Advanced Irrigation Blog Posts

The Parts of Your Lawn Sprinkler System

People seeking out lawn sprinkler systems in Lakeville and surrounding environs have been calling upon Advanced Irrigation for some time now. We install and maintain many types of irrigation systems, for the benefits of your general home landscaping. We will now take the time to share with you some of the most commonly used terms and their meanings when it comes to lawn sprinkler systems—what makes them tick and function as they do. See below:

  • Backflow Preventer:A device that only allows water to penetrate in one direction, preventing it from going in a backwards direction or even opposite direction. These part of the lawn sprinkler system helps keep unclean and unsafe water from going back on itself, reversing its course and coming into the clean water supply area of the sprinkler.
  • Controller/Timer:This is the part of lawn sprinkler systems that determines when watering should start and stop. To be completely obvious, it controls when and as a result, how much to water, through the usage of a timer.
  • Sensor/Rain Sensor:In the event of rain, this sensor automatically shuts off your sprinkler system in the event of rain. This helps to ensure that your lawn is not water too much, rain serving as a “free” sprinkler.
  • Sprinkler Head:Two common types of sprinkler heads exist in the lawn sprinkler system marketplace these days—rotor or spray types. Both come with requisite pros and cons and are utilized specifically depending on the type of lawn sprinkler systems that are required for your home. A rotor type sprinkler head rotates water in swaths back and forth or in circles over your grass or landscaping. A spray type is sometimes referred to as a “fixed spray head”, spraying in a fan-shaped pattern, akin to a shower nozzle.
  • Valve:A valve comes in a variety of types and usages. The primary vale types we run into with lawn sprinkler systems are emergency shut-off valves and irrigation control valves. An emergency shut-off valve is installed very closely to the water source within the lawn sprinkler system, functioning exactly as is implied by the name. This valve works as a mean to cut off the flow of water in an emergency situation or, if we come out to work on lawn sprinkler systems. It allows the lawn sprinkler system’s water supply to be cut off without having to shut off your entire house’s water supply. An irrigation control valve is the valve that turns lawn sprinkler systems’ sprinklers on and off.
  • Water Meter:This is a separate water meter from the one you may have in your home. This measures how much water your lawn sprinkler system used.

To learn more about lawn sprinkler systems in Lakeville, call Advanced Irrigation at 612-599-8675 or contact us for a Free Estimate.

Properly Adding Shade Trees to Your Burgeoning Landscape

Many lawns and landscapes are fully exposed to constant sun. If you wish to be part of and directly enjoy your property, perhaps in a hammock, sometime you just want to lay in the shade. Why not implement some shade trees into your landscape design? Advanced Irrigation can help you with your shade tree needs with some landscape design for your Minneapolis home.

When planting a shade tree, many do not put enough thought into just where and how a shade tree should be added. There are two major things to consider. The first is that you will want to consider planting it somewhere “inland”—streets representing water—and not on the very edge of your property. If you plant shade trees near a street or at a point where municipalities will likely one day implement imminent domain and put a highway through your property, you run the risk of your tree being violated by power lines and the like. Right of way of overhead wires wreaks havoc on a tree, often to the point of eliminating its shading value. Our landscape design team is fully aware of this issue and would seek a location within your property where risk  is minimal.

A second problem involves just how your plant your shade trees. It is often thought to be elegant and regal to implement something of a platform or raised bed—surround by brick or stone—for a noble shade tree.

Problems can quickly arise. This raised bed, especially if it is built high enough to cover any of the trunk, will make life difficult for your shade tree. Soils will remain moist and not drain or feed the as it otherwise would in a standard planting situation. The soil will not aerate properly because it is compacted to that which encases it as well as the weight and understructure of the tree. Bugs and rodents will also find the area more appealing than they otherwise would, which tends towards damaged bark. These factors combine to rob your shade tree of nutrients, drying out and eventually killing your shade tree. It will be a slow death for your beloved tree. Trees grow slow and die slow. The process will start below the soil, near the trunk, working its way through the interior of the tree outward.

At Advanced Irrigation, our landscape designers are fully aware of just how and where to implement proper yard shading through shade trees. Season veterans all, our designers can assemble a perfect landscape design to please any and all.

If you would like more information on our landscape design skills in Minneapolis, call Advanced Irrigation at 612-599-8675, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.

Mulch Your Landscaping to Enhance the Life of Your Plants

Our professional landscaping company not only has an endless bounty of mulch in stock but we will gladly bring it along with us to efficiently carry out our overall lawn and yard prettying efforts. The benefits of mulching your outdoor décor are many, in addition to providing a pleasant carpeting sort of base for your shrubbery and trees to extend from.

Some home owners conduct their own lawn maintenance and care with love and enthusiasm. Others, well, they see these as annoying tasks and chores, spending time out in the heat maintaining something that will only have to be addressed again next week, the week after that and then some.  Not having a hearty base of mulch surrounding your burgeoning plant-life can drastically limit the life and overall blossom of your landscaping efforts. Whether you like it or not, always consider the option of a professional landscaping company for your St Paul home, we can do it all at Advanced Irrigation.

Mulch is made up of a combination of organic materials that run the gamut from bark or wood chips, leaves, grass, moss, straw and more. Even compost and manure can be made into the overall blend! These shards of previously living material are spread about, distributed evenly around the base(s) of flowerbeds, plants, shrubbery, trees and/or the open, otherwise unoccupied space of dirt in which this life occupies.

In addition to its aesthetic value, mulch helps in the prevention of erosion that would otherwise occur on soil left uncovered. Primarily, rain and wind are the culprits behind erosion, rain creating a runoff effect, wind “blowing” dirt and soil away. Erosion can ultimately expose the roots of your plant-life, where they then are left to face the elements. Erosion also—in removing the soil itself—depletes the soil of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) which your flowers, shrubbery, trees require to blossom into their true and full potential. In addition to the prevention of nutrient depletion, mulch adds nutrients to your soil as it breaks down over time.

Mulching your landscape also is an effective means of delaying the processes of evaporation. The mulch acts as a blanket, preventing the sun from reaching otherwise exposed soil. Without a layer covering the soil, the dirt and such will bake in the sun, drastically increasing the evaporatory process. The exposed roots of your plant-life will fight to live as their ability to retain the moisture they acquire will be greatly stressed.

Weed growth is also deterred a bit by mulch. The blanketing effect that mulch provides prevents weeds from germinating and thus spreading. While there are some amongst you who do enjoy pulling weeds, the bulk of our population does not and thus should use the anti-weeding benefits that mulch allows for in addition to those mentioned above. Should you wish to avoid the chore of mulching your landscaping, do not hesitate to call in a professional landscaping company such as Advanced Irrigation.

If you would like more information on our landscaping company near St Paul, call Advanced Irrigation at 612-599-8675, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.

Save Water Via an Evapotranspiration Irrigation System

No one wants an ugly, dry, brown yard. If you run a business, that large expanse cannot be all dried out and lifeless either. Lush green is the preference. If you are wondering about irrigation systems in the Bloomington area, consider Advanced Irrigation. A company that believes firmly in the conservation of water and safe environmental practices in general, their irrigation systems are water efficient by design.

Through the calculation and practice of evapotranspiration (ET), 20%-50% savings of water (over a standard irrigation system set-up) can be achieved while keeping your lawn as healthy and alive as ever it was before. The way evapotranspiration works is by taking the sum of evaporation from the soil and plant transpiration (process whereby grass and plants absorb water through the roots, give off water vapor through pores).

The evapotranspirator (the grass) is monitored by a smart controller that is digitally in touch with a weather station (24/7) measuring current and pending conditions to calculate local evapotranspiration factors. The smart controller then operates based on those conditions rather than on a schedule—no need to water the lawn if it is going to rain in three hours.

These irrigation systems will water your lawn or business property only to replenish only the moisture that is needed based on those calculated plant and soil conditions. The smart controller is programmed
with the precipitation rate, plant type, soil type, slope and sun/shade exposure and combines with the weather station data of wind, temperature, humidity and solar radiation. The factors in a blend create the irrigation system unleashing its water on your property. Live local data is combined with landscape information to calculate the ET. Your lawn or property ends up with healthier roots and longer lifespans.

The savings of water (and as a bonus, money) hover anywhere in the 20%-50% range based on what would be used in a normal “scheduled” irrigation set-up. One study estimated 66% savings in water use.

If you would like more information on our irrigation systems in Bloomington, call Advanced Irrigation at 612-599-8675, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.

Suggestions for Safe Snow Removal

commercial snow removal minnetonka advanced irrigationThis winter, we’ve had our share of snowfalls, and with falling snow comes the dreaded task of shoveling and ice removal. Over our years offering commercial snow removal in Minnetonka and throughout the surrounding areas, we have perfected our snow shoveling and other snow removal techniques. Here are a few suggestions from us on how to safely and effectively remove snow from your house or commercial property.

When it starts to snow and if the forecast is calling for a large amount of snow, you should consider going out and shoveling every couple of hours. It is much easier to shovel an inch or two of snow every hour or two than it is to trying shoveling two feet of snow after the snow storm is over. This might not always be feasible depending on the weather, how windy it is outside and whether or not it’s day or night out, but it is something you should do if you can.

Remember that shoveling snow is exercise so treat it as such. Do some stretches before you begin, make sure you stay hydrated throughout the process, take as many breaks as you need to take and do not overdo it. The last thing you want to do is fall while you are shoveling, so be careful.

Also, keep in mind that you should wear suitable clothing for snow removal. Wear waterproof boots and dress in layers. That way, as you warm up, you can remove your outer layers to make sure your body temperature stays comfortable and so you do not accidentally end up overheating.

During the actual shoveling process, instead of lifting the snow and throwing it over your shoulder, use the shovel to push the snow out of the way. This will save you a lot of time and hassle, not to mention sore muscles after you’re done shoveling!

Finally, keep an eye on the weather and your surroundings. Take note of how dark it is getting outside or if the snow is starting to fall really hard. Keep an eye on the wind as well, and make sure you are in tune with your body. Do not push yourself too hard.

Are you interested in learning more about commercial snow removal in Minnetonka or any of the surrounding areas? Call Advanced Irrigation at 612-599-8675, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.