Monday, July 24, 2017

Is Your Yard Ready for Summer?

June 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

This year, it seems like the drought and heat are getting worse by the minute. So, let’s make sure your yard is ready to withstand them both. Some changes may be needed help your yard look its best as we head into the heart of summer. Here are some tips to help you get ready.

Time for a Check-Up 
A hidden problem that can add a lot to your summer water bill is leaky pipes and faucets. Sure, that little dribble coming fromGarden Tools, John Silva, The Fix-It Professionals the outdoor faucet handle doesn’t look like much, but it can really add up, and everybody needs to do their part to conserve water. It might be something simple, like an O-ring, or it could be a flaw in the faucet’s metal caused by age or weather. Check every outdoor faucet and pipe to be sure none of your precious water (or money) is leaking away.

How About Your Hoses?
If hoses are left outside during the winter, they might be running into trouble too. The weather can crack and age the hose itself as well as the O-ring inside the brass coupling that screws onto the faucet. Sometimes the threads at the ends of your hose can get squashed out of shape (ever run over a hose left in the driveway?). This makes for a leaky connection at one or both ends. If you use screw-on sprinkler heads, check those O-rings for cracks and weathering too.

Don’t Stress Out
It’s still a bit early for heat and drought stress, but now is the time to take a look at your plants and see how they’re doing. Don’t forget your trees, too! If you already have yellow leaves on your shade trees in June, rather than October, that could be a sign of stress. If you have a vegetable garden, check the condition of your plants both during the heat of the day and in the evening. For example, wilting in the heat of the day is normal for a zucchini plant, but if it stays wilted after the sun has gone down, you’ve got a problem.

Be a Drip
I mentioned drip irrigation a little bit last time, but if you want to have veggies in the middle of a drought (and you want your beefsteak tomatoes to be bigger than a golf ball), this is the best way to go. However, drip irrigation doesn’t just mean the Tomato, John Silva, The Fix-It Professionalslittle drippers most people have seen. There are also tiny sprinklers, “leaky hose” that lets water ooze out along the length of it, misting heads, and all kinds of different ways to get the water right where it’s needed instead of using a wasteful overhead sprinkler.

There are lots of books on how to get started with a drip system, but it’s probably best to consult an expert if your garden is more than just a few pots, or a couple of straight rows of veggies. You’ll need to think about if your garden is on a slope, because that affects the water pressure in the hoses, and you may also want advice on the best kind of timer to install if you want to do a large system with more than one watering zone.

Need help installing that raised bed garden? (It’s not too late!) Have you decided it’s time for drip irrigation? Maybe you have leaky plumbing in the garden. Don’t try to do it yourself! The Fix-it Professions are ready to help! Read on for our latest special.

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