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3 Signs Your Irrigation System Has a Leak  

WP Law - Thursday, June 21, 2018
outdoor-kitchen-this-summer

When you irrigation system is functioning properly, you can look forward to a lush, green and healthy property. But if the irrigation system develops a leak, all your efforts will go to ruin unless you quickly mitigate the problems. Here are three signs your irrigation has a leak.

1. Soggy Spots

If you’re walking around your property and notice that one area feels soggy or boggy underfoot, you may have detected a leak in your irrigation system.First, eliminate the possibility that the sogginess is simply a result of surface water accumulation due to a recess in the land topography. If not, investigate the irrigation system near that location to determine the exact source of the leak.

2. Unusually High Water Bills

Carefully monitor your water meter and bills so that you have a baseline for your property's normal water usage in each season. A prolonged increase in water bills could mean that the water company has raised their rates, so it’s important to review your water meter readings in tandem with the water bills. If you notice a spike in the water bill along with unusually high meter readings, you may have a leak in your irrigation system.

3. Plants are Unhealthy Looking

Your irrigation system should ensure that all parts of your property are receiving adequate hydration. If you begin to notice that certain areas of your property are looking unhealthy, this is a sign that you may have an irrigation system leak. Telltale signs of an irrigation leak include yellow patches in one area, which indicates over watering, and dry, brown patches in another, which indicates that the leak is limiting water accessibility in that area due to reduced water pressure.

An irrigation leak that is left untended can wreak havoc with your property and profits. At the first sign of an irrigation leak, contact WP Law. We can help to determine the exact source of the leak, and implement solutions to take care of it.

How Powerful Does My Sprinkler Pump Need to Be? Learn now

WP Law - Thursday, June 14, 2018
outdoor-kitchen-this-summer

Are you looking to keep your grass green and your garden growing all summer long without wasting resources? At W.P. Law Inc. we have the solution to your problem. Sprinkler pumps are the solution. They are designed such that they save you money while at the same time conserving resources. Sprinkler pumps provide a steady flow of water while providing enough pressure to push water out of the sprinkler head.

Several factors will affect the water pump used. They include;

How high are you pumping the water?

Before purchasing a pump, we advise our clients to measure the amount of lift required from the surface of the water source to the pump. It is much easier for the pump to push water out than it is for it to pull water up. Therefore, the higher you have to pump the water, the more powerful pump you need.

How far are you pumping the water?

The distance the water has to travel before it reaches the sprinkler heads will also affect your pump choice. The longer the distance between the pump and the sprinklers the more the friction, and the more powerful the pump should be to maintain optimum flow and pressure.

How wide is the area the sprinklers have to cover?

To figure out which pump you should purchase you should consider the area the sprinklers have to cover. First, you have to calculate the gallons per minute (GPM) for each sprinkler and then add them up. The sprinklers' GMP and PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) will affect the sprinkler pump required.

The terminology used regarding pumps can be confusing to most people. If you need help figuring out which pump you need, consider contacting W.P. Law Inc. for expert advice.

A Beginners Guide to Irrigation Filters  

WP Law - Thursday, May 17, 2018
Irrigation-filters

Every irrigation system needs some type of filter to keep sand and debris from clogging the system or causing serious damage. The type of filter that you use will depend on your specific system needs. An irrigation filter can require a bit of routine maintenance, but it is an inexpensive form of insurance that will keep your irrigation system running year after year. Here's a beginner's guide to some of the different types of irrigation filters.

Screen Filters

Screen filters are usually the most cost effective filter and also the most common. They're really good at keeping sand out of a system. However, if your water contains a lot of organic debris, you'll want to go with an automated self-cleaning screen filter.

Spin Clean Filters

A spin clean filter is a unique type of irrigation filter that stays clean while it's in operation. These filters move debris, especially sand, across a screen and into a basin where it can be collected and drained. As long as your water pressure remains consistent, the filter will clean itself, reducing the amount of maintenance needed for the system.

Media Filters

If you've ever seen a swimming pool filter, chances are it was a media filter. These filters use a type of media (usually sand) to stop debris. The water is forced through the media and when any debris hits the media, it stops because it can't fit between the spaces. Sand comes in in different size ratings, so you will want to choose a sand that is appropriate for the type of debris you want filtered out.

Disc Filters

A disc filter uses a container filled with a stack of round discs. When water is forced through the filter, the discs catch any organic debris or sand and trap them. Disc filters are highly effective, but they have to be flushed or manually cleaned.

If you're not sure what type of irrigation filter you need for your situation, contact us at WP Law. We're happy to answer any questions you might have about irrigation filters.

2 Simple Fixes for Sprinkler Systems With Low Pressure

WP Law - Thursday, April 26, 2018
sprinkler-systems-with-low-pressure

Sprinkler systems are a great way to keep your yard and landscaped areas lush and vibrant throughout the spring and summer seasons. Yet as with any outdoor system, sprinklers will need some routine maintenance and repair to keep them functioning optimally.

One repair concern you may find yourself needing to address is low pressure on your sprinkler system. The good news is, low pressure in a sprinkler system can be the result of some simple issues that aren't too difficult to fix. If you have low pressure in your sprinkler system check out these two simple fixes.

Check Your Backflow Preventer Valves

Backflow preventers are a safety feature on irrigation systems that prevents contaminants from entering into the water supply. A backflow preventer is designed with two pipes connected perpendicularly and valves that will open and close each of the pipes. Since backflow preventers use pressure to keep out contaminants, if one of these valves is not fully open or is clogged the pressure in your system may be reduced.

Check Your System for Grass, Dirt, or Debris

Sometimes the problem with the pressure in your system is as simple as overgrown grass or weeds, or dirt and debris making its way into the irrigation lines. Weeds and grass can overgrow around the sprinkler heads causing the blades and roots to get into the sprinkler head resulting in clogs in the system. It is also possible to get dirt and debris into the line underground. As lines get older or sometimes damaged by tree roots there are be small cracks or holes in the line that can fill up with dirt causing the flow and pressure to lessen. To rectify this problem, you can flush out the lines, but if there are major cracks in the lines where the debris is coming in, they should be repaired or replaced.

Don't get discouraged by low-pressure problems, contact the experienced irrigation professionals at W.P. Law Incorporated to determine your sprinkler system pressure problems and get your system back up and running as efficiently as possible.

3 Tips for Adding to Your Existing Drip Irrigation System

WP Law - Thursday, April 19, 2018
adding-to-drip-irrigation-system

One of the best parts of being an avid gardener is finding that perfect perennial or adding to existing vegetable beds. In many cases, that means either watering by hand or adding to an existing system. Drip irrigation systems allow people with a green thumb to simply turn a spigot and appropriately hydrate plants. They also provide excellent flexibility to grow with your gardens.

These are some tips for adding on to an existing drip irrigation system that will help improve plant health and increase your leisure time.

Consider Watering Zones

Running water from one source means that your system may suffer pressure loss at it grows. One of the keys to a productive drip irrigation system is separating the system by zones. This can be accomplished by strategically installing control valves. When control valves are in the off position, water pressure will be heightened in the areas in play. Control valves can be manual or automated, depending on your needs. Many homeowners prefer automation because they account for human forgetfulness.

Consider Mini Sprinklers

Drip irrigation systems do not have to be cookie cutter. Sometimes hard to reach areas call for water to be projected a short distance. Consider additional conveniences such as mini sprinklers to maximize the benefit of your drip irrigation system. The alternative is regular watering by hand.

Consider Shade And Full-Sun Areas

When developing a plan for your drip irrigation system, consider that specific plants and areas will have varying hydration needs. Avoid over-watering shaded areas and under-watering full-sun plants. This may be accomplished by the number of emitters on a particular line or control valve automation. A healthy garden is one that gets what it needs, and no more.

We hope these drip irrigation tips prove helpful. If you would like to install a drip irrigation system or update an existing one, contact the professionals at W.P. Law for a consultation.

4 Easy Solutions to Protect Your Garden from Pests

WP Law - Thursday, April 12, 2018
protect-your-garden-from-pests

It's disappointing to discover that animal pests have invaded your garden and that you don't have the quality of vegetables that you expected. Whether it's gophers, moles, birds, or another type of pest, you can expect to see critters taking advantage of your garden.

Not all animals are bad for your garden. For example, bees help pollenate your garden, ladybugs help control aphids and many other harmless insects feed on other bugs that could be harmful to your garden.

If you have specific pests invading your lawn, you may need a more tailored approach:

Protecting Young Plants

Plants are most venerable when they are freshly planted, and young. The best way to protect this portion of your garden is a physical barrier. This will discourage animals like deer and rabbits from feasting on younger plants before they have the chance to strengthen and flourish.

Gophers and Moles

Not only do these burrowing animals ruin your vegetables, they can wreak havoc on your lawn. One solution is to use an electronic rodent repeller. After you dig a small hole in the ground and place the device, it emits a noise that frightens these pests and keeps them away from your garden.

Birds

Placing screening over your vegetable garden is the best way to prevent birds out. To start, place stakes approximately three feet apart and around the outer perimeter of your plants. Next, stretch a long string from one corner to the other and around the plants' perimeter to attach it to the stakes. Lastly, place the netting over the string and pull it tight and secure to the ground.

Chemicals and Fertilizers

Some pests are so persistent that you may need to apply chemicals or fertilizers that could potentially deter them. If you go this route, be sure to keep the supplies away from your own pets.

W.P. Law is here to help you make the most of gardening season. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

How Safe Are Lawn Chemicals for Pets?

WP Law - Thursday, March 29, 2018
safe-lawn-chemicals-for-pets

Many home owners enjoy maintaining a beautiful green lawn during the summer months. Chemicals sprayed or spread on lawns to cultivate growth, and to control weeds and insects should be used with proper precautions to reduce the risks to pets. The risks to pets vary depending upon the kinds of chemicals to which they are exposed, the degree of exposure and the health and age of the animal.

Labeling Lawn Chemical Products

Today's greater awareness among modern lawn chemical developers has spurred efforts to improve chemical product labeling to help inform users on proper handling, use and storage, in the interest of greater safety.

Warning labels on lawn care products packaging now also typically list the contents' specific hazards to animals, and provide statements about necessary precautions during use.
Users of lawn care chemicals should read product labels carefully and take appropriate measures to maximize safe handling, application, and storage of all chemical products produced for yard applications.

What Pet Owners Can Do for Pet Safety with Lawn Chemicals

There are many actions that pet owners can take to maintain a beautiful lawn, while keeping pets safe.

  • Don't over-treat your yard. Most lawns require little additional chemical treatment after initial seasonal fertilizing.
  • When using weed control products that must be allowed to dry on the leaves, ensure that pets do not access the area during the waiting time necessary for the leaves to completely dry.
  • Store all lawn chemicals in a secured location that is inaccessible to pets (and children).
  • Keep pets, water bowls and pets' and children's' toys inside during chemical treatment of yards, and ensure that there is no danger of chemical exposure before allowing access.
  • Wash dogs’ feet and stomachs thoroughly after any accidental exposure to lawn chemicals.
  • Change clothes and shoes that were worn during a fertilizer or chemical application to prevent accidental transfer and exposure.
  • Use organic alternatives to manufactured chemicals, when possible, for cultivating your lawn.
  • Reduce your need for manufactured chemical applications by adjusting your soil's acidity or alkalinity (pH), so that it is at optimal pH for grass to grow. See your garden supply expert for instructions and supplies.
  • Use slow-releasing organic fertilizer for stimulating grass growth.
  • Set your mower blade higher, instead of cutting grass very low, in order to crowd out weeds.
  • Be cautious near parks or neighboring yards that are treated with chemicals.

W. P. Law, Inc., Lexington, SC

For more information about lawn cultivation and maintenance products and services, contact W.P. Law in Lexington, South Carolina. We're here to answer your questions, any time.

4 Essential Steps to Raise Your Sprinkler Heads

WP Law - Thursday, March 08, 2018
raise-your-sprinkler-heads

As spring approaches and people are starting up their sprinkler systems, one overlooked part of system maintenance is the proper positioning of sprinkler heads. Over the years as people top dress their lawns, sprinkler heads can become partially buried causing poor performance and wash-outs. An incorrectly positioned sprinkler head can affect water distribution and uniformity leading to dry spots and poor turf growth.

Below are the 4 steps you should follow when raising sprinkler heads to maximize the efficiency of your irrigation system

1. Begin by assessing how high you need to raise the sprinkler. With a hand shovel, dig around the sprinkler on all sides. The depth should be around 6-8 inches to give you some room to work. Carefully lift the grass around the sprinkler head and flip it upside down on the lawn. With a small trowel, remove the dirt from around the sprinkler head taking care not to hit the sprinkler line. Dig deep enough to unscrew the head.

2. Should you have a flexible riser (sometimes referred to as swing pipe) gently lift the sprinkler head with your hands until the top is level with the ground. If the riser is rigid, use a cut-off riser to adjust the height accordingly. Be careful when cutting the cut-off riser so that the end is smooth and it will connect perfectly with the sprinkler head

3. Screw the riser into the sprinkler head and then into the sprinkler line. Once it is tight, check to make sure that the head is vertical and rightfully placed.

4. Pack the removed dirt around the sprinkler head ensuring that it is high enough and almost level with the head. Reposition the grass around the sprinkler head.

Contact us for all of the parts you need to get your sprinkler system operating at optimum performance.

Use Landscape Lighting to Bring Elegance to Your Landscape

WP Law - Thursday, February 01, 2018
Elegant-Landscape-Lighting

Outdoor lighting for your landscape adds elegance while providing safety for your family. More and more families are adding lighting to their outdoor living space to extend their evenings.

There is no need to run indoors when the sun goes down. By adding landscape lighting, you can extend your outdoor use for entertainment, or just to relax and enjoy gazing at the stars.

There are several different types of landscape lighting fixtures available for you. Well-lights and spot lights are used to highlight architectural details or a specimen landscape plant. Path lights are used to light walkways or to create pools of light in the landscape.

Adding lighting to an outdoor water feature adds to the relaxation and calming effect trickling water offers. There are dozens of uses for lighting and using it will add, value, beauty and security to your home.

Whatever your landscape lighting needs are, the experts at W.P. Law can help you find the combination of lighting systems to help illuminate your outdoor space. 

Tips to Strengthen Your Lawn for Winter

WP Law - Thursday, November 30, 2017
Winter Lawn

The winter can be a welcome period of rest from all the necessary tasks that go with maintaining your lawn in top condition. But if you fail to prepare for the colder months, spring may greet you not with a carpet of lush, green grass, but with unappealing bare patches.

These simple steps will help you get your lawn winter-ready.

Clearing

Anything left resting on grass for a prolonged period, can leave a dead or worn area beneath it. Although the grass may regrow in spring, it is likely to be sparser and shorter than elsewhere, giving an unattractive patchy look to the lawn as a whole.

So, the first task is to ensure that your lawn is clear of all objects, both natural and man-made, including logs, lawn furniture, items of sports equipment and, as far as possible, fallen leaves.

Occasional clearing can also be carried out if necessary during the winter months themselves, but ideally the lawn should be left as undisturbed as possible during this period.

Aerating

Once its surface is clear, aerating the lawn is vital to break up compacted soil and allow water and nutrients to reach the plant roots.

Seeding, Fertilizing and Weed-killing

If your lawn is composed of a cool season grass variety, such as bluegrass or rye, fall is the ideal time of year for over-seeding or re-seeding, but this should take place no later than 6-7 weeks before the expected first freeze.

Once aerated, the lawn should be prepared for re-seeding and over-seeding by fertilizing, a vital process to replace soil nutrients lost during the heat and heavy use of summer.

You can spread a natural compost, if you have it, or use a commercial product , paying particular attention to bare or thinly covered patches.

Make sure newly seeded areas receive ample water, and once new growth is established, use a proprietary product from a specialist supplier to get rid of weeds, fungi and disease-causing pests.

Mowing

It's important to keep cutting your grass during the weeks before winter so that it is as short as possible at the end of the growing season. Shorter grass acts as a protector for fragile new growth and also discourages nesting by mice and other animals which may damage large areas of your lawn.

Gradually reducing the length of your grass with a series of cuts will be less traumatic for the plants than one severe cut at the end of the season.

Contact Us

Keeping your lawn in great condition all year round can be a laborious process. But getting professional advice on the exact combinations of fertilizers and weed-killers you need, and when to apply them, can significantly improve your results without involving any extra work.

W P Law of Lexington SC has been in the business since 1970. Contact us today for details on how we can help you.


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