Houston Sprinkler Repair And Installation Experts
8070 Taylor St. , Houston Tx 77064
16 Sep 2019
fertilizer

How to Prevent Fertilizer Burn During the Summer

During the warm summer months, everyone wants to enjoy their lawns. Unfortunately, the summer heat can also stress turf and increase the chance of lawn damage from fertilizer applications.
Before choosing a fertilizer for summer turf, knowing the difference between nitrogen sources will help you reduce the possibility of fertilizer burn.

Quick-release fertilizers

Fast-acting fertilizers for turfgrass indicate the rapid availability of nitrogen to the turf after application. These fertilizers are generally less expensive, but only last two to four weeks after application.

The benefits of using a fast-acting fertilizer are to provide quick greening and rapid growth, which depending on the site, could be beneficial to the overall aesthetics or be the expectations set by the owner of the property. Based on water-soluble nitrogen (WSN), the nutrients are available to the turf when dissolved in water, typically from irrigation during the hot summer months. The higher salt index of fast-acting nitrogens can burn heat-stressed turf because they draw moisture out of the grass blades or leaves, which are already a challenge to keep moist in hot weather.

To prevent leaf burn, you should immediately irrigate the area after the application of a fast-acting fertilizer to move the nitrogen into the soil and off the turf. Be sure to inspect the irrigation system prior to applying quick release fertilizers, checking for any gaps in coverage, to make sure the system will adequately water-in the product. If you find any issues with the sprinkler system be sure to call JB Irrigation! Or contact us for a “Summer System Check” for your sprinkler system if you don’t have time to check your system yourself.

Slow-release fertilizers

To reduce the potential for burn, fertilizers containing slowly available nitrogen sources are recommended especially in the summer. These fertilizers commonly contain:

  • Sulfur or poly-coated ureas
  • Water-insoluble nitrogen (WIN)
  • Organic-based fertilizers

Since the source of nitrogen in these products is controlled release, it will take longer for a noticeable impact on growth and greening. Discussing the difference between slow and quick release fertilizers with the property owner will help set the expectation and performance of the fertilizer.

Not all slow-release fertilizers contain only controlled-release nitrogen. Most products contain a mixture of fast and slow-release sources of nitrogen, providing a balance of immediate coloring while reducing burn and increasing the longevity of the product.

Slow-release fertilizers are typically more expensive per bag but could cost less per application because of the controlled nature of the product

Although the potential for burn is lower using slow-release fertilizers, it is still recommended to thoroughly irrigate the turf after application. Inspecting the irrigation system is beneficial to all fertilizer applications, regardless of the speed of release.

It’s crucial to understand and choose the correct fertilizer for your site, and understanding the sources of nitrogen in the fertilizer will also help lead to better results for you and your customer.

Reducing the risk of fertilizer burn

Preventing fertilizer burn is also important year-round. Fertilizer burn can be caused by over-applying fertilizer, in addition to poor plant health and weather conditions which could interfere with the plant’s ability to process the nutrients.

To prevent the risk of fertilizer burns, it’s best to follow these rules:

  • Understand the fertilizer being applied and the sources of nitrogen in it.
  • Apply the product correctly, always following the application instructions on the label.
  • Be accurate with your application. Measure the area of application, weigh the material, and properly calibrate your spreader.
  • Adjust your mowing to the proper height for your turf type.
  • Choose a slow-release fertilizer when possible.

Following these guidelines, you can limit the potential for fertilizer burn and keep your turf looking fantastic all year.

 

21 Aug 2019
mobile sprinkler control

Control Your Lawn Watering From the Palm of Your Hand With Our New Wi-Fi Controllers

Upgrade to an App Based Smart Irrigation Controller

With the rise of the smart home, more and more homeowners are interested in being able to see and control their irrigation right from their phone.

Some common benefits include:

  • Run system manually from any location without accessing the control panel
  • Water savings
  • Automatically watering plant the right amount based on weather
  • Alerts to electrical issues

INTRODUCING the Rain Bird ESP-ME3 Irrigation Controller with LNK

When the ESP-ME3 is installed with Rain Bird’s LNK Wi-Fi module, users can set up and manage their irrigation with Rain Bird’s free mobile app.

Already have a Rainbird ESP-ME3 irrigation controller installed by JB Irrigation?

While the ESP-ME controller itself isn’t Wi-Fi based, it’s easily upgraded to a Wi-Fi enabled controller with the LNK Wi-Fi module. With the module and accompanying app, you can operate and monitor the irrigation system from anywhere, with real-time alerts and water management tools.

Check out the following video or ask the Professionals at JB Irrigation about Wi-Fi enabled controller options.

18 Mar 2019
JBIrrigation_sprinkler

How do I start up my sprinkler system this season?

Spring start up can be easily done by following these steps.

1. Turn on the water supply.
2. Activate each station on the system with the controller
3. Walk through each station to verify the proper operation
4. Program the controller for automatic operation
5. Verify weather sensor is operational

The first step is to turn on the water supply. The valve for the water supply could be in the water meter box, a small valve box just outside the water meter box, or on the backflow preventer. Some systems may have more than one or all of these valves.

The second step is to run each station by turning each one on with the controller. Your controller will have a selection on it to run the system manually either zone by zone or run a manual cycle. Some controllers even have an option for a “Test Cycle”. Test cycle will run each zone in order in an abbreviated cycle of 1, 2, or 3 minutes.

The third step is to walk the system zones once you have turned them on manually or with the Test Cycle. Observe the pressure coming out of the heads. If it is low, you could have a leak or a valve problem. Make sure the water is directed where is supposed to. Make sure rotating heads are oscillating back and forth to cover the entire area.

The fourth step is to program the control panel to run automatically. Depending on your landscape’s water needs you will need to select your watering schedule and duration. Set the system to come on as many days of the week as you need. Set a cycle start time. This is the time irrigation will begin. Set the duration of time each zone will run. This is the number of minutes that each zone will irrigate its respective portion of your landscape.

The fifth step is to check your weather sensor. Make sure your sensor bypass selector switch on the control panel is in the “active” position. Most sensors have a small button on the top of the “spindle” of the rain sensor. Push the spindle or button down for a few seconds while a helper looks at the control panel for the “rain indicator” or a change in the control panel’s readout. If the display indicated “rain” or otherwise indicated, the sensor has taken the system offline while the spindle button is pushed then your weather sensor is likely working.

20 Sep 2018
SprinklerSystem

Maintain & Upgrade Your System

Irrigation systems need regular maintenance to keep them working efficiently year after year. Damage from lawn equipment or improper winterization can cause leaks and other serious problems.

Inspect your system monthly. Check for leaks, broken or clogged sprinkler heads, and other problems. Clean clogged screens and micro-irrigation filters as needed.

Adjust sprinkler heads. Remove or correct obstructions that prevent sprinklers from distributing water evenly. Adjust sprinkler head positions and spray patterns to avoid watering sidewalks or structures and to provide necessary clearance over growing plants.

Check the pressure. Pressure can change over time and negatively affect system efficiency.

Inspect the system for leaks. Leaks are a huge water waster. JB Irrigation can perform regular maintenance checks for leaks, broken or clogged spray heads, and other problems.

Install a rain shutoff switch. JB Irrigation installs these sensors that can be retrofitted to almost any system and help compensate for natural rainfall by turning off your system in rainy weather.

Look for savings. Many water utilities offer rebates for certain water-efficient products. Consult with your local water provider.

Have your system audited. Hire JB Irrigation to conduct an irrigation check and test to verify areas are being watered evenly and appropriately, and make necessary adjustments.

Winterize your system. JB Irrigation can prepare your system from a freeze that can crack pipes, valves. and sprinklers.

Justin Bielamowicz,
Owner, Licensed Irrigator #7396
JB Irrigation & Services
www.JBIrrigation.com
Phone: 281-744-6909

20 Aug 2018
sprinkler

You Can Help Conserve Water

A typical morning routine involves a shower, cup of water, and the flow of a faucet. Many of us don’t think twice about our water usage until we’re confronted with circumstances such as drought or a water crisis. Only 2.5% of the water on earth is fresh. As a result, we must actively protect this precious commodity. With a considerable portion of our country’s drinkable water going to our plants, it needs to receive recognition.

While many articles have been written about the shortcomings of our government, we must also take a serious look in the mirror and make sure we are doing our part.

How can we participate? For those of us who do irrigate our lawns, plants, gardens, and landscapes, we can follow these simple steps to become more efficient: only irrigate when we need to, turn off our irrigation systems when it is raining, and make sure the water is not hitting and or running off on to our sidewalks and streets.

For assistance or additional advice, call in JB Irrigation to help. We are qualified to help you save water, while helping your landscapes.

These simple steps will save a substantial amount of water in the end. Our decision to efficiently irrigate our landscape will positively impact our lives and those of generations to come.

Justin Bielamowicz,
Owner, Licensed Irrigator #7396
JB Irrigation & Services
www.JBIrrigation.com
Phone: 281-744-6909

07 May 2018
irrigation-check

Are You Ready For A Summer Pre-Season Irrigation Check?

Numerous home owners and entrepreneurs know that spring is prime time for a cooling check—nobody needs to have the A/C breakdown when summer temps hit triple digits. But most individuals may not understand that it’s additionally an ideal time to complete an irrigation check.

Irrigation systems across the nation are relied on during the hot summer months to keep landscapes alive and healthy, so a spring inspection can keep your system free of irrigation issues when you should be enjoying your outdoor spaces.

Following these irrigation checks can help prevent problems and even help save water this summer.

1. THE WATER BILL
The first sign of any major problem can show up on the water bill. Does it seem high compared to the previous month or year? Is it comparable to others in the neighborhood?

Are you concerned about how much water you are using? Are you interested in potential water-saving solutions?

2. DO A WALK AROUND
Are there signs like soggy turf or erosion? Are your plants and grass healthy? A quick walk around the property can help reveal any obvious leaks or issues.

3. INSPECT EACH IRRIGATION ZONE
Head to the controller and run and inspect each zone, one by one. Check for missing or clogged emitters, or sprinklers that are broken or out of alignment.
If you see any odd spraying that could indicate broken or chipped nozzles.

4. CHECK FOR WATER PRESSURE PROBLEMS
If the water use is high, but the turf seems dry, low water pressure may be an issue.

A rainbow that appears as the zone is running can be telltale sign of high pressure. Spray heads are meant to run at max of 30 PSI and will begin to fog or mist at higher pressure. Pressure regulating spray bodies or rotors, or another device may be necessary to get the pressure right.

5. CHECK THE IRRIGATION SCHEDULE
It’s always good to double check the watering schedule.

If a controller was left to its default settings after a power outage, someone meddled with the settings or there were any recent site changes (new plants or removals), then adjustments may be necessary.

To get the right watering schedule dialed in, make sure you understand the irrigation controller, system outputs, plant water needs, and soil type.

6. DOUBLE CHECK THE DRIP
It’s smart to check out the drip filter, even if it was cleaned at the start of the season. If it’s loaded up with debris, you may need to clean the filter more frequently.
Pay special attention to drip irrigated areas. When water is applied more slowly, it can be more difficult to tell when overwatering is occurring, so check the area for signs.

7. A QUICK WIN TO SAVE WATER
Most spray heads are really inefficient, with a distribution uniformity (DU) of 40 percent, meaning only 40 percent of the water gets to the plants roots. The problem is how fast they put out water.

Hurricane Harvey put sixty inches down in some parts of Texas over 72 hours. That’s a precipitation rate of 0.83 inches per hour. Most fixed sprays apply water at twice that rate.

This usually leads to ponding, runoff and a lot of wasted water. Swapping fixed spray heads with high-efficiency fan-spray or rotary nozzles can double the efficiency on most systems, saving hundreds of gallons each week. In most cases all you have to do is change the nozzle.

In the meantime, make sure any spray nozzles are scheduled for short run times with delays in between to allow water to soak in, not run off.

High-efficiency fan-spray or rotary nozzles water more slowly, so the water reaches its target.

JUST ASK FOR SUMMER SUCCESS!
Start the season off right with these checks by JB Irrigation to help your save water and money! Call us now to schedule a Technician out ! 281-744-6909

Irrigation Inspection Checklist
1. Ask About the Water Bill: Are there any water use concerns?
2. Walk the Property: Inspect plant health and signs of issues.
3. Inspect Each Zone: Check sprinkler alignment.
4. Perform a Pressure Check: Watch for misting and under-performing heads.
5. Check the Schedule: Adjust controller as needed.
6. Double-Check the Drip: Check filter and signs of overwatering.
7. Save Water: Upgrade sprinkler nozzles to high-efficiency models.

22 Sep 2017
lawn-drain

VIDEO: How To Fix Drainage Issues In Your Yard

Without the right drainage system, rainwater and landscape runoff can puddle in low spots in your yard, creating a muddy mess that can kill your grass and attract mosquitoes and other pesky insects. If left untreated, this drainage problem has the potential to grow, destroying your lawn and landscaping work and potentially leading to property damage as the water makes it’s way to your home.

Instead of using a properly installed drainage system, many homeowners try quick fixes, such as moving dirt or digging trenches and end up dissatisfied because these approaches are most often ineffective and temporary.

By having JB Irrigation install an NDS drainage system such as Flow Well and EZ Drain can protect water from puddling in low spots in your yard. Flow Well and EZ Drain capture and retain excess surface water before allowing it to naturally percolate into the ground.

With JB Irrigation you can create a lasting drainage solution easily and inexpensively. Start planning your drainage project today.

15 Jul 2017
mow-grass-lawn-tips

Lawn Maintenance Tips to Help Save Irrigation Water

Mow your grass at a higher length (so that it is longer.) The longer blades help shade the soil, and thus reduces evaporation of water. On the other hand, scalping the grass off at a low height is definitely not good for the vigor and health of the grass. Cutting grass too short leaves the soil exposed to sunlight, which will evaporate moisture fast. Longer grass has deeper, stronger roots and is more resistant to disease and drought. Most grass should be mowed to a length of no less than 3 inches.

Do you have lawn areas wilting in the afternoon? You may have an irrigation coverage or distribution uniformity problem. Call JB Irrigation today and we can resolve these problems for you!

Justin Bielamowicz,Owner,
Licensed Irrigator #7396
JB Irrigation & Services
Phone: 281-744-6909

30 May 2017
rainbird

Water Conservation Ideas and Tips for Your Sprinkler System #2

Adjust your irrigation controller (timer) run time for seasonal changes in weather once a month. Simply making a monthly change to the irrigation operation times can save more water and money than any other thing you can do. It costs nothing but a few minutes of your time each month. Most controllers even have a % key that makes changing the time quick and reasonably painless. Put a reminder on your calendar so you are reminded each month. Even greater savings come with weekly time adjustments, but monthly will provide the most return in water savings for your time invested.

Call JB Irrigation today and we can audit your sprinkler system and show you how to save water with you Irrigation System.

Justin Bielamowicz, Owner
Licensed Irrigator #7396
JB Irrigation & Services
Phone: 281-744-6909