8 ideas to consider before you build outdoor grills and kitchens.
Outdoor grills and kitchens are increasing in popularity as more and more families are moving their entertaining outside.
Here are eight ideas to consider before you build your outdoor kitchen.
• Create a good outdoor kitchen design: Decide how you will use your outdoor grill and kitchen. Do you want it to be self-sufficient and capable of cooking the entire meal, or will you utilize the indoor kitchen, as well?
• Keep functionality in mind: While designing your outdoor kitchen, make sure you keep functionality in mind. The refrigeration area, cooking area and sink area should be in close proximity.
• Purchase low-maintenance materials: Choose materials that will withstand the harsh outdoor elements like, stainless steel, or natural stone.
• Complement your home’s design: Make sure the kitchen design complements the architecture design of your home and landscaping.
• Consider the flow of traffic: Keep the traffic flow in mind when designing your kitchen. Consider the dining areas, recreation areas, and cooking areas when planning. Make sure there’s enough room in all of these areas.
• Consider utilities: Your outdoor kitchen will need electricity, gas, and water.
• Outdoor lighting: Install lighting to the outdoor area, you’ll need lighting in the outdoor kitchen, as well as dining areas, walkways, and entertainment areas.
• Heating: An outdoor fire pit, or fireplace will help keep guests warm on cool evenings, as well as add another area to entertain.
For more information about outdoor grills and kitchens, visit the experts at W.P. Law, Inc.
Irrigation system – putting all the pieces together.
An irrigation system is a valuable part of your landscape. Plants, flowers, and lawns need water to thrive; installing an automatic irrigation system will not only help keep your landscape looking great, but will add value to your property.
Understanding your irrigation system parts and what they do is an important part in installing and maintaining your irrigation system. To help you understand your irrigation system, here is a list of the major components and their function.
Irrigation Controller: The irrigation controller is a programmable device that is connected to the control valves. The irrigation controller turns the valves on and off based on the programmed days and times.
Control valves: The water in the irrigation system is regulated by the control valves. When the system is turned on either manually or automatically by the timer, the control valves allow water to move from the water source to the sprinkler heads.
PVC Piping: PVC pipes are buried underground and provide the conduit for the water to flow through to the sprinkler heads.
Sprinkler Heads: The sprinkler heads disperse the water to the lawn. There are several types of heads available depending on your particular needs.
For quality irrigation systems and supplies, visit the irrigation experts at W.P. Law, Inc.
5 Types of landscape lighting for your home
Homeowners spend a lot of time, and money making their homes functional, appealing, and comfortable to live in, both inside and outside. One of the areas they tend to forget about is landscape lighting.
Landscape lighting is an affordable way to add functionality, comfort and elegance to your outdoor landscape. Lighting not only adds beauty to your outdoors, but offers safety, as well.
There are many types of outdoor lighting fixtures available. Here are a few:
• Well Lights: Well lights are partially embedded in the ground and direct light upward. Well lights are ideal for highlighting specimen trees or architectural features of your home. Well lights should be used with a grate or other cover to keep mulch and other debris from collecting on top of the fixture.
• Path Lights: Path lights are most commonly used to provide “pools” of light along walkways and garden paths. Path lights can also be used in the land scape to accent shrubs and garden art as well as bring light to a dark corner or your garden
• Bullet Fixtures: Bullet fixtures work great to highlight trees and shrubs. They can also be installed in the canopy of large specimen trees and directed downward to provide a moonlight effect. Bullet lights can also be used as “wall washers” to highlight stone work or other interesting architectural features.
• Deck Lights: Deck lights are usually installed on railings and steps. They come in a wide variety of shapes and styles and are great for giving your deck or patio a nice soft mood.
Visit the lighting experts at W.P. Law, Inc. for the best landscape lighting for your home.
How to prevent frost damage using agriculture irrigation systems
The damage that is done to crops every year during late periods of cold weather is a big concern for growers. Late spring freezes and cold temperatures can severely damage crops. As a result, growers suffer the loss of crops and consumers suffer at the checkout by having to pay higher prices.
In many cases, damage from frost can be prevented by using overhead agriculture irrigation systems during the frost period.
As the water freezes on the crops, latent heat gets released and keeps the plant’s temperature from dropping below freezing, and protects it from damage. You should continue to irrigate the crops until the sun rises and warms the ground. When the temperatures go above freezing, and the ice begins to melt, you can stop irrigation.
It’s important to note that if the wind is blowing over 15 mph, then irrigation will not fully protect the crops. There are many methods for growers to protect their crops during frost, irrigation is one of the best.
For quality agriculture irrigation systems, contact the irrigation experts at W.P. Law, Inc.
Do-it-yourself repair on irrigation valves
Having a home irrigation system for your landscaping is a great thing. No more dragging heavy hoses through your yard and struggling to water those hard to reach spots.
There are times where you will run into problems with your irrigation system, so here is a guide to troubleshoot some common problems with irrigation valves.
Valve Does Not Open: Check the irrigation controller to ensure that it is sending a 24 volt output to the valve. If there is not a 24 volt signal going to the valve then you have a controller problem. If the controller is sending a 24 volt signal, then go to the valve in question and check the voltage across the two wires connected to the valve solenoid. Most irrigation valve will open with as little as a 21 volt signal. If you are not getting power at the valve, then you probably have a cut wire somewhere between the valve and controller. If you have at least a 21 volt signal at the valve and it does not open then the most likely problem is the valve solenoid. Solenoids are easily replaced.
Valve Does Not Close: The first thing to check is to make sure that the valve has not been opened manually. Next you will want to check for leaks around the solenoid or between the valve body and valve bonnet. If there are no leaks then turn off the water supply at the source and remove the solenoid and check for debris around the base. Also remove the valve cover (or bonnet) and inspect the diaphragm for damage from debris.
Water Continues to Seep Out of Sprinkler Head After System is Off: This may not be a valve problem. Take a look at the elevation changes in your yard. If the water is seeping out of the lowest sprinkler head on a zone, then it is most likely low head drainage. This problem can be fixed by installing a Seal-A-Matic (SAM) head at the lowest point on the zone. SAM heads have a built-in check valve that prevents low head drainage. If you have water seeping out of other sprinklers as well then there is probably debris under the valve diaphragm or the valve diaphragm is damaged.
Troubleshooting an irrigation valve problem can be a tedious task, but with a few basic tools and a little patience the problem can be detected and the repair easily made.
W.P. Law, Inc. carries top quality irrigation systems and supplies. For a more complete valve troubleshooting guide visit our Troubleshooting Page.
Three types of greenhouse irrigation systems.
Greenhouse irrigation is important to produce healthy plants and vegetables. There are several different types of irrigation systems that can easily be installed in greenhouses. Choosing the right system for your greenhouse is vital to the productivity of your crop.
Here are three popular types of greenhouse irrigation systems:
Overhead Irrigation: Overhead irrigation is a popular form of irrigation for greenhouses. It is relatively inexpensive to install and maintain. There are different types of spray heads that include both fixed and rotating heads.
Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation is also inexpensive to install and maintain. Drip irrigation works by dripping water directly into each individual pot. There is no worry about overspray, or wasting water. It is one of the most efficient methods for watering plants.
Misting Watering System: A misting watering system is used for propagating plants from small seeds or cuttings. The ultrafine mist keeps the soil moist but does not dislodge the soil. These micro-sprinklers spray a very fine mist onto the plants.
Let the irrigation specialists at W.P. Law, Inc. design greenhouse irrigation for you.
Sprinkler System Maintenance and Winterization
When the air becomes cool, and the leaves take on their fall colors, our southern grasses begin entering into their dormant stage. Time to turn off our irrigation systems, but before you do let’s look at a few things that might make our spring start up a little less adventurous. Many of us set our timers (start times and run times) to water when we are asleep or not at home and we never see the irrigation actually operate. Often sprinkler heads are misaligned, broken or even missing and we have no idea that anything is wrong.
Before you lock it all up for the winter, start each zone and check to see if a head needs adjusting (watering buildings and pavement provide no real benefits and actually waste water and money). Replace broken and missing heads. If you have a drip system, check and clean your filters. All irrigation heads have a screen type strainer, if a heads seems to be performing poorly, check its screen to see if it might be clogged. Also a nozzle may be stopped up.
This would be a great time to add a rain check device to your controller in order to save money next year. A rain check would allow you to prevent watering when rainfall is available without rescheduling your timer. Some of us may have made some changes to our landscaping, and now our irrigation needs to be updated in order to better conform to the new or rearranged plant material and hardscaping. Contractors are often overwhelmed during the spring with new installations and repairs, so fall and winter are excellent times to get these renovations done.
Exposed pipes should be wrapped with some sort of insulation or drained. Irrigation pumps and their suction and discharge lines should also be drained. The correct way to accomplish this is to remove the drain plug (lowest plug on the pump housing) and the fill plug (where you prime the pump), turn off the breaker to the pump and start the irrigation controller so that it runs all the stations (you can shorten the length of time for each station or manually run through the stations allowing a couple of minutes per zone). By using this method we assure that the drainage of water from the system is more complete.
The suction lines of the pump are harder to drain due to the foot valve (a check valve with an intake screen). You could remove the foot valve (difficult to do), unhook the suction piping from the pump and pull it all up on shore and dump out the water or separate the suction from the pump and wrap it with an insulation. Be sure to prevent any insects or small animals from crawling into exposed openings. After taking care of the suction loosely replace both plugs and turn your controller to the off position. Your spring startup should be a lot less stressful next year.
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Residential fountains in cold regions need to be prepared for winter.
If the temperatures in your region drop below freezing, then you need to winter proof your residential fountains to prevent them from being damaged. Your fountain is a thing of beauty, and needs to be protected against the harsh elements of winter.
Here are the steps you need to take to winterize your residential fountains:
Step #1: Disconnect electricity: If the fountain is run on electricity, unplug the electric cords.
Step #2: Drain the fountain: Before the first frost arrives, drain the water from the fountain. Remove the pump and drain any water in it. Clean the pump, and store it in the garage, or indoors. Any water left in the fountain will freeze when the temperatures drop and can cause the fountain to crack.
Step #3: Cover the fountain: If it’s a small fountain, cover it and move it into the garage or storage shed. If it’s too large, or heavy to move, use a fountain cover, or blanket to cover the fountain. Fountain covers can be purchased to protect the fountain from moisture.
For quality residential fountains and supplies visit the experts at W.P. Law, Inc.
A list of irrigation tools for do-it-yourself installation.
Installing an irrigation system yourself will require specific irrigation tools to do the job right.
Here is a list of the most common irrigation tools you’ll need to install an irrigation system, and how to use them.
Trenching Shovel: A trenching shovel will be needed to dig holes and clean-out machine-dug trenches for the irrigation pipes and valves. Its narrow blade makes this the ideal tool for this tedious job.
Mattock: A mattock is used to dig short trenches, and the pick end works great for breaking and removing rocks.
Tamper: A tamper bar is used to compact the soil after it is replaced over the piping.
PVC Pipe Cutter: The PVC pipe cutter is used to cut the PVC pipe leaving clean edges.
Hack Saw: A hack saw can be used to cut PVC pipe, as well as metal pipe.
Wire Cutter/stripper: A combination wire cutter and stripper is used for cutting and stripping wires.
Screw Drivers: You will need a flat screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver to connect the wires to the controller.
Visit the irrigation specialists at W.P. Law, Inc. for quality irrigation supplies.
Landscape products enhance your home’s beauty.
Finding the right landscape products to enhance your landscaping will bring value and beauty to your home. Locating quality products is important; not only do you need products that are made to last, you need to stay within your budget.
To locate quality products, start with recommendations from family, neighbors, and friends. The internet is also a great place not only to research where to buy the products, but you can research the products, as well.
Educating yourself on the many products that are available is a great way to begin any landscaping project. There are so many brands available today for every product imaginable it can sometimes be hard to choose.
Working with professionals who know the best products to use on your landscaping projects will ensure you get quality products and service.
Improve your home’s value by using quality landscaping products that will improve the curb appeal of your home, and make it the envy of the neighborhood.
W.P. Law, Inc. carries top quality landscape products to enhance your homes beauty; from irrigation systems and supplies to water features, they carry quality name brands that bring added value to your landscape. Visit W.P. Law, Inc. today.