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I want grass! Which one is better? Sod, Hydroseed, or Grass Seed

 

I WANT GRASS.  Should I install grass seed, sod, or hydroseed in my yard?  This is a common question for homeowners trying to decide how to get a green yard quickly, efficiently, and the most cost effective way. 

 

 Grass Seed hydroseed sod

The first question you need to ask is what will your budget allow? 
  • Sod is normally more expensive to buy and install. Sod can be installed by the homeowner or you can hire a contractor.
  • Hydroseed comes in second. Hydroseed needs to be done by a contractor who has the special truck with the mixture to spray on your prepared areas. 
  • Grass Seed is the cheapest to buy and install.  Grass seed can be installed by the homeowner to keep the costs down.
The second question is when will you be installing the yard? 
  • Grass seed needs to be installed in the Fall (#1 choice), Spring (#2), or Summer months (#3). Make sure you have a watering source like a sprinkler system and maybe a few scarecrow birds to keep the birds from eating your seed. 
  • In our area, hydroseed has a warranty window of installation from March to October.  That is the best time to install so you can take advantage of the warranty if the seed doesn’t take. Also hydroseed needs to have a regular watering schedule preferably an irrigation system that can water more frequently especially when you are at work or not at home. 
  • Sod can be installed year round but also needs to be watered frequently, especially in the summer months, to avoid shrinking at the seams.

The third question is how fast do you want to have green grass to play on?  

  • Grass Seed will take several months to see a full yard of green grass and you will need to be very patient as you watch it grow.  You will need to take great care by making sure it is watered properly as well as overseeding areas where the wind or birds may have displaced your seeds. 
  • Hydroseed will take less time then Grass Seed because it has a blanket with a fertilizer mix that holds the seed in place.  But again, hydroseed needs a lot of water, but you should be able to mow the grass 4-6 weeks after seeding. 
  • Sod is the quickest way to receive an instant lawn.  With proper watering and a glass of lemonade, you’ll be sitting on the porch looking at a plush green yard instantly. 

Summary of Benefits of all three:

Grass Seed:

  • Lowest pricedseed
  • Easy to install – can do it yourself
  • Slowest to see green grass
  • Plant from April to September
  • Beware of birds and wind
  • Needs a lot of water
  • Can’t play on grass seed for months

 

Hydroseed:

  • Medium pricedhydroseed
  • Hire a contractor to install
  • Grows pretty quick, will see green yard in 4-6 weeks
  • Plant from March to October
  • Needs a lot of water
  • Can’t play on grass for 3 months to prevent damage to root structure

 Sod:

  • Highest pricedsod
  • Hire a contractor to install or do it yourself
  • Instant grass
  • Plant anytime
  • Needs a lot of water, especially in summer
  • Play on it right away

Here's a small tidbit - you are also helping the envionrment when planting grass, not only does it help with erosion control, but it also produces oxygen.  It is estimated that a 50 by 50 foot lawn (2,500 square feet), releases enough oxygen for a family of four. 

So whether you install grass seed, hydroseed, or sod you will be making an investment in your home, beautifying your property, and helping the environment.   

Remember you can always call Controlled Rain at 360-456-7578 to install your grass seed, hydroseed, or sod.

Contact Controlled Rain Today

 

 

 

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The Color Purple – What does it mean in the Landscape World

 

Don't DrinkWhen you see the color purple used in sprinkler systems, it means that the water is being reused and is not fit to drink (non-potable). 

The color purple can show up on:

  1. The valve boxes which are normally green;
  2. The irrigation pipe which are normally white;
  3. The nozzles that are placed in the head of a sprinkler or rotor which are normally black.  The sprinkler head may have a purple wrap.
  4. The valve covers which are normally black;
  5. The quick coupler valve which are normally metallic.

A lot of local, state, and federal governments and schools are implementing recycling the water to help save water, money, and the environment.  Every gallon of recycled water used for these purposes saves a gallon of drinking water. 

The use of purple piping has become the international symbol for recycled water.  The recycled water is delivered completely separate from the drinking water infrastructure.  This is to prevent recycled water from getting into the public distribution systems.

Some people ask what the difference is between recycled water and grey water.  Recycled water is wastewater that has been treated for reuse for approved non-potable uses which are primarily landscape irrigation.  Grey water includes untreated wastewater from bathtubs, showers, washing machines, etc.  Grey water normally is only used to irrigate landscapes at the site at which the grey water was generated and the irrigation is an underground system. 

Purple ExamplesIf you see purple valve boxes or sprinklers that have any purple on them, don't drink the water.  

Don't drink the Water

Also even if it is really hot out and your children beg you to run through the sprinklers, take the time to educate them on recycled water and if they were to get the water on them, they would need to wash off with clear water right away.  

No Kid sprinkler

If you have more questions regarding reclaimed water in your area, please contact your local water jurisdiction.  If you have general questions on landscaping and irrigation, contact Controlled Rain, LLC at 360-456-7578.  

Outdoor Irrigation Restrictions, Incentives, and Rebates

 

Outdoor Watering Programs in Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater

Water Restrictions:

City of Lacey's outdoor water restrictions are set up to help reduce peak demand during the summer months and it starts on June 1 through Sept. 30.
 

 

Lacey Watering Schedule

Exemptions to the watering guidelines include outdoor potted plants, hanging baskets, greenhouse plants, public-owned athletic fields and water used to wash cars. Residents who planted a new lawn or landscape can ask for temporary exemptions. 

City of Olympia and Tumwater do not have outdoor water restrictions; however, they do recommend that customers conserve what they can and have offered some water incentives and rebates to their residential customers.

 

Outside Water Conservation Incentives and Rebates: 


Water use frequently doubles or triples during the summer months largely because of outdoor watering. In most cases homeowners overwater their landscape by failing to utilize irrigation components that take into consideration site conditions, weather patterns, and specific plant needs. The City of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater have put together an incentive water conservation package to encourage water reduction and to save money on utility bills. 

 

City of Lacey Residential Kits: 
 

  1. Free Outdoor Water Saving Kit which includes 3 hose screens, 2 hose repair ends, 1 heavy-duty adjustable spray nozzle.  This can save up to 7,300 gallons of water per year.

  2. Free Auto Shut-off Hose Sprinkler Timer. The timer connects to your hose bib and sprinkler and will automatically shut off after the desired set time. This can save up to 2,500 gallons of water per year.

  3. Free Soil Moisture Sensor. Overwatering your lawn not only wastes water, it can also cause disease.  A soil moisture sensor is a device that will show you when the soil is ready to be watered to prevent overwatering and wasting money. This can save up to 2,500 gallons of water per year. 

City of Lacey residents should keep their eyes open for the annual water report which will contain coupons for indoor and outdoor water saving kits as well as coupons. The water savings supplies are given out on a first come first serve basis.

Lacey

For more information, contact WaterResources@ci.lacey.wa.us or visit http://www.ci.lacey.wa.us/city-government/city-departments/public-works/water-resources/drinking-water-programs/water-conservation-program

 

City of Olympia Residential Kits and Rebates:
 

  1. Free Outdoor Water Saving Kit - This kit includes a rain gauge (your lawn only needs about one inch of water per week), a hose repair kit to fix leaks, and an adjustable spray nozzle for your hose. 

  1. Free Rain Sensor - Rain sensors turn off automatic irrigation systems when it is raining. They are easy to install and adjust, and will fit all irrigation controllers. 

  1. Free Hose Watering Timer - If you use a hose-end sprinkler to water your lawn and garden, a timer is a great way to prevent overwatering. Turn it on and forget it, watering only as long as you need to. 

  1. Rain Barrel Rebates $20-60 - A rain barrel collects rain water from your roof and stores it for later uses like watering your garden.  You can collect about 55 gallons of rain water with each barrel.  City of Olympia water customers can receive a $20 rebate on the purchase of each rain barrel, up to 3, for a total rebate of $60. Purchase a rain barrel, install the barrel, and submit your rebate form with a copy of your dated receipt before Dec. 31, 2014. 

  1. Smart Irrigation Controller 50% up to $200 Rebate - Smart irrigation controllers automatically adjust watering times based on weather conditions to provide optimal moisture for healthy plants and conserve water. If you have an irrigation system with a standard controller, you could see water savings of up to 30% by upgrading to an approved smart controller! 

  1. Pressure Reducing Valve 50% up to $125 RebateCity of Olympia offers a limited number of rebates to customers who live in a high pressure zone. If you are experiencing high water pressure in your home, you can receive rebates for up to 50% of the installed cost of a Pressure Reducing Valve at your home.  Pick up your free items in person at Olympia City Hall (with a copy of your utility bill) or request a kit via mail by calling 360.753.8271 or emailing waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us. 

Olympia

For more information visit http://olympiawa.gov/city-utilities/drinking-water/conservation.aspx

  

City of Tumwater Residential Kits and Rebates:
 

Save water and money this summer by using these outdoor water saving devices: 
 

  1. Free Shut-off Spray Hose Nozzles – Automatically shut off the water when you are not actively using your hose; great for car washing and watering the lawn.

  2. Free Rain/Irrigation Gauges – Your lawn needs an average 1” of rain each week, and this is the perfect way for you to measure how much water your landscape is receiving.

  3. Rain Barrel Rebates up to $60 - If you purchase a rain barrel to collect rain water during the rainy months for use in the spring and summer, you may be eligible to receive a $10 rebate for each barrel up to 6 barrels you purchased.

 NOTE: Rebates are given on a first-come first-served basis until rebate funds are  exhausted.  

  1. Receive up to $200 Rebate to install a weather-based irrigation device if you are planning a new or upgrading an existing automatic irrigation system:

    • When you install an evapotranspiration (ET) controller, OR
    • When you install a conservation controller with a rain sensor, OR 
       
    • Purchase a soil moisture sensor with a new or existing irrigation system

Note: New and upgraded devices must be inspected and verified by a licensed landscape irrigation contractor. The inspector's signature on the rebate application form is required. Controlled Rain, LLC would be happy to assist you with this process.  

Tumwater

For more information on the City of Tumwater visit: http://www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/departments/public-works/utilities/for-homes


Controlled Rain, LLC is ready to help you make sure your sprinklers are ready for Summer; to give you an estimate to install a new system or modify an existing system; and/or to assist you with the city rebates. Click below to get on our calendar.  

Spring Start Up

 

 

Tips to Conserve Water in your Landscape

 

Here are some practical tips that will help you efficiently accomplish a beautiful yard while being water-use minded.

Nice HouseWater Wisely:  The efficient way to water is a few times for a shorter amount of time, with 15 minute breaks in between.  This allows water enough time to soak into the soil.

Water On Time:  The best time to water is in the morning between 5 and 10 a.m.  Watering during the day is wasted due to the wind and evaporation; at night grass can remain wet allowing fungus to grow.

Water at the Roots:  Drip irrigation is recommended to get water directly to the roots.  Drip irrigation enables a low volume of water to be dispersed right at the root system of the plant.  This is recommended when wanting to water individual trees, flowerbeds, potted containers or other non-grass areas.  This efficient method reduces water waste due to evaporation and runoff.

Water by Zones:  Divide your landscape into separate irrigation zones.  This way grass can be watered separately and more frequently than groundcover plants, shrubs, and trees.

Water what Grows:  If you have an automatic sprinkler system, make sure the sprinklers are adjusted properly to avoid the wasteful watering of sidewalks and driveways.

Make Inspections:  Routinely check your sprinklers to make sure everything is working properly; a clogged sprinkler or a torn line doesn't benefit your landscape or your water bill.

Be Flexible:  Adjust your automatic sprinkler system as the weather and seasons change.  Or better yet, install a shut-off device that automatically detects rain, whcih allows you to take advantage of the water nature provides without having to pay for it.

To see a short video on How-To and Watering Tips, click HERE.

Meet David, Our Irrigation Service Manager

 

DavidDavid has been a big part of Controlled Rain's success and I would have to say he is one of the best irrigation troubleshooters in Washington State!  He can fix anything and prides himself in doing so.  We call him "MacGyver" around here.

At Controlled Rain, we are vigilant about building a personal relationship with our customers. We do whatever it takes to achieve complete customer satisfaction. To us, our customers are much more than just another job; they are an extension of our friends and family. Because we are striving to build a connection with our customers, we would like to share with you a more personal look at one of our employees.  Meet David

Q

Q:  How did you get started in the irrigation industry and how long have you been servicing your customers?

A:  I like working outdoors.  I like the small family oriented business atmosphere of Controlled Rain.  I took a chance and knocked on a home office door to inquire if they were hiring and well over 10 plus years later I’m still here.

Q:  What is the best part of being an irrigation technician?

A:  I get to play in puddles!

Q:  Do you have a story to share about helping a customer?

A:  One of our customers has a chocolate lab and I was working in a hole and the dog kept dropping a toy in my hole so that I would throw it for him.  And of course, he would fetch it and drop it back in my hole.  I had to start throwing it farther and farther each time so that I had enough time to get a portion of my project completed.  It was quite comical.  This occurred the whole time I was there.

Q:  What kind of hobbies do you like?

A:  I love anything that involves motors or competition such as RC’s, Quads, paintball.

Q:  What are some fun facts about you?

A:  I like to have fun. 

 

A little bit about Controlled Rain, LLC:

At Controlled Rain, your service experience is our highest priorities.  Because of that, we offer:

  • A Better Business Bureau A+ rating.

  • Highly-trained, extensive background checked and drug-free technicians.

  • We are constantly mindful of your valuable time.

  • The peace of mind that comes from a knowledgeable technician who will be able to diagnose and fix your problem to your satisfaction.

  • Absolute 100% Customer Satisfaction

  • And much, much more

In summary, there is no company better geared to helping your family and landscape needs than Controlled Rain. We're proud to serve you.

If you want to meet our irrigation team in person and have us do a Spring Start Up on your system, click here and sign up.

 

Spring Start Up

What is a Sprinkler Spring Start Up?

 

In the Winter, the sprinkler system is turned off and winterized removing all water from pipes to avoid freezing and breakage.  So in the Spring, the system needs to be turned back on. 

A Spring Start Up refers to recharging your sprinkler system with water. 

Spring Start UpIndustry standard recommends that in the Spring, you have a licensed professional turn back on your system and recharge it with water.  A Controlled Rain Sprinkler Spring Start Up consists of a trained technician:

  1. Recharging your system with water by turning the water on at the main valve.
  2. Turning your controller on and manually turning on each zone.
  3. Going through each zone to make sure there aren't any breaks or debris in the pipes, valves, sprinkler heads, or nozzles.
  4. Cleaning out valve boxes due to critters kicking up the dirt or knawing on the wires.
  5. Clearing away grass from sprinkler heads so they can pop up correctly.
  6. Making sure the controller is operating and programmed properly.
After the Spring Start Up, the technician will:
  • Perform any repairs with customer permission.
  • Make recommendations for sprinkler system: for instance, your shrub sprinklers may need to be resized due to plant growth or add some drip irrigation, etc.
  • Educate customer on water efficient strategies to help save time, money, and water.
  • Create a diagram of your system with products used for future repairs. We can come to your home prepared with the correct brands, sizes, etc.
If you are interested, want more information, and would like to see our Spring Start Up video, click on the link below:

 

 

Meet Evan, Our Irrigation Technician

 

Evan 4 resized 600

Evan joined Controlled Rain, LLC last year and has already amazed our customers!!  We look forward to this spring and summer season.  Get to know Evan -

QA

Q: How did you get started in the irrigation industry and how long have you been servicing your customers?

A: Most of my sprinkler experience comes from working at golf courses.  I worked at Castle Pines in Colorado for 2 years and spent another 2 years at the Golf Club at Hawks Prairie in Lacey, WA.  Working with Controlled Rain through one winterization service season has prepared me to meet all their customers in person this spring.  I am looking forward to getting to know Controlled Rain’s customers and helping them get the most out of their irrigation systems. 
 

Q: What is the best part of being an irrigation technician?

A: I like being an irrigation technician because there is always a different problem to fix and it always keeps you on your toes.  Not only have I really enjoyed meeting the great customers we have; I also enjoy fixing things to help people.  At Controlled Rain, I get to do both – so I am a lucky guy.
 

Q: Do you have a story to share about helping a customer?

A: My goal is to go above and beyond to get the job done right while giving our customers the best experience possible.  I work with speed, cleanliness, a good attitude and attention to detail plus superior skills and knowledge.  I look forward to creating some great stories with my customers.


Q: What kind of hobbies do you like?

A: I have a bunch of things I like to do and am very active.  I love to hunt, fish, camp, work on anything with a motor, spend time with family, ride my motorcycle, and go out on the boat.

 

Q: What are some fun facts about you?

A: I served our country as a Marine. 

I am 27.   

I have a beautiful wife, Tiana.

We have two awesome boys: Tristan, age 4 and Aaden, age 1

I do whatever it takes to get the job done right.

 

A little bit about Controlled Rain, LLC:

At Controlled Rain, your service experience is our highest priorities.  Because of that, we offer:

  • A Better Business Bureau A+ rating.

  • Highly-trained, extensive background checked and drug-free technicians.

  • We are constantly mindful of your valuable time.

  • The peace of mind that comes from a knowledgeable technician who will be able to diagnose and fix your problem to your satisfaction.

  • Absolute 100% Customer Satisfaction

  • And much, much more

In summary, there is no company better geared to helping your family and landscape needs than Controlled Rain. We're proud to serve you. 

If you want to meet Evan in person and have him do a Spring Start Up on your system, click here and sign up.

Spring Start Up

 

Controlled Rain Celebrates Giving Tuesday

 

Now that Cyber Monday is over, it is time to focus on Giving Tuesday!

Controlled Rain is landscaping the New Quixote Village (Homeless Shelter) and there is several opportunities to give.  It Takes a Village to Build a Village!  Every year during this time, my family plans to give in some way by donating money, time, food, toys, and clothing to either our church, the homeless, or somebody we know in need.

Homeless City    Homeless City Freezing

Have you heard about the tent city that has to move every so often to keep the city of Olympia happy?  Well, somebody had a dream to create a community for these people and more. The new community is called Quixote Village and is located in Olympia, in an industrial area, near South Puget Sound Community College.

This year, Controlled Rain gets the opportunity to do the landscape work at the new Quixote Village which will provide homeless neighbors with secure and dry places to live while they turn their energies towards improving their lives.

Cottages all in a Row        Community Building

This village has 30 small cottages and a community building that will include a shared kitchen, dining room, living room, library, restroom, showers, and laundry facilities.  This village also will have a common grassy area, BBQ area, and will have areas to grow gardens and a basketball court too.

path2 resized 600

I thought I would give my time and help advertise for this cause because it really does take a village to build a village!  There will be 30 residents in 30 cottages so they need a lot of items not only for the cottages but the common areas too.  Help support this new homeless community by donating items on their needs list: 

FOR EACH OF THE 30 COTTAGES
  • Basic cleaning supplies
  • Light bulbs
  • Toilet paper
  • 4′x6′ (approximately) area rugs
  • wastebaskets &/or small garbage cans
  • twin bed sheets and pillowcases
  • throw pillows (no bed pillows needed)
  • bedside lamps
  • brooms and dustpans

VILLAGE NEEDS FOR THE COMMUNITY BUILDING

  • Dish towels, hand towels, washcloths for the kitchen
  • Pot scrubbers
  • Green Kitchen cleaning supplies
  • Green dishwasher detergent
  • Green shower cleaning supplies
  • Light bulbs
  • Pots and pans of all shapes and sizes
  • Coffee mugs
  • Drinking glasses
  • Flatware for at least 30 people
  • Cooking utensils: spatula, wooden spoons, slotted spoon, cheese grater, etc.
  • Blender
  • Large rice cooker
  • Toasters
  • Optional but welcome: Popcorn maker, food processor, canning equipment
  • Spices
  • Pantry items: sugar, flour, canned goods, coffee, tea, beans, rice
  • Mixing bowls
  • Serving bowls and platters
  • Serving spoons
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Flower vases
  • Iron
  • Bathmats or small rugs for shower rooms
  • Toilet paper
  • Flat screen TV for living room
  • DVD player
  • Dry firewood for wood stove

Since the Village isn't quite finished, please call Jill at 360-753-2095 to make arrangements to drop off your donations.  You can find out a lot more information on the Quixote Village history and other ways to donate your time and money.  Check the village out at http://quixotevillage.com/


So Celebrate Giving Tuesday by helping the Quixote Village in Olympia. Thank you for your generosity to the future residents of Quixote Village!  The residents will be moving in the month of December, early January.
 
KIMG0107 2    KIMG0108 2

5 Reasons to Go Green with a Christmas Tree

 

Live Christmas TreeHere are 5 good reasons to use a live Christmas Tree instead of a cut or artificial tree.  

  1. Helps the environment
  2. Saves our landfills by reducing the amount of waste
  3. Absorbs carbon monoxide and emits fresh oxygen back into the environment
  4. After Christmas, the tree can be planted and it will provide a habitat for wildlife
  5. Get a traditional holiday decoration AND a new addition to your landscape

After you purchase a Live Christmas Tree, set it on a porch near the front or back door for 3 days, then bring it into the house and place it in a cooler location near a window and keep it watered really well.  Once the holidays are over, move the tree back to the porch for 3 days and it will be acclimated and ready to plant in a roomy spot with plenty of space for future growth. 

 

Top 2 Ways to Protect your Plants from Freezing

 
freezing plants all cropped resized 600

The weather has quickly changed from cold to freezing.  It is time to make sure that your outdoor plants will survive the weather elements.  Here are the top 2 ways to protect your plants from frost damage. 

  1. Water the soil thoroughly around your plants;  and

  2. Cover your plants. 

The water holds the heat in the soil and then the cover traps the heat in the ground to avoid root damage.  Wet soil holds heat better than dry soil.  Cover your plants in the evening and then uncover when temperatures rise the next day.  You can find most of these recommended covers right in your home: bed sheets, drop cloths, blankets, buckets, garbage cans, and plastic sheets (make sure plastic doesn’t touch foliage, put a sheet first). Be sure that the cover goes all the way to the ground and should be secured to not fly away or tip over.  The whole idea is to trap the heat in the ground.

Here are 4 more ways to help preserve your landscape for spring.

  1. In the Puget Sound Area, we can get away with covering low plantings with straw mulch and then remove once the danger of frost has passed.

  2. You can also place an outdoor lamp in the interior of a small tree. Holiday lights on a tree can help too.  These lights can emit enough warm heat to reduce frost damage.

  3. When designing your landscape, place sensitive plants close to the house so they have some shelter from the elements.

  4. For potted plants, place them on your porch, in your garage, or under your house crawl space to protect them from the cold, wind, and rain. Potted plants are much more sensitive to frost damage because the cold can get to the plant from all sides of the pot.

With proper nutrition, light, and water throughout the year, your plants will be established and stand a good chance of surviving a freeze.  Covering plants before a freeze is not a guarantee but will definitely help the majority of your plants.

Don’t forget plants are resilient and can come back in the spring even if you think they are damaged.  Always wait to do anything until spring to see if new growth is occurring in your plants.

 

 

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