3 Ways to Prepare Your Backyard for Outdoor Entertaining

backyard ideas, outdoor patio

It’s Spring, and summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to move the party outside. Here are three ways to prepare your backyard for outdoor entertaining.

#1: Mow the Grass

Mowing the grass seems like a no-brainer, but a freshly cut lawn is a beautiful backdrop for a summer gathering. Even if your landscaping doesn’t have all its leaves and blooms out for summer, having a clean-cut lawn makes everything look nicer. And it makes for a perfect space for kids and adults to play yard games.

#2: Check the Lighting

If you have landscape lighting, ensure all the fixtures and bulbs work. Reset any that moved or got reset during the winter months. If you don’t have lighting, consider adding it this Spring. This will complete your backyard living space by highlighting landscaping or the architecture of your home. Plus, it adds safety by lighting the areas where people walk and extending the usable space.

#3: Clean Up the Grilling Area

Clean your grill and tidy up around the grilling area. Sweep up the winter grass, leaves, and dirt, and get the grill clean and ready for cooking. Are you tired of your old run-down grill? Consider an upgrade to an outdoor kitchen. The proper setup can make cooking outdoors year-round easier and everything about grilling more convenient.

In South Carolina, we are lucky to be able to spend time outdoors nearly all year long. But the entertaining outdoors kicks in when the weather warms up in the Spring. So ensure your backyard is ready with all the outdoor living features you want to make your party the best on the block. Contact the leaders in outdoor living at W.P. Law, Inc, to learn how they can help extend your living space with backyard ideas. These include professional landscaping and lighting, outdoor kitchens, and water features.

Protecting Your Plants in the Winter – What You Need to Know

Winter plants

Even in South Carolina, where the climate is mild, protecting plants in the winter can help them make it through the cold months. Here’s what you need to know.

Add a Blanket of Mulch

Mulch acts like an insulating blanket year-round, but in the winter, it can protect your landscaping and plants from cold snaps and extreme temperatures. When the ground goes from warm to cold and back again, it can push up the soil, exposing the roots. Mulch can help keep the temperature of the root system consistent and protect it from the freeze-thaw cycle.

Keep Watering

It might seem counterintuitive to water in the winter when trying to protect your plants from the cold, but water can help guard against damage from the cold. Plants and trees, though dormant, lose a large amount of water in the winter. Winter watering can help them remain strong and resilient and protect them against the cold.

Bring Container Plants Indoors

Even plants designed for colder weather can suffer in the winter if they live in a container. Plants in the ground have added insulation from the soil around them, but container plants are more exposed to the temperatures. Bring them indoors for the winter, or at least during cold snaps and extreme temperature drops. If you can’t get them indoors, consider adding insulation around the pots to help prevent them from the shock of the cold.

Contact W.P. Law, Inc. today for help keeping your winter plants alive and thriving all year.

2 Benefits to Irrigating Before a Cold Snap

Taking steps to irrigate before cold weather can be a crucial step to protect your lawn and crops from frost and colder temperatures. It may seem counterintuitive, but experienced farmers know irrigating crops will initially cause the temperature in the fields to decrease as evaporation occurs and then increase as the air temperature lowers during a cold front. However, once you understand how it works, you can use irrigation to your advantage as the temperatures drop.

Here are two noteworthy benefits your plants and lawn experience when you irrigate before cold weather:

#1: Frost Damage Prevention

Because water releases heat at a slower rate than air, watering your lawn can provide natural insulation that prevents frost damage. Irrigating one or two days before a cold snap will allow enough time for saturation and thorough insulation from frigid temperatures. In addition, with the slower heat release, the plants and grass blades have more warmth for longer periods, protecting them from frost.

#2: Root Hydration

Did you know drought-stressed plants are more susceptible to cold damage? Irrigation provides your lawn and plants the moisture they need to become stronger and healthier. Think of pre-freeze irrigation as an immune system booster! The healthier the plant cells are, the stronger the plants are and the more quickly they can fight off damage from frost and cold weather.

Implementing proper irrigation is an excellent way to keep your lawn and crops healthy all year. Contact the friendly irrigation experts at W.P. Law to get started with a plan to irrigate before a cold front and give your plants all the protection they need.

Winter Is Coming: 2 Tips for Maintaining Your Outdoor Kitchen

Are you looking for tips to achieve successful outdoor kitchen winterization? Just because winter is on its way doesn’t mean you have to close your outdoor kitchen for the season. Instead, taking some steps to winterize will allow you to maximize your outdoor kitchen winter use—even in the colder parts of the country. Here are our top tips to guide you, depending on the climate in your area.

#1: Cold Climate Outdoor Kitchen Winterization

For colder climates like in the northern parts of the U.S., here’s how to protect your kitchen and keep using it once winter hits:

  • Use Higher Cooking Temperatures: You can continue cooking in your outdoor kitchen during the coldest season. However, you may have to crank up the cooking temperature for your favorite recipes.
  • Wear Warm Clothing When Needed: Is snow falling? No problem. Bundling up will help you stay safe and comfortable as you work your culinary magic in the outdoor kitchen.  
  • Protect Kitchen Surfaces from Winter Weather: Protect surfaces like islands, countertops, and cabinets, from winter precipitation and freezing temperatures by covering them with a breathable material that doesn’t trap moisture underneath.
  • Winterize the Refrigerator: If the temperature outside is consistently below 40ºF, you will want to remove all food and drinks, clean it out thoroughly, and unplug the fridge. Running the refrigerator during cold weather can damage the appliance’s compressor.

#2: Mild Climate Outdoor Kitchen Winterization

Although you may not experience the prolonged hard freezes they encounter in the northern climates, you’ll still want to perform some basic outdoor kitchen winterization:

  • Maintain Grill and Surfaces as Usual
  • Cover Exposed Kitchen Surfaces as Needed
  • Winterize the Refrigerator

These steps are similar to what you would do in colder climates, but you’ll only need to take precautions if the temps drop. Many homeowners in mild climates can continue to use their outdoor kitchens, as usual, all year long.

Keep on Grilling with Proper Outdoor Kitchen Winterization

Need professional advice on how to perform outdoor kitchen winterization so you can keep grilling and cooking year-round? Contact the professionals at W.P. Law, Inc.

Why You Should Winterize Your Irrigation System

The growing season is over, but have you taken steps to winterize your irrigation system? Doing this is a crucial part of your annual lawn care that many homeowners neglect and then regret.

If you forget to winterize irrigation, it can lead to a damaged irrigation system that won’t work correctly when you need it again in the spring. Take a closer look at the benefits of winterizing your irrigation system and the steps to take for a successful winterization process.

Cold Climates: Winterization for Northern Areas

In the frigid temperatures of northern areas, your irrigation system won’t stand a chance without proper winterization. Water remaining in the pipes will freeze and expand and can cause everything from pipes and backflow devices to sprinkler valves and heads to burst or crack. As a result, you may have to deal with costly repairs and replacements.

Mild Climates: Winterization for Southern Areas

Even the mild climates in southern areas have the occasional hard freeze during the early morning hours. Maybe it doesn’t freeze for long, but the water remaining inside the irrigation system can still create irreparable damage to the system. That’s why winterization is crucial to protecting your irrigation, even if you live in the south.

Schedule Expert Services to Winterize the Irrigation System

Professional winterization will ensure the entire irrigation system is empty and ready for the winter, so it will start back up without issues in the spring.

Let the experts at W.P. Law, Inc. help you winterize your irrigation system effectively. Contact W.P. Law, Inc. today.

Seeding vs. Sod: Which Is Best for Your Yard?

Which is better: seeding or sod? It’s a question many homeowners have when they want to ensure their lawn is lush and healthy. The best way to answer the question is to consider your yard’s current factors and conditions.  

How to Decide If Your Lawn Needs Seeding or Sod

Lawn care experts agree that assessing the current state of your yard determines whether seeding or sod is appropriate. First, you’ll need to compare the sections of weeds and dead grass to healthy grass. For example, if the lawn contains more than 40-50% dead grass or weeds, your best option is to start your yard over with new sod.

On the other hand, if 50% or more of your lawn grass is healthy, performing manual weed control and planting grass seed should be sufficient.

Another factor to consider is the grass you are growing on your property. There are more grass varieties for seeding available than sodding. So if you have a specific grass variety you prefer, you’ll need to find out if it’s available in sod or if you will need to stick with seeding.

Sod Installation Is Best Left to the Pros

While you may take a DIY approach to seeding, sod installation is more complicated. It has a brief 24-hour period for transplanting and requires proper installation. Reach out to trusted professionals to set your lawn up for success.

Whether you choose seeding or sod or are still trying to determine the best next steps for your lawn, the team at W.P. Law is here to guide you. Contact W.P. Law, Inc. today to get started.

How to Winterize My Outdoor Fountain

It’s fall, and it’s time to winterize outdoor fountains. If you have an outdoor fountain or water feature, you need to ensure it’s set up for cooler weather so you can still enjoy it when spring and summer roll back around. Here’s what you need to know.

The Climate Matters

South Carolina has a varied climate depending on what part of the state you live in. But, for the most part, it’s mild and doesn’t swing to extremes like the more northern states. Because of this, outdoor fountains and pond winterizing look slightly different than in places where they get a deep freeze.

Basic Winter Prep

Prepping your fountain for Winter in the south can mean removing debris, cleaning the fountain, and inspecting the pump. Then, drain the fountain and do a deeper clean before refilling it for a little more in-depth maintenance. Finally, if worried about colder temperatures, you can opt for a complete shutdown until spring. Shutting it down for the Winter includes unplugging, draining, and removing the pump for winter storage and blowing out the pipes in the system.

Keeping it Running in the Winter

If you decide to enjoy your fountain or pond year-round, it’s a great choice with our generally mild temperatures. The option of floating heaters is one way to ensure the water doesn’t freeze over when the temperatures dip. It’s also important to watch the forecast if extreme weather decides to head our way.

A great way to care for and maintain your water feature, including winterizing your outdoor fountain, is with fountain design, installation, and maintenance experts. Reach out to the team at W.P. Law, Inc. for all your fountain and water feature needs.

Maintaining Warm Season Grasses in the Winter

If you live in South Carolina, you might look out at your lawn and wonder about the best grass for Winter. Can you plant and seed in winter weather? Can you maintain warm-season grasses? Here’s what you need to know.

Which Type of Grass to Plant

There are two primary grass types, warm season and cool season. Warm season grasses green up in the spring and thrive in the summer heat and will go dormant with the first frost in late fall or early winter.  Warm season grasses include centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and zoysia.  Cool season grasses remain green and thrive in the winter months, but suffer during the hot summer months.  Cool season grasses include tall fescue and ryegrass. While most people in SC have warm season grasses as their lawn, a few will overseed their lawn with an annual ryegrass to keep the beautiful green color year round.

To Seed or Sod, that is the Question

While you can add sod in the Winter when the grass is dormant, the roots won’t take hold until the weather warms up in the spring and summer. Fall, however, is an ideal time for seeding cool season grasses. The summer heat can make it hard for the seeds to germinate properly, while the cool temperatures let the seeds root and thrive. Ryegrass is an excellent choice for winter seeding. Once established, it will do well and provide a lush, green lawn year-round. Overseeding in Winter is also a great idea because it improves the grass’s aesthetics and increases the lawn’s resilience.

Maintaining warm-season grass and knowing the best grass for Winter is an art. Still, with the right advice and guidance, you can nurture your grass this Winter for a fantastic lawn come spring. Contact the W.P. Law, Inc. team for the advice you need for winter lawn care.

It’s Tailgating Season! Tips for Using your Outdoor Grill this Fall

Are you wondering about using your outdoor grill this fall? Of course, it doesn’t get snowy and freezing in South Carolina in the fall and Winter, but the cooler weather can still affect your outdoor grilling. It’s football and entertaining season, so we’ve gathered our best tips for using your outdoor kitchen and grill this fall.

Bundle Up

Make sure to wear weather-appropriate clothing when grilling outdoors in cooler weather. Grilling can take time, and it’s more fun when you’re not freezing. Something to be very careful about are the gloves you wear. It can be tempting to grab something hot with regular gloves, but make sure you switch to heat-resistant gloves before handling the grill.

Patience is Key

Food cooks differently when it’s cool outside than when it’s warm. So be patient and adjust your timing and expectations accordingly. Keep the grill closed and choose recipes and foods that aren’t as sensitive to the temperature difference between the grill and the outside temperature.

Keep the Grill Outside

Some might think moving the grill under an overhang or into a garage is okay. Please do not do this. It’s a great way to start a house fire. A better alternative is upgrading to an outdoor kitchen and grilling area. You can include a grill, counter space, a sink, a roof, and so much more.

One of the best ways to cook and entertain during the fall football season and year-round is with outdoor kitchens and grills. So, if you’ve been dreaming of an outdoor space upgrade, now’s the time. Contact W.P. Law, Inc. for the expert team to help you bring your vision to life.

Tips for Irrigating Turfgrass in the Fall

Your irrigation system worked hard all summer, but is fall the time to shut it down for the Winter? In South Carolina, we don’t need to winterize our irrigation systems the same way in colder states to the north. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your grass and sprinkler system.

Keep Watering

Watering your grass in the summer is a no-brainer, but what about Winter? The general rule in the south is to keep watering year-round, even when the grass becomes dormant. In the Winter, the exception is when it rains. If we have a particularly wet fall and Winter, you won’t need to water as much. When it’s dry for more than a few days and the soil is dry, it’s a good idea to turn on the sprinklers and irrigate your lawn and landscaping. It’s beneficial to water in the morning instead of the evening to avoid fungus.

Irrigation System Winterization

In other states where the temperatures regularly get to freezing and below, it’s critical to drain and blow out sprinkler systems. In the south, with our mild climate, that’s generally not necessary. However, protecting components from freezing is still essential since we get some cold nights. If you have any exposed water pipes, drain them and the pumps. The rest of the system, especially what’s underground, should be fine in the South Carolina fall and Winter.

When you’re ready to transition from summer to fall, your local landscaping and irrigation system professionals can help. Contact the team at W.P. Law, Inc. for all the guidance you need.

Stay Connected

Sign up today to keep up with the newest information from one of the Southeast’s leading suppliers of fluid handling equipment!

Interested In