Landscape Design General Rules for a Turfgrass Lawn

Great ideas on this blog for help in designing a turfgrass space.

Landscape Design General Rules for a Turfgrass Lawn I have assembled some very basic rules regarding the design of a turfgrass lawn. This is provided in a manner for a homeowner, or the do-it-yourselfer, to effectively design an efficient turfgrass lawn. The design of a turfgrass area should simultaneously be designed with an irrigation design. Too often, t … Read More

via Olson Planning & Urban Landscapes

Keep your lawn green AND save money!

Does your automatic sprinkler turn on even if it’s pouring rain? There is a way to prevent that!

Rain sensors have been required on all newly installed sprinkler systems in per Minnesota Statute , since 2003. As one of the leading Landscape Irrigation Contractors in Minnesota, we have installed thousands of Irrigation Systems since 1984 in athletic complexes, golf courses, commercial developments, multi-family and single family homes. And we have been installing these water-saving devices since 1999 when they first became available on the market.

A rain sensor detects when it’s raining and shuts off the sprinkler system. The cost for the device is between $70 and $140. The savings in water charges from the use of a rain sensor could pay for its cost in the first season. It’s estimated that a rain sensor will save at least 2,200 – 2,500 gallons of irrigation water per household on every rainy day.

As an EPA WaterSense partner, I am committed to spreading the word about the need for smart water use. Let me know how I can help you save water and money with your irrigation system

Our new Bluebird House

Last week, my youngest son and I enjoyed building a bluebird house together with other members from his Cub Scout den. Their leader had done most of the hard work by measuring all the parts needed, cutting them out and preparing them for the boys (and parents) to build.

We learned a few things about bluebirds that night, and I added a few things as well, since my late Grandfather was very fond of bluebirds and succeeded where others did not in attracting the most loved and useful bird year-after-year to his gardens in Laporte. I mention useful, because the bluebird diet consists of about 80 percent insects and small invertebrates, and 20 percent plants.

Bluebird houses can be mounted on poles and fence posts in pastures, fields, large lawns or cemeteries and are usually satisfactory in providing the best protection from predators. Less desirable locations are trees, because of the threat of climbing predators like cats, raccoons, snakes and squirrels.

If you use a fence post, be sure to mount the box where livestock can’t get to it. Fence posts can be purchased from your local hardware or farm supply store. When possible, face the boxes toward the next fence post so that the birds can look into the entrance hole from a perch. Ideally, the bluebird house should face an open area with a tree, large shrub within 25 to 100 feet in front of the house. The young birds then have a good chance of reaching this when they make their initial flight to safety.

Bluebird houses should be mounted at a height of from 4 to 5 feet above ground, measured from the […]

Sure signs of Spring in Northern Minnesota

It feels like it’s been a long few weeks up here in northern Minnesota. March is the month that winter ends and spring begins. Officially, spring began on March 20 this year, and somehow that came up real fast.

The signs of spring are all over the place, summer camp sign-ups for my boys in scouts and dirt-crusted snowbanks that seem to never melt. I don’t know about you, but Punxsutawney Phil never really left me feeling spring was near. So I decided to put together a list of the things that help me realize that spring is near. I hope you enjoy and if you can think of others, please leave a comment!

  1. Bug splats on my windshield
  2. Landmines from the winter activities of our pets
  3. Road Restrictions
  4. Seeing the first Robin
  5. Noticing the amazingly early blooms of the Crocus pushing through the snow
  6. The smell of Skunks
  7. Maple syrup flowing for all my friends in that business
  8. Open water
  9. Daffodils and Tulips
  10. Hearing the first Red-Wing Blackbird (my favorite sound)
  11. Finding Pussy Willows
  12. Diehards wearing shorts and t-shirts in 50°F weather
  14. The smell of Lilacs blooming

Winter Storm Watch



426 AM CDT MON MAR 21 2011









I know it’s not totally unexpected for northern Minnesota in March, but some of us really would like to see an early arrival of Spring.

Make the right choice

All parts of an irrigation system…controller, valves, sprinklers…work together to ensure your plants get proper watering. Replacing just one portion of your system with efficient products help save water. Over time, replacing all components (or installing a new system) with efficient irrigation products ensure optimum savings.

Water-Efficient Landscapes

Thinking about a greener landscape? The typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water above and beyond rainwater each year. Applying water-efficient landscaping principles such as planting low-water-use plants, covering soil with mulch, and keeping your soil healthy can help reduce outdoor water use.

Having a beautiful landscape doesn’t have to mean wasting water or money. These simple steps can help transform all of your outdoor spaces.

  • Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation system.
  • Use properly treated wastewater for irrigation where available.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Do not water on windy days.
  • Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants that require smaller amounts of water more often. Check with the local extension service for advice on watering needs in your area.
  • Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only – not the street or sidewalk.
  • Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs.
  • Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems.
  • Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.
  • Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone.
  • Raise your lawn mower cutting height – longer grass blades help shade each other, reduce evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.
  • Minimize or eliminate fertilizing, which promotes new growth needing additional watering.
  • When outdoor use of city or well water is restricted during a drought, use the water from the air conditioning condenser, dehumidifier, bath, or sink on plants or the garden. Don’t use water that contains bleach, automatic-dishwashing detergent or fabric softener.

WaterSense aims to take some of the guesswork out of watering your yard by making it easy […]

Use Your WaterSense!

By making just a few small changes to your daily routine, you can save water, save money and preserve water supplies for future generations. As a WaterSense partner I am committed to spreading the word about the need for smart water use. I am certified through WaterSense for my expertise in water-efficient irrigation technology and techniques. As a WaterSense irrigation partner, I can help you reduce your water consumption, save money, and maintain a healthy and beautiful landscape.

Launched in 2006, WaterSense is an EPA-sponsored partnership program that seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs, and practices.

WaterSense brings together local water utilities and governments, product manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and other stakeholders to:

  • Decrease indoor and outdoor non-agricultural water use through the adoption of more efficient products and practices.
  • Help consumers make water-efficient choices, including differentiating between products and services in the marketplace and adopting simple daily activities that reduce water use.
  • Encourage innovation in manufacturing
  • Establish and standardize rigorous certification criteria that ensure product efficiency, performance, and quality.

If homeowners with irrigation systems hired WaterSense irrigation partners to perform regular maintenance, each household could reduce water used for irrigation by 15 percent, or about 9,000 gallons annually—that’s the amount of water that would flow from a garden hose if it was left running for almost a whole day. WaterSense irrigation partners also can help you design and install a new irrigation system or audit an existing one to minimize the amount of water you use, greening your yard in more ways than one.

The Advantages of Owning an Automatic Sprinkler System

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!

Watching Every Drop. More Beauty with Less Water.

Throughout time, in every land, water has been revered as a life-giving force. Early cultures youth Baltimore Ravens Allen Javorius jersey created deities to protect the water, mystical spirits that rewarded people for proper usage. And severely punished those who partook without proper respect. We like to take a more modern approach to water management.

Take a look around. Attractive landscapes do more than please the eye. They’re essential to our health and general well being. However, many people assume America’s lush lawns are inefficient consumers of water. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Landscaping accounts for only 2.9% of total water usage nationwide. And with sensible stewardship of our limited resources, this figure could be reduced even further.

Emerald Lawns, Inc. provides better options Wholesale NFL Jerseys Free Shipping – Buy now Save Up 60% Off! for water conservation and control. For landscapes and gardens to thrive in many areas requires balanced water delivery either from rainfall or irrigation. The following are just some of the affordable technology options now available for the conservation of water.

Automatic controllers Allow control of watering time, water amount, and different application rates for different types of plants. All adjustable to changing weather conditions, all automatically.

Soil moisture measurement – Devices that monitor the amount of water in the soil available to plants, turning irrigation on or off as appropriate to maximize plant growth rates while minimizing the water used.

Rain shut-off devices – Systems that sense when it is raining and shut off the irrigation system.

Advanced performance sprinklers – Computer analyzed nozzles and spray patterns providing uniform […]