What Chemicals Should You Apply to Your Grass? When Should You Do So?

Residential Lawn

Having a green, beautiful lawn may be easier to do than you think. In fact, the right chemical application at the right time can make a significant difference in the way your lawn looks and its overall health. If you, like many others, get overwhelmed with the number of steps to creating that lush lawn, these tips can help make the process easy to remember.

What Chemicals and Nutrients Does Your Lawn Need?

Fertilizing your lawn gives it the nutrients it needs to grow and flourish. It helps to prevent disease, overcome disease and stress, improve color, and reduce pests. There are three major nutrients your lawn needs and these are the nutrients any application of feed should contain:

  • Nitrogen (N)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Potassium (K)

When looking at chemical products, nitrogen, the most important nutrient is listed first followed by phosphorus and then potassium. The most common recommendation is 3:1:2 or 4:1:2.

Feeding Your Lawn in Spring

During the spring months of February through April, it is essential to strengthen the roots of your lawn. To do this, you’ll want to apply products that will:

  • Prevent crabgrass from growing using a pre-emergent
  • Apply a fertilizer just after the first cut that feeds the lawn.

In the later months of spring, such as from April through June, it’s important to add a weed and feed product with a weed control in it.

Summer Months

During the period of June through August, you’ll need to feed your lawn again, at least, one time every 0 to 45 days. This gives your grass the ability to handle foot traffic, drought, and heat. It is also a good time to add an insect control.

Fall Months

During September through November, it is time to use a fall feed as well as a turf builder to strengthen the lawn for the upcoming winter months.

Let the Pros Help You

While adding the right chemicals to your lawn is essential to creating the right balance of health and growth, every lawn’s needs are different. If your lawn is very new or not there, you need a higher level of nutrients than a lawn that is already in good shape. It is best to have an expert on hand to answer your questions and to create the very best results. Contact our team to ask questions and to get the right solutions in place right away.

Troubleshooting: 3 Common Sump Pump Issues

Old Sump Pump

It is happening again – your basement is backing up and there’s water coming in from the walls. It could be due to a failure with your sump pump. This system works to remove water from the drain tiles surrounding a home and moves it out into a sewer system or otherwise away from the home. In some homes, it is critical to keeping the home dry. Consider these common causes of sump pump failures.

1. Power Failures

The most common cause of a sump pump failing to work is a power failure. If your power goes off in a storm, it’s important to get it restored quickly to ensure your sump pump is operational. Secondary options for homes with significant drainage problems include using a battery back-up or using a generator.

2. Poor Installation

Sump pumps can be troublesome to install and maintain because they need to be just right. If the sump pump is the wrong size, such as being too small for the area, it cannot meet demand and will not perform as it should. Second, if the pump is not installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, even small mistakes can lead to significant complications. A check valve installed, for example, is easily overlooked by many homeowners. However, most manufacturers recommend this to ensure that back-flow of water doesn’t cause the pump impeller to rotate in the wrong direction.

3. Poor Maintenance

You do need to maintain your system. To do that, consider these tips:

  • Many homes require backup pumps. If you have one, unplug the first one and run the secondary one for a few days to ensure it is working properly.
  • Test the pump to ensure it is discharging water properly. Go outside to look for this. Do this every month.
  • Ensure the air hole in the discharge line is clean and clear.
  • Listen to the motor running. Does it sound normal and smooth?
  • Ensure the float is not restricted.

It is often best to have a professional inspect and repair your sump pump if it is not working properly. This can help you avoid thousands of dollars worth of damage from an incoming flood.

Let Our Team Help You with Sump Pump Repair

Contact us today to discuss your specific sump pump concerns. Our team of experienced professionals can answer any questions you have, schedule repairs, or install a new system that keeps your home dry and safe.

3 Benefits of Variable Speed Pumps in Agricultural Irrigation

Agricultural Irrigation Design

When it comes to agriculture there are about a million different products and items that are used from day to day and one is an agricultural irrigation pump. There are many types of pump but one that is gaining in popularity it the variable speed agricultural irrigation pump. There are plenty of reasons that this pump is easy to use and great for many different purposes. Here are three benefits of this type of pump.

  1. Irrigation System Flexibility– Agricultural irrigation systems are typically zoned by field size, crop type and/or crop maturation date. In many cases this type of zoning can lead to zones of widely different flow rates, especially when a grower may have several small or irregularly shaped fields. In the past the solution to this problem is to size the pump for the worst possible case and then try to come up with some combination of valves to get the pump to operate at the best efficiency point. Invariably there is always a zone or two where the pump is way oversized for the application. This can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the irrigation system and cause higher energy consumption and costs. The Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) allows the pump to be run at a lower speed thus reducing the pump’s performance. The advantage of the VFD is that you can customize the way your irrigation systems runs by changing the pump’s speed of rotation. This means a smaller zone can be run and the system will slow the pump down thus reducing the flow and pressure to deliver exactly what is needed to operate the smaller zone. This can provide a huge energy savings over the course of the growing season.
  2. Water Conservation– Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) also help in conserving our planets most valuable resource. VFD’s conserve water by operating irrigation sprinklers at the optimum pressure. Over pressurized sprinklers tend to “fog” or mist as the higher pressure creates smaller water droplets through the sprinkler’s nozzle. These smaller droplets are more susceptible to movement by wind and are more easily evaporated into the atmosphere. Water that evaporates before it hits the ground is obviously of no use to the plant.
  3. Several Pumps In One– It used to be that irrigation pump stations consisted of a small “jockey” or pressure maintenance pump and one or more main pumps. The pump station control system turned pumps on and off depending on the flow rate required by the system at the time. The VFD essentially eliminates the need for the small jockey or PM pump. With a VFD now one of the larger pumps can serve as the jockey or PM pump to provide water to the system when the pressure and flow rate requirements are, but it can also step up and deliver higher flows and higher pressure when the system demand dictates

These are all great reasons to think about investing in a variable speed agricultural irrigation pump. If you need more help on the subject, you can always contact the experts at W.P. Law, Inc.

3 Things to Know About Calibrating Your Flow Meter

Flow Meter on Industrial Piping

When it comes to monitoring your system and keeping it running at peak performance there are few tools more valuable than an accurate and reliable flow meter. Flow meters as their name implies, measure the rate of flow of a fluid through a piping system. Flow meters come in a variety of materials and have many options some even allow remote monitoring of the system. Below are some things to consider when selecting, installing, and calibrating a flow meter.

  1. Proper Selection– When a flow meter is required, it is important that you choose the proper flow meter for your application. Questions that must be answered when selecting a flow meter include: Where will the flow meter be installed (vertical or horizontal)? What is the diameter of the pipe? What type of pipe (PVC, Steel, etc.)? What type of fluid will I be measuring (water or chemicals)? Are there any corrosion or temperature requirements? What is the expected flow rate? Is there a straight run of pipe requirement before and after the flow meter? All of these questions must be answered before you can choose a flow meter. Options such as a totalizer and the ability to communicate with a computer or mobile device are also things to consider when selecting a flow meter.
  2. Proper Installation– Once you have made your flow meter selection, now comes the most important part in the process, proper installation. Proper installation is critical if the flow meter is to give precise readings. Follow the flow meter manufacturer’s installation instructions to the letter. The main issues that the installation instructions will most likely point out is the “straight run” requirement. Most flow meters require a section of straight pipe upstream and downstream of the point where the flow meter will be installed. Typically this “straight run” requirement is described in terms of a certain number of pipe diameters. A typical straight run requirement would be six pipe diameters upstream and four pipe diameters downstream. So for example, if you had a 6-inch diameter pipe you would need 36 inches upstream and 24 inches downstream of the point where the flow meter will be installed. Most flow meter manufacturer’s will tell you to avoid areas where there is a turn or reduction/enlargement near where the flow meter is to be installed. Another issue that you need to be aware of is the position of the flow meter. Some flow meters can be installed either horizontally or vertically, while others may only be installed in one position or the other. Make sure that your flow meter is installed in the correct position.
  3. Proper Calibration– The good news is that most flow meters come from the factory pre-calibrated. These pre-calibrated meters, when installed correctly, are usually very accurate. Some digital flow meters will require the operator to enter a coefficient based on what type of pipe the flow meter is installed in (PVC or steel for example). These pipe coefficients take into account the difference in internal pipe diameter and the difference in the roughness of the pipe wall.

If you have any doubts while selecting, installing, or calibrating your flow meter, the sales team at W. P. Law, Inc. will be glad to assist you in any way.

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