Thursday, October 12, 2017

Taking Care of Your Landscape in Winter

Taking Care of Your Landscape in Winter
Today, Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape gives our Denver clients a bit of advice on taking care of your landscape in winter. Just because the temperature drops, and you don't spend as much time outside, doesn’t mean that you can completely abandon your yard. To keep your lawn and landscape healthy over the winter, we suggest a few easy measures to take. Some can be done right now before the weather turns cold, but others should be continued throughout the season.

Give Your Lawn Some Extra TLC
Prepare your lawn for winter by first aerating it while it is still vibrant and green. You can do the job yourself using a core aeration tool, or you can hire a professional landscaper. Aerating compacted soil will encourage the growth of microfauna as well as helping the roots of your grass access water and nutrients. Late fall is also the best time to seed new grass. By the time spring rolls around, you will have a thick and healthy lawn with a strong resistance to weeds.

Trim and Fertilize Trees
Take the time to prune deciduous trees in the wintertime while they are dormant. This will help them resist certain diseases such as Fire Blight, which commonly affects fruit trees in Colorado. Overgrown spruces, firs, and other evergreens should be trimmed and shaped in winter too. Fertilizing your trees and shrubs in the fall will give them the optimum conditions for growth and replenishment as the temperatures cool down. With plenty of nutrients available, their root systems will stay strong and healthy over the winter months.

Protect Plants from Freezing Temperatures
As temperatures drop, it is a good idea to cut your perennials back to within two inches of the ground. Adding a light mulch of hay or pine needles around the base of these stems will help to keep the plants insulated from the harshest temperatures. Adding a soil conditioner can boost the nutrition levels for lawns and plants over the winter. The winter months are some of the driest in Colorado, so it is important to keep watering your garden at least once per month, however, only water while the temperature is above freezing.

Last Minute Preparations
Remember, mid-October is the last chance to plant bulbs, so there's no time to lose! Another chore to tackle before the cold weather sets in is winterizing your sprinkler system. This includes draining or blowing out any water left in the pipes, removing above ground sprinklers and shutting off your system for the season. This will prevent the great expense and inconvenience of burst pipes when the temperature drops below zero.

Taking care of your landscape in winter doesn't take a lot of time, just some careful preparation. Putting in a little bit of effort in the fall and over the winter months will yield excellent results in the spring. If you don't have the time or the tools to care for your garden over the winter months, our team at Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape can offer a solution. We provide complete landscaping and lawn maintenance services adapted to each season. Homeowners across metro Denver can benefit from our professional and affordable service.

Friday, September 15, 2017

How to Winterize Your Denver Sprinkler System

How to Winterize Your Denver Sprinkler System
Today, Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape provides a closer look at how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system. An automatic or even a simple sprinkler system can make life easier in the summer. Keeping your landscape healthy doesn't need to take a lot of time and work when you have a great irrigation system. Although sprinklers are not needed over the winter months, you do need to prepare them for our freezing Colorado temperatures.

To prevent damage caused by harsh weather conditions, it’s important to know how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system and take care of this important fall chore.

Know Your Climate
The first step in winterizing your sprinkler system is to identify the type of weather conditions you will be dealing with over the winter months. If Denver was a more moderate region, you could get away with minimal preparation for winter. Since the weather does get pretty frigid around here, you’ll need to prevent damage such as cracked lines due to expanding ice.

Shut Off the Water and Turn Off Your Timer
Since we experience harsh winters, the next step to take in preparing your sprinkler system for the colder months is to shut down the water supply at the main valve. This will prevent water from entering the system, then freezing and damaging your pipes as it expands. Next, find your system's controller or timer and set it to rain mode if that option is available. If not, you can just disconnect it from its power source.

Drain Remaining Water
Next, it is important to remove all remaining water from your sprinkler pipes to minimize the risk of bursting. First, you will need to remove the backflow preventer as well as any above ground valves and put them in storage. You can then start to drain the water from the pipes using a siphon or pump – this is very time consuming and may not remove all the water. A more effective method is to use a compressor to blow the remaining water out of the system.

This is done by attaching your compressor to the backflow prevention riser and manually opening each valve, starting at the highest elevation and working your way down. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and gradually increase the pressure as needed. When you finish with each valve and replace their caps, you can blow out the main line in the same way.

If you plan on winterizing your sprinklers yourself each year, it is a good idea to make a chart or map of your system, indicating the locations of valves, drainage point on each pipe and the elevation. This will make it much easier when it comes repeating the process next year.

Now that you know how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system, and the work it involves, you may decide to forgo this DIY project and call in the experts. Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape offers professional sprinkler repair and maintenance services, including sprinkler blowouts, so that your irrigation system will be protected all winter long. Contact us today.

Monday, August 14, 2017

How to Save Water with Your Sprinklers

How to Save Water with Your Sprinklers
Do you know how to save water with your sprinklers? At Altitude Sprinkler and Landscapes in Denver, we know that water efficiency is important to our Denver customers. Living in an arid climate means that keeping a garden healthy and looking good can take quite a lot of work. If you use an irrigation system, there are some steps you can take to make sure you are not using excess water.

Timing is Everything
Irrigation is most efficient between the hours of 5 am and 10 am. At this time, temperatures are cooler, and the water can be absorbed slowly by the soil, instead of being instantly evaporated by the sun's heat. Setting your sprinkler system for short watering periods with breaks of 15 minutes between them will give best results. This will allow time for absorption and avoid wasting water through run-off. Avoid watering in the evening, as leaving a lawn wet overnight creates excellent conditions for fungus growth.

Efficient Zoning
Separating your garden into different zones can allow you to have more control over the amount of irrigation given to various types of plants. Lawns can be timed to have more frequent waterings than trees, shrubs, and flower beds. This is also something to consider when designing and planning your landscape.

Drip Irrigation
While lawns are best watered with sprinklers, non-grassy areas can be more efficiently watered by a drip-irrigation system. Individual trees, potted containers, shrubs, and flower beds can be targeted directly, reducing water waste. Drip-irrigation functions by running a system of tubes close to the soil and spacing a series of holes along the length of the tubes. Water dripping from these holes can deliver moisture very close to the roots of each plant, which avoids the loss of water to evaporation or run-off.

Adapt to the Seasons
Unless you live in an area where the weather is the same all-year round, adjust your sprinkler system to fit the seasons. Your lawn will need more frequent watering in the summer, but during the winter months you will end up wasting water if you leave it set at the same level. One easy way to save water is by installing a sensor device that detects the presence of rain. It automatically shuts off your sprinkler system when rain is detected, meaning you don't end up giving your lawn a second watering.

Keeping control of the amount of water used in your garden will ensure you are not surprised by your water bill at the end of the month. It will also conserve water, lowering your environmental impact and reducing the risk of a drought. With water being in limited supply during the summer, it is well worth the effort to minimize usage. For more tips on how to save water with your sprinklers and for professional landscaping services, you can contact Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape. Our experienced team is ready to help you spend less time on maintaining your garden and more time enjoying it.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Irrigation and Sprinkler Advice

Summer Irrigation and Sprinkler Advice
Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape has some valuable summer irrigation and sprinkler advice to share, just in time for the arrival of the dog days of summer. These especially hot days can spell disaster for even a lush green lawn if the precautions are not taken. Thinking ahead and planning will make a big difference. Follow our advice for a beautiful lawn and garden all year round and a stress-free summer.

A full system check is recommended at the start of the summer season. If this chore didn’t make it on your to-do list, there’s no better time than the present to get it done.

Whether you water your lawn with a completely automated sprinkler system, or a simple garden hose and clip-on spray nozzle, test every component of the equipment for leaks, blockages, and faults. Identifying any technical issues with your sprinkler system at this stage can save you a lot of time, money and potentially wasted water. Check heads, timers, spray patterns and other system functions. If you have a particularly complex system, schedule a maintenance appointment with Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape in Denver right away. We’ll make

One very simple mistake by many novice gardeners is they set their sprinkler system to one particular time and setting, then forget about it for the whole summer. In many areas, the temperature and precipitation levels fluctuate considerably during summer. Sticking to one setting means that at best you will be overwatering at the start of summer, under watering during the driest time, and overwatering again towards the end. For efficient use of water and best results, change the settings of your sprinkler system to suit the conditions at least once per month.

A drought in your area can make it challenging to keep your garden looking its best. Water use restrictions mean a water little needs to go a long way. If droughts frequently hit your area, it may be worth considering investing in high-efficiency water spray nozzles and switching over to drip irrigation systems for tree and shrub areas. Some municipalities even offer exceptions or incentives for the use of these low-waste options.

Summertime can be the most high-risk time of year for some landscapes. Remember to inspect your garden regularly and to watch carefully for signs of underwatering. Dried up grass and browning plants can be caused by a number of reasons. You may need to adjust the setting of your irrigations system. A single clogged nozzle or sprinkler head that fails to pop up could also be the reason. If in doubt, it is best to request assistance from a qualified landscape technician with experience in irrigation systems.

Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape can assist homeowners across metro Denver with all their landscaping needs. For low-maintenance, easy lawn care during throughout the year, we can recommend a broad range of cost-effective options. From soil moisture sensors to simple drip irrigation systems, keeping your garden looking great has never been easier. Feel free to contact us for more advice on summer irrigation and sprinklers, or to arrange an inspection and quote for your property.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Now is the Right Time to Plan Your Landscape

Now is the Right Time to Plan Your Landscape
Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape wants you to know why now is the right time to plan your landscape. We have been working with homeowners across Denver for over 26 years to create low maintenance, beautiful outdoor spaces to be enjoyed all year round. If you would like to spend more time in your yard, start a vegetable patch, create a child-friendly area or just add some color, we can help. Our team has the expertise and tools to allow your landscape to reach its full potential.

Planning your landscape and design in advance offers many transform your vision into reality. Even if you don't have the time or the money to make the modifications right now, having a realistic plan will give you a solid goal to work towards.

Some homeowners completely renovate their landscape all at once, whereas others prefer to make changes little by little over time. Whichever method you choose, a plan has its advantages. If you have a vision for your outdoor space, putting the details down on paper, listing out the materials needed, and calculating the costs can help to for your outdoor space will allow you to do this efficiently and cost effectively. What you want to avoid are some fundamental mistakes like investing in a lawn, only to have to rip it up once you realize the need for a sprinkler system to be installed underground.

Consulting with a landscaping expert and drawing up a detailed plan will ensure you avoid overspending or unrealistic expectations. Making a to-scale map of your property and designating the areas you want for to be lawn, decking, stone pathways, planters, and social areas will help you visualize the result.

Remember to check your yard for the areas of sun and shade throughout one entire day. Knowing this information will help with the placement of plants.

When planning your garden, another factor that must be considered is the climate. Incorporating plants that thrive naturally in your climate will mean you have less maintenance and lower water bills. Look around at your neighbors' landscaping designs for inspiration and to get an idea of what looks good and what doesn't in your area.

Some landscaping features like gas fire pits, automated sprinkler systems, and outdoor lighting require the installation of underground pipes or wiring. This should be done first to cause minimal disruption of your yard's landscaping as it progresses. With a detailed plan for your landscape, you can create a personally designed space for entertaining, outdoor activities, spending time with kids or pets, hobby gardening and much more.

While you should always plan before starting any landscaping project, we believe that right now is the best time to plan your landscape. In the following summer months, you will probably have more time to spend out in your yard working on landscape upgrades, and you can take advantage of the fine weather and long days to get the work done quickly and comfortably.

For expert help in planning your home landscaping project and bringing it to completion at an affordable cost, can contact Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why Sprinklers Are Your Landscape's Best Friend

Why Sprinklers Are Your Landscape's Best Friend
At Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape, we can confidently say why sprinklers are your landscape's best friend. It very rarely works out that your local climate produces the particular level of hydration required by each section of your garden. Particularly in dry climates such as Colorado, most plants will need a little extra water to flourish which makes it important to include sprinklers in your original landscape design or to retrofit your yard with an efficient system.

Lawns are especially prone to drying up and looking patchy without sufficient rainfall or artificial watering. Keeping your landscaped outdoor space hydrated and looking its best can be tough and time-consuming with just a hose. You will end up spending a lot of time on the task, and if you forget to water your lawn, or are too busy to do it, you will see the adverse effects after just a few weeks of dry, sunny weather.

Installing sprinklers can save you time and even help you to conserve water. For a busy homeowner, they provide the best solution for easy lawn and garden maintenance. A sprinkler system with an automatic timer allows you to go about your day without worrying about the grass. For the vast majority of the day, your sprinklers will be completely hidden from view. At their scheduled time the sprinklers will pop up to disperse water around the lawn before retracting back into the ground.

Modern sprinkler systems come equipped with sensors to detect moisture levels in the top level of the soil. If it rains during the day, the sensors will recognize this and automatically skip that day's scheduled watering. For homeowners who travel frequently, an automated sprinkler system is an invaluable convenience. It eliminates the stress of arranging for a neighbor to water the lawn while you are out of town or the expense of hiring a gardener.

It might seem like a hassle to install a sprinkler system, as the pipes need to be laid down underneath your lawn so that the water can be delivered to different areas. This does involve digging up different sections of landscaping. It is best to have the sprinkler system installed before you lay the turf or sow the seeds of your lawn. If you decide to install sprinklers to an existing garden, you can combine the project with new plants or hard landscaping modifications.

Overall, regarding convenience and aesthetics, sprinkler systems have no competition. They are also considerably safer than dragging a hose across the garden every couple of days, as they pose no tripping hazard. The cost of the equipment and the installation fee may seem expensive, but when you consider the amount of time and labor saved by a sprinkler system, you will realize that it is well worth the investment. And if you’ve ever had to pay to re-sod a dried up and dead lawn, you’d further understand the value that only sprinklers can offer you.

A sprinkler system will keep your garden healthy and hydrated while giving you the ultimate freedom. Saving time and reducing water waste, that’s why sprinklers are your landscape's best friend and indispensable for the modern homeowner in a dry climate. For more information on home irrigation systems and general landscaping services in Denver, contact Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape for your consultation and a free estimate.

Friday, April 14, 2017

What is Xeriscaping Anyway?

What is xeriscaping anyway?
Image by Whitneyfulmer
At Altitude Sprinkler & Landscape, we offer a full range of landscaping and irrigation services including xeriscaping. But what is xeriscaping anyway? We want to clear up any misconceptions you may have about this method and demonstrate how your yard may benefit from it, functionally and aesthetically.

Xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that conserves water without sacrificing the appearance of your garden. This technique makes use of native plants and was originally developed here in Colorado to deal with the arid climate. To integrate xeriscaping into a landscaping plan, follow these seven key principles:

1. Conscious Design. From the first stages of planning your garden, design with efficient irrigation in mind. Take into account the location of your water source, turf areas, planting areas and dry areas for walking or sitting. Drawing up a plan will make it easier to complete each step of the project.

2. Practical Turf Areas. A xeriscaped garden can have areas of turf, but they are usually designed to be of a manageable size, shape, and grade. Prioritize the areas where you need a lawn, don't just use it to fill empty space.

3. Hydrozone. Choose mostly low-water plants such as succulents and native desert plants. Hydrozone or group together plants with similar water needs. Identify how frequently each zone will require irrigation.

4. Use Compost. Compost or other soil amendments can be added as you plant. This will act as a natural fertilizer to improve the nitrogen and nutrient content of the soil, helping your plants to thrive even in difficult conditions.

5. Incorporate Mulch. Woodchips, cobble rock, and even rubber mulch can be used in xeriscaping. Layering mulch over the soil will minimize evaporation of moisture and will help to keep the soil cool.

6. Efficient Irrigation. Giving the right amount of water to each area of a xeriscaped garden is key. To do this efficiently, some specialized equipment including hose-end equipment can be used. Automated timers can reduce the amount of time you have to spent taking care of the garden.

7. Smart Maintenance. Like any garden, a xeriscaped area will look best if it is properly maintained. Learn how to prune, weed, fertilize and mow your specially designed garden to keep it healthy and looking great.

Following these principles will allow you to incorporate a variety of flora into your garden with limited irrigation. A mixture of native desert plants and hardy introduced plants such as iris and tulips can bring visual appeal to a xeriscaped area. You can use your resources and time efficiently to create a beautiful outdoor space, even in the desert.

Now that we’ve answered the question, what is xeriscaping anyway, nothing can stop you from jumping on board! Some homeowners think that a practical garden in an arid area means just rocks and gravel with a monoculture of spiny cactus. Altitude Sprinklers and Landscape can help you create a colorful, varied, and even lush garden with controlled water use. Call us today for information on our landscaping services including personalized xeriscaping plans.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Getting Your Lawn Ready for Spring

Getting Your Lawn Ready for Spring
Getting your lawn ready for Spring is easy with a little help from the experts at Altitude Sprinkler and Landscaping. As the temperature starts to climb and you look forward to spending more time outside and in your garden, now is the perfect moment to give your lawn some TLC.

The first step in getting your lawn in good condition is to pay attention to your soil. Healthy soil with a proper level of nutrients and humidity is necessary for a beautiful lawn. Over time, the soil tends to compact down, making it more difficult for roots and water from your sprinkler system to penetrate it. Aerating your soil will loosen it up and allow the flow of oxygen and moisture to return. You can rent a core aerator machine for around $40 and get the job done by yourself if you have the time.

Once your soil is taken care of, you can deal with the existing grass. With temperatures in Colorado at times dropping below zero during the winter months, many types of grass struggle to thrive. If you have cool season grass such as fescue, perennial ryegrass or bluegrass you shouldn't need to do much maintenance. For other types, including St. Augustine, centipede, Bermuda or buffalo grass, you will need to remove the accumulation of dead stems and leaves.

Dead grass sitting on top of the soil will block sunlight from reaching the new shoots and can impede the absorption of water. Decaying organic material can also promote the growth of harmful fungus and diseases that destroy your landscaping. Mow this remaining grass close to the ground, leaving just one inch of growth. Removing the dead grass will encourage new growth and help regenerate your lawn to its former beauty.

The last step in preparing your lawn for spring is to prevent weed growth. Once temperatures reach 70°, the seeds of many noxious weeds will start to sprout. Before the weather warms up, it is a good idea to put down a pre-emergence lawn weed preventer. You can find different brands in any garden center. Once applied and watered in, it will form a barrier to prevent seeds from sprouting. Remember not to sow new grass seeds if you are going to use a weed preventer, as they stop all seeds from sprouting.

At Altitude Sprinkler and Landscaping, we understand that our customers do not always have time to follow each of these steps themselves. If you want your garden to look gorgeous in time for spring, but can't fit the work into your schedule, there is no cause for worry! We offer a complete range of lawn care and maintenance services. Our team can aerate your soil, clear the dead thatch from your lawn, treat it with weed preventer and of course, make sure your sprinkler system is in great shape.

Getting your lawn ready for Spring doesn't need to be a chore. So, don't hesitate to contact Altitude Sprinkler to request a free estimate on landscaping services for both residential and commercial properties. We’ll make sure you spend less time maintaining your yard and more time enjoying it!