Tag: sprinklers

Orbit Sprinkler System in Parade of Homes

Orbit has sponsored the sprinkler system, landscape lighting, and temperature control (thermostats) of a home in the Utah Valley Parade of Homes.

Orbit-Parade-of-Homes-SprinklersRemember back on May 21 of this year, we added a post about a hands-on installation that our team performed?? Well, this is it. The sprinkler system went in with ease (thanks to PVC-Lock and Eco-Lock), the landscape lighting is beautiful, and the thermostat isn’t just a box that controls temperature, it’s masterpiece in style and function.

The house is ready for touring.  The yard is landscaped with sod and beautiful plants and trees and the house is furnished attractively.

You better hurry, tomorrow is the last day of the Parade. Come check out the house and see what Orbit has done and what our products can do for your home!

The home we sponsored is home number 17:

1639 S 900 E
Lehi, UT 84043

To purchase tickets and get more info, go to http://www.uvparade.com/.

Midsummer Watering Tips

My Midsummer Night’s Dream

With the very top of summer sliding past,
I often wonder, what’s up with my grass?
It’s brown, it crackles,
It raises my hackles,
And I despair
That it is beyond repair.

It would be a midsummer night’s dream,
For my grass to appear a lush green,
Just in time for my soiree
Where we will play a lively round of croquet.

So dearest Titania, send me a fairy
“Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire. . . .
Swifter than the moon’s sphere . . .
To dew [my herbs] upon the green”
And thus fulfill my midsummer night’s dream.

Midsummer Watering Tips

All rhyming aside, (and due to lack of Shakespearian fairies) here are some tips to keep your yard looking lush and green through the rest of the summer:

  • Interval watering – do you have stubborn brown spots popping up on your lawn? Rather than adding more water, try interval watering. Water each zone for 10-15 minutes, and then repeat 2 more times. This allows the water to soak into the soil without running off into the neighbor’s yard or down the drain. Do this 2-3 times per week (or as needed).
  • Raise you lawn mower height. A slight raise in the length of your lawn protects the roots from the blaring summer sun and keeps your lawn looking healthier.
  • Sharpen your lawn mower blades. This cuts the grass rather than tearing it and protects your lawn from disease.
  • Keep those weeds down. Unwanted weeds compete with your existing landscaping for much needed water. Eliminating that competition helps your plants to thrive.

The Very Top of Summer

Pro Flo 7-Pattern Watering Wand With Thumb Control

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

Natalie Babbitt’s classic book Tuck Everlasting represents discovering life and the wonders of the world.

Often, our tendency is to bury ourselves with tasks, projects, and good intentions until we are so busy we rush right past life.

And life, “like all magnificent things . . . [is] very simple.”

No matter what you have (or have not) accomplished this summer, there is still time to enjoy what’s left.

“Life’s got to be lived, no matter how long or short. You got to take what comes.”

So take a moment to enjoy the day. Consider something that you have wanted to do for a while and make plans to do it. You could:

  • Read a book
  • Go on a hike
  • Build that tree house
  • Enjoy your outdoor living space
  • Plant a garden
  • Stargaze
  • Roast Marshmallows

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that Orbit is more than just an irrigation company. We are a company built around making life easier and more enjoyable.

So let your sprinklers keep the grass green for those family barbeques and starry nights. Let your mist system create a comfortable outdoor living space.

As Tuck says: “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

Let us help you create a happy yard and a happy home.

*All quotes taken from Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt

Keeping it Cool

pro flo 7 pattern watering wand with thumb control

Some of my best childhood memories are of rounding up a bunch of friends and running carefree around the backyard being drenched by the sprinklers.  Who didn’t love the spraying frenzy?  After about fifteen minutes of sprinkler time I would race for the hose and start squirting everyone!  Sooner or later they would get the courage to chase me down to try to pry it from my hands.  Finding myself outnumbered I would make a quick retreat to the most convenient place, the roof.  That’s right, the roof (good thing mom didn’t know…) Waiting for me here was a pile of water balloons and water guns.  I had the perfect place to continue my water war.  That’s how I kept it cool during those fun & hot summer days.

Sadly, my rooftop water warring days are over now, but here are some new water efficient, safe ideas for keeping cool.  The ArizonaMist kits and a Chilly Mate are two of Orbit’s best misting products.  Did you know that patio misting kits can drop the temperature by up to 20 degrees?  It’s been triple-digits four days in a row here.  A mist system keeps temps in the comfy low 80’s.  Also, if you are planning any kind of outdoor activity, don’t forget to grab a  Chilly Mate.  They are a perfect way to keep yourself cool!

Click here for 15 great tips for staying cool this Summer.  My favorite is tip #7 so let me know what you think.  If you are planning a trip you will want to look at this site: National Weather Service.  You will learn how to keep cool with some awesome heat safety tips and some instruction for treating heat disorders (sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke).

Thanks for reading and have fun keeping cool!

Jeff

Square Foot Gardening

Orbit Irrigation traveling sprinkler

With processed foods increasingly prevalent, many people are seeking natural and organic options for their diet.  But a trip to your local grocery store will reveal that although going green may be healthier for your diet, it does little for your budget.

To combat these high prices many people are growing their own produce and square foot gardening is making it easy.

What is Square Foot Gardening?

Square foot gardening is an innovative approach to traditional single-row gardening.  At its basic level, square foot gardening consists of a 4′ x 4″ raised planter with 16 units.  Each square foot unit is used to plant a different crop.  This system takes less work, is easy to maintain, wastes less water and materials (such as seeds), and yields plenty of crops.

For tips on how to set up your own square foot garden, click here.

Watering Your Square Foot Garden

There are a number of ways to water your square foot garden, they include: Bucket watering, Hose watering, Soaker Hose watering, Sprinkler System watering, and Drip Irrigation.*

Bucket Watering

This includes a large bucket of sun-warmed water and a cup.  Water each plant with a cup of water.  Although this method is inexpensive, it is tedious work that someone must attend to each day.

Hose Watering

Use a gentle hose-end attachment to water each plant.  Setbacks to this method include increased risk of molds and fungi (due to the leaves getting wet) and the fact that this system is not automated.

You can browse Orbit’s hose-end products here.

Soaker Hose Watering

A soaker hose is a porous hose that allows water to seep slowly into the soil.  It is less work, but you still have to remember to turn it on—to combat this issue you can try one of Orbit’s hose faucet timers.  While this method protects the leaves of your plants, you cannot control which plants receive more water and it is still difficult to ensure even watering.

Sprinkler System Watering

Rather than try to water your garden individually, you can adjust your sprinkler system to also cover your square foot garden.  This approach is convenient because it is automated; however, you are less likely to receive even coverage and the leaves of your plants will be watered, increasing your risk for mold and fungus.

Drip Irrigation

Many square foot gardeners feel that drip irrigation is the ideal method of watering your garden.  Drip systems allow the water to soak directly into the soil with the added convenience of flow adjustment for individual plants.  These systems are also automated, ensuring consistent watering.

Despite what some people may think, drip irrigation is fairly simple to set up.  For help and tips you can check out Orbit’s Free Installation Guide.  Or you can view our Drip Made Easy videos.

 

As always, if you have any questions, please give us a call at: 1 (800) 488-6156.  Good luck with your square foot garden and enjoy a warm and healthy summer!

*Special thanks to: My Square Foot Garden

Water Conservation – Save Water and Money

Are you interested in water conservation?  Do you want to save money?  Just interested in having a beautiful yard?

You can save water and money.  Here’s how:

  • Start your sprinkler system right—inspect, repair, and adjust
  • Set your sprinkler timer schedule—aim to apply about 1”-1.5” of water per week during cooler months
  • Adjust your watering frequency—depending on the time of year, soil type, and plant needs

How much water am I using?

Sprinkler heads release water at the rate of about 1.5 to 3 Gallons per Minute (GPM).  So let’s say that you have 50 sprinkler heads releasing water at 3 GPM.  That means you are using 150 gallons of water per minute!  Now, run your sprinklers for 20 minutes and how much water are you using?

The answer: 3000 gallons of water!

What could I do with 3000 gallons of water?

That’s enough to fill: a 4’ x 18’ swimming pool (1900 Gal), a 4-person hot tub (700 Gal), and 10 bath tubs (400 Gal)!

Bigger isn’t Always Better

Many nutritionists suggest that eating smaller meals more frequently is better for your health.  In a similar way, it may be beneficial to break up watering duration for each zone into multiple cycles for optimal absorption.

As always, each yard is unique.  Consider your individual needs and factors—season, climate, plant and soil types, and other similar influences—for the best results.

Want to Learn More about Conservation?

Orbit believes in Conservation through Innovation.  With an increased awareness of our water usage and some easy adjustments we believe that everyone can have beautiful, eco-friendly yards.

For more information visit:

How Much do Automatic Sprinkler Systems Cost?

Sprinkler on edge of patio

The best answer to this question is that it depends on where you live, what type of equipment you plan to install, and whether you will do some of the work yourself.  But the following will help you at least ballpark what you ought to be paying for an automatic sprinkler system.

Do you plan on having a professional contractor install part or all of the system?

A basic rule of thumb is that a sprinkler contractor will price things out so that he has 1/3 of the total bid price in materials, 1/3 in labor and overhead, and 1/3 in profit. That leaves enough room so that he can still make money on the job even if some of the site-specific variables like a hard to find mainline, lower-than-expected pressure, or hardpan soil throw him some surprises. You should be able to buy equivalent materials at a home improvement store for about 15-20% more than the contractor installing pipe in groundwill pay at a contractor supply store, but you will need to factor in rental of trenchers and whether you can install the backflow prevention yourself, so you should figure your total cost of installing the system yourself will be around half the average of three competitive bids. A really simple way to estimate the cost of installing the system yourself is to use the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer.

If you need a quick and very rough range of where you might expect bids from professional sprinkler contractors to come in, you could use a range of $0.50 to $1.25 per square foot of area to be watered and probably not be too surprised. Just keep in mind that small properties will tend to be at the higher end of the range.

This is the first of a four part series that will ask the questions to help give you a good idea of things that will drive the cost of an automatic sprinkler system up or down. Some are things that you can choose and some are things that your specific region, climate or building codes will drive.