Sprinkler FAQs

Help!  Water is running!  What do I do? 
Turn your water off at one of two possible places - the backflow valve (located above ground at the side of your house) or at the main sprinkler source in the house (usually basement or crawlspace).  Then call us and we'll schedule a repair. 

My system hasn’t been running in several years.  Is it worth it to try to fix it?
This depends on what the past history of the system was at the time it was abandoned.  Many times we find that with some investigation it can be updated and fixed for far less that a totally new system. 

The builder placed my sprinkler timer outside rather than the garage.  Can it be moved?
Yes, we do this all the time.  Whether the timer is in the basement or outside we can move it wherever you would like.  Most often it is placed in the garage for the homeowner’s convenience. 

I have a zone that is weak.  Can you fix it?
Yes, we can.  There are various causes for this.  Sometimes it is a leak, a valve issue, a pinch in the line, a break under the driveway.  We can usually pinpoint and then fix the problem.

Water is coming out of the backflow on the side of the house.  What do I do?
The first thing to do is to shut off the water to stop the flow.  Then call us and we will get out to make the fix.  

I can't get my zone to stop running at the timer.  What do I do?
The first thing to do is to shut off the water to stop the flow - at the backflow valve or at your main sprinkler turnoff in the basement or crawlspace.  Then call us and we will get out to make the fix. 

Can you replace my backflow?
We have done hundreds of these over the years and we are also certified backflow technicians.  We can fix or replace anything on your backflow.

Why are the green boxes filling up with water?
First of all, shut off the source of water.  You either have a drain open, or there is a break in the manifold that holds together the valves.  We rebuild many manifolds every year, but sometimes it is as easy as closing the drain.

Fertilizer FAQs

How do I know the proper amount of fertilizer to put on my lawn?
Most people guess! You, however, are reading this because you want to do it properly.

First we need to determine how much Nitrogen we will put down for the entire season, then work backwards to get a number per application.  On average, we want to apply 4 lbs of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet, per year.  You do not put this all down at once.  You want to spread it out over 4 – 6 applications.  In this manner you are feeding the lawn incrementally so as not to injure or stress the plants. In our example we will do 4 applications.

If your bag of fertilizer says 25–10–10 , for instance, the first number is the percentage of nitrogen in the bag.  In this case, 25%.  That means that if you have a 20 lb bag, 5 lbs of it is Nitrogen.

Our bag of fertilizer says that 25% is Nitrogen, so 4lbs of your fertilizer will cover 1000 ft sq with 1lb of Nitrogen.  If your lawn is 2500 ft sq you would simply multiply 4 (the number of pounds of fertilizer per thousand) x 2.5 (the number of 1000’s) = 10lbs of fertilizer from your bag for your lawn.   Do this calculation a couple of times and you will get the hang of it in no time, and you can figure it out for whatever fertilizer you have. 

Let’s do another: we want 1 lb of Nitrogen per thousand ft sq, per application, 4 apps per year.

Fertilizer numbers– 20-7-3.  Use the “20” here.

Lawn size – 4400 ft sq

Number of pounds of fertilizer to yield 1lb of Nitrogen per thousand sq ft –  (100% ÷ 20) =  5lbs

Total material for your lawn per application with this fertilizer – 4.4 (1000s of sq ft) x 5lbs = 22lbs

Lawn FAQs

What is Aeration?
Aeration is a process of pulling plugs out of  the ground in order to allow root expansion and the free flow of air and water down to the roots.

Why should I aerate?
You should aerate because the soil in Colorado is generally clay and becomes compacted.  The more it compacts, the less the grass roots are able to grow deeply and the less healthy your lawn will be.  By aerating the lawn twice a year you allow more space for the root system to grow and you create a healthier lawn.  Aeration is the best thing you can do for your lawn above all others.

What does your Weed Control Program include?
Turf Weeds – We use liquid spray for controlling weeds in your turf and we spot spray to minimize herbicide use on the property.
Rock areas, driveway cracks – We also spray for weeds in areas where they are a nuisance.  We want to control all the weeds on the property whenever possible.  We do avoid gardens and flower beds as they tend to be more sensitive.
Fertilizer – We use a slow-release granular fertilizer to feed your lawn the necessary nutrients for good even growth and color.

Do I have to participate in the whole weed control program or can I get just one shot?
The nature of weeds is that they pop up at differing times depending on weather, soil conditions, season, etc.  This makes it difficult to get them all under control at any given time.  That is why we have a program to control them.  By feeding the lawn (fertilizer) and controlling the weeds by spot spraying, we can create a lawn culture conducive to good health.
Therefore, the weed control program is annual.  However, you may join in at any time.  Know that some weeds are best controlled earlier in the season, and some later, so we are unable to control some weeds as effectively if we don’t catch them earlier in the season.

Why won’t you come out and spray for weeds just once?
We find that we cannot effectively control a customers weeds in one shot.  They are an ongoing maintenance issue and require ongoing attention.  When new weeds pop up often the customer believes the job wasn’t done satisfactorily, when in point of fact, it is probably now the part of the season for that kind of weed. This is why we come out throughout the season to control weeds.

What can I do to assist in the health of my lawn?
Using good cultural practices like cutting your lawn 2.5-3” in height.  Never mow more than 1/3 of the height at one mowing.  Watering properly – not too much or too often, but not allowing the lawn to get stressed either.  This means you should water deeply every 3-4 days. (We can assist you in setting up the timer.) Aerating at least once, preferably twice, per year in the spring and fall.  Remember that Aeration is the best thing you can do for your lawn.  Aerating cuts down on thatch buildup, gives air, water and food to the roots, and releases the compaction in the soil. 

I have a lot of Thatch buildup.  Should I Power rake?

With summer’s onset, lawns often lose their lush green and replace it with a brown undertone. Regular watering every three days may not be enough to maintain a deep green color. Kentucky bluegrass is a cool season grass that does not grow well in summer’s heat, but thatch is the chief cause of summer browning. Thatch may be the most misunderstood part of lawn care.  What it is and how do we to rid a lawn of it?  Thatch is the dark brown, felt-like material between the soil and the base of the grass plant. On first glance, it easily is mistaken for soil. Thatch starts with thick grass stems and roots. When these hardened grass parts die, they break down slowly and can accumulate as a thatch layer. If thatch builds up to 3/4 inch or more, lawn care becomes difficult and brown grass undertones develop. With thatch build-up, irrigation water runs off instead of penetrating the soil. Soil in heavily thatched lawns may never become wet at all. If the thatch eventually is moistened, it soon becomes soggy and too wet for healthy grass root growth. Either way, the grass takes on the brown undertone of a drought-stressed lawn. 

What can be done to avoid or solve lawn thatch problems? First, let grass clippings lie on the lawn. They break down quickly and encourage the growth of microorganisms that also digest thatch. Second, avoid overuse of pesticides, especially fungicides. These chemicals kill the microorganisms that break down thatch. Third, core aerate at least once per year, more often if thatch has already become a problem. A bit of thatch is sliced out with each core, allowing water and air to better penetrate the soil. Core aeration has replaced the earlier power raking technology of the 1950’s. Even so, you may need to core aerate several times per year over several years to remedy a serious lawn thatch problem. Other lawn care practices such as regular fertilizing, watering and mowing as well as minimizing pesticide applications also are a part of solving thatch problems.
— Carl Wilson, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Agent, Horticulture, Denver County