Monthly Archives: November 2014

Sprinkler Systems

A well planned sprinkler system for your garden will save you water, time, energy and money! Sprinkler systems will deliver the correct amount of water to your lawn and garden whenever you want it and produce a lush lawn and healthy flower and vegetable gardens. No more dragging your hose all over the plants in your yard! When you install your own sprinkler system you can even deliver water to hanging baskets and container plantings too!

Lawn Sprinkler Systems

The roots of your grass are actually very shallow, generally between two and four inches deep. This means that your lawn will dry out quickly in hot weather and before you know it, you begin to see yellow and brown patches as your grass goes dormant. Light watering results in the penetration of water to only one or two inches which means that your lawn roots become even more shallow causing them to be even more susceptible to drying out. As well, the weeds that live in your garden often have deeper root systems and this means that they will continue to grow and thrive in the dryer conditions!

Flower and Vegetable Sprinkler Systems

The beauty of an automated sprinkler system is that you can adjust each sprinkler head for each individual plant or area. The shady moist areas need less water while the hotter dryer areas receive just the amount they need to thrive. Vegetables like cucumbers can get an even and regular amount of water preventing bitterness, while plants like tomatoes or squash that don’t like their leaves to get wet, can be watered from low mounted drippers.

As you investigate sprinkler systems you will find there are many different types available. Some require a lot of digging and professional installation, but there are systems that are much simpler that you can put together yourself in just a day.

Fertilizers

With so many different types of fertilizers available, gardeners are often confused and bewildered as to what they need. There are fertilizing liquids, crystals, powders, spikes and granules as well as a variety of organic fertilizers too. Each type promises to give lush vigorous growth and boasts a list of (sometimes hard to understand!) vital ingredients and nutrients essential to your plant’s health.

Two basic Fertilizer delivery systems

Fertilizers have two basic ways to deliver the nutrients to your lawn or garden. Instant or a slow, controlled release. Instant would be a liquid or quick disolving powder or granule. These are water soluble and reach the roots immediately giving your plants and lawn an immediate boost. The benefit of this is that you can fertilize with this method a week or so before your garden party knowing that it will quickly green up your lawn. The drawback is that the results will fade quickly leaving you to have to fertilize again.

Slow or controlled release fertilizers are usually some type of coated granules or spikes which give up their nutrients more slowly over a period of weeks or even months. This means that you will only fertilize once and your plants have a constant source of nutrients over a much longer growing period. This type is more costly, but if you want a green lawn and well fed veggies and flowers all summer it will save you money since you only need one application.

What do those three numbers on the fertilizer bag mean?

Once you have decided if you want the immediate or slow release type fertilizer, you need to know what specific type each plant needs. Manufacturers are required by law to list the essential plant nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) on their product. For instance, 10-15-10 would mean that product has 10% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus and 10% potassium. Thankfully though, they also list what their fertilizer mixture is for, such as ‘bigger tomatoes” or “extra green leaves”.

A case for Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers include things like bloodmeal, bonemeal, manures, composts and fish emulsions. Many of these are less expensive to purchase if not free! They are often preferred by gardeners as they are less likely to burn the roots of plants and seedlings, they are environmentally friendly and won’t damage the soil and best of all organic fertilizers improve the quality and consistency of the soil itself.