get started?

I think it's easiest to begin with yard trimmings alone. My personal recipe calls for a mixture that's 50 to 75 percent brown material (dried leaves, grass and old prunings) and 25 to 50 percent green material (recent prunings, leaves and freshly cut grass). Then I add wood chips, twigs and branches to provide air space and drainage, and enough moisture to get the pile working. For faster composting, you can add a little compost accelerator which can speed the natural composting process as it adds natural enzymes and microorganisms to help grass and leaves break down quicker. Then mix well and let the compost cook. This reduces the size of your compost pile so you can add more materials each week. Oh yes, while you can compost in an open pile, I'd suggest a bin. (It makes the process tidier.)

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What should I look for in a compost bin?

First and foremost, make sure your compost bin is big enough for your composting needs. Color makes a difference too. I'd stick with a black bin as it absorbs more heat for faster composting. Look for mixing slots to make aerating your compost easy and bottom access so you can remove your finished compost.

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Do I need to keep each of my compost materials in separate layers?

No! While you should line the bin's bottom with dried grass, hay or shredded paper, that's all the layering you want. Add other compostable materials and mix well.

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Do I have to turn my compost pile?

While turning the compost pile isn't absolutely necessary, it will speed the process and ensure that the whole pile is broken down, not just the center.

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How long does it take to make compost?

It depends on the composting method you choose and what you put in your bin. However, most commercial bins that have been fed a mix of water, dead leaves and garden clippings will produce finished compost in roughly 3 to 6 months.

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Is it okay to add materials to a compost bin in the winter?

Yes, feel free to add materials to your bin throughout the year. Of course your compost process will slow down in the winter, and sometimes stop altogether, but the freeze/thaw cycle helps to break down materials and makes them decompose faster in the spring when the pile really gets going again.

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Do I need to buy a compost accelerator?

Well, generally speaking compost accelerators aren't absolutely necessary, but they sure can speed things along. I strongly recommend an accelerator if you're planning to start your compost this winter.

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How do I know when my compost is done?

Ready-to-use compost should be dark, crumbly and have an earthy smell. You'll know it's done if it closely resembles soil.

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Why does my compost pile smell horrible?

Compost piles only smell bad when something is going wrong. Bad odor usually means that the compost is not getting enough air. You can fix this by turning the pile or aerating it in some other way, like fluffing materials and poking air holes with a broom handle. Then add a layer of soil to absorb the odors.

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Why aren't my composted materials breaking down?

If your ingredients aren't decaying, you're looking at one of four possible causes: your pile is too small and simply not generating enough heat, the compost needs more nitrogen, the compost is too dry, or the materials you put into the pile are just too big.

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Why does my compost smell like ammonia?

If the distinct smell of ammonia is coming from your compost bin, odds are you've got too much nitrogen in the mix. Correcting the problem is easy: just add carbon-rich materials such as leaves.

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Do I have to remove my leaves?

If your lawn has a light covering of leaves, you might be able to allow them to remain. Even so, I recommend shredding. Several passes using a mower with a leaf-shredding attachment will improve your chances for success. But even when shredded, it doesn't take many leaves to smother your grass. Bottom line: most people need to remove at least some leaves from the lawn.

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How should I remove my leaves?

Basically, you have two options- the hard way or the easy way. You can remove your leaves with a rake, which is time consuming and may be hard on your back or you can use a leaf blower which is much faster and easier on your back.

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What should I look for in a leaf blower?

Make sure the blower is comfortable to hold on to - many models are surprisingly heavy. Controls on the blower should be easy to reach and allow engine speed to be varied smoothly. And make sure you've got enough horsepower to get the job done. Finally, consider any add-ons you might need such as vacuum attachments.  Additional shredding action can reduce up to 10 bags of leaves to one for easy disposal or mulch. And, it easily converts from blower to aggressive vacuum when needed.

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What type of maintenance does a gas leaf blower need?

Basic care for your leaf blower is similar to that required for power lawn mowers.

  • Keep the air filter clean.

  • Check the fuel filter regularly.

  • Don't let the engine sit for long periods with fuel in the tank.

  • Change the spark plug once a year.

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What are my options for leaf disposal?

Your leaf disposal options vary from state to state - and are increasingly limited. Many states have banned burning and many landfills won't accept them. Fortunately, many cities now offer off- site disposal, whether you pay a fee to your private refuse hauler or drop them off at a community pick-up program.

Barring these options, you can also put the leaves to use around your own home. Leaves make excellent mulch around trees, shrubs and planting beds. They're also a great addition to your compost pile.

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Do leaves make good compost?

Absolutely! Shredding is not required, but it will speed the rate of decomposition. Keep in mind that leaves are difficult to compost alone, so you'll need to add some form of nitrogen. Good sources of nitrogen include a fertilizer (no weed 'n feed products), or materials high in nitrogen such as lawn clippings.

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Can I use leaves as mulch?

Yes! Leaves make excellent mulch - especially around trees and shrubs, or in flower and vegetable gardens. They retard weed growth, retain soil moisture, and even protect against temperature fluctuations and some types of winter injury. As an added benefit, leaves decompose over time, adding valuable nutrients to your soil.

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Organic Lawn Care

How can I keep my yard healthy?

By practicing the following basic cultural practices:

  • Mow at right height

  • Water at right time

  • Fertilize properly

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Is there a 'homebrew' that can help to keep my lawn healthy and the insects away from my yard?

Jerry Baker, well known for his yard care advice, has a recipe. Mixture consists of one cup of liquid dish soap, preferably lemon scented, one cup of mouthwash, preferably mint flavored, and one cup of tobacco juice mixture (the tobacco juice mixture is made by putting "thumb and 3 fingers" worth of chewing tobacco in the toe of a nylon stocking; secure it tightly, then marinate in one quart of boiling water. The remaining unused mixture can be stored in a glass jar, but DO NOT put the lid on tight since the mixture ferments and would explode the jar). The mixture is then sprayed on the yard at a rate of one teaspoon mixture to a quart, one tablespoon to a gallon and one cup to 20 gallons.

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What can I do to get grass to grow in the shady areas of my yard?
Shade resulting from tree canopies creates several problems for turf grasses, including reduced light and competition for water and nutrients. The result is usually shallow rooted turf that is more susceptible to drought stress, wear and disease infestations. Generally, mowing heights should be increase for turf grasses growing in heavy shade. Watering must be greater in tree shade during the summer to compensate for that utilized by tree roots. Nitrogen fertilization of turf grasses in dense shade should be much less than in full sunlight. In some cases where tree canopies are very dense and low growth shrubs or brush screen the lawn, it may be necessary to selectively prune limbs and remove shrubs or brush. Root pruning of shallow rooted trees will also improve conditions for turf grasses growing under trees.

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Will the crabapples that have fallen from my trees damage my lawn?
Remove any fallen apples from the lawn as insects are often attracted to ripened or diseased fruit.

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How do I maintain the health of my trees and shrubs?
Annual tree and shrub maintenance include:

  • Mulch soil around trunk or stem

  • Fertilize once a year

  • Water during drought

  • Aerate soil over root system

  • Prune to maintain shape; remove damaged limbs

  • Protect against harsh winter conditions

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Why is mulching under trees and shrubs important?

A layer or organic mulch on the soil under trees and shrubs protects them from lawn mowers and string trimmers, discourages weeds, holds in moisture, cools the soil, conditions the soil and look attractive. Of all these, however, the most important role of the circle of mulch around plant stems or trunks is the protective one. Once injured by a lawn mower, string trimmer, or other yard care equipment, the tree is at risk. There is no way to fix the wound and it is likely to provide access to insects and disease into the interior of the tree or shrub. It may be years before the effects of the injury are apparent, but this type of damage is the single most common cause of tree decline. Effective mulch is about 3 to 4 inches after it settles down. Spread it in a circle at least 24 inches in radius; it should not come closer than 2 to 4 inches to the stem or trunk. If shrubs are grouped, mulch the entire group together.

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Should I thin or prune my trees?

Pruning helps to improve the health of the tree. By removing dead or decaying limbs, which can attract insects and disease, and stimulating new growth. Thinning will let more light come through as well as provide better air circulation which helps to prevent disease.

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Should I thin or prune my hedge and shrubs?

They need good light and air circulation to be healthy and thrive and pruning accomplishes this. Follow up immediately by fertilizing with a good slow-release fertilizer and plenty of water. Spring flowering shrubs, such as lilacs, forsythia and weigela should be pruned just after they bloom. This avoids cutting off buds that formed last season. Shrubs that bloom later, such as cotoneaster, viburnum, dogwood and winterberry, should be pruned in late winter to allow them to have time to form flower buds on this season's new growth. Prune conifers, such as heather and mountain laurel, just after the new growth is completed, usually in late spring or early summer. Evergreens, such as arborvitae, holly, and juniper should be pruned in late winter.

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When should I fertilize my trees and shrubs?

Fertilize them at least once a year. The best time to feed most trees and shrubs is the late fall just when the leaves are beginning to drop. Tree fertilizers tend to be higher in nitrogen than they are in phosphorous and potassium. A good ratio for fertilizing a tree or shrub is something around a 3-1-2 ratio (N-P-K).

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What can I do if tree roots are appearing in my lawn?

Tree roots need to release carbon dioxide and obtain the oxygen they need in order to grow. If the roots are in compacted soil with little oxygen, they tend to grow upward toward the surface, or they die. If a lawn has never been aerated and has established trees or shrubs, it will most likely have compacted soil. Aerate the lawn around the trees and establish a grass-free ring around their trunks. Cover the area with 3 or 4 inches of an attractive organic mulch.

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How will I know when my trees and shrubs need water?

When it has been hot, rainfall has been minimal over several weeks, and your flower beds and lawn have required regular watering. This is when they need a good summer soaking. In northern areas a final watering about a month after the first frost and before the ground freezes hard will help fend off dehydration which is the major cause of 'winterkill'.

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Careful Design

Proper design of your landscape can help keep your yard healthy. Choose disease-resistent grasses, provide walkways to prevent soil compaction, select trees and shrubs that are appropriate for the area so as to allow proper air circulation, adequate sunlight and winter protection if in northern areas. 

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Organic Soil

Why should I care about the soil?

The condition of the soil under your grass is the most important element to the overall health of your lawn. Healthy soil can prevent lots of problems and reduce your use of fertilizer and pesticides.

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What is healthy soil?

About half of the volume of a healthy soil is composed of mineral particles and organic matter. The other half of the volume is taken up with air and water (about 50/50). Soil maintenance involves a steady source of new organic material and/or fertilizer, pH balance, and aeration. When the soil has sufficient air, water, minerals and organic material, it can support the life of microorganisms which produce valuable plant nutrients and help eliminate thatch through decomposition. By taking care of your soil, you have taken the first step in attaining a healthy lawn.

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How do I get healthy soil?

Get your soil tested first, then correct any nutrient deficiencies that show up, improve the structure of the soil by adding amendments and adjust the pH if necessary.

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Do I need to give my lawn a soil test?

Absolutely! The only way to evaluate your lawn's fertility is by testing the soil. Based on the test results, you may need to add amendments to improve the soil structure, correct soil problems like phosphorus or potassium deficiencies, or change your soil's pH level. This is important information when choosing a fertilizer as they raise or lower the pH depending on their ingredients. Without a soil test, you could be paying a lot for special fertilizers that contain trace elements/nutrients that are already present in your soil, or not buying the fertilizers that could provide the nutrients lacking in your soil.

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How do I test my soil?

Contact your local county extension office for sample, forms, bags and instructions or contact a commercial landscape service. Be sure to take several samples around the lawn and that each sample comes from a slice of soil that is 4 to 6 inches deep. Avoid areas that have received special treatment or may have been exposed to different environmental circumstances (eg. Lawn areas near sidewalks or roads that receive heavy doses of de-icing salts).

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How often should I test my soil?

As often as you get a physical - once a year.

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What difference does soil pH make?

The pH level of your soil determines the rate at which nutrients are available to plant roots. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7.0 indicating neutral. An extreme pH prevents the plants from getting the nutrients they need. Most grasses do best with a soil pH between 6 and 7.

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How can I lower my soil's pH?

When pH exceeds 8.0, iron and manganese are no longer available to the grass. You can correct this condition with sulfur at 25 pounds per 1000 square feet to lower the pH one point -- from 8 to 7 for example. Ammonium sulfate can also help.

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How can I raise my soil's pH?

To neutralize acidic or "sour" soils, I recommend applying dolomite limestone. However, don't apply lime to established lawns unless a soil test indicates a real need. Excess lime can be just as harmful as a deficiency. If pH has dropped to 5.5 or lower, apply finely ground limestone at rates up to 50 pounds per 1000 square feet to raise the pH level on point -- from 5.5 to 6.5 for example. Use 10 to 15 pounds less for light, sandy soils, and more for heavier loam or clay types. Limestone can be applied almost any time, but fall or early winter is best. If a large amount is needed, you can apply one-half in early spring and the other half in the fall.

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Can I mix my lime and fertilizer together in the spreader?

Definitely not! Lime should be applied separately from fertilizers containing ammonia since they react together and subsequently release ammonia gas which is toxic to grass. Apply lime two weeks on either side of nitrogen application.

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Why is nitrogen so important to my grass?
Adequate nitrogen helps plants develop dark green color and grow vigorously.

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The label on a bag of fertilizer often lists several different types of nitrogen. What does this mean?

The more varieties of nitrogen used, the better the product. Each source of nitrogen becomes available at different intervals. The faster it releases, the greater the chances of grass burn. Here is a list of the most common nitrogen sources and their speed of release:

Type of Nitrogen

% Available

Time of Release

 

Ammonium nitrate

33%

Very fast

 

Ammonium sulfate

21%

Fast

 

Urea

45%

Fast

 

Isobutylidene (IBDU)

31%

Slow

 

Urea formaldehyde

38%

Slow

 

Methylene urea

38%

Slow

 

Sulfur-coated urea

32%

Slow

 

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What is meant by available nitrogen?

Most nitrogen in the soil is present as part of organic matter. Plants can only use this nitrogen after it has been decomposed by soil organisms. The decay of lawn clippings, plant roots and other organic materials provides some usable nitrogen, but the amount is only about 25% of what is needed to maintain the vigorous growth desired in most lawns. That's why nitrogen-containing fertilizers are usually required.

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What's the difference in nitrogen forms?

There are two basic categories of nitrogen fertilizer -- soluable and slow release. Soluable fertilizers are available quickly to plants (even at low temperatures), stimulate rapid growth and are depleted quickly. To maintain uniform growth over a long period of time and to prevent possible burning, you'll need to make frequent, light applications of the materials. Slow release nitrogen sources depend on soil bacteria or moisture to gradually decompose the materials and transform the compounds into usable forms of nitrogen. Consequently, they release nitrogen to the grass over a longer period of time.

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If nitrogen is the most important ingredient in fertilizer, why do I need anything else?

Because otherwise your grass will die. It's true that nitrogen is critical, but you also need other nutrients to make you lawn look good. Nitrogen makes lawns green, phosphorous promotes good roots, potassium is a disease fighter, calcium promotes root-hair growth, magnesium is a big part of chlorophyl, sulfur helps seeds form, boron improves the yield, copper makes enzymes work harder, manganese stimulates germination, molybdenum makes nitrogen enzymes work harder, and zinc is needed for chlorophyll and growth.

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How much phosphorus and potassium should I apply to my lawn?

That depends on your soil's ability to provide these two nutrients. The only way to determine how much phosphorus and potassium your lawn needs is to have your soil tested.

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If my soil lacks iron, how do I apply it and how much do I use?

Iron deficiency, or iron chlorosis, that's detected by a soil test may be corrected by applying iron sulfate or iron chelate. Iron sulfate (copperas) may be applied at the rate of 8 ounces in 5 gallons of water per 1000 square feet. One and one-half ounces of home detergent should be added to assure good grass blade coverage. Repeat applications will likely be necessary at 4 to 6 week intervals. Where chlorosis is not severe, 5 pounds of iron sulfate or one pound of chelated iron per 1000 square feet applied alone as dust or in mixture with fertilizer may correct the problem. Choice of the type and grade of fertilizer material to use depends on the price, availability and ease of handling.

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What other nutrients are needed?

Trace elements include chelated calcium, ferric nitrate as soluable iron, potassium nitrate, magnesium sulfate and sodium silicate. Seaweed extract provides some 60 trace elements that help the plant absorb nutrients more effectively from the soil and it makes the fertilizer you use work better. Seaweed (kelp) also makes plants much more resistant to drought and disease. Check the contents on the fertilizer bag label to see if these trace elements have been added.

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Why is the structure of my soil important?

Good soil structure is a balanced mixture of space between particles to hold air and water necessary for your lawn to thrive. This in turn helps retain moisture and nutrients for good root development, provides drainage of excessive water to avoid disease and the soil is less likely to become compacted or stressed which helps your lawn remain healthy. A healthy lawn can better resist insect attack and weed infestation. Also, the necessary amounts of nutrients, such a fertilizer and lime, vary depending on the type of soil they are used on.

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What types of soil are there and which is best?

There are four basic types of soil:

  • Clay soil is sometimes referred to as 'heavy soil'. It contains little air and water does not drain easily through it.

  • Sandy soil is sometimes referred to as 'light soil'. Water flows quickly through it, as well as fertilizer and other nutrients.

  • Silt is between that of sand and clay.

  • Loam is a balanced mixture of clay, silt and sand with organic matter. It consists of about 50% open pore space that can be filled with air and water. This is the best soil structure.

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How do I know what type of soil I have?

A professional soil test will indicate your type of soil, but to get a rough idea, try using the jar test. Fill a glass jar with a screw-on lid, such as a mayonnaise jar, one-third full of soil that's taken 2 to 4 inches below the surface. Pack it in and mark the soil level on the outside of the jar. Add water until the jar is aboutthree-fourths full. Screw on the cap and shake vigorously for several minutes. Set the jar down to allow the soil to settle overnight or even a few days until the water starts to clear. The sand will go to the bottom first, then silt, then the clay. The top layer will be organic matter. Measure the depth of the silt and sand layers and compare them to the original soil level. This will give you an idea of the percentage of each of these soil types. Subtract the two values from 100 and the remainder is the percentage of clay.

Here is a general guideline to determine the soil's composition:

Sandy soils
- 35% or more sand, less than 15% silt and clay;

Clay soils
- 30% or more clay, less than 50% silt, less than 50% sand;

Loam soils
- less than 20% clay, 30-50% silt, 30-50% sand.

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How do I improve my soil?

Improving the soil is the first step to having a healthy lawn. By adding amendments to improve soil texture as a topdressing, correcting the pH of the soil to be between 6 and 7 for most grasses, and properly aerate when necessary to eliminate soil compaction.

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What causes soil compaction?

Many lawns, particularly those that receive heavy use, have compacted soil. A footpath worn into your lawn is a visible example of compaction. Compacted soil result in shallow-rooted lawns starved for air and water. These lawns are particularly susceptible to disease, insect and environmental stresses.

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How can I correct compacted soil?

Aerate your lawn. Aeration consists of making small holes in the soil that allow water, air and fertilizer to get closer to the roots. As an added bonus, aerating also helps control thatch.

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Can soil be aerated naturally?

Yes, by encouraging earthworms. They are natural aerators and are beneficial to the soil. They also help control thatch. As they tunnel through the soil, the worms often leave casts on the surface that make the lawn bumpy and difficult to mow. Let your grass grow a little longer so the castings will be hidden. If an absolutely smooth surface is necessary, use a vertical slicing machine to help break up the casts and smooth the surface.

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When and how often should I aerate my soil?

Poor drainage, failure to turn green after fertilizing and the presence of many worn areas all signal the need to aerate. Aerification is best done in the cool weather of late summer. By aerifying then, the lawn recovers quickly and is completely healed by winter. Turf soil should be aerated at least once a year on heavily compacted or clay soils. At a minimum, lawns should be aerated at least once every 3 to 5 years.

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What is topdressing?

Another yard care practice to promote healthy soil is the use of topdressing to smooth the surface, to help decompose thatch and reduce compaction of the soil. Topdressing contains nutrients and microorganisms which stimulate the grass growth and promote thatch decomposition. Topdressing is usually worked into the turf after application by dragging with a steel mat, raking or brushing.

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What materials do I use for topdressing my lawn?

The most readily available sources of organic amendments are materials such as:

  • composted sludge such as Milorganite

  • mushroom soil which is the residue of the straw and manure that is used to grow mushrooms

  • compost made from decomposed grass clippings and chopped leaves

  • peat moss and topsoil which can be purchased at most garden centers.


Compost can be considered the easiest and costs the least since you can make it from your own yard waste.

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How does gypsum improve soil?

Gypsum is a mined product, which is a form of hydrated calcium sulfate, and will give at least three benefits.

  • Condition sticky-clay loam soil. Gypsum will greatly improve water and air penetration, promote root growth and improve plant vigor where it was previously limited. It will loosen up and improve soil structure of clay and compacted soils.

  • Add nutrients -- sulfur and calcium.

  • Aid the removal of sodium (salt) from clay and silt particles. It also may reduce the pH of the soil.

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Warm Season Grasses

 

What is a warm season grass?

Warm-season grasses are best for areas where frost is a 
rare phenomenon. These grasses grow vigorously in the 
warm summer months. But when the weather turns cooler, 
warm-season grasses go dormant, turning yellow or brown.

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What are the steps to establish warm season grasses?

The general steps to turf grass establishment of warm
season lawns:

  • Obtain a soil fertility test and fertilizer recommendations.

  • Apply lime or sulphur if needed.

  • Apply fertilizer as recommended by soil test.

  • Apply soil physical amendments if needed.

  • Till above materials into soil 4-6 inch depth.

  • Finish-grade.

  • Apply starter fertilizer and work into top inch of soil.

  • Apply seed, lay sod, plug or sprig as appropriate

  • For seeding information go to cool-season new lawn preparation

  • Seeding can be done for Bermuda. Bahia and centipede
    can be seeded but it will take a long time to establish a 
    lawn.

  • Sodding, plugging or sprigging is required for Zoysia 
    and St Augustine


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How do I do the sodding?


Sodding has the advantage of almost immediate establishment. Choose high-quality sod that is actively growing. Sod is perishable and should not remain on the pallet or stack for more than 36 hours. The presence of mildew and distinct yellowing of the leaves is usually good evidence of reduced turf vigor from being stacked too long.

  • To lay the sod, start with a straight edge such as a driveway or sidewalk. Unroll sod pieces tightly against each other, but don't overlap. Using a sharp knife, cut pieces to fit curves or small areas.

  • After the sod has been laid, roll it to ensure good contact with the soil. Be sure to water thoroughly, and water every day.

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What is plugging?

Plugging is planting plugs of grass at measured intervals. The plugs are usually 2 1/2 inches in diameter and about 2-3 inches long. Cores of soil the same size as the plugs should be removed to ensure good soil contact with the plug.

Plugs are usually placed 6 to 12 inches apart. Zoysia develops slowly and its advisable to set Zoysia plugs 6-9 inches apart so the lawn fills in faster. Place fertilizer into the holes before putting the plugs in the hole. Also the plugs should be dropped into a bucket of water before placing them in the holes. Press the plug firmly into the hole to ensure good soil contact. Keep the plugs moist for 2-3 weeks after planting.

Planting plugs 2-3 inches in diameter into 12 inch centers would require 30 to 50 square feet of sod for a 1,000 sq. ft. area.

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What is sprigging?

Sprigs are stolons or rhizomes that root when planted in the soil. The spacing interval of sprigs is determined by the rate of spread of the grass and how fast coverage is desired. Sprigs must be pressed in firmly. Bermuda, St. Augustine and Centipede sprigs are usually placed 12 inches apart on 12 inch rows. Zoysia is usually placed 6 inches apart on 6 inch rows. Bermuda will spread fast and cover a lawn under good growing conditions in one season. Zoysia may need a year or two to cover the lawn. Zoysia needs to be more carefully planted.

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What about post installation care?

Rapid spread of sods, plugs and sprigs is faster when closely mowed which encourages the spread of grass and reduced competition from weeds and other unwanted grasses.

  • New warm season lawns require watering one or two times a day. Begin irrigation immediately after laying sod, sprigging or plugging. Plan your operation so that a section of laid sod can immediately be watered while other areas are being planted. Sod should be watered so that the sod strip is wet as well as the top 1 inch of soil below the sod.

  • The first irrigation requires about 1 inch of water to achieve complete wetting of the sod. After watering, lift up pieces of sod at several locations to determine if it has been adequately irrigated. 

  • Continue watering one to two times a day with light irrigations to prevent wilting and to ensure a moist soil just below the sod layer. As sod becomes established and roots penetrate and grow in the soil, gradually reduce the frequency of watering but wet the soil deeper. 

  • After sod has been mowed two or three times water deeply and infrequently. During hot, windy conditions, establishing sod may require several light mistings per day to prevent wilt and potentially high lethal temperatures. In this case, mist the sod lightly just to wet the leaf surface and not to supply water to the soil. Misting cools the grass plant as water is evaporated from the leaves.

  • Do not over-irrigate the soil because that will inhibit sod roots from growing into the soil. In situations where daily watering is not possible, thoroughly water the sod and soil to a depth of 6 inches. This will delay the rooting time of sod but will reduce the chance of rapid drying and severe loss of grass.

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Watering Tips

When should I water my lawn?

Water in the early morning (before sunrise) when water pressure is greatest, evaporation is minimal and the lawn drinks in the most water. Do not water in the evening because water will sit on the lawn and may cause disease. Do not water in the heat of the day because the sun will evaporate water before it can soak in. To water your lawn efficiently, you need to provide the right amount of water, evenly distributed, in the right places and at the right time. 

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How often should I water my lawn?


There are three things to consider: the weather, the type of soil and the depth of roots.

Weather is the most obvious factor. When it's hotter you'll need to water more frequently. In the summer you'll probably need to water every other day, if not every day (depending, of course, on where you live).

The type of soil affects how much water is available for the grass to use. Heavy (clay) soils hold the most water, meaning you'll probably water less frequently. Sandy soils do not hold water well, so you'll water them more often. Deeper roots mean there is more available water for the grass and, therefore, you'll need to water less frequently. Think of the soil as a sponge that holds water for the grass. The deeper the sponge, the more water it can hold. It is wise to establish watering practices that encourage deep root growth. This allows lawns to go longer between watering, cutting down on disease potential and, ultimately, the amount of water you'll use.

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How much should I water my lawn?

This will be driven by the weather. Water is lost from your lawn through a process called evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration--usually referred to as "ET"-- is the combined effect of water used by the plant and that which is lost to evaporation. ET is expressed in inches (or mm) of water per week. Your watering schedule should be set up to replace the water lost to ET. Check with your local university extension for ET rates in your area. Many areas publish ET rates in the daily press.

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How deep into the soil should water penetrate?

Water should penetrate to the depth of the roots (fill the root zone) or to the depth that roots are desired. This should be at least six inches. The next scheduled watering should occur when about half of the water is used via ET. Allowing much more loss could result in plant stress (see below).

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What happens if I don't water my lawn enough?

If too much water is allowed to leave the soil, your lawn will not be able to extract what's left for its own use, leading to stress. This makes the grass weak and susceptible to physical damage, insect damage and disease.

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What happens if I over water my lawn?

More lawns are harmed by too much water than not enough. Over watering causes nutrients to be flushed away, resulting in higher fertilizer requirements. Over watering also displaces oxygen from the soil, which leads to shallow roots and a lawn that is disease prone and weed infested.

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What happens to grass during a drought?

If your lawn can't get enough water it will first go into a dormant stage, often marked by a bluish color. If the drought continues until the soil water is fully used, death will result for most cool-season grasses. Bermudas and other warm-season grasses will probably recover, however, the lawn's quality will not.

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What are the elements of an automatic irrigation system?

Controller/Timer

The controller, or timer, is the brain of your system, telling your sprinklers what day, what time and exactly how much to water. 

Valves
Installed above or below the ground, usually near the water source, valves regulate water flow to the sprinklers.  

Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
PVBs prevent water from your sprinkler system (and therefore any fertilizer or chemical contaminants) from re-entering the clean water supply. Toro® manufactures several pressure vacuum devices to meet your local building code specifications.

Lawn Sprinklers
Installed in a special pattern for complete and even coverage, a properly designed automatic sprinkler system delivers precise coverage without gaps or runoff. 

Rain Switch (Optional)
A Rain Switch signals your system to shut off automatically when it's raining. There's no sense watering when nature is doing its part. The Rain Switch is a highly reliable and inexpensive option that saves countless gallons of water.

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What kind of sprinkler should I use?

The type of sprinkler you use really depends on what's being watered. There are five basic sprinkler types: fixed sprays, flood bubblers, stream bubblers, single-stream rotors and multi-stream rotors.

Fixed-spray sprinklers produce a tight, constant fan of water ideal for small lawn, shrub and ground cover areas. Pop-up models pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use. Shrub sprays are mounted above foliage to water ground cover and shrubs.

Flood bubblers produce a flow of water that soaks the soil without wetting the leaves. They're ideal for tree wells, planters and shrubs.

Stream bubblers are for efficient watering of small planter beds and shrubs areas. Stream bubblers are available in a variety of patterns.

Gear-driven, single-stream rotary sprinklers cover large lawn areas most efficiently. Some single-stream rotors have an arc adjustment for placement in corners. Like other pop-up sprinklers, they pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use.

Gear-driven, multi-stream rotary sprinklers produce thin, attractive streams of water that slowly rotate to ensure proper penetration for medium-sized lawn and shrub areas. Multi-stream, pop-up lawn and shrub models are excellent for lawns or ground cover--especially on slopes.

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What are the advantages of an automatic sprinkler system?

Convenience.

How many times have you forgotten to water your lawn, then over watered--only to end up with brown spots and muddy puddles? Like many homeowners, you could be using up to 50% more water than your landscape needs. Which isn't good for your pocketbook or for your lawn. The solution isn't to use more water, but to water more precisely. An automatic sprinkler system can give you a healthy, green lawn--and more free time to enjoy the beautiful results.  An Automatic Sprinkler System takes the work and worry out of watering your lawn. You can forget about tripping over hoses or sprinklers, fixing leaky faucets and hauling hoses around the yard. While you're enjoying the ball game, your lawn enjoys the right amount of water, in the right spots, at the right time.

Greener lawns and gardens.

Hose-end products simply cannot match the performance of a properly installed irrigation system. Adjustable sprinklers allow you to fine-tune coverage and minimize waste.

More efficient watering.

An automatic system delivers gentle, even watering for a more thorough soaking. There's less runoff and wasted water. The system can be programmed to water at the best time, early in the morning.

Attractive.

Pop-up sprinklers stay out of sight when not in use. All you need to do is enjoy your lawn. 

Improves your home.

Installing a  Automatic Sprinkler System immediately adds value to your home. It also protects your gardening and landscaping investment and keeps it growing while saving time and water.

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Yard Intruders 

These are some questions that will lead you to the pages concerning Weeds, Insects, and other yard pests.  They are meant to assist you in understanding what kinds of information you are looking for and where you can find the answers.  All of the pages contain useful information, in addition to the questions listed here. 

 

Yard Pests Insect Control
Insects Weeds (Identify)
Weed and Disease Control

Weeds

What can be used in place of chemicals to control insects, weeds and disease?

Is there any way to get rid of my weeds without using chemicals?

How do weeds get started?

I'm not sure what kind of weeds I have. Do I really need to know what they are to control them?

I pulled weeds all summer, but still have the same problems the following year. What am I doing wrong?

Types of weeds.

Insects

How can I identify what kind of insect is attacking my lawn?

Are there any general pesticide application guidelines I should follow?

Types of insects.

What do I look for if I suspect insects are invading my yard?

Are there certain times of the year when I should be on the lookout for various lawn insects?

How can I identify what kind of insect is attacking my lawn?

Animals

Field Mice, Voles

Moles

Crayfish

Dogs

 

Installing a Sprinkler System

Now you are ready to install your sprinkler system. But how do you it?  Where do you start? Where do you need to place the sprinkler heads?  Well, we have put together a little tutorial for you, to assist you with the installation.

1. How to begin Designing your system 

2. Install-It!

3. Install Tips!
4.
Next visit www.IrrigationTutorials.com to get any additional install info. Jess Stryker's Landscape Tutorial Series, Sprinklers & Irrigation.

 

 

Install-Tips!

Proper installation of a system's components is critical for a cost-efficient, easily maintained, water-conserving, long-lasting system. Safety and reduced liability are also dependent on good installation practices.

Before beginning an installation job, check the static and operating water pressure, flow rate and the size of the water supply to verify that design conditions are the same as actual site conditions.

Valves.
Install the zone control valve with the flow control completely open or turned down one or two turns (if required by the valve manufacturer), and the top of the flow control 4 inches below the finished grade. This allows the valve box lid to clear the valves while providing good access for maintenance work. Place a resilient seated gate valve upstream of the zone control valve for easy repair and maintenance of the control valve as well as for emergency shut-off. If quick couplers are needed, place these within the valve box, upstream of the isolation valve so they can be easily located in the future.

Place 4 to 6 inches of clean, washed gravel under the valve boxes for good drainage. Install filter fabric under the gravel and attach it to the valve box with duct tape. This fabric keeps the soil from working its way up through the gravel, or silting in along the pipe and forming a mud hole. Install the valve boxes flush with the finished grade and lightly compact the adjacent soil to prevent settlement. Always install sturdy valve boxes to withstand pressure from mowing and maintenance equipment.

Many rectangular valve box lids are difficult to remove and replace because the two longest walls cave in when excessive pressure is placed against the wall. A piece of rigid PVC pipe can be placed within the valve box between these two walls to brace them and prevent a cave-in.

Never install valves in low areas where water can collect, or close to driveways or sidewalks where automobile damage and pedestrian safety is a concern. Brand all valve box lids with the control valve number or other appropriate identifiers such as MD for manual drain or IV for isolation valve. Plastic identification tags can be attached to the valve in case the lids get switched. Most valve box lids can be bolted in place to help prevent vandalism. When vandalism is a problem, the valve boxes can be buried with 6 to 8 inches of soil. Use a brass valve or a metal foil to allow locating with a metal detector.

Coil 2 to 3 feet of control wire around a 1-inch diameter pipe prior to connecting it to the solenoid to allow for valve bonnet removal, and to protect the solenoid from potential electrical surges.

For better performance, the drip emitter valve assembly should be installed as follows: Install the filter first to keep the rest of the components clean. The filter should have a pressure rating of 125 to 150 psi. Install the strainer with an easy access flush valve on the top. Next install a fixed-rate, pressure-reducing valve upstream from the zone control valve. If installed downstream, pressure surges can occur within the space of time that the regulator takes to set itself after the water is turned on. Surges can blow emitters out of the lines as well as blow apart pipe and fittings.

A ¼-inch outlet tee with an air valve placed downstream of the control valve is helpful to diagnose future system problems using a pressure gauge.
Isolation valves are necessary in larger systems to shut down portions for repair without shutting off the entire system. Isolating portions of the system will make pressure testing for leaks and leak detection much easier.

Quick coupler valves should be securely attached to 2-inch by 2-inch by 30-inch treated wood stakes, or rebar driven into the soil. This will support the valve when the coupler key is inserted, and prevent damage to the pipe and fittings.

Any valve, other than the control valves, installed below grade should be installed in a 4- to 6-inch diameter PVC pipe access sleeve for valve control. Pipe should be cut out on one end to better fit over the pipe/valve and prevent the sleeve from shifting away from the valve. Center the sleeve on the valve operator and set it vertically with a 10-inch round valve box at the surface. The larger size sleeve makes it much easier to vacuum or pick stones out of the system.

Backflow preventers should be placed inside buildings or in shrub beds screened with planting whenever possible. If the backflow preventer is installed in a turf area, pour a 4-inch thick concrete pad that is 12 inches greater than the backflow and/or preventer enclosure to act as a mowing strip.

At Keesen Water Management, backflow preventer enclosures are included on every design project except single family homes. They prevent people from shutting off valves, opening petcocks and breaking valve handles by hiding the temptation from view.

For protection, backflow preventers close to driveways or streets should have 4-inch or larger diameter galvanized pipe filled and set 30 inches deep in concrete with a diameter of 24 inches. Insulated enclosures will protect the backflow preventer from freeze damage in the early spring and late fall.

Most flow sensors and meters require a minimum straight pipe length equal to 10 times the nominal diameter of the pipe on the upstream side, and up to 5 times the diameter on the downstream side. If valves or fittings are too close to the sensor, the accuracy will lessen due to the turbulence in the pipe.
An air valve should be installed downstream of every pressure-reducing valve to aid in adjusting the PRV and checking operating pressure.
 
Installation Depths.
Sprinkler heads should always retract below grade, while spray heds in shrubs and ground covers should be 6- or 12-inch pop-up heads placed out of the way of pedestrian traffic and snow plows. Allow at least 2 inches, or three finger widths, between the heads and the edge of a driveway or sidewalk where turf edging equipment will be used. Allow 6 inches in planting beds.

Place heads perpendicular to the finished grade. Always hand tamp soil firmly around the head to prevent movement and erosion and, when possible, install the head against undistrubed soil for greater stability.For surge protection and water conservation, irrigation systems with check valves should be installed in the base of the sprinkler head. Lateral line surge can cause the heads to move in the soil and fittings to blow apart. Good compaction around the sprinkler head will reduce these effects, and will keep the head in place.

Controllers.
Be safe. Always ground the controller by using an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved 5/8-inch by 8-foot copper grounding rod and proper ground clamps. Each controller should have its own ground rod. Install a protective conduit around wire exposed above ground level. This will protect the wiring as well as provide a better looking installation. Controllers and electrical equipment need to be protected from vandals and snow removal equipment, but installed in a manner that can be easily accessed by maintenance crews.

To save time on the installation and maintenance of an irrigation system, include an outlet plug for a hand-held radio remote control device. This allows easy operation and testing of the system anywhere on the landscape site or location. Pedestal-mounted controllers should be installed on a concrete pad similar to the pad for the backflow preventer. Two sweep elbows should be used, one for the 24-volt wires and another for the 120-volt wiring.

Avoid the installation of controllers and other electrical equipment below grade, unless the vault is well-drained and well-ventilated with fans. The high humidity that develops in vaults can cause corrosion and greatly reduce the life span of the electrical equipment.

Controllers that are installed outdoors should have watertight enclosures except in desert climates where ventilation and cooling of the controllers are more important. In addition, avoid installing the controller close to an irrigation head and, if possible, keep it out of exposed turfgrass areas.

Controller charts are reduced size, as-built drawings containing zone numbers with the coverage areas highlighted in different colors, laminated in 20 mil plastic and mounted in the controller door. This is helpful in identifying problems and when trying to determine which zone serves what part of the landscape.

All wire connections made below grade would be UL approved, removable insulated wire nuts installed in a reusable, watertight plastic container filled with a gel and installed in a valve box for future access.

Wire should not be pulled through the ground as this may cause the wire and insulation to stretch and eventually break. Wire can be laid with a cable plow or installed in an open trench. Tape and bundle the wire at 15-foot intervals when installing in a trench. If the wire is installed with the mainline, place it to one side and several inches below the top of the pipe. This will help protect the wire from damage that may occur from future excavation.

Provide a 24-inch expansion loop for wire whenever a change of direction is greater than 40 degrees as well as in situations where the length exceeds 300 feet. Wire that is tightly stretched in a trench may separate within its insulation as soil temperatures cool down.

Sensors.
Some sensors are sensitive to the effects of electromagnetic fields and require shielded cable and connectors between the sensor and the controller.
The 24-volt wiring should be buried at least 12 to 18 inches deep to better protect the wire, and 120-volt wiring should be buried 24 inches deep according to the national electrical code. All wire should be UL approved for direct burial.

Several years ago, we did some consulting for an irrigation contractor in Kentucky. We recommended the use of a rain shutoff device for his systems, but several months later he called to say the rain sensor was not working correctly and the turf was burning up. My schedule placed me in Kentucky that week so I arranged to look at the installation with the contractor.

The rain sensor was mounted on an 8-foot high fence in the backyard. When the system came on, the rotor heads hit the sensor and shutoff the system. Rain sensors are best installed above the spray height of the system, away from trees. A good location is at the roofline of a building. – Larry Keesen

Information found here was supplied by Lawn & Landscape.

 

Design your Sprinkler System

How to Measure your home’s Water Capacity


    Water pressure can vary from home to home, even on the same street. So it is important that you take a measurement at your own home. The danger, if you push your system beyond its capacity, is that it can crate water hammer and costly damage to your piping system.

    First start by creating a chart like the one pictured below.


    Following are two reliable ways of determining your home’s water capacity. We recommend using the flow and pressure gauge method because it’s fast and easy. We also offer you instructions on the 5-gallon bucket method.

    A
    Determine your water capacity & working pressure

    The Toro flow and pressure gauge is a dual purpose device designed to measure water pressure to 160 PSI and water flow to 13 G.P.M. This flow gauge is not intended for use on lines larger than 1 inch. The gauge will only measure flow through the outside faucet -- not in the line.
    1. Ensure no water is being used at the location.
    2. Attach gauge to outside faucet nearest to where the main line enters the house. 
    3. Make sure the flow gauge is closed by turning the handle clockwise.
    4. Open the outside faucet slowly to avoid damage to gauges.
    5. When the outside faucet is fully opened, read the system static pressure.
    6. Open the flow gauge slowing by turning the handle counter-clockwise. As the flow gauge opens, pressure will drop from the static reading and the flow reading will rise. Continue to open the flow gauge until pressure drops to the desired system working pressure, usually 35 PSI.
    7. If pressure does not drop to 35 PSI (after opening the flow gauge all the way,) then take the flow and pressure reading at the full open position.


    Note: If rapid fluctuation occurs on the flow gauge, record the average reading. Additional reading of pressure and flow may be helpful for further design information.

    Now take a minute to enter your findings in the PSI and GPM section of your chart.


    Now that that is done you are ready to go on to Determining Your Design Capacity

    B
    Determine your water capacity and working pressure using a 5-gallon bucket and standard pressure gauge
    Locate the outside faucet that is closest to your water supply line.

    Locate another faucet on your house and attach a pressure gauge. Open faucet all the way.
    With faucet Y open all the way, check the pressure reading on the gauge at faucet X. If it is less that 35 PSI, turn down the water flow from faucet Y until the reading reaches 35 PSI. If it is greater than 35 PSI, record the pressure reading and go to step 4.

    Place a five gallon bucket under faucet Y and time how long it takes to fill it. This test tells you how much water is available measured in gallons per minute (G.P.M.).

    Check the chart below, locate the time you recorded and find the GPM reading that corresponds with that time.

    Time to Fill Bucket Gallons Per Minute
    15 seconds 20 G.P.M.
    20 seconds 15 G.P.M.
    25 seconds 12 G.P.M.
    30 seconds 10 G.P.M.
    40 seconds 7.5 G.P.M.

    This is how much water is available with a working pressure of 35 PSI or the higher reading that you recorded. (Minimum operating pressure for most sprinklers.)

    Note: The pressure found in this step is called working pressure. This pressure reading will determine how far your sprinklers will spray.

    Enter your findings in the PSI and GPM section of your chart.


    Now you are ready to Determine Your Design Capacity.


    Determine Your Design Capacity.

    Before you go any further, it is important to make sure you are starting off with the right flow and pressure information. Take a moment to note and compare your findings from step A or B of How to Measure your home’s water capacity, with the flow rates and rules of thumb below. A few minutes now may save you countless headaches later!

    Now that you’ve recorded your home’s water capacity, let’s make sure your water meter and service line can handle it. Use steps 1, 2, and 3 and refer to the charts below to determine your actual system design capacity.


    Water Meter Size

    First start by determining you water meter size and flow rate. You can accomplish this by locating your water meter, the size should be stamped on the meter or printed right on the face plate. Once you have located the size Check with the chart below to determine your flow rate.
    Flow Rates for Water Meters:
    Meter Size Max. G.P.M.
    5/8” meter 8 G.P.M.
    3/4” meter 13 G.P.M.
    1” meter 22 G.P.M.

    Tip: Use only 80% of the design capacity to allow for future demand and household consumption of water for domestic purposes (showers, sinks, washing machines, etc.)

    Now that you know the size and flow rate you can enter them into your chart.



    Service Line Type/Size

    Now you have to determine what type and size service line you would like to use. You can do this by referring to the charts below.
    FLOW RATES FOR SERVICE LINES AND SPRINKLER LINES:
    Maximum Recommended Flow through PVC (plastic) Pipe:
    We recommend 1” Schedule 40 PVC upstream of zone valves and at least 3/4” Class 200 PVC downstream of zone valves.

    PVC Pipe Size Maximum G.P.M.
    1” Schedule 40 13 G.P.M.
    3/4” Schedule 40 8 G.P.M.
    1” Class 200 15 G.P.M.
    3/4” Class 200 10 G.P.M.

    Maximum Recommended Flow through New Galvanized Pipe:

    Galvanized Pipe Size Maximum G.P.M.
    3/4” Galvanized Pipe 8 G.P.M.
    1” Galvanized Pipe 13 G.P.M.

    Maximum Recommended Flow through Type K Copper Pipe:

    Copper Pipe Size Maximum G.P.M.
    3/4” Copper Tube 6 G.P.M.
    1” Copper Tube 12 G.P.M.

    Maximum Recommended Flow through Polyethylene Pipe:

    In freezing areas, poly pipe may be used downstream of zone valves.

    Poly Pipe Size Maximum G.P.M.
    3/4” Poly Pipe 8 G.P.M.
    1” Poly Pipe 13 G.P.M.

Now that that's done you can enter that data into your chart.


Enter the Lower Number Here

Last but certainly not least, enter the lower of the two GPM numbers into your chart.


This number will be the Maximum Capacity of your new Sprinkler System.

 

 

HOMEOWNER'S GUIDE TO WINTERIZATION

Contents:
  1. Manual Drain Valve Design and Procedure
  2. Automatic Drain Valve Design and Procedure
  3. How to Blow Water out of the Lines Using Compressed Air
  4. How to Winterize System Components

HOW TO WINTERIZE SYSTEM COMPONENTS

Valves: Gravity draining of the system will not remove water captured inside the valves. Activating the valves manually or electrically from the timer is not an effective way to drain then. Valves that are not blown out with air must follow this procedure: Any diaphragm style such as the DAS-075, DAS-100, CP-075, CP-100, CPF-075, CPF-100, and EV-100 should be disassembled and drained. Remove the bonnet, solenoid, and diaphragm assembly and drain or sponge any standing water, then reassemble.

Actuator type valves such as the APAS-075, APAS-100, AVG-075, and AVG-100 require removal of the stem and solenoid assembly, check for any standing water in the pipe. Manual valves such as the PAS-075 and PAS-100 may simply be left in the open position for the Winter. Valves that are winterized using the blow out method with compressed air do not require disassembly to remove standing water. Leave the valves in the manual open position to prevent possible repressurization during the Winter. This is accomplished by turning the bleed screw or solenoid counterclockwise, to the open position.

Sprinkler Heads: If your system uses automatic drain valves (Model 16A-FDV) installed properly at the low point of the system, the sprinkler lines will drain automatically each time the system is shut off. This should drain the water from the sprinkler heads also. Some sprinklers have both side and bottom pipe inlets. If you use the side inlet, install a drain valve on the bottom inlet to prevent the case from freezing. Sprinkler heads containing built in check valves to prevent low head drainage require disassembly, or must be blown out with air to achieve proper winterization. These types of heads are usually found only on commercial installations. Sprinklers that have been blown out with air generally do not require and additional treatment.

Timers: Several methods for winterizing timers are available. Some may be more appropriate for your particular application, depending on the model you own, systems utilizing water pumps require special attention here. Read the entire section before deciding which method is correct for you.

  1. If your sprinkler system does not have a water pump and your timer has a programming dial or a mechanical on/off switch: Turn the timer to the "OFF" position. Leave the timer plugged in. The program you set will remain intact. You may leave the back up battery plugged in on electronic models. Leaving the timer plugged in keeps some heat inside the unit, warding off condensation which may be harmful to the circuit board. Timers such as the ISA-304, ISA-406, ISA-408, PC-506, ESP-12LXi, ESP-16LXi, or any mechanical timer like the RC-7C series (the type that has pins and dials), may simply be turned to OFF, RAIN, or RAIN/OFF to achieve proper winterization.

  2. If your sprinkler system does not have a water pump and your digital electronic timer has a "keypad" only: Press the "SYSTEM/OFF" or "AUTO/OFF" key. This will turn the system off, leaving the program in the memory. A single digit flashing in the display indicates the system is interrupted, giving visual confirmation. Caution! A power surge or prolonged power failure could cause the timer to default back to the automatic mode, sending a signal to the irrigation control valves or pump to come on. This will not hurt the valves, but could do serious damage to a "dry" running pump. Examples of this type of timer are the PC-104, PC-106, PC-204, PC-206, TSC-7, EZ-1, and the CRC-4/6/8.

  3. If your sprinkler system has a water pump and your timer is in an indoor digi-tal electronic or mechanical model: Unplug the timer. Turning the timer off from the keypad does not guarantee complete security from the timer coming on again in case of a power surge or power failure. Mechanical models turned off from the switch can just as easily be reactivated. Indoor models have a power cord attached to a transformer style plug. Simply unplug the transformer from the power source. The transformer is a small black box that is usually warm or hot to the touch. Warning! Grabbing a hot transformer could cause burns. Use gloves to protect your hands. Next, remove the backup battery (digital models) to prevent it from discharging over the Winter. Be advised that this method causes the program to disappear on digital models. You will have to reprogram the timer next spring. Examples of this type of timer are the PC-104-P/S, PC-106-P/S, PC-204-P/S, PC-206-PS, TSC-7, EZ-1, and RC-7Bi (or any Rain Bird RC-Bi or RC-I series).

  4. If your sprinkler system has a water pump and your timer is an outdoor digital electronic or mechanical model, follow these steps carefully: Turning the timer off from the keypad does not guarantee complete security from the timer coming on again in case of a power surge or power failure. Mechanical models turned off from the switch can just as easily be reactivated. To correctly winterize these types of timers, the common wire(s) running to the pump start relay and the valves must be disconnected from the timer. Turn the power source to the timer off at the main circuit breaker panel for your home or garage first. These timers are "hard wired" directly into the high voltage circuit of your electrical system. The power wires run directly through conduit pipe to the timer. Warning! Touching high voltage wires can cause electrical shock and burns. Do not attempt to disconnect these wires to de-power the timer. The power may only be turned off at the main circuit breaker panel. Verify that the power is completely off by removing the backup battery. Wait for 2 minutes. If the digital display on the timer has not gone blank, please call Rain Bird, or an irrigation contractor to assist you. If you have verified that the power is off to the timer, proceed to disconnect the wire or wires marked "Common", "Com", or "C", on the timer terminal strip. This is the location in the timer where the valve wires connect. Usually there is a row of screws that are labeled and numbered. Locate the terminal designated as COMMON, COM, or C. In some cases there may be 2 terminals marked for the common wire. Disconnect all of the wires from the common terminal. Twist a wire nut or place a piece of electrical tape over any loose wire ends to prevent the wire(s) from touching and causing a short circuit. Reconnect the backup battery on digital models.

    Mechanical models:
    Many Rain Bird mechanical timers have a valve wiring harness that may simply be unplugged to disconnect the common and station wires altogether. This is usually a white multi-pin "snap" connector (Molex type) located behind the face panel, inside the cabinet. Close the timer access panel. Turn the power source back on to the timer. Be sure to go ahead and program the timer to the "OFF" setting on the keypad or switch. Set the station timing to zero minutes for all of the stations to prevent any operation. In the Spring, reconnect the common wires and reprogram the timer.


Backflow Preventer:
Please check with the manufacturer for specific winterization techniques. Leave the shutoff valves open after draining the unit. "Ball" type shutoff valves should be left at a 45 degree angle to prevent water from entering the seal. Under extreme conditions, insulate the device or use "heat tape" to prevent damage.

Pump: Please check the pump manufacturer’s instructions for winterization. See timer section regarding pumps.

 

Additional Instructions for Winterizing Your Irrigation system

Guide To Winterizing Your System

provided by Hunter Industries

 

 
Installation Guide

Okay, the planning's done, you've bought all the parts, now you're in the yard, shovel in hand, ready to start.

STEP 1.
Place a stake or flag at every sprinkler location as indicated on your layout. Use string to show where the pipe will run.

STOP! Make sure you know where all gas lines, power lines and cable TV lines are before you start to dig. Be sure to call your utility companies if you need help.

STEP 2.
Dig trenches following the string. Mark the sprinkler locations with flags or the stakes. Typical trench depths range from 6 to 12 inches.

To run pipe under existing walkways you can "drill" using water pressure. Get a piece of PVC long enough to go under the walk, glue a slip-female thread adapter to one end and attach a hose. On the other end glue a slip-male thread adapter and connect a Rain Bird Jet Spray Nozzle. Dig your trench up to the walk on both sides. Now turn on the water and work your way through. It may take a while, and it will get muddy so turn off the water once in a while to let the water soak in.

  • To make trenching easier ask your local tool rental supplier about a "power trencher".
  • If you are using a Poly Pipe, ask about a pipe pulling machine, which will bury pipe without digging up your lawn.
  • Be sure to put enough space between valves on the manifold so that they can be removed in case they ever need to be replaced.

STEP 3.
Hook up your water supply. Did you check with your Rain Bird Dealer to find out which connections are right for our local codes and conditions?

STEP 4.
Assemble your valve manifold. Connect the back-flow preventer if required.

PVC and Poly Pipe
PVC is available in a variety of diameters and wall thickness'. Your system will operate better and be more durable using a larger diameter (3/4", 1", or 1 1/4"), heavier gauge (schedule 40) pipe. Poly pipe is mostly used in colder climates. Poly pipe is more flexible and is less likely to be damaged by freezing. Rain Bird does not recommend using poly pipe for the main line connecting pipe.

PVC cement is applied to the inside of the fitting and the outside of the pipe. Quickly insert pipe all the way, giving a 1/4 turn to distribute the cement and hold a few seconds. A primer is available to prepare the pipe and fittings for gluing. Read the manufacturers instructions before using PVC cement.

Poly is assembled by sliding a clamp over the pipe, insert the fitting all the way then bring the clamp into position and tighten.

STEP 5.
Place lengths of pipe along the string after laying out the right sprinklers and connectors at each stake.

STEP 6.
Start assembling moving from one sprinkler location to the next. Don't connect the sprinkler until everything is assembled so that you can flush the system with water to clear out any dirt that got in the pipes.

STEP 7.
Manually flush the system. Turn on the water at the "shut-off" to supply your system. Then operate the valves manually to flush the system. Open each valve to flush the pipe with water, then close. Refer to the valve instructions for manual operation. You should do this with each valve.

STEP 8.
Attach the sprinklers after flushing the system with water.

STEP 9.
Wire the valves to the timer following the instructions that come with your timer. Be sure to write down which timer "station" runs which zone and keep these notes near your timer.

Now test each zone, using the timer to control the valves. Make any adjustments to the distance and directions of the sprinklers. When everything is working right, bury the pipe.

You're Finished!

 

 


 

Design your Sprinkler System

How to begin Designing your system

Suggested planning tools: Pencil, scratch paper; Drawing compass; 50' tape measure; Straight edge or ruler; Marking spray paint for marking trenches; Toro Flow & Pressure Gauge. (Note: If you do not own a Flow & Pressure Gauge, ask your local Toro retailer if they have one that they loan to customers.)

1 Draw Your Property From A Birds Eye View.

Using your tape measure, outline and measure your property accurately according to scale, laying out the locations of your home, sidewalks, grass, etc.

  1. Outline your house, garage, other building.

  2. Show walks, drives, slabs, patios and surfaces.

  3. Locate and identify trees and major obstacles.

  4. From the outside of the house, measure outward to define your outside perimeters.

  5. Locate ground cover, grass and flower beds.

  6. Identify the location of the water meter (or pump) and service line.

  7. Re-check your measurements at several different points. Make sure your drawing accurately indicates the true dimensions.


2 Section Your Yard.

Divide your yard into areas, according to type of plant material (grass, shrubs, etc., or shade versus sun.) Create as many large rectangles as you can, saving small and oddly-shaped areas for last.

3 Locate Sprinklers In Large Rectangular Areas First.

Locate sprinklers within each areas, one area at a time, using larger sprinklers for larger areas. Stay within the allowable spacing range (radius) and remember to space them "head to head." Spacing head too far apart will produce dry spots. Always place sprinklers in a way that avoids spraying the side of your house, walls, wood fences, etc. Also, minimize spraying onto sidewalks, driveways, and streets. Place half-circle heads on sides and borders; quarter circle head in corners; and full circle heads in the middle.

     

Lawn and Sprinkler Layout
Use a Compass for Correct Head-to-Head Spacing
Please note: Locating sprinkler heads is not an exact science. You can locate sprinkler heads without knowing pressure or the gallons per minute (G.P.M.) flow rate of water. Click here for information on finding the G.P.M. for your system. These factors will apply later when we divide the system into zones. For now, work on your layout as described in Step 3 until you've achieved head-to-head coverage for all areas.

Complete your sprinkler placement
After locating your sprinklers in large, rectangular areas, you can now locate sprinklers in small non-rectangular areas. Although each situation is different, following are some handy guidelines.

    Complete Your Sprinkler Placement

Locating Sprinklers in Oddly-Shaped Areas:

  1. Pick the spot on the perimeter with the smallest radius.

  2. Place a head with a small radius at that point.

  3. Place heads along the border starting from that spot.

  4. Adjust the radius of each head according to the size and shape of the area.

  5. If coverage is incomplete, adjust sprinkler location.

  6. If coverage is still incomplete, start over, using a head with a larger radius.

Here are two way to locate sprinklers in small areas.

Areas such as narrow strips bordering your driveway or sidewalk can be watered by two offset rows of part-circle heads as shown here. (Two rows of part-circle heads)

Or you can use special pattern heads for end-strip and center-strip watering as shown in this diagram below.

(Center-strip heads spray in two directions: end-strip heads spray in one direction only. Both are designed for precise watering of small rectangular areas.)

Important!
When you have located all of your sprinkler heads, use your compass to double-check your layout. Be sure coverage is head-to-head.

Now zone your system.

Information found here supplied by Toro.

 

HOW TO BLOW WATER OUT OF THE LINES USING COMPRESSED AIR

CAUTION! WEAR PROPER EYE PROTECTION! Extreme care must be taken when blowing out the system to avoid excessive pressure which can damage valves or sprinkler pipe or cause physical injury due to flying debris. Do not stand over any irrigation components (pipes, sprinklers, and valves) during air blow out. Air pressure must not exceed 50 pounds per square inch (psi) for systems with polyethylene piping, and 80 psi for systems with PVC piping.

Local irrigation contractors usually offer this service for a reasonable fee which may also include start-up in the Spring. Depending on how extensive your system is and what type of equipment you have installed, you may want to choose a professional who is fully equipped to provide this service. 

The blow out method utilizes an air compressor with a Cubic Foot per Minute (CFM) rating of 80-100 for any mainline of 2" or less. These types of compressors can be rented at your local equipment rental yard.

Description: Compressed air is used to force water through all of the irrigation system components including the mainline pipe, sprinkler control valves, lateral pipes, and out through the sprinkler heads. To obtain proper air volume, you will need to rent or buy a compressor capable of providing 80 to 100 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air volume. During the blow out procedure, the air pressure must not exceed 50 pounds per square inch (psi) for poly pipe system or 80 psi for PVC pipe systems . A pressure regulating valve must be used to avoid over pressurization of the system. Air volume should be high and air pressure low. This combination of high volume and low pressure will minimize the damage that can occur during the winterization process. It is very important to select the right air compressor for the job. Some small shop compressors (2 hp) may not be adequate to complete the winterization procedure properly.

If the appropriate air compressor is not available, please call an irrigation contractor. Do not try to use an air compressor with high pressure (120 psi) and low volume to evacuate water from the system. It is not an acceptable practice to allow the compressor to fill the holding tank of the compressor and the closed mainline with high pressure air, hoping the surge of excess pressure will compensate for the lack of compressor size and blow the line clean upon opening the sprinkler control valve. This is a dangerous practice that places very severe stresses on all of the components of the system. Do not run the compressor without at least one sprinkler control valve open. This lessens the chance that the system could over pressurize. It is a common misbelief that if the system can withstand 120 psi of water pressure, similar air pressure will not damage the system. This is not true! The viscosity of air is much lower than water, generating much higher stresses that can cause severe damage to the system.

Design: There should be a separate provision on the sprinkler system mainline for hooking up the air hose (see item C in the diagram). This could be a quick connect fitting, a hose bib, a manual gate valve, a plugged "tee", or simply a capped pipe in the line. This adapter should be located as close to the water source as possible, but should be located after the backflow device. Compressed air should not be blown through any backflow device. Check with your air compressor manufacturer for the correct procedure and equipment to hook up to the sprinkler system.

 

 


Blow out procedure activating valves Automatically

Procedure: Wear Proper Eye Protection! Do not stand over any irrigation components (pipe, valves, or sprinklers) during air blow out. Do not run the air compressor without a sprinkler zone control valve being open first, from start up to compressor shut down. Air pressure must not exceed 50 pounds per square inch (psi) for poly pipe systems and 80 psi for PVC pipe systems.

Blow out procedure activating sprinkler control valves from the timer:

  1. Close mainline sprinkler shutoff valve. ( A )

  2. Relieve the water pressure on the mainline by activating a circuit, or zone, from your timer. Activate the circuit that is furthest from the air connection before introducing air into the piping.

  3. Attach the compressor hose to the blow out adapter. ( C )

  4. Set the pressure regulating valve on the compressor to 50 psi for poly pipe systems or 80 psi for PVC pipe systems.

  5. Turn on the compressor. Gradually increase the flow of air until the sprinkler heads pop up. The amount of flow or volume required will be dependent upon the length of the pipe run and the number of heads.

  6. Sustained heat from the compressed air may damage pipe and other components. Do not blow any circuit more than 2 minutes at a time. Switch to another station, or zone, by advancing the timer to the next circuit. Do not turn the timer off at any time during this operation until the compressor is first shut off.

  7. In order to ensure adequate drainage of lines, repeat the cycle two or more times, activating each zone from the timer, until nothing more than a fine mist appears from the heads. Many sprinklers that use plastic gears in their drive mechanisms also use water for lubrication and cooling. If a circuit is allowed to run with nothing but air for extended periods there is a significant risk of damaging the drive mechanism of the sprinkler.

  8. After blowing out all the zones, leave one zone on while shutting down the compressor. Turn the compressor off at this time.

  9. Unhook the compressor from the adapter to the sprinkler system mainline.

  10. Turn the timer to "Off".

  11. Caution! Please refer to the How to Winterize System Components section to fully complete the winterization process for your system.

Blow out procedure activating valves Manually

Use this section only if your system does not have electric remote control valves.

Procedure: Wear Proper Eye Protection!
Do not stand over any irrigation components (pipes, valves, or sprinklers) during air blow out. Do not run the air compressor without an irrigation control zone valve being open first, from start up to compressor shut down.

Please refer to Blow Out Procedure Activating Valves from Timer section before considering this alternative. Activating the valves from the timer offers an additional margin of safety to the procedure since you would not be placed in close proximity to the irrigation components during the blow out.

Blow out procedure activating valves manually:

  1. Close main sprinkler shutoff valve. ( A )

  2. Relieve the water pressure on the mainline by slowly opening the manual shutoff handle on one of your irrigation zone control valves.

  3. Attach the compressor hose to the blow out adapter. ( C )

  4. Set the pressure regulating valve on the compressor to 50 psi for poly pipe systems or 80 psi for PVC pipe systems.

  5. Turn on the irrigation station you want to blow out.

  6. Turn on the compressor. Gradually increase the flow of air from the compressor flow valve (not from the sprinkler control valve) until the sprinkler heads pop up. The amount of flow or volume required will be dependent upon the length of the pipe run and the number of heads.

  7. Sustained heat from the compressed air may damage pipe and other components. Do not blow any circuit more than 2 minutes at a time.

  8. After 2 minutes, turn the compressor off, and allow all of the air to completely purge from the compressor tank and the sprinkler system.

  9. Turn on the next irrigation control valve you wish to winterize.

  10. Turn off the last irrigation control valve you have just blown out.

  11. Repeat Steps 5 through 10 until you have completed 2 or more blow out cycles per zone. There should only be a fine mist blowing from each station if the winterization procedure was successful. Cycle again as needed.

  12. Turn the compressor off. Allow any air in the storage tank or irrigation components to disperse before approaching the air hose or valves.

  13. Unhook the compressor from the adapter to the sprinkler mainline.

  14. Caution! Please refer to the How to Winterize System Components section to fully complete the winterization process for your system.

 

Additional Instructions for Winterizing Your Irrigation system

Guide To Winterizing Your System

provided by Hunter Industries  

                              

 
Sprinkler Design Service
How to Use the Sprinkler Design Service

1. Print the following two forms from our website*

*If you prefer, you can also order the Sprinkler Design Service form from our online store or drop by your local retailer to pick up Rain Bird’s Sprinkler Design Service form.

2. Gather the information requested below in steps 1 through 6 and complete the questionnaire and drawing as instructed. Upon completion, mail or fax the completed questionnaire and drawing to Rain Bird. PLEASE ALLOW 2 WEEKS TO PROCESS YOUR DESIGN. Once you receive your design, follow the instructions in the Installation Guide or Installation Video to complete your project.

What You Get Back

For just $29.95 (refundable with any Rain Bird product purchase, no minimum dollar amount required), you'll get:

  1. A complete full-color set of computer drawn plans:
    • Color-coded sprinkler head placement and spray patterns
    • Color-coded layout of zones, valves, pipe, timer and wire
  2. An itemized shopping list of all the parts you will need.
  3. A valve-by-valve parts list for easy installation.

Click here to see a sample of a custom designed irrigation system plan (PDF: 1,088 KB).

 

Rain Bird Rapid Response Service

WANT IT FASTER? For $49.95 ($29.95 refundable fee with any Rain Bird product purchase, no minimum dollar amount required), we can design your plans within three business days and ship them to you via express mail. If you desire this service, then please check the appropriate box on your "Sprinkler Design Instruction Sheet". (prices subject to change.)

Getting Started

lawn watering Check your water pressure:
Screw the pressure gauge onto the nearest faucet to the water meter. Make sure no water is running anywhere inside or outside your house. Turn on the faucet with the gauge attached. The gauge shows your water pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). You may also call your local water company to find out your water pressure.

Write the pressure reading on your information sheet.

   
sprinkler system design service Check your water meter size:
The meter size ( 5/8",3/4" or 1") is usually stamped on the outside of the meter. If you can’t find the size, just call the water company, they’ll know.

Write the meter size on your information sheet.

   
lawn watering system Check the size of your service line:
Find the pipe that runs from the water meter to your house. Wrap a piece of string around the pipe, mark it, then measure how much string it took to go around the pipe. Check your string length on the table to find your service line size. For example, if your string measures 4" and you have galvanized pipe, your service line is 1 inch.

Write the service line size on your information sheet.

   
sprinkler design service Measure your home’s water capacity (flow):

Get a measurable container, like a 5 gallon bucket, make sure no other water is running in or outside the house, turn the faucet on all the way and time how long it takes to fill the container.

Our 5 gallon bucket took 17.5 seconds to fill so; number of gallons divided by number of seconds to fill x 60 seconds = GPM (5 divided by 17.5 x 60 = 17.14). Round your answer down to the nearest whole number. Our example gives us 17 GPM.

Note: For pump systems, check with your well and pump dealer or the owner’s manual of your pump to determine its pressure and flow capacity.

Write your water capacity on your information sheet.

   
Measure your lot:
Include lawn, sidewalks, driveways, and walkways and don’t forget the house. It’s a good idea to sketch everything on a piece of scratch paper, and write in the measurements before drawing your final plan on the graph paper supplied. Then, just transfer everything, to scale, to the graph paper.

Mark your meter or pump location with a box , your desired timer with a circle ,and desired manifold locations with an .

On your graph paper, each 1-inch square can be 10, 20, or 30 feet. Decide your scale and write it on your information sheet (important). Maximum lot size for Rain Bird’s Design Service is 240 x 300 feet, however, this web version can only accomodate 210 x 270 feet. If you need the full sized graph paper, please call 1-800-RAIN-BIRD for assistance.

   
Dividing your lot into sections:

Divide your layout into sections, pick out the different areas like, the front lawn, side lawn, flowerbeds etc.

Be sure to label all areas of your yard that you want watered. Rain Bird will make sprinkler head recommendations. If you have special watering requirements, such as wanting bubblers, label these areas. For the types of sprinkler heads that are available, refer to our online Underground Product Catalog. Also, if you have a particular area you want watered separately, such as gardens, roses, etc., mark that area ‘separate valves.’

 

Mail or fax the completed questionnaire and your drawing to:

Rain Bird Sprinkler Design Service
7590 Britannia Court, Suite A
San Diego, CA 92154-7403 USA
Fax: 800-862-4927

The Rain Bird Sprinkler Design Service is for homeowners only and only for their place of residence. Please do not request designs for commercial or institutional property, these design requests will be returned.

Rain Bird offers this design service as a guideline. No guarantee of accuracy of design, system installation, or operation of system is implied.

IMPORTANT: The computerized plan you receive will only be as accurate as your drawing. Be sure to scale your drawing using one of the following ratios: 1"=10’ or 1"=20’ or 1"=30’.

Remember: Maximum yard size for a Rain Bird computerized design is 240 x 300 feet, or 210 x 270 for this version.

 

 


 

EZ-FLO Fertilizing Systems
EZ-FLO makes fertilizer and supplement dispensing systems for use with any in-ground irrigation system or with a standard water faucet (bib). This technique of applying products through the water is called "fertigation" and it saves on water while significantly reducing the risk of fertilizer runoff. Click here for more information.

EZ-FLO now offers a full line of dispensing systems and landscape solutions for municipal, commercial, school, residential and grower applications.


Click the links below to purchase the products you are looking for:


 


Sprinkler Warehouse is dedicated to meeting your every need when it comes to installing and maintaining your sprinkler and irrigation systems. Here you will find the tools to educate yourself on every aspect of installing and maintaining your sprinkler system. From valve installation and wiring to pipe and drip lines... We have it all. Find all the information you need here at Sprinkler Warehouse's Sprinkler School!

Before beginning your irrigations project, contact your local water company or the proper municipal authority for information on building codes and required permits. They can also tell you about requirements for the backflow prevention devices requred in your area. These devices protect your water supply from contamination and are required for most inground irrigation systems

  • TAPE MEASURE
  • SCREW DRIVER
  • HAMMER
  • TRENCHING SHOVEL
  • LINE MARKING PAINT
  • FLOW & PRESSURE GAUGE

Here are some helpful PDF files:
(print these out for future use)

GRAPH PAPER
SITE INFORMATION SHEET

 

 

IN THIS SECTION YOU WILL NEED:

  • CLEAR GLASS JAR (with lid)
  • SOIL SAMPLE
  • DETERGENT

Each small square on the graph paper should represent one square foot of actual property or use a scale such as 1 inch = 10 feet, 1 inch = 20 feet, etc. Using a tape measure, measure your property and draw it to scale on the layout paper. Use the drawing below as an example:

REMEMBER:

    • Outline your house, garage and other structures.
    • Show walkways, drives, slabs, patios and other surfaces.
    • Identify trees and major obstacles.
    • Measure and record the perimeter of your property.
    • Identify slopes.
    • Show groundcover, grass, flower beds and landscaping.
    • Identify the size and location of the water meter (or pump) and main line.
    • Identify the soil type in your yard.
Write the scale of your drawing on your information sheet!

There is a simple way to determine what type of soil - sand, loam or clay - you have in your yard. All it takes is a clean, empty jar with a lid, some clean water, a tablespoon of detergent and a sample of the soil you want to test. To do so:

  1. Fill the jar about 1/3 full with the soil to be tested.
  2. Fill the jar with water and detergent then cap it.
  3. Shake the jar vigourously and set aside for several hours or overnight.

 

EVALUATE THE RESULTS:


SAND


LOAM

CLAY
If the water is clear and the soil has settled to the bottom; you have predominantly sand soil.
If the water is still a little murky with bits of matter suspended in it; you have loam soil.
If the water is still murky and there is a visible ring of sediment around the jar; then your soil is mostly clay.

 Write your soil type on your information sheet!

 

IN THIS SECTION YOU WILL NEED:

  • PRESSURE GAUGE
  • PENCIL
  • STRING
  • 5 GALLON BUCKET
  • TAPE MEASURE

Screw the pressure gauge onto the nearest faucet to the water meter. Make sure no water is running anywhere inside or outside your house. Turn on the faucet with the gauge attached. The gauge shows your water pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). You may also call your local water company to find out your water pressure.

Write the pressure reading on your information sheet.

The meter size ( 5/8",3/4" or 1") is usually stamped on the outside of the meter. If you can’t find the size, just call the water company, they’ll know.

Write the meter size on your information sheet.

Next identify if your supply line is Copper, Galvanized, or PVC. Copper is generally a copper color, galvanized is generally silver and textured in appearance and PVC is usually white.

Write the supply line type on your information sheet.

Find the pipe that runs from the water meter to your house. Wrap a piece of string around the pipe, mark it, then measure how much string it took to go around the pipe. Check your string length on the table below to find your service line size. For example, if your string measures 4" and you have galvanized pipe, your service line is 1 inch.

Determining Size of Service Line

Length of String 2 3/4" 3 1/4" 3 1/2" 4" 4 3/8" 5"
Size of Copper 3/4" 1" 1 1/4"
Size of Galvanized 3/4" 1" 1 1/4"
Size of PVC 3/4" 1" 1 1/4"

Write the service line size on your information sheet.

Get a measurable container, like a 5 gallon bucket, make sure no other water is running in or outside the house, turn the faucet on all the way and time how long it takes to fill the container.

Our 5 gallon bucket took 17.5 seconds to fill so; number of gallons divided by number of seconds to fill x 60 seconds = GPM (5 divided by 17.5 x 60 = 17.14). Round your answer down to the nearest whole number. Our example gives us 17 GPM.

Note: For pump systems, check with your well and pump dealer or the owner’s manual of your pump to determine its pressure and flow capacity.

Write your water capacity on your information sheet.

Include lawn, sidewalks, driveways, and walkways and don’t forget the house. It’s a good idea to sketch everything on a piece of scratch paper, and write in the measurements before drawing your final plan on the graph paper supplied. Then, just transfer everything, to scale, to the graph paper.

  • Mark your water meter or pump location with a box .
  • Mark your desired timer location with a circle .
  • Mark your desired manifold locations with an .

On your graph paper, each 1-inch square can be 10, 20, or 30 feet. Decide your scale and write it on your information sheet (important). Maximum lot size for Rain Bird’s Design Service is 240 x 300 feet.

Divide your layout into sections, pick out the different areas like, the front lawn, side lawn, flowerbeds etc.

Be sure to label all areas of your yard that you want watered. Rain Bird will make sprinkler head recommendations. If you have special watering requirements, such as wanting bubblers, label these areas. For the types of sprinkler heads that are available, refer to our online Underground Product Catalog. Also, if you have a particular area you want watered separately, such as gardens, roses, etc., mark that area ‘separate valves.’

Group similar types of plants together, like shrubs and ground cover. If you have big differences in the amount of sun different areas get, you may want to group them, too.

 

 

 

IN THIS SECTION YOU WILL NEED:

  • PENCIL
  • LANDSCAPE DRAWING

Now that your drawing is divided into sections, you can take them one at a time. You'll need to plan the sprinkler locations so that the spray from one sprinkler will reach to the other sprinkler location. This is called 'head-to-head' spacing or coverage. You'll need to check the distance of throw and spray pattern of each type of head to do this part of your layout.

REMEMBER:

  • Choose "small to medium" area sprinklers for areas smaller than 25 by 25 feet.
  • Choose "medium to large" area sprinklers for areas larger than 25 by 25 feet.

Draw in your sprinklers starting at the corners, then if needed, draw in sprinklers around the edges of the area. If needed, draw sprinklers in the middle. Keep sprinklers evently spaced and remember to overlap head-to-head.



Odd shaped areas can be effectively covered using adjustable pattern nozzles that adjust from 0 to 360 degrees.

Narrow strips can be covered using end, side or center strip nozzles.

Head-toHead Coverage

Now that you have your sprinklers drawn in and you have found out your home's water cpacity (GPM), you will need to determine how many valves it will take to operate them. You need to figure out how many sprinklers can be run at one time by your home's GPM. System design is restricted to 24 GPM maximum.

Now that you have figured how many zones you need, you know how many valves to install. Remember, you need a valve to control each zone. When installed, valves are usually grouped together into something called a "valve manifold". A typical manifold will have 2 to 6 valves. Sometimes more valves are required. You might have a manifold for your front yard and one for your back yard.

There are two types of pipe commonly used in sprinkler installations, PVC pipe or Poly Pipe. Once you have your pipe drawn on your layout just count how many feet you need to buy. Order some extra in case of minor cutting mistakes.


Wrong way to lay pipe

Right way to lay pipe
 

PVC PIPE CLASS 125 / CLASS

Max GPM Flow
Pipe Size
Valve Size
0-10
3/4"
3/4"
>10-15
1"
1"
>15-24
1 1/4"
1"

POLY PIPE / GALVANIZED PIPE

Max GPM Flow
Pipe Size
Valve Size
0-8
3/4"
3/4"
>8-12
1"
1"
>12-22
1 1/4"
1"
Use this chart to size your pipe according to GPM needed for each zone. Label the pipe on your drawing. remember to size your connecting pipe to the largest zone.

 

There are a variety of timers and controllers available for your system. You will need one with a "station" for each of your valves. You might even purchase one with extra stations in-case you add to your system at another time. Locate your timer in a place that is easy to get to, like the garage or basemen, near a 110 volt outlet. To wire a timer use coated irrigation wire which is rated for underground burial. Buy irrigation wire with one more strand than the number of valves you will be wiring.

Example: If you have 4 valves, buy 5-strand wire, one strand per valve and one "common wire".

Get enought wire to rach from the timer location to the farthest valve, then add a few feet just to be safe. The connections at the valves should be made with water tight connectors. Two connectors for each valve.

 
 
 
 

 

 

FEBCO Backflow Prevention Manuals and Spec Pages

Note: If the manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

FEBCO 765 SERIES INSTALLATION MANUAL

FEBCO 765 SERIES REPAIR MANUAL

FEBCO 765 SERIES FREEZE PROTECTION

FEBCO 765 SERIES SPECIFICATIONS

With this vacuum breaker, the irrigation main can remain pressurized at all times: i.e., supply water pressure may exist at all times on both the inlet and outlet sides of a pressure-type vacuum breaker.

Purchase FEBCO 765 Series Here

ESP-MC Sprinkler Controller

FEBCO 850 SERIES INSTALLATION MANUAL

FEBCO 850 SERIES REPAIR MANUAL

FEBCO 850 SERIES FREEZE PROTECTION

FEBCO 850 SERIES SPECIFICATIONS

Supply pressure and back-pressure can exist continuously. Terrain need not be considered. The pressure main and zone control valves can be located in the most economical way.

Purchase FEBCO 850 Series Here

FEBCO 860 SERIES INSTALLATION MANUAL

FEBCO 860 SERIES REPAIR MANUAL

FEBCO 860 SERIES FREEZE PROTECTION

FEBCO 860 SERIES RELIEF VALVE MANUAL

FEBCO 860 SERIES SPECIFICATIONS

The Reduced Pressure assembly can be used with continuous pressure and back-pressure. It is the only type of mechanical device that is generally accepted for hazardous backflow conditions.

Purchase FEBCO 860 Series Here

 

WATERING GUIDE

The type and slope of the soil, the fertilizer that is used, and the amount of water needed by plants and grass, and the efficiency of the sprinklers affect when to water

SOIL TYPE

Lawns on sandy soil require more frequent watering than lawns on loam or clay soils. Water can be applied less often to clay and loam soils, but it should be applied more slowly to prevent runoff.

SLOPE

To avoid runoff on sloping areas, place sprinklers near the top of the slope. Apply water slowly for 5-15 minutes, off 15 minutes, on 5-15 minutes, etc., until the correct amount of water has been applied

FERTILIZER

A slow release nitrogen fertilizer helps plants use less water, and a lawn fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of Nitrogen (N) –phosphorus (P) –potassium (K), such as 15-5-10, is recommended to help grass withstand stress. Remember, each 100 lbs. Of 15-5-10 fertilizer contains 15 lbs. of N, 5 lbs. of P, and 10 lbs. of K. Fertilize lightly in the spring and again in early fall.

TREES, SHRUBS, GROUNDCOVER

Established plantings do well in the summer when watered about once a week, especially if mulch and soil are place around plants. Apply enough water to wet the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. Flooding diked areas and using low output sprinkler heads, bubblers, or drip irrigation systems help prevent runoff.

New plantings require more frequent watering the first two years. Consider Texas-grown, drought-tolerant varieties when purchasing new or replacement plants.

For more information, contact the County Agricultural Extension Agent, The Texas Department of Agriculture, or:

CONSERVATION
Texas Water Development Board
P. O. Box 13231, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711-3231

 
Installation Guide

Okay, the planning's done, you've bought all the parts, now you're in the yard, shovel in hand, ready to start.

STEP 1.
Place a stake or flag at every sprinkler location as indicated on your layout. Use string to show where the pipe will run.

STOP! Make sure you know where all gas lines, power lines and cable TV lines are before you start to dig. Be sure to call your utility companies if you need help.

STEP 2.
Dig trenches following the string. Mark the sprinkler locations with flags or the stakes. Typical trench depths range from 6 to 12 inches.

To run pipe under existing walkways you can "drill" using water pressure. Get a piece of PVC long enough to go under the walk, glue a slip-female thread adapter to one end and attach a hose. On the other end glue a slip-male thread adapter and connect a Jet Spray Nozzle (available at most home improvement and home & garden retailers). Dig your trench up to the walk on both sides. Now turn on the water and work your way through. It may take a while, and it will get muddy so turn off the water once in a while to let the water soak in.

  • To make trenching easier ask your local tool rental supplier about a "power trencher".
  • If you are using a Poly Pipe, ask about a pipe pulling machine, which will bury pipe without digging up your lawn.
  • Be sure to put enough space between valves on the manifold so that they can be removed in case they ever need to be replaced.

STEP 3.
Hook up your water supply. Did you check with your Rain Bird Dealer to find out which connections are right for our local codes and conditions?

STEP 4.
Assemble your valve manifold. Connect the back-flow preventer if required.

PVC and Poly Pipe
PVC is available in a variety of diameters and wall thickness'. Your system will operate better and be more durable using a larger diameter (3/4", 1", or 1 1/4"), heavier gauge (schedule 40) pipe. Poly pipe is mostly used in colder climates. Poly pipe is more flexible and is less likely to be damaged by freezing. Rain Bird does not recommend using poly pipe for the main line connecting pipe.

PVC cement is applied to the inside of the fitting and the outside of the pipe. Quickly insert pipe all the way, giving a 1/4 turn to distribute the cement and hold a few seconds. A primer is available to prepare the pipe and fittings for gluing. Read the manufacturers instructions before using PVC cement.

Poly is assembled by sliding a clamp over the pipe, insert the fitting all the way then bring the clamp into position and tighten.

STEP 5.
Place lengths of pipe along the string after laying out the right sprinklers and connectors at each stake.

STEP 6.
Start assembling moving from one sprinkler location to the next. Don't connect the sprinkler until everything is assembled so that you can flush the system with water to clear out any dirt that got in the pipes.

STEP 7.
Manually flush the system. Turn on the water at the "shut-off" to supply your system. Then operate the valves manually to flush the system. Open each valve to flush the pipe with water, then close. Refer to the valve instructions for manual operation. You should do this with each valve.

STEP 8.
Attach the sprinklers after flushing the system with water.

STEP 9.
Wire the valves to the timer following the instructions that come with your timer. Be sure to write down which timer "station" runs which zone and keep these notes near your timer.

Now test each zone, using the timer to control the valves. Make any adjustments to the distance and directions of the sprinklers. When everything is working right, bury the pipe.

You're Finished!

 

 

 

Yard Pests


Field Mice, Voles
          Rabbits
Gophers                        Snails, Slugs
Moles                            Crayfish
Deer                              Dogs


Field Mice, Voles

If these rodents make your lawn their winter home, they may do a number on your grass under the cover of snow. But once the snow disappears, you'll know where they've been. Voles feed on grass during the winter and can cause extensive damage.

Control hints: I've found that my cat is the best control money can buy for these varmits. But, if you don't want a cat you could try mouse- or rat-traps. If children or pets are in the area, don't use poison bait.

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Gophers
These underground rodents are brown, have small eyes and ears, and have conspicuous pouches on both sides of their mouths. In addition to unsightly holes, these pests eat plant roots and sometimes, entire plants!

Gophers create crescent-shaped mounds of finely pulverized soil that is quite visible in a green lawn. Each mound may contain a visible hole, or an earthy clump may camouflage the hole. While you may have a number of gopher holes in your lawn, odds are it's the work of just one gopher.

Control hints: While Northwestern University's defensive line did a good job of controlling the Minnesota Gophers in last week's football game, wire or box traps will probably work better in your lawn. You'll need to dig down to an active horizontal tunnel and place a couple of traps in it. Follow the instruction that accompany the trap.

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Moles
While foraging for food, moles create tunnels that may eventually crisscross your lawn. This tunneling destroys grass roots, so the above-ground ridges brown quickly. Despite numerous tunnels, your lawn is probably home to just one mole. In fact, moles build new tunnels constantly and may not use the same one twice.

If you look carefully, you may find the mole entry and exit mounds. These are round, conical, fan- shaped or irregular in appearance and the hole usually has dirt in it but is still visible. Moles use these repeatedly.

Control hints: Before your try any other control, consider using Dursban to eliminate lawn insects. Without food, your mole may go elsewhere of his own accord. If that doesn't work, trapping, baits, repellents and fumigation are other options.

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Rabbits
Peter Cottontail may look cute sitting on your lawn, but if he's hungry, look out! When local food supplies are scarce, rabbits can be major pests.

Control hints: My exuberant puppy keeps the rabbits out of my lawn. Knight loves nothing better than a good rabbit chase. But if a puppy isn't in your future, try a wire mesh fence that's at least 2 feet high and extends 6 inches underground. Rabbit repellents make the grass taste unpleasant and can be effective, but they have to be reapplied each time your grass is mowed.

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Snails, Slugs
The silvery trails of snails and slugs wind across lawns and are visible in the morning and on overcast days. These familiar lawn pests hide under leaves during the day to avoid sunlight and come out to eat grass at night.

Control hints: I use liquid or pellet baits to control snails and slugs. Simply place the bait near the animals' hiding places.

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Crayfish
Individual burrows created by crayfish can be treated so that the chimneys will not be rebuilt after you knock them down. Since the methods used to kill crayfish can contaminate nearby bodies of water, the following treatments are suggested by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

  • Dissolve one pound of chloride of lime in three gallons of water. Application can be made with compressed air sprayers or a watering can with the sprayer nozzle removed. One to two ounces of this liquid should be applied into each crayfish burrow and the opening of the burrow closed by pressing the earth together with the foot. The chloride of lime will kill the crayfish within a few hours.

  • Sodium hydroxide (lye) at the rate of two or three pellets (1/2 tsp) per burrow provides effective control. This method has been used to control crayfish in narrow earth dams.

  • Mix two quarts of turpentine and one-fourth pound of soap powder with one quart of water. Mix one part of this stock solution in 50 parts of water and apply in the same manner as given in Number 1 above.

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Deer
A hungry deer will eat almost anything so only a double chain link fence 10 feet high and 4 feet apart would be sure to keep the deer out. There are also repellents that have an odor that deter the deer. One product is called Deer-Away. Another one is an organic fertilizer called Milorganite. After being applied, the odor will be distinct during the growing season, in high humidity and warmer temperatures. Fortunately, people can't smell it after it is applied and since it is a slow release fertilizer, it's healthy for your plants and lawn. Some people have tried old nylons stuffed with "fresh" human or dog hair that are hung around the garden. The odor wears out quickly and needs to be replaced often.


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Dogs
Dog spots are hard to prevent, but you can diminish the damage by flushing the area with lots of water right after the dog urinates. If the spots are "old", then you should flush the area with water, add a small amount of gypsum (to neutralize the salts in the urine) then reseed/sod and fertilize the area. The gypsum should be applied first at a rate of 2 to 3 pounds per 10 square feet. Then irrigate the area well but don't wash away the gypsum. Water regularly to help move the gypsum into the soil. Many dog owners have had success by designating an area of the yard where it is OK for the dog to "go". You'll have to keep this area clean and free of droppings but at least you won't be trying to clean up dog spots all around the yard.

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Yard Pests

Insect Control

Insects

Weeds (Identify)

Weed and Disease Control

 

Restore your Lawn

How do I renovate my cool season grasses?

(Use of 2,4-D, dicamba or mecoprop may damage warm season grasses, read and follow all label warnings and instructions)

Lawns may occasionally thin out and become weedy as the result of poor management, pests, or severe summer stress. Lawns that do not need regrading or soil tilling may be renovated by simply controlling weeds, planting seed and fertilizing. Also, determine the cause of lawn decline so that you can adjust your lawn care program.

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General steps to renovate turfgrass:

  • Control existing vegetation that you don't want. If you use a selective broadleaf herbicide (2,4-D, dicamba, or mecoprop), wait one month before the next step. Proceed only after seven to fourteen days following total vegetation control with roundup herbicide.

  • Set your mower as low as possible, scalp off all existing vegetation and rake clean.

  • Prepare surface with power rake, verticutter, or core aerifier. Skip steps 4, 6 and 7 if slit seeding equipment is used that places seed directly into the soil.

  • Rake loosened thatch and existing debris.

  • Add fertilizer.

  • Make a final pass to create open channels for seed collection.

  • Apply seed in two directions.

  • Lightly rake seed into soil surface.

  • Water frequently until established.

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Renovating tips

Assess situation. First, assess your lawn situation for desirability and appropriateness of the grass, presence of weeds and bare spots. Kill existing vegetation (grasses and weeds) if any one of the following apply:

  • Less than 50 percent of the area is the desired turfgrass.

  • Only a cool season lawn grass is desired but bermudagrass has invaded. If bermudagrass is in localized patches or is encroaching from a neighbor along your property line, kill all vegetation only in those areas.

  • You want to use a turf-type tall fescue but currently have Kentucky bluegrass, or K-31 tall fescue.

  • You have several weeds that require non-selective control such as quackgrass, tall fescue, bermudagrass, nimblewill and bentgrass.

Lawns that have more than 50 percent desirable grass, but still appear thin and weak with several broadleaved weeds, may need only control of broadleaved weeds with herbicides such as 2,4-D, mecoprop and dicamba. 

After weed competition is reduced, lawns may regain their original density. Bare patches less than 4 inches in diameter likely will fill in on their own with proper fertility and no additional seeding. Larger areas that remain too thin a month after broadleaf herbicide treatment may be overseeded. Shaded areas of lawns with thin turf and exposed soil often appear to need additional seeding. 

Renovate these areas but do not kill existing turf that has thus far survived the difficult growing conditions of shade.

Prepare surface for seeding. One of the most important steps in renovation is placing the seed in contact with soil. This sounds simple, but most lawns have thatch - an intermingled layer of dead and living plants - over the soil surface. This brown, decomposing layer may be up to 2 inches thick. Lawns with more than one-half inch of thatch should be detached.

Seed that is placed on or in the thatch layer may germinate, but the eventual stand of grass that develops will be poor. Thatch in excess of 1 inch may need to be removed with a sod cutter before reseeding. To ensure good seed-to-soil contact, use power equipment to prepare the surface for seeding. Power rakes, verti-cutters, slit seeders, and core aerators are effective machines for properly preparing the surface for seeding.

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Weed and Disease Control

What can be used in place of chemicals to control insects, weeds and disease?

There are cultural controls such as planting disease-resistant varieties of grass and other preventative yard care practices, physical or mechanical controls such as traps, biological controls such as natural predators and various organic based preparations of sprays and repellents.

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Is there any way to get rid of my weeds without using chemicals?

There is no quick fix, but if you follow the steps of good basic lawn care to keep your lawn growing vigorously, eventually the weeds will be forced out by the grass. Patience and a little elbow grease in pulling or digging out the weeds may not be as easy as using herbicides, but it is better for your lawn and the environment. And remember, never let a weed flower. A single plant can produce tens or even hundreds of thousands of seeds.

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How do weeds get started?

Weeds don't like good growing conditions and when your lawn is stressed, the weeds will flourish in areas where soil is compacted, shady, too wet or too dry and when the grass has not been fertilized enough to maintain good, vigorous growth of your turfgrass.

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How does thatch contribute to weed problems?

A layer of thatch one-half inch or more can prevent water and fertilizer from getting to the grass roots. When this happens, the lawn becomes stressed and creates the growing conditions that weeds like.

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Is there any kind of 'home brew' for getting rid of weeds?

The 'recipes' of Jerry Baker, well known for his yard care advice, have been seen on TV as well as video tapes and books. He has a weed control recipe that can be used for spot treatment of weeds. Into a 32 oz hand sprayer, combine one ounce gin, one ounce liquid soap and one ounce vinegar. Spray just the weed, not the entire lawn area.

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Is there a way to discourage weeds from growing?

First eliminate the conditions that favor their growth. Control their spread by raising the lawnmower height of cut to 2 to 3 inches (the taller the better) so taller grass will shade them out. Feed the grass in the fall or early spring to give it a head start on weeds since new, vigorous grass will shade weed seeds and discourage their germination. Rejuvenate your lawn by reseeding with a high quality, improved variety, grass seed and never allow a weed to flower.

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Are there any clues I should be aware of to be on the lookout for disease?

Unusually humid, wet, hot or dry conditions causing stress are the precursor to possible disease outbreaks.

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How can I tell if my lawn has a disease?

You have to be a detective. Look at the whole lawn -- Are there spots, patches or irregular shape patterns? Then look at the individual affected grass blades. Do they have spots or stripes? Is there decay, stunting, wilting or are the blades of grass discolored? Symptoms that may appear to be a disease could also be the lack of a particular nutrient. Unlike diseases, the symptoms will not appear in patches or spots, but over all or most of your lawn. Infected grass patches damaged by disease remain firmly attached to the soil. The exception is leaf spot which softens the grass to that it pulls up easily.

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What causes lawn diseases?

Most turf diseases are caused by fungi. Fungus spores are always present in your lawn, ready to infect weakened, stressed grass when the right conditions exist. An outbreak of disease is triggered by:

  • poor yard care practices

  • too much water

  • not enough water

  • pH imbalance

  • soil compaction

  • excessive traffic

  • poor mowing practices

  • using too many pesticides and chemicals

Most of the time when a fungus disease appears, the cause is too much nitrogen fertilizer.

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Is there any natural controls for lawn diseases?

Prevention is the main one. Having a healthy lawn by mowing, watering, aerating, proper pH and fertilization can do a lot to cure an ailing lawn. The soil itself can keep disease from getting a foothold since disease-causing organisms are vastly outnumbered by such non-disease causing microbes such as nematodes, insects and amoebas. You can also prevent diseases by planting the right type of grass in the right place. Don't plant a sun-loving variety in a shady place. Select disease-resistant grass varieties as well.

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How does thatch contribute to disease problems?

If thatch gets too thick, more than one-half inch, it absorbs moisture itself, but does not let the water or nutrients to get to the soil and the roots of the grass. It also prevents air circulation to the grass blades and roots creating the right conditions for fungus to thrive.

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Is there any kind of 'home brew' for preventing lawn diseases?

Compost has fungicidal properties. By periodically topdressing your turf with some kind of composted material, such as homemade or commercial compost, composted municipal sludge or mushroom soil, you are introducing fungus-fighting microbes into the lawn. They are very effective in controlling most of the more common lawn diseases such as dollar spot, brown patch and Pythium blight.

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Is there any natural organic treatment for lawn diseases?

By the time a disease makes its presence known, it's too late to save the infected plants. Prevention, by following good cultural lawn care practices, is the best solution. If disease does occur, correct the problems that trigger it. For more information on good cultural practices, refer to these topics: Organic Yardcare, Organic Soil Care, Mowing, Watering

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What role do earthworms and ants play in preventing disease problems?

They are beneficial 'bugs' that live in the soil and they help break down thatch in your lawn naturally. Since thatch can trigger lawn diseases, any natural way of preventing disease should be encouraged.
    
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Weeds

 

I'm not sure what kind of weeds I have. Do I really need to know what they are to control them?

Identifying your weeds should be the first step in any control program. If you can't identify a weed from the descriptions provided here, take a sample to your local nursery or county extension service. They should be able to name the weed and tell you how to control it.

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When identifying a weed, what should I look for?

Compare the weed in question to a picture. Note its growth pattern (up-right or close to the ground). Examine the stem: inside it may be hollow, fleshy or contain a milky sap; outside it may be hairy or smooth, square or round.

You'll also want to consider whether the plant is a cool-season or warm-season weed. For example, a green, grassy weed found in early spring isn't likely to be crabgrass or foxtail - both of these weeds begin to grow later in the season.

If you're unable to identify the weed, don't despair. Just take a sample to your local extension office or garden supply store - they'll be able to help!

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What's a broadleaf weed?

Broadleaf weeds often have showy flowers. The leaves have a network of small veins that originate from a principal vein. This main vein divides the leaf in half. Broadleaves usually have a strong main root known as a taproot. Dandelion is a good example of a broadleaf weed.

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What's a grass weed?

True grasses have jointed, hollow stems. Their leaf blades have parallel veins and they're sometimes several times longer than they are wide. In addition, most grass seed heads are similar to those found on small grains like wheat.

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What's the difference between an annual and a perennial weed?

This classification refers to the plant's life span. An annual germinates from seed, grows, matures and dies in less than 12 months. Crabgrass and foxtail are both annuals. By contrast, perennials live for more than two years. Examples of these include field bindweed and clover.

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How do I know a cool-season plant from a warm-season one?

Look at when the plant grows best. Cool-season plants like bluegrass and dandelions are among the first plants to get going each spring. Plants that remain dormant or don't germinate until temperatures warm-up are known as warm-season plants. Crabgrass and foxtails fall in this category. During autumn, warm-season species turn brown after the first frost; cool-season plants usually remain green an extra 30 days or more!

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What can I do to keep weeds to a minimum?

Good lawn care is the key. A thick, healthy lawn keeps weeds in check - so proper fertilizing, mowing, watering, aerification and thatch control are your first line of defense.

If you have a lot of weed problems, it may be sign of some other lawn care problem. Creating a healthy environment for your yard automatically creates an unhealthy one for weeds!

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I pulled weeds all summer, but still have the same problems the following year. What am I doing wrong?

Weed seeds infest most soils by the millions. In fact, the average weed produces more than twenty thousands seeds in a single year. Pulsane, a common lawn weed, actually produces more than two million seeds per plant in a single season!

If that isn't enough, keep in mind that weed seeds can be dispersed by wind, on animals - even by your lawn equipment. Once in the soil, the seed waits until the lawn begins to weaken, giving them enough light and moisture to start growing.

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Identify the weeds invading your lawn.

         Broadleaf Weeds: Cool-Season Perennial

Broadleaf Plantain

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Also known as common plantain, broadleaf plantain has thick, egg-shaped, wavy-edged leaves that grow in ground-hugging rosettes. Its long, slender flower stalk curls slightly at the top. From May to September, rattail-like seed heads appear. Plantain multiplies from seeds and roots. The weed germinates best in rich, moist, compacted soil. As broadleaf plantains grow, they suffocate surrounding grass.

Control hints: One of the best ways to control this weed is digging out its roots with a trowel. To treat major infestations in warm-season grasses or as a spot treatment in cool-season grasses, I recommend mecoprop (MCPP) or 2,4-D. Don't let flowers or seeds form, and to prevent future infestations, aerate your lawn.

Clover

Clover leaves are composed of three round leaflets at the top of a hairy leafstalk. The leafstalks sprout from the base of the plant. The plant's white- or pink-tinged flowers bloom from June to September. These blossoms are a favorite for bees.

Clover reproduces from seeds and aboveground root stems. Its seeds can live in the soil for 20 years or more. The plant suffocates lawn grasses, resulting in large patches of clover. Since clover produces its own nitrogen, it thrives in lawns that are low in this nutrient.

Control hints: You can pull or dig the clover out of your lawn and fertilize your lawn on a regular basis (at the recommendated rate for your particular type of grass) to discourage its spread. Mow often to prevent self-seeding. Otherwise, in the spring and early fall, treat your lawn with a weed killer containing 2,4-D and mecoprop (MCPP). Repeat treatments are often necessary.

Common Chickweed

A weed with small heart-shaped leaves and star-like white flowers, common chickweed grows in thin spaces in the lawn. It reproduces from seeds and creeping stems that root wherever they touch the soil.

Common chickweed grows primarily in damp, shady areas under trees and shrubs and on the north side of buildings. The weed invades lawns when they begin to thin, forming a dense mat that crowds out the grass.

Control hints: When common chickweed is growing actively in the early spring or late fall, treat the lawn with a weed killer containing 2,4-D or mecoprop (MCPP). Repeated applications may be necessary. Don't water for two days after a treatment.

Ground Ivy

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Also known as creeping charlie, creeping ivy and gill-over-the-ground, ground ivy was originally introduced as a ground cover. This hard-to-control perennial spreads by seed as well as creeping stems. Its bright green leaves are scalloped and round. Tiny light blue-to-purple funnel-shaped flowers appear from spring through summer. Ground ivy does well in sun or shade as long as soil is damp. If left unchecked, these plants form a dense mat that can completely crowd out grass.

Control hints: Cut grass short and rake to keep runners from touching the ground. Hand-pulling must be thorough because pieces left in the ground can re-sprout. Postemergent sprays with DCPA work best.

Henbit

Also known as dead nettle or bee nettle, henbit has rounded, toothed leaves. Its lower leaves are attached to squarish stems. Lavender flowers appear from April through June and occasionally again in September.

Henbit reproduces by seed or stems that root easily when they touch the soil. The weed most frequently invades thin areas in lawns with rich soil.

Control hints: In early spring (when henbit is growing most rapidly) I recommend treating the lawn with a weed killer containing 2,4-D, dicamba or mecoprop (MCPP). Don't water for 24 hours after treating. If you only have a few small plants, try hand-pulling.

Mouse-Ear Chickweed

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Not directly related to common chickweed, this broadleaf perennial multiples rapidly and can crowd out desired grasses. Its hairy stems are low and spreading. Its leaves are clammy, fuzzy and dark green. Small white flowers appear from April through June. Mouse-ear chickweed grows quickly in early spring and thrives in moist, poorly drained soil - whether in the sun or shade.

Control hints: Hand pulling is usually not effective since this weed can re-sprout from pieces left in the soil. I'd advise you to keep your lawn cut short and remove clippings that contain runners. For best results, apply DCPA when this weed is emerging and actively growing.

Sheep Sorrel

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Also called red sorrel or sour grass, this weed grows in dry, sterile, sandy or gravely soil and is usually an indication of acidic soil or low nitrogen availability. Sheep sorrel reproduces from seeds and underground rootstalks. While its root system is shallow, it is extensive and therefore is not easily removed.

Spear-shaped leaves with two lobes at the base form a dense rosette. You can identify this weed by its lacy, reddish-green flower stalks which appear in mid-spring.

Control hints: In spring or fall, treat infested areas with a weed killer containing 2,4-D and mecoprop (MCPP). Don't mow for five days before or two days after treating. Sheep sorrel is difficult to control, so several treatments may be necessary. To discourage the weed, check your soil's pH and if needed, correct it to between 6.0 and 7.0.


Speedwell

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Also known as creeping veronica, this weed can cover an entire lawn in just a few years. It has bright green, roundish, scallop-edged leaves and tiny bluish-white flowers that bloom on stalks. Heart-shaped seed pods form on stems below flowers.

Speedwell forms dense patches that become established just below the height of a lawn mower, making it difficult to stop. Over time, these patches can suffocate your lawn. The weed usually stays out of well-drained sunny areas that receive fertilizer regularly. It grows best in moist, shady lawns and acidic soils, but it can grow in sunlight if soil remains moist.

Control hints: I'd encourage you to cut your grass short. If necessary, use a post-emergence herbicide containing 2,4-D or DCPA.

         Broadleaf Weeds

Curly Dock

Growing from a large, brownish taproot, curly dock grows most actively when grass is suffering from the stress of hot, dry weather. Leaves are bright, shiny green in spring and edged with reddish-purple in summer and fall. If not removed, curly dock sends up a tall, narrow spike of greenish flowers from the center of the plant.

Control hints: Pull out curly dock by hand or with a small spade. For heavy infestations, apply dicamba or 2,4-D in mid-spring or mid-fall for post-emergence control. Because curly dock has a tenacious root system, preemergent controls (which act only on seeds) will not combat this weed effectively.

Dandelion

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Yellow blossoms make the dandelion the most recognized lawn weed. It reproduces from seeds and shoots that grow from a fleshy taproot. This 2-to-3 feet deep root allows the weed to survive even the most severe winter. Dandelions grow in any soil and are most numerous in full sunlight.

At maturity the flower becomes a fluffy white ball of feathery seeds that can be carried many miles by the wind. To discourage seeds from sprouting, promote heavier grass growth by conscientious fertilizing, and mow at the high end of the range for your grass. Dandelions prefer wet soil and are often a sign of over watering.

Control hints: Mecoprop (MCPP) and 2,4-D both work well for spot treatments. For best results, I recommend two applications, one in the early summer and another in the early fall. Don't water or mow for two days after treatments. Hand-digging is not only time consuming and tedious, but impractical, since pieces of root that are broken off and left in the soil will sprout into new plants.

Field Bindweed

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Also known as creeping jenny and wild morning glory, field bindweed is one of the most difficult weeds to eliminate because of its extensive root system. In fact, its roots may grow 15-to-20 feet deep. Pieces of roots left behind from hand-pulling easily re-sprout.

The plant has long, twining stems and spade-shaped leaves. White or pink funnel-shaped flowers appear from spring to fall. The weed twines and climbs over shrubs and fences and up into trees. It prefers rich, sandy or gravely soil, but will grow in almost any garden soil.

Control hints: In late spring to early summer or in early to late fall, treat broad areas with a weed killer containing 2,4-D and mecoprop (MCPP) or dicamba. If you have a few small patches of bindweed, you can spot-treat with a spray containing glyphosate, wait one week, then re-seed. Because of its deep roots, repeated treatments may be necessary.

Kikuyu grass

Broadleaf Weeds: Warm-Season Annual

Burclover

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This spreading weed hugs the ground and becomes especially unsightly in closely mowed lawns. Growing most rapidly during spring and fall, burclover's creeping stems may vary in length from a few inches to several feet. Its yellow-orange flower gives way to barbed seed pods that attach themselves to almost anything that moves.

Control hints: I'd suggest using dicamba or mecoprop (MCPP) in the spring or fall for post-emergence control. Hand weeding is also a good alternative in small lawns.

Mallow

Also called cheeseweed, mallow is found throughout the United States in lawns, fields and along roadways. It has a straight, nearly white taproot that is difficult to pull from the soil.

The weed has hairy stems and round, heart-shaped, hairy leaves that are slightly lobed along the edges. The leaves attach to the plant's stems by a long leafstalk and white, five-petaled flowers bloom singly or in clusters. Its seed head is a flatheaded disc which breaks into 10 to 20 pie-shaped segments. The weed is often mistaken for ground ivy, but unlike that plant, Mallow's spreading branches don't root when they touch the soil.

Control hints: I suggest treating your lawn with a weed killer containing 2,4-D and mecoprop (MCPP) but don't water your yard for five days before treating or two days after.

Purslane

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Purslane thrives in hot, dry weather and is seldom found in the spring when the lawn is being treated for other weeds. However, once it gets going, the weed grows vigorously, forming a thick mat. It has small yellow flowers that open only in full sunlight. Purslane stores water in its thick, fleshy stems and leaves; therefore, it can survive longer than your grass during dry weather. Purslane primarily invades bare spots or thin lawns, so it's especially troublesome in newly seeded lawns.

Control hints: When the weed is actively growing, spray the lawn with a weed killer containing 2,4-D or dicamba. If the lawn has just been reseeded, don't treat it until the seedlings have been mowed at least three times. Wait three to four weeks after a treatment before seeding bare areas.

Grass Weeds: Cool-Season Perennial

Quack grass (quackgrass)

Also known as couchgrass or witchgrass, this weed has hollow stems and is often found in newly seeded lawns. It spreads extensively through the lawn thanks to its long, white underground stems.

Quack grass reproduces from seed and underground stems. Narrow flower spikes that rise from the plant resemble slender heads of rye or wheat.

Control hints: Because quack grass is so vigorous, hand-pulling is rarely successful. I suggest spot-treating with a chemical containing fluazifop or glyphosate. If regrowth occurs, repeat the treatment.


Tall Fescue in other grasses

A durable, bunch-type grass, tall fescue is commonly used on athletic fields. However, when it invades bluegrass lawns, it becomes a weed. Its medium- dark green blades are ribbed on the topside and smooth on the underside. In the spring and fall, the lower parts of the stems turn reddish purple. 

To control tall fescue in bluegrass, kill clumps of tall fescue with a weed killer containing glyphosate or fluazifop. Omit a regular mowing before treating to ensure that the grass blades have enough tissue to absorb the chemical. One week after spraying, remove the tall fescue and re-seed the area. The tall fescue may still be green, but the root will die in three to four weeks and won't re-sprout. However, when tall fescue invades perennial rye, eliminating it won't be easy. There is no magic chemical that will do it. 

To thin out the tall fescue, mow the grass short, about 1.5 inches. This will encourage the rye to the disadvantage of the fescue. Don't just set your mower at 1.5 inches for the first cut though. Instead gradually lower it one-half inch per cutting so as not to shock the rye. Then mow frequently removing only one-third of the grass blade at a time. Don't fertilize the grass until the fall and watch for signs of drought. With short mowing, the soil will get hotter and the roots are not trying to grow as deep. Water at one inch (or more per weeks if its hot and sunny). 

Water in the early morning so the ground is moist to start the day. Don't water in the evening as standing water may encourage disease and fungal growth.

Timothy Grass

Timothy grass is a blue-green bunching grass that grows best in spring and fall. The weed has broad, pointed leaves and thrives in thin, under-fertilized lawns.

Control hints: Your best bet is to dig up all visible clumps.

Velvet grass (velvetgrass)

This perennial can grow to 4 feet tall in unmown areas. In mowed areas, the bright green velvety leaves lay flat. Velvet grass will root wherever joints touch the soil. Its seed heads appear from July to August. The problem weed thrives in damp areas with good soil, but it tolerates partial shade.

Control hints: To eliminate velvet grass, use a herbicide containing glyphosate.

Wild Garlic, Wild Onion

Wild garlic is often mistaken for wild onion and vice versa. Though they are similar, there are a few key differences in these two weed species. Both are often the first growth seen in spring, grow from small underground bulbs, and have a garlicky or onion odor. However, wild garlic has slender, hollow leaves and bulblets may appear at its leaf tips. By contrast, wild onion does not produce bulblets and its leaves aren't hollow. Both weeds produce greenish-white flowers. Wild garlic and onion spread rapidly from spring to mid-summer, thrive in heavy, wet soil and are both drought- and cold- hardy.

Control hints: Mowing when wild garlic and wild onion first appear can reduce the infestation, but bulbs must be totally removed for full control. post-emergence control is most effective in late fall, when the weeds are still small and vulnerable. Once these perennial weeds take hold, they can be extremely difficult to eliminate. For chemical control, I'd suggest DCPA.

Grass Weeds: Warm-Season Perennial

Bermuda grass (bermudagrass)

Also known as devilgrass, this weed grows quickly when temperatures soar. Where it is well adapted to the climate, it can either be your lawn or your most troublesome weed (if you have a different type of grass) and be very difficult to eradicate.

Spreading by rhizomes and stolons, Bermuda grass easily invades surrounding plant beds and lawns consisting of a different grass. The stolons are many-jointed, with roots forming at the nodes. Brown and dead-looking in winter, this grass comes back to life in spring with renewed vigor.

Control hints: It's important to remove the entire underground portion of the stem or Bermuda grass will grow new shoots. Cultural control in cool season grasses includes fall and winter fertilization and high mowing heights (greater than 1.5 inches) which will encourage the growth of cool season turfgrasses which in turn will discourage the spread of the bermuda grass. Preemergent herbicides (pendimethalin, or benefin plus trifluralin) will aid in the control of germinating bermuda grass seedlings. In warm season and cool season lawns, you can treat small patches with glyphosate by using a small brush or soaked sponge to apply the chemical, but be careful since it will kill or injure all grasses that come in contact with it. Glyphosate has a very short residual time in the soil and reseeding can be done 3-7 days after application.

Dallis grass (Dallisgrass)

A clumpy, rosette-type weed, dallisgrass has coarse-textured leaves and stems that emerge from the plant center in a star-like pattern. Dallis grass reproduces from seeds and underground stems and has extremely deep roots. The grass has a tendency to turn brown in the center.

Although it's primarily a summer weed, it grows all year in mild climates. Growth begins quite early in spring and the plant thrives during warm weather - especially in low, wet areas and high-cut lawns. Once established, it spreads rapidly even in low-cut lawns. Dallis grass is a severe problem in the southern United States.

Control hints: My best advice is to improve your soil's drainage. If the weed persists, treat it in early spring or summer with glyphosate, calcium acid methanearsonate (CAMA) or MSMA. Repeated treatments are often necessary.

Nimblewill

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Also termed nimbleweed and dropseed, nimblewill has smooth, flat light- green or blue-green leaves. Wiry stems grow up to 10 inches tall. In spring, nimblewill turns green after other grasses, resulting in brown patches across your lawn. Nimblewill stems root at lower nodes as the plants reach outward. The weed thrives in hot, dry areas.

Control hints: For small infestations, dig out patches of the weed. For bigger problems, use a herbicide containing fluazifop. Either way, begin control in early spring.

Nutsedge

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Also known as nutgrass, cocosedge and cocograss, nutsedge has greenish- yellow leaves that emerge from triangular stems. The nutsedge flower has an umbrella-like cluster atop its stem. Its yellow-brown seed heads resemble burs. In summer, nutsedge grows more rapidly than lawn grass. The weed can multiple from tubers, seeds and underground stems, making it extremely difficult to eliminate. It prefers over-watered soil.

Control hints: Nutsedge infestations are a sign that you need to change your lawn-watering techniques or increase soil drainage. To treat nutsedge chemically, use mecoprop (MCPP).

Grass Weeds: Cool-Season Annual

Annual Bluegrass

Annual bluegrass (Poa anna) is one of the most troublesome, but least noticed weeds with seeds that germinate in cool weather from late summer to late fall. The grass grows rapidly in the spring, especially if fertilizer is applied. Seed heads appear in mid- to late-spring, at the same height the grass is cut. The seed heads give the lawn a whitish appearance. When hot, dry weather arrives, the plants die, leaving bare spots that are sometimes mistaken for disease areas. This weed is usually found in cool, frequently watered areas, shaded areas and in areas where the soil is compacted.

Control hints: Weed killers are only partially effective in controlling annual bluegrass. I try to prevent seeds from germinating by applying a herbicide with DCPA, atrazine or bensulide as a preemergent treatment in early- to mid-fall. But don't use any of these products if you plan to reseed your lawn in the fall. Always apply herbicides according to label instructions. Use the following yard care practices in addition to any chemical control:

  • Water deep and infrequently

  • Remove clippings to reduce spread of seeds

  • Fall fertilization is recommended and avoid nitrogen and phosphorus applications when seed is germinating

  • Aerify as often as feasible to reduce compaction

Black Medic

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Other names for this weed include yellow trefoil, black clover or Japanese clover. Black medic leaves are made up of three-leaflets similar to most clover leaves and its low-growing stems are slightly hairy. Traditionally a problem from May through September, black medic forms thick mats that crowd out other grasses. Its small bright yellow flowers usually bloom in late spring and early summer, but in warm-weather areas the weed can bloom until December. These blooms are followed by black kidney-shaped seed pods. Black medic is prevalent in nitrogen-deficient lawns.

Control hints: You can eliminate small black medic patches by hand- pulling. But to keep the weed out, you may need to increase lawn nitrogen with fertilizer. You can stop heavy infestations with a spray containing mecoprop (MCPP).

Common Groundsel

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Also known as grimsel, this weed has 4-inch-long toothed leaves and yellow flowers that appear from April through October. Common groundsel reproduces by seeds and by stems that may take root at the lower joints. The plant grows best in moist, rich soil.

Control hints: Hand-pull or spot-treat the weed with glyphosate before it produces seed.

Downy Brome

Also known as cheatgrass or military grass, downy brome grows throughout most of the United States. This slender, upright weed grows up to 2 feet tall. Its light, green hairy leaves are 2 to 6 inches long.

Drooping purple flower clusters appear in spring and the weed turns purplish when mature. Downy brome prospers in sandy or gravely soil and cool growing conditions, and germinates in either fall or early spring.

Control hints: I remove individual weeds by hand. But if you want to try a post-emergence chemical control use fluazifop or glyphosate compounds. To keep the grass from returning, apply a herbicide containing trifluralin, eptam, or chloral dimethyl before the weed emerges in the spring.

Prostrate Knotweed

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Also called doorweed, knotgrass or matgrass, this plant grows low to the ground. Prostrate knotweed has smooth, bluish-green, oval leaves and wiry stems. The joints where leaves attach to the stem are swollen or "knotty," hence its name. Tiny greenish-white flowers bloom in clusters at the leaf and stem joints from June through November.

Knotweed forms mats that can extend more than 2 feet wide. These mats crowd out other grasses. Though knotweed can't get started in healthy dense turf, it's common in areas of heavy foot traffic or compacted soil.

Control hints: Aeration is an excellent preventative for prostrate knotweed. You need to pull young plants before they get a good foothold, and if necessary, treat your lawn with mecoprop (MCPP).

Grass Weeds: Warm-Season Annual

Barnyard grass

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Barnyard grass, also called watergrass, is usually found in lawns with low fertility. It reproduces from seeds and develops into a plant with a shallow root system. Although the natural growth habit of barnyardgrass is upright, when mowed regularly it forms ground-hugging mats. The weed has a reddish-purple, flattened stem and smooth leaves with prominent midribs.

Control hints: Kill mats of actively growing barnyardgrass with calcium acid methanearsonate (CAMA) or fluazifop. Repeat the treatment two more times, at intervals of seven to 10 days, until the plants die. To kill barnyardgrass seedlings as they sprout, apply a weed killer containing DCPA in the early spring, two weeks before the last expected frost.

Crabgrass

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Crabgrass is one of the most common lawn weeds. Its seeds sprout in the early spring, growing rapidly and producing seeds all summer until the first killing frost. When a lawn begins to thin out from insects or disease, crabgrass is one of the first weeds to invade the area. The grassy weed forms broad, flat clumps in thin areas of the lawn. It grows rapidly through the summer, rooting easily at the stem joints. Seed heads grow from the center of the plant.

Control hints: Kill actively growing crabgrass with a herbicide containing fluazifop, glyphosate or calcium acid methanearsonate (CAMA). Older plants are harder to kill; repeat the treatment two more times at four-to-seven day intervals, if necessary.

To kill crabgrass seeds as they germinate, I apply a weed killer containing DCPA or pendimethalin in the early spring, two weeks before the last expected frost. A thick lawn seldom contains much crabgrass.

Foxtail

Found throughout the United States, foxtail thrives in sunny, bare spots. Its leaves are 2 to 6 inches long, flat and sometimes appear twisted. The weed grows best in damp, well fertilized soil. Foxtail is sometimes confused with crabgrass because both grow in clumps.

Control hints: Since foxtail reproduces from seed only, it can be removed successfully by hand.

Goose grass (goosegrass)

Also called yardgrass and silver crabgrass, this weed is most often found where bluegrass stands are thin. Goose grass resembles crabgrass, but is a darker green and has a silver center. The weed germinates later than crabgrass and its stems are smooth and flat. As the weed develops, its stems form a rosette resembling wheel spokes.

Goose grass multiplies from seeds and expands by spreading. Its seeds are produced on stalks which appear from July to October. Goose grass prefers compacted soils with poor drainage and light, frequent watering.

Control hints: This grass has an extensive root system, making it difficult to pull. I recommend a treatment containing calcium acid methanearsonate (CAMA) or a glyphosate compound.

Sandbur

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Also called burgrass, this weed has yellow-green leaf blades. In mown lawns, sandbur tends to form low mats, but in unmown lawns, it may reach 2 feet tall. Tell-tale spiny seed burs appear from July through September. Sandbur grows best in sandy, dry soil.

Control hints: Begin control by increasing your soil's organic-matter content and encouraging strong lawn growth. If weeds persist, I'd advise spot treatments with calcium acid methanearsonate (CAMA), fluazifop or glyphosate.

Shepherds purse

Otherwise known as shepherd's-bag or lady's purse, this weed may appear throughout the year in warm-winter areas. Its arrow-shaped leaves are toothed and form a rosette that may be confused with dandelions. Tiny white flower clusters develop into triangular seed pods resembling small sack-like purses. Shepherds purse is not fussy about soil, but it won't grow in shade.

Control hints: I take care of these weed problems by hand, but if you have a large infestation you may want to use a herbicide containing mecoprop (MCPP).

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What's a pre-emergence herbicide?

These herbicides are applied to the soil to stop seed growth. They're most effective on annuals and generally have no effect on emerged seedlings. In general, pre-emergence applications are made in the very early spring to control cool-season weeds and in mid-spring to handle warm-season annuals.

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What's a post-emergence herbicide?

If you need to control weeds that have already emerged from the soil, you need a post-emergence herbicide. These treatments are most effective when applied under moist soil conditions to young, actively growing weeds.

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What should I check before buying a herbicide?

Here's a few things to consider when selecting your herbicide:

  •  How is it applied - pre-emergence or post-emergence?

  • Will it control the weeds you have? Different herbicides control different weeds.

  • Is it safe to use on your grass? Many herbicides will also kill the grass you want to save.

  • Are there any environmental conditions that limit its use? For example, it may need rainfall to begin working.

  • What rate should you use and what's the best method of application?

  • Are there any safety precautions associated with its use?

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Why can't all weeds be killed with one kind of weed killer?

Because weeds germinate at different times of the year and have different types of roots. One herbicide, glyphosate, does destroy just about every weed around, but it also can take out your grass if it touches it.

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How can I control broadleaf weeds?

If you're going to have weeds, this is the kind to have - broadleaves are the easiest to control! post-emergence herbicides do the best job. They'll kill certain broadleaf weeds without damaging your grass. But to be most effective, you need to apply them when weeds are young and actively growing.

A word of caution: you still must be careful where you apply these herbicides as they can damage or even kill desirable plants such as flowers, shrubs, vegetables or trees. Popular post-emergence herbicide include dicamba, 2,4-D and mecoprop (MCPP).

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How can I control annual grasses?

Stopping annual grasses such as crabgrass and foxtail usually takes a pre-emergence herbicide. These chemicals kill plants as the seed germinates,so to be effective, you've got to apply the herbicide before the weed seed germinates. Since you won't be able to see the weed, treat only those areas where grass problems were seen last year. Popular pre-emergence herbicides contain bensulide, DCPA, sidurona or metribuzin.

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How can I control perennial grasses?

Perennial grasses such as quackgrass or tall fescue are some of the toughest weed problems you'll find. Control can only be achieved using a non-selective post-emergence herbicide. But remember, these products kill most all the plants they touch - including the desirable grasses. Consequently, they're only applied to spots of weed invasions. Following application of these products, you may need to re-seed the area.

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How should I apply a pre-emergence herbicide?

First and foremost, read the product's label and follow those directions! Proper lawn preparation is essential to get the most from your pre-emergence herbicide. You'll need to remove trash, leaves and excess dead grass from the lawn, then apply the herbicide as directed on the label. I'd recommend applying the herbicide at a half rate, but doubling the coverage by applying the product in two directions. This assures more even distribution than a full rate applied in a single direction.

Finally, after application, water your lawn thoroughly. Watering moves the herbicide in to the soil where it can go to work on your weeds.

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Can I use a pre-emergence herbicide on my new lawn?

Not right away. Even if the herbicide isn't supposed to affect your newly planted grass, many products can be fatal to seedling grasses. Seedlings are far more sensitive to herbicides than mature plants. That's why it's best to delay applications until a newly planted area has been mowed at least three times.

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I used a pre-emergence herbicide this spring, can I re-seed my lawn?

Check your herbicide label, but in general you shouldn't re-seed for at least three months after using a pre-emergence herbicide.

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How should I apply a post-emergence herbicide?

First and foremost, read the product's label and follow those directions! Use all your pesticides with caution. Apply them only to the weeds you want to remove. Don't spray when it's windy or when rain is predicted within 24 hours. Likewise, don't water the area for 24 hours after application. And avoid using herbicides during hot weather - that's when damage to desirable grasses is more likely to occur.

post-emergence herbicides are applied to the foliage of growing weeds, so you shouldn't mow for several days before or after the treatment. Unlike pre-emergence herbicides, don't water your lawn for several days after applying a post-emergence herbicide and avoid spraying them if rain is expected within 24 hours.

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Can I use Roundup (glyphosate) safely around trees and shrubs?

Yes, but be careful. Roundup is a non-selective herbicide and can injure or even kill these desirable plants. Spray close to the ground and use it only on a calm day.

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If I double the application rate of a herbicide, won't it do a better job?

Absolutely not! Weed killers don't gain effectiveness if mixed at a concentration stronger than the instructions recommend. In fact, using too strong a mixture can damage or kill desirable plants and even cause environmental problems.

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When is the best time to kill weeds?

Early afternoon - that's when the weeds are most vulnerable.

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Is it better to apply herbicides in the spring or in the fall?

The best time to control weeds is in the spring when they're actively growing. However, some weeds can be controlled in the fall, too.

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Is it okay to mow my yard before I spray a herbicide?

No. If you do, you'll be cutting off vulnerable leaf tissue on the weeds, wasting the effects of the herbicide.

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How soon after a chemical application can I mow my yard?

I'd wait at least two days. Mowing immediately after application removes the herbicide before it can start to work.

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I sprayed my weeds several days ago and they still aren't dead. Why?

Herbicides can take from three to 10 days to produce visible results. I'd encourage you to wait at least two weeks before re-treatment - after all, herbicide overdoses are dangerous to surrounding grasses.

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What's the best way to wash my sprayer to make sure all of the herbicide is out?

I suggest thoroughly rinsing your sprayer three or four times after each use. First, rinse with laundry soap, then follow with a baking soda rinse. But even with these guidelines, once you've used a sprayer for herbicide application, never use it for any other purpose.

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14-XXX - Polyethylene Tubing 1/2
14-005 - DIG 1/2" Polyethylene Tubing (100 ft roll)
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14-XXX - Polyethylene Tubing 1/2
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XT700100 - Xeri-Tube 700 - 100ft roll
XT700100 - 1/2" Xeri-Tube 700 (100 ft roll)
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Hunter Valve Installation and Operation Manuals

Note: If the Valve Installation and Operation manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

ICV Valve ICV Product Manual

The ICV is a prime example of today's technological capabilities. This new valve is as rugged, durable and reliable as any commercial valve on the market, even those made of solid brass.

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SRV Sprinkler Valve SRV Product Manual

The economical valve for residential systems, offering reliable operation that tolerates tough conditions. Solid construction and dependable performance for an exceptionally affordable price.

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PGV Sprinkler Valve PGV Product Manual

Maximum Convenience, Reliability and Ease of Service in a Residential Valve Now it?s possible to service a Hunter valve without using any tools to gain access to the inner workings of the product.

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HPV Sprinkler Valve HPV Product Manual

Rugged, professional grade valves for a full range of landscape needs. Hunter quality is now available in a middle-of-the-road valve. A hard working, heavy-duty performer.

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PGV Sprinkler Valve PGV Jar-Top Product Manual

Now it?s possible to service a Hunter valve without using any tools to gain access to the inner workings of the product. With the new ?jar-top? design of the Hunter PGV.

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Rotor Sprinkler Installation and Adjustment Manuals

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CR500 Product Manual

Offering the most complete package of performance features in the industry, the mid-range CR500 rotor provides part- and full-circle operation in a single unit. Radius: 32 to 50 feet.

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Rain Bird

Remote Control System
Manuals and Spec Pages

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Primary Application

Offer reliable battery-operated communication with Rain Bird remote compatible controllers (ESP-Si and ESP-LX+) from anywhere on the job site.

Multi-function Remote Control System

Specifications

Model

  • RMX-1: Multi-function Remote Control System

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RMX-1

 

One-Button Sequencing System

Specifications

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  • RM-1: One-Button Sequencing System

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RM-1

 

 

Sprinkler Warehouse's
How-To Resources!
SERVICES & REPAIRS - Seasonal Rotor Maintenance

Details and Diligence:
A Guide to Seasonal Rotor Maintenance

 

An irrigation system's overall efficiency is directly related to how well it's adjusted, if repairs are done correctly and in a timely manner. If the systems under your care are not properly maintained, water waste and inferior appearance of turf and landscaped areas are a sure bet.

Proper system maintenance is easy if you are diligent in your inspection, carefully follow the correct repair steps and use the most efficient equipment. Nowhere is this more evident than with rotors, especially closed-case rotors. Though they are designed to be nearly maintenance-free, today's rotors are an essential part of many irrigation systems and, therefore, should receive a dose of seasonal "TLC" to ensure proper operation.

In northern climates, the irrigation system should be physically inspected annually, usually at the beginning of the season. In southern climates, an inspection should be performed at least twice a year.

During the inspection you should check each rotor for proper arc adjustment, thatch build up, proper rotation, worn nozzles and worn seals. Occasionally, you may also find cracked cases and clogged screens. Most of these are simple to detect and fix. However, it requires you to spend the time to watch each rotor operating.

Following is a checklist for seasonal rotor maintenance:

Arc Adjustment - It's important to spend the time to make sure that each part-circle rotor moves completely through its properly adjusted arc pattern. Children playing and vandals sometimes change the rotor's arc setting. If the arc requires modification, readjust it according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Thatch Build Up - As grass grows it develops thatch. Thatch is partially decomposed organic material between the grass blade and the soil. If the thatch interferes with the water stream from the nozzle, it may need to be removed and thinned. In older systems, it may be necessary to dig up the rotor, attach a riser and physically raise the height of the rotor.

Rotation - As with arc adjustment, it is very important to observe each rotor in operation to ensure it rotates. If the rotor does not rotate, replace it with a comparable rotor and nozzle.

Worn Nozzles - If a nozzle is worn, the rotor will have a reduced radius of throw the water stream will appear "rough." Worn nozzles usually occur in older systems or systems that have a dirty, or gritty water source. Replace worn nozzles with the manufacturer's recommended nozzles.

Worn Seals - A rotor with worn seals may display a flow of water between the rotor's turret and the cap. However, worn seals may only exhibit a slight weeping between the rotor turret and the cap. In either case, the seal or the cap needs to be replaced. Some manufacturer's rotors allow the seal to be replaced. When the seal is an integral part of the cap, the entire cap needs to be replaced.

Cracked Case - This problem can be difficult to detect. It will appear as an unusually wet area at the rotor. This problem is usually found along a driveway and is the result of the rotor being run over by a vehicle. Sometimes it is also the result of an improperly winterized system.

To correct the problem, the rotor must be removed and the case replaced. However, there may be hidden damage to the rotor turret or the drive mechanism. It may be more sensible to replace the entire rotor.

Clogged Screens - Manufacturer's provide screens at the base of the rotor or turret to trap dirt and debris which would otherwise clog the nozzle. When enough debris is trapped, the blockage will cause low pressure, restrict flow and reduce the radius of throw.

Clogged screens are commonly caused by:

  • A buildup of dirt and debris introduced to the irrigation system as the result of a repair

  • Broken pipes downstream of the rotor which can pull dirt into the line

  • Algae buildup

To correct a clogged screen, remove the rotor internals and completely flush the line. Remove any debris from the screen. It is important to take care while flushing the line so that no additional debris is washed back into the system.

Rotor maintenance is fairly simple if you follow a few simple steps. In fact, the time spent inspecting the system and making minor adjustments and repairs will help an irrigation system perform well for many years. Moreover, your efforts will not only ensure the landscape remains healthy and beautiful, it will virtually guarantee a satisfied customer.


 

Watering Tips

When should I water my lawn?

Water in the early morning (before sunrise) when water pressure is greatest, evaporation is minimal and the lawn drinks in the most water. Do not water in the evening because water will sit on the lawn and may cause disease. Do not water in the heat of the day because the sun will evaporate water before it can soak in. To water your lawn efficiently, you need to provide the right amount of water, evenly distributed, in the right places and at the right time. 

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How often should I water my lawn?

There are three things to consider: the weather, the type of soil and the depth of roots.

Weather is the most obvious factor. When it's hotter you'll need to water more frequently. In the summer you'll probably need to water every other day, if not every day (depending, of course, on where you live).

The type of soil affects how much water is available for the grass to use. Heavy (clay) soils hold the most water, meaning you'll probably water less frequently. Sandy soils do not hold water well, so you'll water them more often. Deeper roots mean there is more available water for the grass and, therefore, you'll need to water less frequently. Think of the soil as a sponge that holds water for the grass. The deeper the sponge, the more water it can hold. It is wise to establish watering practices that encourage deep root growth. This allows lawns to go longer between watering, cutting down on disease potential and, ultimately, the amount of water you'll use.

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How much should I water my lawn?

This will be driven by the weather. Water is lost from your lawn through a process called evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration--usually referred to as "ET"-- is the combined effect of water used by the plant and that which is lost to evaporation. ET is expressed in inches (or mm) of water per week. Your watering schedule should be set up to replace the water lost to ET. Check with your local university extension for ET rates in your area. Many areas publish ET rates in the daily press.

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How deep into the soil should water penetrate?

Water should penetrate to the depth of the roots (fill the root zone) or to the depth that roots are desired. This should be at least six inches. The next scheduled watering should occur when about half of the water is used via ET. Allowing much more loss could result in plant stress (see below).

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What happens if I don't water my lawn enough?

If too much water is allowed to leave the soil, your lawn will not be able to extract what's left for its own use, leading to stress. This makes the grass weak and susceptible to physical damage, insect damage and disease.

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What happens if I over water my lawn?

More lawns are harmed by too much water than not enough. Over watering causes nutrients to be flushed away, resulting in higher fertilizer requirements. Over watering also displaces oxygen from the soil, which leads to shallow roots and a lawn that is disease prone and weed infested.

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What happens to grass during a drought?

If your lawn can't get enough water it will first go into a dormant stage, often marked by a bluish color. If the drought continues until the soil water is fully used, death will result for most cool-season grasses. Bermudas and other warm-season grasses will probably recover, however, the lawn's quality will not.

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What are the elements of an automatic irrigation system?

Controller/Timer

The controller, or timer, is the brain of your system, telling your sprinklers what day, what time and exactly how much to water. 

Valves
Installed above or below the ground, usually near the water source, valves regulate water flow to the sprinklers.  

Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
PVBs prevent water from your sprinkler system (and therefore any fertilizer or chemical contaminants) from re-entering the clean water supply. Toro® manufactures several pressure vacuum devices to meet your local building code specifications.

Lawn Sprinklers
Installed in a special pattern for complete and even coverage, a properly designed automatic sprinkler system delivers precise coverage without gaps or runoff. 

Rain Switch (Optional)
A Rain Switch signals your system to shut off automatically when it's raining. There's no sense watering when nature is doing its part. The Rain Switch is a highly reliable and inexpensive option that saves countless gallons of water.

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What kind of sprinkler should I use?

The type of sprinkler you use really depends on what's being watered. There are five basic sprinkler types: fixed sprays, flood bubblers, stream bubblers, single-stream rotors and multi-stream rotors.

Fixed-spray sprinklers produce a tight, constant fan of water ideal for small lawn, shrub and ground cover areas. Pop-up models pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use. Shrub sprays are mounted above foliage to water ground cover and shrubs.

Flood bubblers produce a flow of water that soaks the soil without wetting the leaves. They're ideal for tree wells, planters and shrubs.

Stream bubblers are for efficient watering of small planter beds and shrubs areas. Stream bubblers are available in a variety of patterns.

Gear-driven, single-stream rotary sprinklers cover large lawn areas most efficiently. Some single-stream rotors have an arc adjustment for placement in corners. Like other pop-up sprinklers, they pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use.

Gear-driven, multi-stream rotary sprinklers produce thin, attractive streams of water that slowly rotate to ensure proper penetration for medium-sized lawn and shrub areas. Multi-stream, pop-up lawn and shrub models are excellent for lawns or ground cover--especially on slopes.

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What are the advantages of an automatic sprinkler system?

Convenience.

How many times have you forgotten to water your lawn, then over watered--only to end up with brown spots and muddy puddles? Like many homeowners, you could be using up to 50% more water than your landscape needs. Which isn't good for your pocketbook or for your lawn. The solution isn't to use more water, but to water more precisely. An automatic sprinkler system can give you a healthy, green lawn--and more free time to enjoy the beautiful results.  An Automatic Sprinkler System takes the work and worry out of watering your lawn. You can forget about tripping over hoses or sprinklers, fixing leaky faucets and hauling hoses around the yard. While you're enjoying the ball game, your lawn enjoys the right amount of water, in the right spots, at the right time.

Greener lawns and gardens.

Hose-end products simply cannot match the performance of a properly installed irrigation system. Adjustable sprinklers allow you to fine-tune coverage and minimize waste.

More efficient watering.

An automatic system delivers gentle, even watering for a more thorough soaking. There's less runoff and wasted water. The system can be programmed to water at the best time, early in the morning.

Attractive.

Pop-up sprinklers stay out of sight when not in use. All you need to do is enjoy your lawn. 

Improves your home.

Installing a  Automatic Sprinkler System immediately adds value to your home. It also protects your gardening and landscaping investment and keeps it growing while saving time and water.

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Choosing an Irrigation Contractor
A Very Important Decision

choosing a contractorThe success of your irrigation system depends largely on the contractor you choose to design and install it. A contractor's expertise and skills will affect your system's efficiency and reliability. In fact, how your irrigation system is designed and installed will make the difference between a system that continues to keep your lawn healthy and green, and one that creates problems by wasting water and leaving your lawn unhealthy and brown. Choosing the right contractor is a big decision, but it is not as difficult as you may think. Here are a few tips that will help you select a contractor who will guarantee a job well done.

What to Expect

selecting a sprinkler system contractorAn efficient, well-organized contractor will be happy to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice. First, the contractor will want to view your property in order to determine soil conditions, water sources and pressure, and planting materials. He will then present a formal estimate detailing what he plans to do and the total price for design, materials, and installation. Along with the estimate, the contractor should clearly explain all the project specifics. Generally, there should be little disruption to existing foliage, and the average job should take less than a week.

Questions to Ask

irrigation contractorThe best contractors will encourage you to ask many questions. By asking questions, you will know what type of sprinkler system you are getting for your money and what to expect from your new system. Here are a few important questions to consider:

  • What type of product will be used and why? A professional should tell you what type of controller, valves, rotors, or spray heads are best for your landscape.
  • Is after-sale service provided? A professional should be willing and able to provide after-sale service.
  • Is there a system warranty? A professional’s work should be guaranteed — a one-year warranty is typical.
  • Does he have references available? A professional should be willing to provide you with the names and telephone numbers of recent satisfied customers, so you can call and check his references.

You Get What You Pay For

When choosing a contractor, you should be wary of those who offer to charge you significantly less than others. Low bidders may not be licensed or insured and may often use cost-cutting techniques that can jeopardize your lawn and shorten the life of your system.

Watch out for these commonly used, undesirable short-cuts:

  • Not including a backflow preventer: This is often required by local codes to protect your drinking water.
  • Installing sprinklers too far apart: This makes it impossible for certain areas to receive enough water and can cause brown spots during the hot summer months.
  • Mixing sprinklers with different application rates on the same line: This causes one area to be overwatered in order to sufficiently water another.
  • Not using special watertight connectors and a protective valve box: These components are necessary to safeguard the electrical elements, guard against short circuits and prevent corrosion.

Confidence Counts

finding an irrigation contractorAbove all, you should choose a contractor you trust and in whom you feel confident. It is also important that he installs professional series products such as those manufactured by Rain Bird. For over 70 years, professional irrigation contractors have used Rain Bird products to provide the industry's most cost-effective and reliable irrigation systems. Choosing a contractor who uses Rain Bird professional series products is the best way to ensure that your project will be done right.

how to choose an irrigation contractorYour sprinkler system is a complex network of pipes, valves, sprinklers, and electrical connections. Because it serves as the circulation system for your entire yard, the design and installation of your sprinkler system is critical. This is a complicated process that requires specialized tools and equipment, as well as a strong knowledge of landscape design and hydraulics. This is why it is so important to have a professional contractor design and install your system.

 

 

Cool Season Grasses


How do I establish a cool season lawn?

Cool season lawns are the Kentuckey bluegrass, fescue rye, and bermuda varieties. The general steps to turfgrass establishment of cool season lawns include:

Obtain a soil fertility test and fertilizer recommendations.

  • Rough grade.

  • Apply lime or sulphur if needed.

  • Apply fertilizer as recommended by soil test.

  • Apply soil physical amendments if needed.

  • Till above materials into soil 4-6 inch depth.

  • Finish-grade.

  • Apply starter fertilizer and work into top inch of soil.

  • Apply seed.

  • Rake or drag to cover seed lightly.

  • Roll lightly.

  • Mulch.

  • Roll sod

  • Water.

  • Mow.

  • Weed control.


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How do I prepare the lawn site?

Once soil has been tilled, a great deal of time and effort are required to prepare a firm, granular seedbed. Where surface grade and soil physical conditions are acceptable, lawns can be re-established with minimal effort by killing the existing undesirable vegetation and incorporating seed into the surface.

Regardless of how the site is prepared, it is important that seed be incorporated into the top 1/4 inch of soil. On loose, bare soils, this can easily be done by lightly raking the seed into the surface. On hard compact soils or soils with existing vegetation and thatch, the seed should be mechanically incorporated into the soil by verticutting, slit-seeding, or intense coring. Scattering seed on the surface without incorporation is a waste of time and money

Soil testing. A soil test is needed to determine the lime and fertilizer requirements to ensure good turfgrass establishment and future growth. The test results provide your soil pH value and if lime will be required. A soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 is optimum for turfgrass growth. When pH is optimum, other nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are readily available from the soil for plant uptake. Lime is used to raise soil pH, and sulphur is added to lower pH. Phosphorus and potassium needs, if any, will also be indicated on the soil test report. Phosphorus is especially important for root development and seedling establishment. Phosphorus is most effective when incorporated into the top 4-6 inches of the soil because it moves downward slowly.

One pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is typically applied for turfgrass establishment.

Soil preparation. Proper attention to grading for surface drainage and conserving or developing topsoil will lead to easier care of your lawn in the years to come. Push aside existing topsoil when construction or excessive grade changes are required. Topsoil will be evenly spread over the site once the rough grading is completed.

The area should be rough graded with gentle slopes to adequately drain or divert surface water without erosion.

Liming and fertilizing. Apply the required amount of lime, phosphorus and potassium recommended on the soil test report for establishing a lawn. Where a soil test is not available, and if soils have required liming in the past but have not been limed for at least two years, apply 25 pounds of finely ground limestone per 1,000 square feet. Also apply 5 to 7 pounds per 1,000 square feet of 0-46-0 phosphorus fertilizer. Phosphorus is not very mobile in the soil and should be incorporated in the root zone (top 4 to 6 inches of soil) during this step. Nitrogen and potassium are very mobile in the soil and easily can be distributed by surface application.

Thoroughly till the lime and fertilizer materials into the surface 4 to 6 inches of soil. Do not exceed three pounds per 1,000 square feet of 0-46-0 fertilizer if nutrients are not to be incorporated into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. These practices are aimed at building the basic soil fertility to an acceptable level. Use a starter fertilizer in addition to building the basic soil fertility.

Apply a starter fertilizer immediately prior to seeding. Broadcast and work into the top 1 inch of soil 30 pounds of 10-5-5 or 10-6-4 fertilizer, or 20 pounds of a 16-8-8 fertilizer, or the equivalent, per 1,000 square feet. The fertilizer must be turf grade with an approximate 2:1:1 ratio and contain 30 percent or more of the total nitrogen as water insoluble or controlled release nitrogen. Application at the recommended rate should provide adequate nutrition for a full growing season.

As an alternative starter fertilizer, apply 10 pounds of 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 farm-grade (soluble nitrogen) fertilizer or equivalent per 1,000 square feet (for example, five to six pounds of 20-20-20 fertilizer per 1,000 square feet). Using nitrogen fertilizers that contain only soluble nitrogen will necessitate additional nitrogen after six to eight weeks of growing weather.

Soil amendments. A soil test will indicate if organic matter is required. Organic matter, such as peat moss or compost, can be added to clay soils to improve drainage and aerification. The same organic matter can be added to sandy soils to help hold water and nutrients in the soil. Fresh organic matter - manure, straw, or fresh saw dust - is not usually recommended because it can cause a temporary nitrogen imbalance that will lead to slow growth and grass yellowing.

Well-rotted sawdust, peat moss and mushroom soil are also good sources of organic matter that tend to last longer in the soil than most other organic matter sources. Organic matter should be worked into the top 2 to 4 inches of soil before applying the starter fertilizer.

Final grading. Rake the area to the finish grade just prior to seeding. Light rolling will indicate any low spots or other irregularities to the area. A proper final surface will be firm enough to prevent ruts made by seeding equipment, but will be loose and crumbly so that seed easily can be raked into the top 1/4 inch of soil. Once these steps have been properly followed, you are ready to install a turf by seeding or sodding.

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How do I install the turf?

Selecting the right time of the year to seed cool-season grasses is the most important factor in successful lawn establishment. The best time to seed cool-season grasses is in the late summer because temperatures are still warm enough to promote rapid germination when provided with rain or irrigation. The cooler temperatures and shorter days of the approaching fall are ideal for further growth and development of young seedling grasses.

Establishing cool-season grasses from seed in the spring can be extremely difficult. In some cases, complete failure should be expected. The daily watering required to germinate turfgrass seeds during spring establishment will also promote excessive weed growth, especially crabgrass. If you are lucky enough to beat the crabgrass, expect to continue the battle with frequent summer irrigations to prevent moisture stress. Even if moisture is adequate, summer temperatures may severely thin or completely kill seedling turf. The constant summer watering required by seedling turf will also increase the chance of Pythium damping off and brown patch. Both of these fungal diseases are encouraged by the same conditions that promote seedling growth - wet soils, frequent watering and summer nitrogen.

Sod of Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue can be installed during most of the year except in mid-winter when the ground is frozen. When extreme heat and drought conditions exist in summer, sod should be cut and laid during a 12- to 24-hour period. If done under drought conditions, the turf must be kept moist and cool. The soil should be watered enough to cool it prior to installation, and again thoroughly watered immediately after the sod is laid.

Seed vs. sod. A quality lawn containing the recommended mixtures of specific grass varieties and species can be established with either seed or sod. When seeding, however, there are many more species and varieties from which to select compared to sodding. Most sod grown in Missouri is straight Kentucky bluegrass or a mixture of mostly tall fescue combined with a small amount of Kentucky bluegrass. Some tall fescue sod is also available on plastic netting.

Initially, seed is less expensive than sod. However, successful establishment is more risky with seed than with sod, and if reseeding of certain areas or even an entire lawn is necessary, the overall expense may be less with sod. Also, the area is exposed to erosion because of the time required for seed to germinate and become well rooted in the soil. Sodding practically eliminates such problems, a consideration that may be especially important on steep hills or banks. Sod also reduces the chance of pesticide and nutrient contamination from surface runoff.

Sodding provides an immediately pleasing turf that is quickly functional, and it will compete with viable weed seed already present in the soil. Seeding usually requires intensive weed control during the first year of establishment.

Seed should be used only to established lawns in early fall or early spring, whereas sod offers less time limitations in that it may be established in nearly any season. Sodding of cool-season grasses in the spring is preferred to seeding.

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How do I do the seeding?

Before seeding, be sure that the soil has been prepared properly and is smooth and level.

Seed small areas by hand. A fertilizer spreader can be used in larger areas. When seeding by hand, try to apply five to 10 seeds per square inch. Heavier seedings will cause weak, spindly seedlings and spotty establishment. Calibrate spreaders to supply half the amount of seed in one pass over the area. Divide the amount of seed to be sown into two groups. Spread the first group of seed. Then spread the second group at a right angle to the first group, applying the second group of seed over the first.

Rake the seed to cover it with 1/8- to 1/4-inch of soil. Roll lightly to make good contact between seed and soil. Use a light layer of straw as mulch - one and one-half to two bales per 1,000 square feet. This helps hasten germination, keeps soil moist and protects young seedlings. The soil should remain moist from the surface to just below the active root zone.

At first, this moist zone will be shallow and require light, frequent irrigation. Use a fine spray to sprinkle seeds one to four times per day until young seedlings are established. As the grass develops, irrigate deeper and less frequent.

Sodding. Sodding is the installation of commercially grown turf. Sod has a carpet-like appearance consisting of green shoots attached to roots and soil. It usually comes in 3-foot sections, 18 inches wide, with less than 1/2 inch of soil attached.

Sodding has the advantage of almost immediate establishment, but its disadvantages are initial cost and the high amount of labor involved.

Choose high-quality sod that is actively growing. Sod is perishable and should not remain on the pallet or stack for more than 36 hours. The presence of mildew and distinct yellowing of the leaves is usually good evidence of reduced turf vigor from being stacked too long.

To lay the sod, start with a straight edge such as a driveway or sidewalk. Unroll sod pieces tightly against each other, but don't overlap. Using a sharp knife, cut pieces to fit curves or small areas. After the sod has been laid, roll it to ensure good contact with the soil. Be sure to water thoroughly, and water every day.

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What do I do for post-installation care?

Watering. Newly seeded or sodded lawns require special irrigation. A newly seeded lawn requires daily watering, and may need as many as four light waterings in a single day if conditions are dry and windy. Keep the seedbed moist, but not saturated, to a depth of 1 to 2 inches until germination occurs (green cast to lawn and seedlings are quarter to half inch tall). At this stage it is crucial that seedlings are not stressed to the point of wilt.

Continue to water one to four times a day with light applications, approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch of water per day. Straw applied at time of seeding helps to shade the soil and to prevent rapid drying of the soil surface. It will also reduce seedling damaged from the force of large sprinkler drops.

Watering with a light mist is best for establishing new lawns. As seedlings reach 2 inches, gradually reduce the frequency of watering and water more deeply. After the new lawn has been mowed two or three times, water deeply and infrequently.

Newly sodded lawns require watering one or two times a day. Begin irrigation immediately after laying sod. Plan your sodding operation so that a section of laid sod can immediately be watered while other areas are being sodded. Sod should be watered so that the sod strip is wet as well as the top 1 inch of soil below the sod.

The first irrigation requires about 1 inch of water to achieve complete wetting of the sod. After watering, lift up pieces of sod at several locations to determine if it has been adequately irrigated. Continue watering one to two times a day with light irrigations to prevent wilting and to ensure a moist soil just below the sod layer. As sod becomes established and roots penetrate and grow in the soil, gradually reduce the frequency of watering but wet the soil deeper. After sod has been mowed two or three times water deeply and infrequently.

During hot, windy conditions, establishing sod may require several light mistings per day to prevent wilt and potentially high lethal temperatures. In this case, mist the sod lightly just to wet the leaf surface and not to supply water to the soil. Misting cools the grass plant as water is evaporated from the leaves.

Do not over-irrigate the soil because that will inhibit sod roots from growing into the soil. In situations where daily watering is not possible, thoroughly water the sod and soil to a depth of 6 inches. This will delay the rooting time of sod but will reduce the chance of rapid drying and severe loss of grass.

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How do I control weeds?

Spring seeded cool-season grasses. Even though spring seeding of cool-season grasses is not as successful as fall seeding, spring and early summer seeding may be unavoidable. Some tips may help your attempt to establish cool season grasses.

  • Seed as early as possible.

  • Consider using a slit seeder or drill that causes minimal surface disturbance. This reduces competition from weed seeds that may be brought to the surface from complete tillage.

  • Competition from crabgrass is a major problem with spring seeding, especially when the lawn is seeded with mostly Kentucky bluegrass. Siduron (Tupersan) is the only pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide that can be used with new spring seedings, and it will not harm the planted turf grasses as they emerge. It should be applied as the final operation after seeding and prior to crabgrass germination.

  • If lawn grasses are seeded in February or March, wait until mid-April to apply siduron so that crabgrass control will last longer into the summer. Shaded areas of the lawn do not need crabgrass control.

  • After three or four mowings, usually at least a month after grass emerges, apply a low rate of 2,4-D on actively growing grass if broadleaved weeds appear to be overpowering the grass. Do not use herbicides if you do not have a serious weed problem - frequent mowing and proper starter fertilizer may be the only management necessary to establish grass. Broadleaved weeds easily can be controlled during the following year, provided the turf is able to initially establish without being crowded out by weeds.

  • Use slightly higher seeding rates to ensure rapid cover and improve competition with annual weedy grasses. Perennial ryegrass, because of its rapid germination, stands the greatest chance of survival during the first year. Tall fescue is the next best choice in terms of showing at least a modest stand of grass by the fall.

  • Kentucky bluegrass requires two to four weeks to germinate in the spring. It usually develops a modest stand of grass in the spring. However, by fall it may be completely lost to weed competition and "summer pressure."

 

Seeding Rate
(pounds/1,000 sq ft)

 

 

 

Grass

Higher Rate (Spring)

Normal Rate (Fall)

 

 

 

Kentucky Bluegrass

3

2

 

 

 

Tall Fescue

10

7

 

 

 

Perennial Ryegrass

10

7

 

 

 

 

  • Fall seeded cool-season grasses. Fall seedings are much more successful than spring seedings because crabgrass and summer stress are not a problem. However, winter annual broadleaved weeds such as henbit, chickweed and speedwell may require control. These weeds germinate September through November, grow during the winter and result in a dense mat of weeds by early spring.


  •  
  • If weeds dominate the new lawn in the fall, use a post-emergence herbicide, such as 2,4-D, after the lawn has been mowed at least three times, usually one and one half months after grass germination. Apply broadleaf herbicides on a warm sunny day in the fall when no frost is expected. If needed, winter annual broadleaved weeds can also be killed in late March and April. Even though these weeds naturally die in May, without herbicide application, they should be controlled in early spring if they are overly competitive.

If annual broadleaved weeds are left uncontrolled, turf will appear thin and weakened throughout the summer in areas where weeds have naturally died.


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Dying Grasses

A number of circular patches are forming in my yard. The centers remain green, but the edges are dying. What should I do?

This tell-tale "frog-eye" pattern is caused by several fungi. Called Fusarium blight, this is generally only a problem from June through August. Two of the most susceptible grass varieties are bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass. Lawns are particularly susceptible to the disease when they are under stress from drought. Once these fungi go to work in your yard, you may have trouble stopping them.

Solution: Your best bet may be to re-seed with resistant grass varieties. Even then, I'd suggest treating the whole lawn with a fungicide containing benomyl or iprodione next year. Complete control is difficult to achieve.

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During hot, humid weather, patches of slimy, water-soaked grass appear. When the spots dry, the leaves turn brown and die - all within 24 hours. What's wrong?


If your infected blades mat together when you walk on them and white cobweb-like threads can be seen in the early morning, my guess is you've got Pythium blight (cottony blight). Lawns under stress are most susceptible, particularly those with dense, lush grass. Be careful of this fungus, because it spreads easily. Flowing water, lawn-mower wheels and even your shoes can spread the disease. And because its works so quickly, your entire yard can die in literally hours. Solution (Your only hope): Treat your yard with a fungicide containing chloroneb or ethazole as soon as you notice the disease. Repeat the treatment every five to 10 days until the symptoms disappear. Severely infected areas often don't recover, so you may need to re-seed your lawn. To prevent this problem before it gets a foot-hold, avoid over-watering - especially in newly seeded areas - and make sure you've got good drainage.

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Why are brown blotches appearing on my leaf blades and small, circular areas of my lawn dying?


It sounds like you've got a case of dollar spot. This fungus is active during warm, wet weather (usually May to June and September to October). Lawns with moisture or nitrogen deficiencies are particularly susceptible. While dollar spot rarely causes permanent damage, it may take the yard several weeks to recover. Solution: I'd use a fungicide containing chlorothalonil, iprodione or thiophanate. You'll probably need two applications, spaced seven to 10 days apart. You can keep dollar spot at bay by increasing nitrogen applications, keeping thatch at a minimum and providing adequate water.

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My yard has large, circular patches of brown grass. The leaves first appear water-soaked, but dry and turn dark brown. What should I do?

If you live in a warm, humid area, you may have brown patch. This fungus attacks lush, tender growth, so you'll usually find it in yards with excessive nitrogen. Often only the blades are affected and the grass will recover. However, severe infections can kill your grass.

Solution: To stop brown patch, you'll need a fungicide with chlorothalonil and at least three treatments spaced seven-to-10 days apart. To prevent it, avoid heavy doses of nitrogen fertilizer, keep your thatch under control and aerate your yard regularly. 

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There's a white crust on portions of my soil and the grass in those areas is slowly dying. How can I correct the problem?

You're probably looking at salt damage caused either by insufficient watering or poor drainage. The problem: when water evaporates from the soil, the dissolved salts are accumulating near the soil surface.

Solution: The only way to eliminate excess salts is to wash them through the soil with water. If the damage is restricted to a few low spots in your yard, simply fill the areas. If the entire lawn drains poorly, try regular aerating. And, if drainage isn't the problem, increase the amount of water applied at each watering by 50 percent or more to leach the salts below the root zone of the grass.

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Grass Problems

Why is my grass thinning out?

 Thinning grass is normally a sign of heavy thatch.  Heavy thatch slows grass growth by restricting the movement of water, air and nutrients in the soil.   

Solution:  Remove the thatch.

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How do I get rid of the mushrooms in my lawn?

Mushrooms and toadstools can be an annoyance. However, they do no harm to the grass.  Mushrooms are fungi that grow on decaying vegetable matter in the soil.  This might be buried stumps or tree roots, logs, boards or a thick thatch. 

Mushrooms often pop up following heavy rains or watering and may indicate a too-acid soil and may need lime. Test your soil to check its pH; the best pH for a healthy lawn is slightly acid, about 6.5.

They can be removed by raking or sweeping, however no compound will kill mushrooms and toadstools without injury to the grass. You will not be rid of the mushrooms until the buried material has completely decayed or until you dig up these pieces of rotting debris.

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How do I get rid of the violets in my lawn?

Homeowners can use a "3-way" product (eg. Trimec) which contains 2,4-D plus MCPP plus dicamba. Fall treatment will result in better control than spring treatment. Make two applications three weeks apart. The first application will burn the foliage and after regrowth occurs, a second application should complete the job.

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How do I stop the spread of bamboo roots?

To stop the spread of bamboo roots place a solid physical barrier (metal, wood) in to the ground to a depth of about 24". Slant the bottom of the barrier about 10 degrees toward the bamboo trees so the roots are encouraged to grow up towards the surface where they stop.

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How do I rid my lawn of moss?

Kill moss either mechanically by raking it up or chemically by spraying it. A spray of copper sulfate (3 to 5 oz per 5 gal. of water per 1,000 sq.ft) or iron sulfate (3 oz per 5 gal. of water per 10,000 sq. ft) will kill moss. A soap (fatty acid) spray called "De-Moss" will also kill moss. However, killing it is only the first step.

Preventing the return of the moss is the next step. Abandon efforts to grow grass in real shady areas where patches of moss thrive instead of the grass. Shift to groundcovers instead, which will eventually overwhelm the moss.

If you feel you must have grass in a shady spot which has historically produced more moss than turf, you will have a lot of work to do. First, aerate the soil and topdress it wiith compost or topsoil. Check the pH of the soil (a pH of about 6.5 is best for most grasses) and add lime if necessary. Then overseed with a grass seed labeled for shade.

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How do I treat fairy ring?

SYMPTOMS: Fairy ring appears as a dark green band of turf that develops in a circle (from 10 to 20 cm up to 10 m) or semicircle in moist turf; mushrooms may or may not be present. Frequently, just behind the dark green band is an area of sparse, brown, dying grass caused by lack of water penetration. A second ring of thin dying grass may appear inside the circle. Weeds commonly invade infested areas. All grasses are susceptible to fairy ring, which is caused by several species of mushroom-forming fungi. In northern and central California, the predominant fungus is Marasmius oreades. Lepiota spp. are predominant in southern California.

Fairy ring develops most frequently in soils high in undecomposed organic matter containing lignin. Thus, adding woody plant materials, such as sawdust, wood chips, bark, and other uncomposted material, favors fairy ring development.

CULTURAL CONTROL: Apply adequate nitrogen. Aerate soil for better water penetration and water heavily in holes for several days; soil wetting agents may improve water penetration. Dethatch the turf because fairy ring often develops in soils with high levels of thatch. In some situations, replace infested soil. If fairy ring symptoms consist only of mushrooms and there is no zone of dark green grass, the mushrooms can be raked off and disposed of. While this will not weaken or control the fungus, it will improve the turf's appearance.

WHEN TO TREAT: Fairy ring can be eliminated by removing the turf and root zone containing the white, cottony mass, and by fumigating the soil. However fumigation is a dangerous and expensive process that should be done only by a licensed specialist.

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Insect Control

What do I look for if I suspect insects are invading my yard?

Be aware of where, why and when insects appear….look for discoloration of turf grass then investigate further. Turf that can be pulled up easily is usually a good clue that some insects have been chewing on the grass roots. Certain times of the year, insects will be more numerous and therefore a watchful eye to take appropriate measures right away will do a lot to prevent an all-out attack.

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Is there anything I can do to prevent insects from attacking my lawn?

By following good yard care practices, you will have a good head start on eliminating the conditions that would invite insects to your yard.

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If I find insects in my lawn, what can I do to get rid of them?

The key to effective control of a pest insect is correctly identify it. This will help you determine the appropriate measures to take to control or eliminate it.

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Are there certain times of the year when I should be on the lookout for various lawn insects?

Yes, you need to be aware of insect feeding cycles. For example, early detection of sod webworms is essential for successful control since the damage is already done by the time it becomes evident when you find small one to two inch spots becoming large dead patches. Keep a lookout for the buff-colored moths starting in mid-spring. If you see them, expect a caterpillar problem in a few weeks.

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Mechanical Insect Control

Traps
Pheromone traps contain odorous substances emitted by insects for the purpose of communicating with others of the same species. Trapping may be done to either monitor or control insect populations. Pheromone-baited traps are on the market for many pests. For example, Japanese beetle traps use scented lures to attract beetles to a hanging bag into which they fall and can't get out. They are very effective, so much so that they will encourage beetles to visit your yard and can attract beetles from as far away as a quarter of a mile.

Hand-picking
Easy when you know what you're looking for and can detect an insect problem early. Get to know the signs of insect damage and the lifecycle of the lawn pests in your area to have an idea of when you need to be on the lookout. For example, if you see a patch of lawn turning brown, check to see if the sod pulls away easily and check for root feeding insect grubs.

Spiking Tools
When white grubs migrate toward the soil's surface they are vulnerable to some king of spiking tool. This is usually in late spring as they prepare to turn into beetles and again in August and September as they just hatch from eggs. Sharp spikes that penetrate at least two inches into the soil impale and kill grubs. Special shoes with spikes attached to the bottom are now available. A hand-spiking tool also will do a good job.

Diatomaceous Earth
Ground fossilized shells into a fine, talc-like powers that can be handled safely without gloves and can kill insects on contact. It is not a poison, but works mechanically by piercing an insects exoskeleton dehydrating and killing it when comes into contact. To kill grubs, cutworms and other larval lawn pests, dust four times a year, using 25 pounds per 1500 square feet. Ladybugs, praying mantises, honeybees and the larvae of parasitic wasps are vulnerable.

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Biological Insect Control

Milky Spore
The most widely known means of safe control for the Japanese beetle is milky spore disease (Bacillus popilliae) which is a bacteria that kills white grubs. It can also be effective in controlling armyworms. When spread on the lawn, the bacteria enter the soil and come in contact with the white grubs that are lying just below the surface. They infect them and then multiply inside the grubs, creating millions more bacteria that spread through the soil and attack other white grubs. It takes three to five years to achieve maximum control of succeeding generations of grubs, but the control then lasts two or three decades. During this time the bacteria go dormant when the grub population is eliminated and wait for another infestation to occur. Spread this dry powder on newly mown grass and water it in with a hose. Only one treatment is necessary and this can be done anytime, except when the ground is frozen. Use approximately 20 ounces of spore dust for every 5,000 square feet of lawn. Read the product label carefully and follow instructions. It does not harm any other insects or animals and is the best long term, effective protection against grubs. Milky spore can be applied anytime the ground is not frozen.

Predatory nematodes
Unlike the harmful root knot nematodes which attack plants, beneficial or predatory nematodes only attack pest insects in the soil. These naturally occurring organisms will control a large number of grubs and larvae of pest insects and eggs of beetles and weevils. Commercially packaged predatory nematodes are used as a biological insecticide. The product consists of millions of microscopic, non-segmented eel-like worms one-tenth to one hundred-twenty-fifth of an inch in length suspended in a powder and is available by mail order under several brand names. When mixed with water and then sprayed on the affected plants, the active worms seek out and destroy the largest pest insects. For best results, be sure the soil is moist and its temperature is above 70 degrees. Predatory nematodes are effective through the growing season but will not winter over in enough numbers to continue to be helpful the next year. Allow a week between application of fertilizers or other chemicals and do not apply diatomaceous earth on the same site as nematodes as it will harm them. After about two weeks, lift up a piece of turf carefully to check the status of the grubs. Pest controlled: armyworms, Asiatic garden beetle larvae, billbug larvae, Japanese beetle larvae, June beetle larvae, Leatherjackets/crane flies, Oriental beetle larvae, sod webworms, white grubs, wireworms

Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis)
Today Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is the most widely used biological control agent in the world. It is a naturally occurring bacteria that produce a toxic material inside the spore. After an insect eats the spores, the toxin paralyzes the gut and causes the insect to stop eating. The spores germinate and multiply in the insect's blood causing acute blood poisoning.. The insect will die from starvation, poisoning and bacteria infection. Bt is not toxic to humans and other mammals. It targets a specific group of insects, mainly caterpillars including sod webworms and cutworms as well as armyworms and leafrollers. Bt does not stay in the environment very long, so reapplication is usually necessary. Bt is sold as a dry powder for use as a dust, or diluted with water for use as a spray which is the most effective for lawns. Common trade names are: Caterpillar Killer, Dipel, Thuricide and Worm Attack. To apply, mow the lawn before spraying and mix a surfactant in the sprayer with the Bt to help it stick to the grass as well as penetrate any thatch that exists. Spray Bt on the grass two weeks after seeing the sod webworm moth in your yard and as soon as you spot cutworms. Spray in the later afternoon or on cloudy days since Bt breaks down in sunlight. Hard, alkaline water will reduce its effectiveness so use water with a pH of 7.0 or lower. The mixture is only viable for about 12 hours. Dispose of leftover spray by pouring it into the soil. You can store the liquid concentrate or the powered form of Bt for at least two years if put in a dark room no cooler than 35 degrees or warmer than 90 degrees. Bt is most effective in the spring and again in the late summer.

Natural Predators
Another way to control insect populations is to attract birds to your yard. Plant trees to encourage nesting or provide bird houses and shrubs that produce berries, such as Honeysuckle. Birds are also attracted by bird baths and feeders. When chinch bugs have severely infested a lawn, a natural predator called the bigeyed bug may move in and feed on the adults. The bigeyed bug also preys on insect eggs, spider mites, and leafhoppers.

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Cultural Insect Control

Eliminate stress
Environmental stress may trigger pest infestation no matter how healthy your lawn is. Your lawn has a better chance against insect infestation if you eliminate stress by using healthy lawn practices such as proper mowing, watering, fertilizing as well as removing excessive thatch. Well-fed lawns will discourage insects such as chinch bugs. Since beetles prefer to lay their eggs in short grass, mow your lawn at a height of two to three inches. Beetles seem to flourish on poorly nourished grass and plants. The odor or prematurely ripening or diseased fruit often attracts them, so remove fallen fruit from the lawn area.

Eliminate thatch
Long term prevention of attacks from insects such as sod webworms, billbugs and chinch bugs can be warded off by eliminating excessive thatch where they live. Remove thatch by raking and prevent thatch buildup by using a topdressing of organic material on a yearly basis to provide the microbes that naturally feed on thatch. Since sod webworms prefer turf that is dry and warm, water in the late morning and cut grass no shorter than 2 inches to keep the lawn cool. Topdress it with a one-fourth inch layer organic material such a peat moss, composted municipal sludge or sifted compost each year to control the buildup of thatch.

Eliminate compacted soil
Check your soil for signs of compaction and a deficiency in organic matter. Aerate soil to eliminate compaction and reduce thatch. Correct these conditions for long-term control of ants.

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Chemical Insect Control

Insecticidal Soap
Insecticidal soap is made from potassium salts of fatty acids which causes dehydration and death within hours of contact. To control pest insects such as chinch bugs, sod webworms and billbugs, soak the whole area of affected turf and its thatch thoroughly with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of insecticidal soap concentrate into one gallon of water. Then, after about ten minutes, rake up the thatch, insects and all and discard it in the trash. You can add pyrethrum to make more effective against hard-bodied insects like beetles.

Horticultural Oils
A light type of 2% horticultural oil (also known as superior oil) should be sprayed directly on insect larvae. It must make direct contact as the oil suffocates the insects. It has a low toxicity to man, pets and wildlife due to lack of residual life on vegetation.

Rotenone
This plant-derived insecticide has proven to be harmless to warm-blooded animals, although it will kill beneficial insects and fish. It kills many types of insects, however, the period of protection it offers is short, just three to seven days. Filter wettable powders through cheesecloth before adding to a sprayer.

Sabadilla
Seeds of the sabadilla plant are ground into a powerful insecticidal dust. It is effective against many insect pests including armyworm, webworm and chinch bug. The insecticidal effect is diminished soon after application. Sabadilla dust and seed can irritate mucous membranes and bring on sneezing fits. Honeybees are vulnerable to Sabadilla.

Pyrethrum
Pyrethrum is a well-known insecticide made from the pyrethrum flower, which is a member of the chrysanthemum family. Insects such as caterpillars, beetles and moths are paralyzed by pyrethrum and it is the most potent when applied as a spray. While relatively nontoxic to bees, use as a last resort since it can temporary setback beneficial insects . It will rapidly break down into harmless substances in the environment. To make your own pyrethrum spray, just grind up a few flower heads of Chrysanthemum cineraiifolium and mix with water. A little soap can be added to improve the consistency.

Carbaryl (Sevin)
Use carbaryl(Sevin) as a last resort if you need more power instead of a general purpose, broad spectrum insecticide since it can take two to four months for a population of beneficial insects to regenerate after being sprayed with more powerful insecticides.

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Specific Insect Control

Grubs
Symptoms show up as irregular brown patches of grass and the sod lifts up easily in these spots.. Grubs are plump, whitish worms with brown heads, about an inch long at maturity and rest in a C-shape curl just under the surface of turf soil and feed on grass roots. You may also notice the increased activity by birds such as blackbirds or starlings as they feed on them, or animals such as moles, skunks or raccoons digging up the turf in search of them as a meal. Grubs do the most damage in late spring or early fall. To determine if you do have grubs, peel up a portion of damaged sod and check for grubs in the soil just beneath it. In a small area where just a few are found, you can hand-pick them. However, if you find 10 to 15 per square foot you may want to use other methods such as a spiking tool, diatomaceous earth, predatory nematodes. For long-term control, use Bacillus popilliae (Milky Spore).

Sod Webworms
Sod webworms feed on grass blades at night by cutting the blade off just above the thatch line and build silk-lined tunnels in the thatch near the soil surface. To determine if a webworm population is large enough to require control, in the early summer mark off two sections of lawn measuring 2 feet by 2 feet. Locate one in a damaged area and one in an undamaged area. Then mix 2 tablespoons of liquid household detergent into one gallon of water and using a sprinkling can, saturate each lawn area evenly. Sections with thick thatch may require several gallons of soapy water. Because the soap irritates webworms, they'll come to the surface within five to ten minutes. If no webworms appear, lawn damage is probably due to disease or some other insect. If you count more than ten webworms per square foot of healthy turf, control with Insecticidal soap drench, Bt, predatory nematodes.

European Crane Fly
European Crane Fly, also known as Leatherjackets, have become established in western Canada and the northwestern U.S. Many of these insects can live in the soil without seriously damaging lawns. Birds will feed on them and no other control is required. Even highly infested lawns have shown recovery without the use of insecticides.

Billbugs
Feast on stems and grass blades. To confirm that they are in the lawn, cut the bottom from a can and push it a few inches into the soil where the grass is beginning to turn brown. Fill the can with warm water mixed with liquid detergent (about 2 tablespoons per gallon) and they will appear on the thatch surface within a few minutes. As few as one adult or ten larvae per square foot of lawn requires some control measures. Remove thatch layer, use insecticidal soap or a broad-spectrum insecticide.

Chinch Bugs
Chinch bugs have an offensive odor, especially when crushed, and a severely infested lawn has an odor that can be detected by walking across it. To test for chinch bugs, first select a sunny spot along the border of a yellowed area of lawn. Cut out both ends of a large tin can, push one end into the soil about two inches, then fill with warm water. If your lawn is in good condition, ten to 15 chinch bugs per square foot probably will not cause a problem and will be kept in check by natural predators. If the lawn is stressed by compacted soil, drought or heavy thatch, even a few chinch bugs will do damage. To control, remove thatch layer, use insecticidal soap, or as a last resort, use a broad-spectrum insecticide. These insects prefer hot, sunny locations and you can discourage them by shading the lawn with trees or shrubs.

Cutworms
Cutworms chew grass blades near the surface of the soil as well as grass roots at night. You will begin to see damage when you have more than five cutworms per square foot. To determine if you have cutworms, drench an area of the lawn where you suspect cutworm activity with water mixed with insecticidal soap early on a spring evening. Return after dark to see if there are cutworms on the surface of the turf. Control by flooding the lawn with water until they are puddled. This treatment, which is only practical on a small scale, brings the cutworms to the surface to that they can be hand-picked and destroyed. Other control includes beneficial nematodes or Bt

Armyworms
Feeds chiefly at night and during cloudy days. Predators, such as birds, skunks, and toads as well as parasites usually keep the armyworm in control. You can purchase a beneficial nematode parasite, such as Neoaplecana carpocapsae, or Bacillus popilliae (Milky Spore) for long-term control.

Ants
Many people find ant hills unsightly, especially in lawn where the grass is kept short. Actually, these natural aerators are beneficial to your lawn, so if you allow your grass to grow a little longer, the ant hills will be hidden.
One method for controlling ant colonies in the lawn is to pour boiling water onto the anthill. It may take two or three drenchings over a few days to wipe them out. There is also a product called Insectigone by Chemfre containing diatomaceous earth and specially formulated baits that attract ants. Sprinkle the white powder on and around the anthills according to instructions on the package label. Then the ants come in contact with the powder, or eat the bait, they literally dry up. Most die within 48 hours.

Wireworms
Wireworms are the larvae of click beetles, or skipjacks, and often confused with millipedes. They are usually found in heavy loam soils that retain moisture. Potatoes are attractive to wireworms and can be used as a simple trap. Cut a potato in half, cut out the eyes to prevent it from growing, and run a stick through the middle. Bury the spud about one inch under so that the stick stands vertically as a handle, and pull the traps out after a day or two. Some potatoes have yielded as many as 15 to 20 pests.

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Insects


How can I identify what kind of insect is attacking my lawn?

If the turf looks wilted and water-starved, a root-feeding insect may be involved. Peel the sod back, examine the roots and look for root-feeding pests.

Insects that feed on grass blades often hide in the thatch. Damage from this type of feeding appears as brown patches. Then there's the sap suckers who live on grass blades. Close examination of the blade should reveal this type of pest.

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Are there any general pesticide application guidelines I should follow?

Yes. Always read and follow product label directions. Beyond that, here are some general guidelines:

  • Only apply a pesticide when there's a definite need. Pesticides can harm beneficial insects and wildlife.

  • Don't mix pesticides together unless directed by product labels.

  • Keep pesticides away from water supplies.

  • Keep children and pets away from treated lawns until the pesticide has dried.

  • Avoid spraying on windy days.

  • Don't mow your lawn for at least 24 hours after pesticide application.

  • Store chemicals out of reach of children.

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How should I apply granular pesticides?

Before applying any chemical, always read and follow the product label directions. In general, granular pesticides are applied with a fertilizer spreader. These pesticides are usually activated by moisture, so in most cases, make sure the lawn is wet prior to pesticide application.

If you're going after root-feeding insects, you'll probably need to water your lawn immediately after chemical application. This helps carry the pesticide off the foliage and into the soil where the insects feed.

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How should I apply pesticide sprays?

Again, before using the chemical, read and follow the product's directions. You'll want to water the lawn well prior to application because drought-stressed grasses can be damaged by these chemicals. I use a hose- end sprayer to apply the products. Remember to wait 48 hours before watering or mowing your yard again. This lets the pesticide remain on the plants as long as possible, maximizing its effectiveness.

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Root Feeders

Billbugs

Billbugs are a double threat: as a grub, they'll eat your lawn's roots; as an adult, they'll attack its blades and stems. If left unchecked, these pests can destroy your entire lawn.

A billbug-infested lawn has irregularly shaped discolored patches which rapidly yellow and finally turn brown. Grass stems within the dead areas will easily lift out and a whitish, sawdust-like material can be found on the ground.

The larvae are easy to identify: check your soil for fat, humpbacked, legless white grubs with brown heads. You may see the black, slow-moving, snouted adults in early spring walking along your sidewalk or driveway.

Control hints: I use an insecticide with either diazinon, chlorpyrifos or isofenphos to control billbugs. For best results, treat young larvae still feeding on the grass blades. But, if they've already moved to the roots, then water and fertilizer the lawn to stimulate new growth. Repeated treatments aren't usually necessary unless the billbugs are migrating from your neighbors' yards.

Small damaged areas usually recover if the larvae are killed, but you'll have to re-seed large areas. Next year, I'd treat the lawn in early May to kill the adults as they lay eggs.

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Grubs

These include the larvae of a whole roster of beetles that can literally eat their way through an entire lawn! While the adults won't harm your yard, their larvae feed on grass roots.

You'll notice grub damage in August and September, when grass turns brown in large irregular patches. Brown areas of grass roll up easily, like a carpet. Underneath you'll find silky white grubs with brown heads and three pairs of legs, curled in the soil.

Control hints: There's no two ways around it: the younger the grubs are, the easier they are to kill. To stop this pest, I suggest using an insecticide containing diazinon, isofenphos or chlorpyrifos when you first the grubs. Repeated heavy watering is needed immediately after application to carry the insecticide down to where the grubs feed.

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Mole Crickets

Mole crickets are burrowing relatives of the chirping above ground insect. And they'll eat everything: grass roots, stems, blades, other bugs - even earthworms! Typically, infested lawns feel spongy underfoot and you'll notice small mounds of soil scattered at the surface. Over time, large areas of your grass will turn brown and die. The dead grass pulls up easily, and you can usually find the crickets' tunnels with your fingers.

There's an easy test verify if mole crickets are to blame for your lawn problems: drench four square feet of turf with a solution of 1 ounce liquid detergent in 2 gallons of water. If these bugs are present, you'll see greenish-gray or brown insects with short front legs and shovel-like feet quickly come to surface.

In general, mole crickets prefer bahiagrass and Bermudagrass, but they'll also feed on St. Augustine, zoysia and centipedegrass. The bugs fed at night and may tunnel as far as 10-to-20 feet before the sun rises. In the daytime, they return to their underground burrows.

Control hints: I've found that a June or July application with chlorpyrifos, acephate or diazinon works best. You'll need to treat after the eggs hatch and before the young nymphs cause much damage. Be sure to mow and water your lawn before applying the pesticide. But don't water for 36 hours after application. If damage continues, treat again in late summer or early fall.

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Nematodes

Nematodes are microscopic worms that live in the soil and feed on your lawn's roots. Tell-tale signs of a nematode problem include a slowly thinning lawn that turns pale green or yellow. Grass roots will be stubby and shallow and your lawn won't respond to treatments such as aerating, fertilizing or watering.

The only way to confirm this pest's presence: testing grass roots and soil. Contact your local cooperative extension office for sampling instructions. But before you go to this expense, be sure to eliminate other soil and root problems such as drought stress, nutrient deficiency or root rot.

Control hints: Chemicals to kill nematodes in planted soil are not available to home owners, so you'll need to contact a pest control specialist to stop the pests.

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Controller Manuals and Spec Pages.

Note: If the controller manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Click on controller picture to view operating manual

SlimDial

Hybrid residential controller

HR-6100 Series (Manual not available)

Hybrid residential controller

304/306 Series 

Mechanical residential

500 Series 

Hybrid light commercial and residential controller

Rain Dial Series
See Specs Page

Outdoor hybrid residential controller

Rain Dial Series 
See Specs Page

Indoor hybrid residential controller

446 Series Hybrid
476 Series Hybrid  

Designed primarily for residential applications, these easy-to-use hybrid controllers provide a variety of flexible, at-a-glance programming options and reliable performance at an economical price.

 

 

Total Control Series 
See Specs Page

Designed for commercial, light commercial and residential use, this innovative hybrid controller offers maximum programming flexibility to handle a wide variety of sophisticated watering requirements in an easy-to-use format. Plus, its modular design ensures convenient remote programming and hassle-free station additions and upgrades.

MC Plus Series 

Designed for commercial, light commercial and residential use, this innovative hybrid controller offers maximum programming flexibility to handle a wide variety of sophisticated watering requirements in an easy-to-use format. Plus, its modular design ensures convenient remote programming and hassle-free station additions and upgrades.

PC Control
See Specs Page

This proven hybrid controller from Irritrol Systems, designed primarily for commercial and light commercial applications, offers the choice of stations and scheduling flexibility required to handle complex applications.

 

Dial Series 

This proven hybrid controller from Irritrol Systems, designed primarily for commercial and light commercial applications, offers the choice of stations and scheduling flexibility required to handle complex applications.

 

Irritrol Valve Installation and Operation Manuals

Note: If the Valve Installation and Operation manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve 2400 Electric Globe Product Manual

Designed primarily for residential use, these durable electric globe and angle valves offer solid construction, reliable performance and convenient operation to accommodate the specific needs of homeowners.

Purchase 2400 Series Valve Here
Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve 2600 Product Manual

Designed primarily for residential use, these durable electric globe and angle valves offer solid construction, reliable performance and convenient operation.

Purchase 2600 Series Valve Here
Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve 205 Series Product Manual

Irritrol Systems popular 205 Series electric globe valves offer debris-tolerant operation and a high-flow, low-friction-loss design for optimum performance in potable and dirty water applications.

Purchase 205 Series Valve Here
Irritrol 2700 Anti-Siphon Control Valve 2700 Product Manual

These long-lasting manual anti-siphon valves, designed primarily for residential use, offer simple operation and trouble-free performance in an operating range of up to 150 psi.

Purchase 2700 Anti-Siphon Valve Here
 

Rotor Sprinkler Installation and Adjustment Manuals

Note: If the rotor sprinkler installation or adjustment manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .   We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

 

T3 Arc Adjustment

Water-lubricated, gear-driven design provides dependable, steady operation. The popular Turbo family of gear drives are designed for the most demanding applications.

Purchase Turbo 3 Series Here

CT70 Product Manual

The Heavy Duty CT70 is an institutional grade gear driven rotor for medium and large turf areas.

Purchase CT70 Series Here

 

 

Weathermatic Valve Installation and Operation Manuals

Note: If the Valve Installation and Operation manual you are seeking is not listed on this page, please contact us at .  We would be more than happy to try to locate the manual for you.  Remember, this page is updated often, so check back!

Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve 12000 Product Manual

Fail safe "reverse flow" design insures that the valve will remain closed in the event of a diaphragm wall failure and extends diaphragm life. Excellent for micro-irrigation, valve will operate as low as 1 GPH.

Purchase 12000 Series Here
Rain Bird ASVF Series Sprinkler System Valve 21000 Product Manual

Dual flexing diaphragm ports provide great contamination resistance in dirty water or reclaimed applications, Fail safe "reverse flow" design insures that the valve will remain closed in the event of wall failure.

Purchase 21000 Series Here
 

Install-It!

(Click Here for Installation Manual)

Assembling Pipe

You'll begin the actual installation of your sprinkler system by running pipe to match the layout you sketched earlier. A few helpful hints will make positioning and joining pipe as easy as possible.

Tips For PVC Pipe

Cut pipe with a hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter and file off burrs. Use primer to clean area that will be cemented. Wait a few minutes for the primer to dry. Brush solvent cement freely around the outside end of the pipe and to inside of the fitting. Slip the pipe into the fitting, then twist it a quarter turn to evenly distribute the solvent for a leak-proof bond. Hold for about 15 seconds until pipe is set, then wipe excess solvent from around the joint.

 

Tips For Poly Pipe

As mentioned before, poly pipe should only be used between valves and sprinkler heads since it can't withstand the surge pressure between your service lines and valves. Cut poly pipe with a knife or a hacksaw. Slip a stainless steel hose clamp over the pipe and insert the fitting. Then position the clamp over the area of pipe surrounding the ridged part of the fitting, and tighten carefully.

 Make sure all clamps are tightened snugly on poly pipe.

 

Tap Into Your Service Line

Turn off your main water supply at the water meter. Cut into the service line as close as possible to where you'll position your control valves, and remove about 3" of the service line pipe. Insert a compression tee as shown then tighten the nuts to seal against leaking.

 

Installing a Shut-Off Valve

Finally, install a shut-off gate or ball valve so you can turn off your entire sprinkler system of necessary. Run a pipe from the compression tee to the shut-off valve, then lay another length of pipe from the shut-off valve to the location of your control valves.

 A Shut-off valve lets you turn off water to your sprinkler system without affecting your household water supply.

 

If the Meter Is In The Basement

Shut off your water supply at the meter and insert a compression tee as described previously. Drill a 1" hole through the sill above the foundation, or drill or chisel a hole through the basement wall. Install the pipe as shown, including the shut-off valve and drain cap. In freezing areas, pipe should slope downward from the control valves to the basement entrance, and a drain cap should be installed in a low position. Seal the hole in your wall with caulking compound. Drain water from your system by closing the shut-off valve and removing the drain cap, using a bucket to catch the flow.

 

In Freezing Areas

If freezing temperatures occur in your area, install automatic drain valves at the low points in the pipe run from each control valve, and between the control-valve manifold and the shut-off valve. Use a reducer tee, and slope the automatic drain valve downward at a 45° angle into a bed of gravel to provide drainage. When your sprinkler system shuts off, the automatic drain valve opens to release any water standing in the pipes.

 

Laying Out Your system

Use wooden stakes to mark the location of each sprinkler head and control valve. Then connect the stakes with string to represent the path of your piping. Check the layout you sketched to make sure you've positioned everything accurately before you begin cutting pipe.

 

Digging Trenches By Hand

To soften your soil, water the ground about two days before you plan to trench your yard. Use a straight-edge spade to dig "V" shaped 6" deep trenches (up to 10" in freezing climates). Place sod on one side of the trench and dirt on the other, so you can put everything back the way it was.

 

Using a trencher

Renting an automatic trencher can make your job easier. Check your local lawn-supply store or equipment-rental company. The renter can show you how to safely operate the machine. Don't use it to dig trenches through flower beds or ground cover, or operate it near buildings or on steep slopes.

 Before using a trencher, make sure to check with your local gas and electric companies to be certain that there are no buried lines where you'll be digging.

 

Going Under Obstacles

Attach your hose to a length of pipe with a hose-pipe adapter. Place the end of the pipe where you want it to tunnel, for example under a concrete sidewalk, then turn on the water. Push the pipe under the obstacle as the water pressure cuts a channel. Be careful to avoid damaging walls and driveways by washing away too much soil.

 

Connecting Valves

Lay the Main Line

If you haven't already done so, cut a length of pipe to run from the shut-off valve to the location of your first set of control valves. If you're planning a second set of control valves in another direction, link them to the first set with another length of pipe.

 

Place Your Control Valves

In front of the control valve positions you staked out earlier, lay out the valves, risers (vertical pipe segments) and tees on the ground the way that they will fit together as a manifold. To prevent backflow, make sure anti-siphon valves are at least 6" above the highest sprinkler head (or higher if required by local codes). Space valves at least 5" apart for easy assembly and maintenance.

 

Set Up Valve Manifold

Apply solvent to each joint and fit together as shown in the illustration above. Follow the solvent manufacturer's suggested drying time (typically about 1 hour), then turn off all control valves according to the instructions packaged with them. Now turn on the valve at your water meter.

 

Making an In-Line Manifold

If your water supply or local codes require the use of in-line valves, several steps can enhance the durability of your installation. Bury the manifold in the ground above a bed of gravel for better drainage. And for easy access surround the valves with wood (preferably redwood for longevity), or install them in a valve box available from your local retailer. Be sure to install a separate constant pressure backflow device if running your system off your household water supply.

 

Never Install Any Valve Downstream of an Anti-Siphon Valve

One final note: if you're using anti siphon valves, make sure that no other valve (manual or electric) is installed between them and your sprinkler heads. This would prevent the built-in backflow prevention from working.

 

Attaching Sprinkler Heads

 

Place the Heads

Now match the various kinds of sprinkler heads you've purchased with the locations you've staked out according to your sketch.

 Trenches from the appropriate control valve should be deep enough so that each head will be at the proper height.

 

Cut The Risers

Match each head to a riser, and check that sprinklers reach the right height when pipe is in the trench. (See "Install the heads"). Cut risers if necessary.

 

Insert The Risers

Put a tee in the pipe at each sprinkler head location; using a right-angle elbow for the head at the end of each pipe. Screw the risers into the tee or elbow at each sprinkler head location, but leave heads off.

 

Flush the System

Use pipe plugs to seal all risers except the one at the end of each pipe. Turn on the water at the shut-off valve, and open the control valves one at a time using manual bleed screws until water runs clear of all debris. Check the entire system for leaks. Then close the control valves, and remove all pipe plugs.

 

Install the Heads

Different kinds of heads are installed in different ways. The following tips will help ensure durability and proper water distribution. For accurate watering patterns, make sure all sprinklers are vertical. For extra protection against leads, wrap riser heads with Teflon® tape before installing heads

 

Pop-Ups and Rotors

The tops of pop-up sprinkler heads and rotors should be slightly above the soil surface. Any higher, and they're subject to damage when mowing or engaging in yard activities.

 

Shrub Heads and Bubblers

Shrub heads and bubblers should be mounted on risers that lift them several inches above the soil surface. This allows their patterns to reach the maximum radius.

 

Fine Tune Your Pattern

Adjust pop-up sprinkler heads so their patterns water precisely the areas you want. Adjust Lawn Genie pop-up spray heads by pulling up the pop-up stem and turning it to the precise direction desired. The pop-up stem "ratchets" to allow easy, reliable adjustment of the spray direction.

 

Installing Your Timer

Mount The Timer

Choose an indoor location near a standard 120-volt electrical outlet. Following the instructions in the timer installation manual, fasten the unit to the wall using the screws provided, and attach the transformer.

 

Wire The Control Valves

Run valve wiring underground wherever possible. For line runs less than 800 feet long, use 18-gauge, plastic jacketed thermostat control wire; over 800 feet, use 14-gauge wire. Your dealer can provide this wire in 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 wire color-coded strands. Connect a single common color wire to one of the wires from each valve. Solder or join all splices with wire nuts, then seal with vinyl or waterproof cement to assure a water resistant connection.

 

Connect the Valves to Your timer

Connect the wire from valve number 1 to the terminal screw marked "1" on the timer, the wire from valve number 2 to the terminal "2", and so on. This allows your timer to selectively water the Zone controlled by each valve. Connect the common wire to the terminal marked "COMM". If using a water pump or master valve, refer to page 18 for installation details.

 

Program Your timer

 Now consult the owner's manual that came with your timer. Different timers use different programming techniques. But no matter which timer you choose, it helps to write down your zones and their watering days in the form of a schedule before you start.

 

Check System Operation

 Now you're ready to test your installation. Open the shut-off valve all the way and test each Zone using your timer's manual control. Adjust the radius and pattern direction of pop-ups to avoid wasting water on walks, driveways and other areas. Also adjust shrub heads and bubblers. See Troubleshooting section on page 19 if one or more valves fails to operate. When system is functioning properly, replace soil and sod in trenches

Information found here was supplied by Lawn Genie.

 

 

Double check to ensure you have secured all permits In addition, have the local utilities mark all the buried lines and pipes before you start digging.

Use flags to indicate sprinkler locations according to your design Also, mark the location of your drip system risers Even if you plan to install the actual drip system at a later date, you can install your drip risers with the rest of your system Use line-marking spray paint to mark where you’ll trench for pipes and wiring Check your worksheet to make sure you mark the lines accurately You will be digging your trenches along
these lines

By cutting into your service line and slipping on a compression tee, you can connect your sprinkler system to the water supply without soldering In some instances, you can avoid cutting the main line by attaching your system to the outside faucet connection (see diagram and note) PVC pipe may be substituted for copper in non-freezing areas.

SHUT-OFF VALVES
Whether a PVB is used or not, we recommend installing a shut-off valve between the zone valves and the service line This will allow you to easily turn off the water to your irrigation system if you need to make repairs or replace parts Check local codes for the type of shut-off valve recommended.





IF THE METER IS IN YOUR YARD:

  1. Shut off your water supply at the meter
    (check with your water department first).
  2. Dig to expose the service line.
  3. Tie into the service line, between
    the water meter and the house.
  4. Remove a section of pipe, leaving a gap
    large enough to slide on a compression tee.
  5. Slip the tee over each end of the pipe.
  6. Tighten the compression nuts. The rubber gasket will compress against the pipe, creating a seal to prevent leakage.
  7. Install a short nipple, using PTFE tape on all threaded connections to the tee.
  8. Attach a shut-off valve, in a small enclosure, to this section of pipe. The shut-off valve allows you to turn off the system by hand, if necessary.
  9. keep this connection as clean as possible.
    This is your tap water supply.




IF THE METER IS IN YOUR BASEMENT:

  1. Shut off your water supply at the meter
    (check with your water utility).
  2. Install an appropriate tee into the service line for the irrigation connection.
  3. Drill a hole through the sill above the foundation, or chisel a hole in the basement wall for the irrigation line to run through. Make it no bigger than needed for a 1” pipe.
  4. Install the connection fittings, as shown. A ball valve is a good choice for the irrigation shut-off. For the drain valve, use a gate-type valve. The drain valve should be as low as possible to allow complete system drainage.
  5. Feed your irrigation system pipe out through the basement wall, and run it to the backflow preventer location (see page 12 for more information on backflow prevention).
  6. Finally, seal the hole in the sill or foundation with caulking compound.

The main irrigation line is the pipe that runs from your service line to your valve manifolds The lateral lines are the lines that run from the valve manifolds to the sprinkler heads

TRENCHING BY HAND
To soften the soil, water the ground approximately two days before you dig Dig trenches 8” to 12” inches deep Put sod on one side of the trench and soil on the other.

WARNING!
Before digging any trenches, you must have all underground utilities marked to avoid any damage. Call your local underground locator service or the city for information.


TRENCHING USING A TRENCHER
Trenching machines are an easier, faster alternative to digging with a shovel They can be rented by the hour, day or week, usually from a lawn supply store or rental equipment dealer The person you rent from can show you how to operate the machine properly and safely Trenchers should not be used to dig through ground cover, flower beds, on steep slopes or near buildings Be sure to verify all underground utilities before trenching
In colder climates a vibratory plow is used for pulling pipe.

 

 

 

Start from the valves and move outward, laying the connecting pipe along the bottom of the trench. At each flag, install a tee or elbow fitting, and if needed, a riser for sprinkler attachment.

After the pipe has been connected and the glue has dried (PVC pipe only), turn on the water, open valves one zone at a time and flush until the water runs clear. Seal the fitting with duct tape to keep dirt out until the sprinklers are installed.

NOTE: Don't backfill your trenches until your final system operation check is complete.

Install one sprinkler zone at a time, using swing pipe
to connect to the lateral lines. Remember to refer to your
planning worksheet.

  1. Placing a sprinkler in a trench as a guide, measure from the connecting pipe fitting to the bottom of the sprinkler and cut a length of Funny Pipe to fit. Place sprinklers at least 3” from sidewalks and curbs and 6” from fences and buildings.
  2. Install the appropriate Funny Pipe elbow into the sprinkler and into the PVC or poly pipe fitting. No glue or clamps needed.
  3. Connect the Funny Pipe to the sprinkler and to the pipe fitting.
    • Note: Do not use more than 4’ of swing pipe with each sprinkler head.
  4. Position the sprinkler in the trench so that the top of the sprinkler is flush with ground level. Stabilize the sprinkler with soil without filling the entire trench.
  5. Verify that the sprinkler is vertical for optimum performance.
  6. Repeat this process for each sprinkler.

  1. Install the timer in your garage or another convenient place. If an outdoor location is desired, use an outdoor
    cabinet to protect the timer against the effects of weather. Make sure an adequate power supply is available. (See instructions included with the timer for details.)
  2. If you haven’t already done so, lay the valve wires in the bottom of the trenches, beneath the pipes.

    Tip:
    Installing more wire strands than your system currently requires can be a real time saver. Adding them now is simple, adding them later after all the dirt is back in place and the grass is growing is not.

  3. Connect the valves to the timer using the valve wires.
    • Take one wire from each valve and connect them to a common wire. (For ease of identification, use the white wire as the common.)
    • At the timer, connect the common wire to the common terminal on the timer.
    • Take the other wire from each valve and connect them to the timer terminals in sequence.

  1. Slowly turn on the water, then manually open an irrigation valve.
  2. Adjust the sprinklers to ensure proper coverage.
    (See sprinkler installation instructions for details.)
  3. If you don’t have complete head-to-head coverage,
    follow the steps below:
    • Make sure the control valve and shut-off valve are fully open.
    • Turn off any water being used in the house
      (washers, showers, faucets, etc.).
    • Fine-tune sprinkler spray positions and spray patterns to match your coverage area.
    • If coverage is still not complete, go back and check your system layout against the plans.
    • When you see that the coverage is satisfactory, fill in the trench.
    • Once you are satisfied with your installation you can move on to installing your drip irrigation system.


This sprinkler system installation has been brought to you by Rain Bird and Toro Manufacturers.


 

Technical Data

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Friction Loss Characteristics

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Formula & Conversion Factors

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Pressure Loss

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Precipitation Rates & Wire Sizing

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Discolored Grasses

 

Why does my grass develop yellow patches after I mow?

Improper mowing is probably the culprit here. You're probably removing too much of the grass leaf at each mowing.

Solution: Either mow more frequently so you never remove more than one third of the leaf blade, or you need to level out your yard's high spots because the mower is cutting too low as it goes over bumps. 

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My grass blades are turning yellow between the veins, but the veins themselves are remaining green. Why?

You're looking a common lawn problem: iron deficiency. Usually, you'll find this condition in soils with high pH. That's because in acidic conditions, iron tends to form compounds that plants can't use. If high pH isn't the problem, your iron deficiency may be caused by excess phosphorus, a poor root system, over-watering or use of a water that has high levels of bicarbonate salts.

Solution: Spray the lawn with a liquid iron supplement. If acidic soil is the root of your problem, drop the pH by adding ferrous sulfate or ferrous ammonium sulfate.

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Why do grass patches turn yellow and die shortly after fertilizing?

If the grass bordering these yellow areas is a healthy green color and the yellow areas don't spread, fertilizer burn is to blame. Whenever excessive amounts of these materials contact grass, they cause the blades to dry out and die.

Solution: You can prevent burn by picking up spilled fertilizer, applying fertilizer according to label directions and thoroughly watering the grass after fertilizing to wash it into the soil.

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After the snow melted, pale yellow patches trimmed in pink appeared in my lawn. What's the problem?

You're probably looking at Fusarium patch (pink snow mold). Generally a problem in late winter or early spring, this grass disease usually attacks lawns wet from snow, rain or poor drainage. Grass blades are usually light tan and stick together, and a white cottony growth may cover the blades.

By the time you observe Fusarium patch in the spring, it's usually too late to apply a fungicide. That's why proper lawn management is so important.

Solution: To reduce the danger of this disease, keep your yard mowed and aerated in the fall, and avoid excess fall nitrogen applications. Frequent mowing can help control the problem too. 

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Why are circular straw-brown spots roughly 8-to-10 inches wide appearing in my lawn?

If you've had dogs in the area, you're probably seeing dog urine injury.

Solution: To correct the problem, water the affected areas thoroughly to wash away the urine. While this won't completely eradicate the brown discoloration, surrounding grass will eventually fill the affected spots. To prevent further problems, try to keep dogs off the lawn. If canines can't be blamed, you may have dollar spot or Fusarium blight.

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My yard has large, circular patches of brown grass. The leaves first appear water-soaked, but dry and turn dark brown. What should I do?

If you live in a warm, humid area, you may have brown patch. This fungus attacks lush, tender growth, so you'll usually find it in yards with excessive nitrogen. Often only the blades are affected and the grass will recover. However, severe infections can kill your grass.

Solution: To stop brown patch, you'll need a fungicide with chlorothalonil and at least three treatments spaced seven-to-10 days apart. To prevent it, avoid heavy doses of nitrogen fertilizer, keep your thatch under control and aerate your yard regularly.

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Why does an orange dust fill the air when I mow?

If your grass blades are covered in an orange powder, and the reddish-brown lesions underneath don't rub off, you've got rust. The fungi to blame are usually active during humid weather (70°-to-75° F). Grasses under stress from nitrogen deficiencies, moisture shortages or close mowing are most susceptible. Solution: Rust develops slowly, so in many cases frequent mowing, adequate water and an application of a high-nitrogen fertilizer can stop the problem. Frequent mowing can help control the problem too.  However, if the disease is severe, I'd treat affected areas with a chlorothalonil fungicide.

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Why is my grass turning gray?

If the tips of your blades are pale yellow or gray, perhaps with red or yellow margins, and you see tiny black dots, you can bet it's septoria leaf spot. Also known as tip burn, this fungus can infect most northern grass species. The combination of cool, wet weather and unfertilized lawns usually bring on the disease.

Solution: A fungicide with mancozeb will control the problem, but you may need three or more treatments. Frequent mowing can help control the problem too. 

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Why is my grass pale green in color and growing more slowly than usual?

Odds are that a nitrogen deficiency is to blame.

Solution: You'll need to apply a lawn fertilizer to boost soil nitrogen levels. Fertilizer stimulate and sustain strong healthy growth for a lush green lawn every time.

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My lawn has turned a bluish-green color and footprints make a lasting imprint. What's the problem?

If the grass recovers during the evening, but darkens and wilts under the daytime heat, your lawn is under drought stress. You'll notice drought damage first along sidewalks and driveways (the hottest and driest areas of the lawn).

Solution: Water your lawn immediately.

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Why does my grass look like it's been dusted with flour?

Powdery mildew is probably to blame. This fungus-caused disease makes white or gray mold appear on grass blades. As the disease progresses, leaves turn yellow, wither and die. Slow (or non-existent) air circulation, shade and high humidity contribute to the problem. Solution: Chemical controls are available, but your best bet is prevention. I suggest you plant shade-tolerant grass varieties, follow nitrogen fertilization guidelines and selectively prune shrubs to increase air circulation.

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Grass Information

What type of grass should I have in my yard?

The decision on what type of grass is one that can be a challenge. 
Ask yourself the following questions. 

  • Is the grass well adapted for your climate? 

  • Do you need a shade-tolerant grass? 

  • What level of maintenance does the grass require?

  • Is the grass variety suited for your soil?

  • Can the grass tolerate drought period?

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What grass variety requires the least maintenance?
Look for a grass such as fescue that resists pests, diseases and drought, grows slowly and demands little fertilizing. But keep in mind, even fescue grass needs attention to stay healthy.

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What is a cool season grass?
Cool-season grass varieties are adapted for cold-winter areas. These grasses grow well in the northern United States and other regions with warm summers and cold winters. 

Cool-season grasses grow actively during cool weather, but slow down in the summer heat. In snowy climes, they'll go dormant during winter, but quickly green-up during spring. Drought can cause them to go dormant, but with proper watering , cool-season grasses will stay green throughout the growing season. (see also Cool Season Grass)

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What is a warm season grass?
Warm-season grasses are best for areas where frost is a rare phenomenon. These grasses grow vigorously in the warm summer months. But when the weather turns cooler, warm-season grasses go dormant, turning yellow or brown. (See also Warm Season Grass.)

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What is a seed blend?
A seed blend is a combination of two or more cultivars (types) of the same species. Lawns established with a seed blend are usually more tolerant of a broader soil range and environment than those which consist of a single cultivar. In addition, blending generally reduces the incidence of lawn diseases.

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What's a seed mixture?
A seed mixture is made up of two or more different turf grass species. The chief advantage of a mixture: each species is better adapted to certain environmental conditions. If your lawn is plagued with shade, sandy soils or poorly drained soils, I'd recommend a turf grass mixture.

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Types of Grasses                

Kentucky bluegrass    Tall Fescue, Red Fescue   
Rye Grass, Perennial
   Rye Grass   Bent grass   
Bahia Grass
   Bermuda grass   Centipede grass   
St. Augustine Grass
   Zoysia grass

  • Kentucky bluegrass

     Kentucky bluegrass and its varieties are premium lawn grasses, prized for their rich green color, fine texture and dense growth. They are used across the northern half of the United States and tolerate winter cold but need regular irrigation or rainfall during the summer, generous fertilizing and cannot take extreme heat. Common Kentucky bluegrass spreads by underground stems and has medium-textured, upright, bright green foliage distinguished by boat-shaped tips. All bluegrasses are subject to injury by root-eating grubs and are susceptible to fungus diseases.

       HOW TO GROW. Kentucky bluegrasses grow best in rich, loamy, well-drained soil with a pH between 5.8 and 7.5. These grasses are drought resistant, becoming semi dormant in dry weather if the soil temperature goes above 85-90 degrees. Full sun is needed in the more northern areas; more shade can be tolerated farther south. Sow Kentucky bluegrass seeds at the rate of 2 to 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet in fall or early spring.

      Fertilize in early spring, early summer and early fall. Fall fertilization is the most important as this sets up the lawn for the next spring green up. Roots will grow throughout the winter if the ground remains unfrozen and will start growing in the spring as soon as the ground unfreezes. Fertilize at an annual rate of 3 to 5 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 sq feet. A slow release fertilizer is most desirable.

       To calculate the amount of nitrogen in a bag, take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

        Mow regularly at a height of 2 to 2 1/2 inches or more to encourage deeper root growth. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn to supply about 25% of the fertilizer needs of the lawn. A healthy growing lawn will not develop thatch due to clippings as the clippings are 90% water and generally decompose in 7-10 days.

       Water (or rainfall) at a rate of 1 inch per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

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  • Tall Fescue, Red Fescue

      Tall fescue is a tough, coarse grass mainly used on athletic fields and to prevent erosion on banks. It can survive in even the toughest city conditions, including smog. It adapts to dry growing conditions and poor soil, and needs little fertilizing. Red fescue forms a fine-textured, sturdy lawn when mixed with bluegrass. Both fescues grow well in cool-climate regions across the northern U.S. and in mountain regions. Tall fescue grows in clumps and has relatively large medium green leaves. Some kinds of red fescue form clumps but others spread by creeping; all have dark green needle-like leaves that are hard to cut smooth, and a sharp blade must be used. Disease seldom strikes tall fescue but red fescue is subject to fungus. Both are moderately drought resistant.

       HOW TO GROW. Fescues prosper in moist as well as dry soil, even if it is infertile, so long as the pH is between 5.3 and 7.5; they grow in shade as well as sun. Sow tall fescue seeds in early fall, seeding heavily--at the rate of 4 to 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet--so that the plants will be crowded and the clumps less conspicuous; sow red fescue seeds at the rate of 3 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet in early fall or early spring.

      Fescues, if grown alone, require fertilization only in late summer and early spring, but if you mix red fescue and bluegrass, give them the three feedings recommended for bluegrass -- early spring, early summer and early fall. Use a complete fertilizer at an annual rate of 2 to 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 sq feet, half the amount each time if you fertilize twice a year. A slow release fertilizer is most desirable.

     To calculate the amount of nitrogen in the bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

      Mow regularly at height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Mow even taller if possible in the heat of the summer. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn to supply about 25% of the fertilizer needs of the lawn. A healthy growing lawn will not develop thatch due to clippings as the clippings are 90% water and generally decompose in 7-10 days.

      Water (or rainfall) at a rate of one inch per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

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  • Rye Grass, Perennial Rye Grass

     Annual rye (also known as Italian ryegrass) is a fast growing annual grass and is widely used in the South and Southwest to "over seed" a lawn and keep it green during the winter when warm-season grasses are brown. If annual rye is sown over the permanent lawn in fall, it flourishes during the cool winter months and then is crowded out when the permanent grasses begin to grow again in the spring.

       Perennial rye, which usually lives only four to five years, can be used to create a tough temporary turf in cool climates and is widely planted across the northern United States. This grass has the best ‘wear tolerance’ of any cool-season grass, making it ideal for play areas. On the down side, this grass is intolerant to extreme heat, cold and drought, so I’d only recommend it for coastal regions with mild winters and cool, moist summers.

      Neither rye lasts long enough for a permanent lawn, but seed mixtures sometimes contain one or both mixed with other grasses on the theory that the quick-growing ryes shelter slower-growing permanent grasses while the lawn is establishing itself. It often turns out, however, that ryes simply compete with the permanent grasses for moisture and nutrients and undermine their strength. Ryes grow in clumps and have rather coarse, shiny, bright green leaves on upright stems.

    HOW TO GROW. Rye grasses grow in any soil with a pH between 5.5 and 8.0; they tolerate partial shade and salt air. To over seed a lawn for winter, sow annual rye at the rate of 4 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet a few weeks before the lawns in your area generally begin to brown. If the grass comes up yellowish green, a sign of nitrogen deficiency. Fertilize ryegrass using a complete fertilizer at rate of 3 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet.

     To calculate the amount of nitrogen in the bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

     Mow regularly at height of 2 to 3 inches. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn to supply about 25% of the fertilizer needs of the lawn. A healthy growing lawn will not develop thatch due to clippings as the clippings are 90% water and generally decompose in 7-10 days.

      Water (or rainfall) at a rate of 1" per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

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  • Bent grass

        Bent grass is an unusually elegant, fine textured grass, but requires consistent care. It is usually mixed with other turf grasses for lawns in humid regions where nighttime temperatures are cool, such as in New England and Pacific Northwest. Colonial bent grass, or common bent grass, is used for lawns more so than creeping bent grass which you’ll find on golf course putting greens. Roots are shallow and fibrous, having few short stolons and rhizomes, and forms dense turf if heavily seeded and closely mowed. Bent grass is subject to injury by root-eating grubs, as well as sod webworms, cutworms, and mole crickets. Susceptibility to many fungal diseases requires using fungicides as a preventative measure against dollar spot, brown patch and snow mold.

      HOW TO GROW. Bent grass grows best in rich, well-drained soil high in nitrogen and a pH between 5.6 - 7.0. It is slow to become established and cannot tolerate drought. Sow seeds at the rate of one-half pound per 1000 square feet.

       Since feeding requirements are high, regular applications of fertilizer are necessary at an annual rate of 5 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 sq feet. A slow release fertilizer is most desirable.

       To calculate the amount of nitrogen in a bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

      Bent grass requires frequent mowing and it must be kept very short. Mow at a height of 1/2 to 1 inch. If mown above one inch, bent grass forms an undesirable spongy layer or mat.

      Bent grass suffers under drought conditions and requires frequent watering. However, excess water can be just as damaging as insufficient water during times of heat stress.

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  • Bahia Grass

        Bahia grass varieties are popular in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Bahia stays green most of the year in this area, turning brown only after the temperature falls below 30 degrees. It creeps along the surface with short, heavy runners that root as they go; its light green blades are tough and slightly hairy. Bahia is not usually bothered by nematodes but sod webworms, leaf hoppers, army worms, dollar spot and brown patch do on occasion prove troublesome.

       HOW TO GROW. Bahia thrives in sandy soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5. It requires ample moisture but can survive some drought because it sends down deep roots. It withstands salt injury fairly well and tolerates partial shade. Sow seeds at the rate of 4 to 6 pounds per 1000 square feet in spring. Mow to a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches.

       Although bahia can be grown from seeds, most lawns are propagated from sprigs or plugs set 6 to 12 inches apart in spring.

       Fertilize in the early spring, early summer and late fall with a complete fertilizer at an annual rate of 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. A slow release fertilizer is most desirable.

      To calculate the amount of nitrogen in the bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g.. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb. bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 square feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

      Mow regularly at height of 2 to 3 inches. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn to supply about 25% of the fertilizer needs of the lawn. A healthy growing lawn will not develop thatch due to clippings as the clippings are 90% water and generally decompose in 7-10 days.

     Water (or rainfall) at a rate of one inch per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

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  • Bermuda grass

      Common Bermuda grass is a long-jointed, creeping species that spreads rapidly and vigorously. It is the most widely used lawn grass in the warm climates across the southern United States, and the hybrid forms produce some of the most beautiful of all lawns, noteworthy for their texture and density. Various cultivators have been selected for improved green color, vigor, resistance to pests and diseases, and hardiness. All Bermuda grasses, like other warm-season species, turn brown in cool weather below 50 degrees. They can suffer damage by chinch bugs, mites, nematodes, sod webworms, army worms, mole crickets and fungus diseases.

       HOW TO GROW. Bermuda grass does best in rich, moist soil with a pH between 5.2 and 7.0. Most varieties require full sun, but some hybrids tolerate light shade; all have a good resistance to salt injury. Common Bermuda grass may be grown from sprigs or plugs set 6 to 12 inches apart or from seeds sown at the rate of 2 to 3 pounds per 1000 square feet in late spring or early summer; all the hybrids must be grown from sprigs or plugs set 6 to 12 inches apart. Bermuda grasses require three or four feedings a year; in the Deep South they should be fed every two months.

      Fertilize Bermuda grass regularly with a complete fertilizer high in nitrogen at an annual rate of 4 to 8 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 sq feet. Light sandy soils require more fertilization.

       To calculate the amount of nitrogen in the bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

      Mow the common variety to a height of 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Thatch buildup can be a problem with Bermuda. You can reduce thatch by always using a grass catcher or rake after mowing, but you will also have to dethatch at least once a year (or more if necessary) in early spring.

      Water (or rainfall) at a rate of one inch per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

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  • Centipede grass

      Centipede grass is considered the easiest grass to maintain by many homeowners in Florida and the deep South. It acquired its name because its thick spreading stems send out many roots, giving the plant a centipede like appearance. The light yellowish green leaves are somewhat coarse and, like all warm-season grasses, turn brown in the cooler fall weather. Centipede grass is sometimes attacked by nematodes, chinch bugs, leaf hoppers, mole crickets and sod webworms, but is moderately drought resistant.

      HOW TO GROW. This grass will grow well in soils that are on the acid side (pH 6.0 and less), including those with a pH as low as 4.0, much more acid than can be tolerated by most other grasses. It survives in light shade, but does not do particularly well close to the sea. Regular irrigation is needed if it is to flourish.

      Although centipede can be grown from seeds sown in spring at the rate of 2 to 4 ounces per 1000 square feet, most lawns are propagated from sprigs or plugs set 6 to 12 inches apart in spring.

     Fertilize centipede grass in the spring and early fall with a complete fertilizer at an annual rate of 2 to 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet, half the amount each time if you fertilize twice a year. A slow release fertilizer is most desirable.

     To calculate the amount of nitrogen in the bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

      Mow regularly at height of 2 to 2 1/2 inches. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn to supply about 25% of the fertilizer needs of the lawn. A healthy growing lawn will not develop thatch due to clippings as the clippings are 90% water and generally decompose in 7-10 days.

      Water (or rainfall) at a rate of one inch per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

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  • St. Augustine Grass

     St. Augustine grass provides many attractive lawns across the southern United States from Florida to California. It is a warm-season grass that turns brown in winter. St. Augustine spreads along the ground, rooting as it goes, usually producing a solid, almost weed proof turf in its first season; its leaves are blue-green, low growing and coarse. These grasses are susceptible to fungus diseases, chinch bugs, army worms, sod webworms, mole crickets and nematodes as well as to an apparently incurable disease called simply St. Augustine decline.

       HOW TO GROW. St. Augustine must have very moist soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0; it will grow in full sun, partial shade, and even in heavy shade if given extra fertilizer and water. It is also very tolerant of salt spray. Plant sprigs or plugs 6 to 12 inches apart in early spring.

       Fertilize St. Augustine grass regularly (about every 6-8 weeks) with a complete fertilizer high in nitrogen at an annual rate of 4 to 6 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Light sandy soils require more fertilization.

       To calculate the amount of nitrogen in the bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

       Mow regularly at height of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn to supply about 25% of the fertilizer needs of the lawn.

        Thatch buildup can be a problem with St. Augustine. Dethatch once a year (or more if necessary) in spring or fall.

        Water (or rainfall) at a rate of one inch per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

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  • Zoysia grass

         Zoysiagrass grows well in the South and Southwest and are often used in coastal areas because they are salt tolerant. Like other grasses adapted to warm climates, however, their leaves turn brown at the first frost and do not turn green again until night temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Zoysias spread by means of lateral stems above and below ground. Zoysias are attacked by nematodes, mole crickets, sod webworms, army worms, chinch bugs and fungus diseases.

         HOW TO GROW. Zoysias thrive in soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0, but if given adequate moisture and fertilizer, they can grow in soil as acid as pH 4.5 or as alkaline as pH 7.5. They prosper in fairly dense shade and in full sun; however, if a Zoysia is grown with Bermuda grass--a popular mixture for partly shaded lawns-- the Bermuda will crowd out the Zoysia in the sunny areas. For a solid turf in one season plant sprigs or plugs 6 inches apart in late April or May. If plugs are placed 12 inches apart it will take 2 to 3 season for the lawn to fill in.

         Fertilize in early spring, midsummer and early fall with a complete fertilizer at an annual rate of 1 to 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 sq feet. A slow release fertilizer is most desirable.

         To calculate the amount of nitrogen in the bag take the first of the three numbers on the bag (e.g. 16-4-8, nitrogen - potassium - phosphorus) and multiply it (as a percentage) by the bag size. Example: a 25 lb bag of 16-4-8 has 4 pounds of nitrogen (25 x .16 = 4). If your lawn is 10,000 square feet and you fertilize twice a year and wish to put down 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet you would put down 15 pounds of nitrogen each time. If you purchased 25 lb bags of 16-4-8 then you would need about 4 bags twice a year.

         Mow regularly at height of 1 to 1 1/2 inches to avoid thatch and puffiness. Remove only 1/3 of the growth of the blade of grass at a time. Use a mulching mower  and leave the clippings on the lawn to supply about 25% of the fertilizer needs of the lawn. A healthy growing lawn will not develop thatch due to clippings as the clippings are 90% water and generally decompose in 7-10 days.

         Water (or rainfall) at a rate of one inch per week about every 3-4 days during the growing season. A little more often if the temperature is very high. Water deeply to wet the top 3-5 inches of the soil to encourage deeper root growth. Avoid daily light watering (unless you are starting a new lawn) as this will promote shallow root growth and make the lawn more prone to drought conditions.

Back to list of grasses

 

 

 

Attach the main sprinkler line to the service line Run it along the bottom of the trench from the house to the first set of
valves, and if required, to the second set Place the valve wires under the pipe in the bottom of the trench whenever possible.

WORKING WITH PVC PIPE

  1. Cut pipe with a PVC pipe cutter
  2. Brush on a primer to clean the pipe surface and the inside of the fitting
  3. Brush glue on the outside end of the pipe and lightly inside the fitting
  4. Slip the pipe into the fitting and give it a quarter turn
  5. Hold in place for about 15 seconds so the glue can set
  6. Wipe off excess glue with a rag


NOTE:
Wait at least one hour before running water through the system. Check with glue manufacturer's recommendation.


WORKING WITH POLY PIPE

  1. Cut pipe with a PVC pipe cutter
  2. Slip a stainless-steel clamp over the end of the pipe
  3. Insert the barbed fitting into the end of the poly pipe, past the barbs
  4. Slide the clamp over the barbs of the fitting
  5. Tighten the clamp

A group of valves running off the same supply line is called a manifold. We recommend grouping your valves into
manifolds based on their use or location. For example, one control valve manifold to operate front yard zones and one to operate backyard and/or side yard zones. Use flags to mark the location of the valves, as indicated on your worksheet.

ANTI-SIPHON VALVE INSTALLATION
Anti-siphon valves are backflow prevention valves designed to protect your water supply from ontamination. Some sort of backflow prevention is required on every irrigation system, so you need to check the building codes in your area to find out if an anti-siphon valve will work for you. These valves are always installed above ground, so be sure to dig out an area large enough to accommodate your inlet and outlet pipes.



IN-LINE VALVE INSTALLATION
In-line valves are installed below ground and should always be installed in a protective valve box. Dig out the area wherein‑ground valves are to be installed, and add several inches of gravel to the bottom of the hole. Place the top of the valve box so that it is even with the surface of the ground.
When you buy a valve box, be sure to find out how many valves fit in each box so you know how many to buy. In some cases, you will need more than one valve box per manifold.


VALVE INLET SIZE
Size of Inlet
GPM
3/4"
Under 10 GPM
1"
Above 10 GPM
Note: If one of the valves will be used for drip irrigation, leave enough room between the valve and the sides of the valve box for the filter and pressure regulator that are part of your drip system. It may be a good idea to install those parts on the valve, then, install the valve in the valve box.

Tip: When putting together your valve manifolds, always include one or two extra connections in each manifold. This makes it easier to expand your system at a later date.

Tip: Look for valves with the flow control feature. It saves water

 

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