Thursday, July 30, 2015

4 Water-Saving Irrigation Tips During Droughts and Beyond

Water is an essential component of human and plant life, and when droughts occur, the resulting water shortages have an impact on everyone. The 2014 drought in California has caused devastating effects to residents of the state, leading to widespread repercussions for the entire country. Although dead, dry lawns are unattractive (and may even lead to fines), it is possible to irrigate one's yard without using excessive amounts of water.
A Lush, Green Lawn Without Ecological Backlash
Whether your area is anticipating a California-sized drought or you value the planet intrinsically, conservation is possible, and a balance between aesthetic curb appeal and conscientiousness can be had. Consider these recommendations:
- Irrigate smarter, not harder. Consider a rotary sprinkler head for your irrigation system to direct water more efficiently and lose less to the wind while irrigating.
- Convert your green. Did you know lawns do not have to be made of the typical grasses? In a dry spell, you can easily kill off your grass and replace it with other plant seed that will sprout quickly and require less water from your irrigation system. Amidst the recent California outcry for water conservation, organizations are paying residents to make this switch.
- Maximize with mulch. Convert part of your lawn to a garden with mulch, soil, or pea gravel. Of course, thirsty plants will cost you water, too, but hardy shrubs, cacti, or other dry-weather plants work well. You could also line the area with rock and other attractive accoutrements without the need for watering.
- Reduce your lawn size by laying wood mulch, rubber mulch, or pea gravel and erecting a jungle gym, gazebo, or other lawn ornament that doesn't require water. In this way, the appearance and usability of your lawn is not lost to the drought or efforts to conserve.
- Drip irrigation. Upgrading to a low pressure system requires less water and less energy to perform. This will save you money and protect the planet. Drip irrigation may seem overly sophisticated for some people who want a lush lawn, but the savings in cost and efficiency are astronomical. Because of the slow, low-pressure drip functionality and the low-lying wind avoidance, these systems lose less water and therefore take less money from your pocket.
- "Smart" controllers. There are many irrigation systems available today which automatically deactivate in the event of adequate soil moisture, air humidity, or detection of rain. Investing in a "smart" system can ensure that you do not have to manually shut off the system following a miraculous rain.
Further, the irrigation systems with these intuitive built in technologies may actually know more about the surroundings than you do, having the ability to detect soil moisture at a depth to which most people will not excavate. Stop wondering and upgrade to a system that does all the dirty work for you. This will cut back on costs, because the sprinklers won't be running when the grass doesn't need them.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Stamp" Concrete With Impression Patterns By NewLook

An Impression Pattern is a durable, long-lasting polyurethane pattern. It's not a stamp. It's not a stencil. It's an Impression—the new method for imprinting texture and design into fresh concrete and overlays.

Impression Patterns are easier to use than their stamp and stencil counterparts and they're very versatile. They cost less and are much more forgiving.

They are available in many popular field and border stock patterns, including ashlar, brick, cobble stone, and random stone. You can even customize your Impression to achieve any intricate design you want.


Prepare the Impression once the concrete is poured properly and finished with a steel trowel or bull float. Thoroughly coat both sides of the Impression with liquid release. Spray a liberal amount of release onto the concrete, as well. This prevents the Impression from sticking and helps it leave a well-defined pattern.

Placing the Impression

Place the Impression wherever you want. Don't worry about laying it down perfectly. The process is very forgiving. The marks and lines left from the Impression will disappear when the Impression is troweled. Adjust and move the Impression as needed until you are satisfied with its position.

Troweling & Finishing

One of the unique benefits of using Impressions is found in the finishing process. Begin by gently tapping and troweling over the Impression. This helps push the Impression into the top layer of fresh concrete so that the top part of the Impression becomes flush with the concrete surface. Use standard troweling techniques to achieve the desired finish.

Once the Impression is set, you can add texture using a textured roller. Be sure to coat the roller with release agent. Using powder release can also help prevent puckering and sticking.

Remove the Impression

Once the concrete is dry, remove the impression by lifting up from one end.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pavestone "Creating Beautiful Landscapes"

The possible applications for pavers are only limited by your imagination. Maximize your outdoor living experience with a design that is all your own. Create a scenic walkway in a beautiful downtown park. A variety of hues and textures allow you to have unlimited possibilities to both compliment and enhance the natural beauty of any surrounding while being friendly to the environment. From palatial outdoor entertainment areas to pool decks with a relaxing spa-like feel, you can count on unsurpassed strength and flexibility. Concrete pavers can withstand the forces of weather, water and traffic. Plus, they are especially designed to withstand freeze-thaw conditions, making them a good choice for cool as well as warm climates. Your design project will be as beautiful years from now as it is the day it is installed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Landscaping With Artificial Turf - A Few Benefits

A backyard with lush green lawn is every homeowners dream. Nothing can bet the joy of spending quality time on a backyard lawn with family and friends. Especially when you have taken the hard work to grow such a beautiful lawn.
But growing a lush green and healthy lawn required hard work. It's not a week's job. Planting the right seed, watering frequently, looking for seasonal changes, and many more areas that a healthy lawn demands.
This and many more factors gave birth to artificial turf. The artificial turf as the name suggests, is a surface that looks exactly like the natural one, but without any hard work and maintenance. Lay it once and you are done of at least 10 years.
Being artificial has got many advantages over the natural one.
  1. It does not requite water (obviously, it's artificial!)
  2. No lawn mowing, so no need to buy an expensive lawn mower
  3. Does not get infected by diseases
  4. Dogs and other pets can't chew them
  5. Looks exactly like the natural one
  6. Can be used indoor as well
Since artificial lawn does not require water, you can use it in indoor areas
as well. With natural lawn it is absolutely necessary to take care of the water drainage. If the lawn receives enough direct sunlight then this problem is taken care of. if the water on natural lawn is not drained properly, pools of water can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This can be dangerous to kids and other family members.
With artificial turf you altogether eliminate all these problems. SO should you go for artificial turf landscaping? Well, before you make any decision first go out and have a look at some live projects finished with artificial turf. Walk on the artificial lawn with bare feet, touch it, take photos and compare them with a natural one. Take a feel of the entire things, costing is also important.
So landscaping with artificial turf can save you money and time in a big way. But if natural lawn gives you satisfaction, even with a lot of hard work, take your decision wisely.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Environment-Friendly Tips For Lawn Care

Caring for a lawn is not as easy as installation a turf and that's it. It entails a lot of important things to do to ensure that you will have a healthy, clean lawn all year round. For most individuals, taking care of a lawn is a daunting task since you will need a lot of time, efforts, and sometimes money. Indeed, it can become a costly and tiresome task; however, with expert help, it can be made a lot easier and cheaper.
There are experts or professionals who can greatly help you with caring for your lawn. When it comes to choosing which among the professionals to opt for, you must always consider experience, reputation and how comfortable you are to work with them. Most importantly, choose an expert who can give you invaluable tips when it comes to proper lawn care maintenance.
Eco-friendly Lawn Care Tips
Use biopesticides - This is a chemical made from natural occurring elements which can control the insect population. It only affects the targeted insects and won't have any adverse effect on other animals. Some of these chemicals has a scent that can lure insects into traps.
Conserve water through rainwater irrigation - When it comes to watering your lawn, always consider conserving water. This does not mean that you stop watering your lawn rather you could make use of rainwater instead. You can actually harvest rainwater and store it in drums or perhaps make your own rainwater collection system by using food-grade plastic barrels. Of course, you will need an electric pump in order to create sufficient water pressure to power the irrigation system. In order to get optimal results, you can actually elevate the rain barrels and allow gravity to increase the water pressure.
Invest in eco-friendly equipment - Instead of opting for gas-powered tools like lawn mowers, trimmers and blowers, go electric. Based on studies, gas-powered mowers produce about 10% of all air pollutants formed from portable gasoline machines. This is why, it is crucial to choose corded and battery-powered lawn care equipment. You would not just cut down on emissions but you will also save money in the long run if you make use of electric power equipment.
Practice mulching and composting - Mulching will actually save you time and energy and the grass clipping can provide you with about 25% of the fertilizer your lawn might need. Composting, on the other hand, will recycle organic material to be spread back into the earth for nutritional purposes. Indeed, mulching and composting can greatly benefit the ecosystem.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Decorating your Lawn with Rock Gardens

If you do not want to create a flower garden, you can create a rock garden instead. Rock gardens may seem simple to set-up, but you will still have to weed and keep other debris from ruining the look of the garden. If you have rocky gardens, you will benefit from a rock garden.
In order to create a rock garden, you will need:
Sand or mulch
Vine plants
When designing you garden, you should draw a map that should include the size of the garden, and placement of the rocks and other items. When building your rock garden, you should follow these simple instructions:
Clear the area of rocks, weeds, grass and other debris that may be on the ground. You can choose to till the soil or just let it be. You will have to wed the area even after you place the rocks.
Find rocks of different sizes. You can find them in your yard, in someone else's yard, at the park, or while traveling. You should use a variety of different rocks that are also different colors. If you want, you can buy different colored gravel and create a small Zen-like rock garden.
Place your rocks the way you want in the area.
Add mulch if you will be planting vines or plants. Hearty vines and plants will look great in your rock garden.
Clear your rock garden of weeds as soon as you see growth. This will make clearing them easier.
Rock gardens can be fun, whimsical, and creative. You can build a rock garden that will also serve as a drainage system for your lawn. A dry creek bed will make the perfect rock garden and also keep water from clogging the soil in your yard. Build the drainage system at the bottom of a slope and dig a small trench. You can decorate the trench with rocks as well.
If you do not like traditional landscaping, you can try a rock garden. They are inexpensive and easy to set up. You will have to weed, but that's about it. Many people who do not want a lawn that they have to take care of every day will create large rock gardens. They are decorative and functional at the same time.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Beyond the Lawn Day: Not Enough Water Can Cause Brown Spots!

One American needs 78 gallons of water a DAY. But it's with everything included. Another episode explains why dehydration can be a killer, or not..

Friday, July 3, 2015

How to Cope With A Drought

It is especially important to be aware of inefficient water usage during times of drought. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when water supplies start to dwindle.

Step 1: Plant drought-resistant plants
Reduce your water use in the yard by planting drought-tolerant varieties, mulching trees and plants, and watering your lawn only when absolutely necessary.

Water your yard early or late in the day to prevent water evaporation. Do not let water run off into the gutter.

Step 2: Fix water leaks
Fix leaks in your faucets and water pipes.

Step 3: Take short showers
Take short showers and turn the shower off between soaping up and rinsing. Reducing your shower time by one or two minutes can save up to 150 gallons of water each month.

Install water-saving shower heads for extra savings.

Step 4: Adjust toilet tank
Place plastic bottles or bricks in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used when you flush, and don't flush unnecessarily.

Step 5: Don't leave water running
Don’t leave the water running when it's not necessary. This includes while brushing your teeth, shaving, washing dishes, cleaning vegetables, or washing your car.

Step 6: Optimize appliance usage
Operate your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full.

Did You Know?
Besides absence of rainfall, droughts also take place when water supplies do not keep up with human demand.