Any time lay lawn we will set your retic control box for you, but after that its up to you to make sure it is actually working.
Different controllers respond differently to power outages and occasionally controllers can ‘die’, leaving you with no water. A recent turf installation we did in Brighton came close to tragedy.
The house was uninhabited and the person responsible for it lived in the country. After laying the turf we set the control box and left, only to discover two weeks later that the control box had faulted and the lawn hadn’t been watered as needed. It was close to dead and was going to need some intense watering to bring it back to life.
At last inspection it seemed that the lawn had a chance of making it, which is very fortunate. A dead lawn doesn’t just cost money to replace. It costs to remove and tip, so in the end the exercise costs even more than double.
So please please please – check that your lawn is getting watered as it should be. And if its not then call us straight away so we can help you sort it out!
Its been a busy summer and a hot one too – in fact the hottest one Perth has ever known which would explain why by this time of year we are a little weary!
If you are considering installing some turf then now is a fantastic time to do it, but I’d move quick before winter hits and we enter the season where lawn goes dormant.
We are still busy but have definitely noticed the slow down with the cooling weather.
Look forward to hearing from you
This week I went back to a job I first looked at a couple of months back.
I stopped in on my way home to see why this particular system wasn’t working. It was late in the afternoon and more than I had time for so I declined to take the job on right then.
So when we got back yesterday I knew what we were doing.
I had already tested for power at the Master Valve and there was nothing there. However what was really odd was that there was intermittent power. I know because I brushed the fleshy side of my forearm across the wires and got a small boot. The power wouldn’t register on the multi-meter, although it did shoot up to 28v on one occasion before dying again and making me wonder if i was dreaming…
So the logical conclusion was that a common wire had been broken somewhere. Even when the master valve was turned on manually there was still no water going thru the system. We began at the controller and traced the wires thru a series of 4 different joins and eventually discovered a sliced cable about 30ml underground alongside the driveway. It looked like the edger had given it a beating.
The wire were joining occasionally hence the odd readings, but once it was all tidied up and rejoined the system was working perfectly again.
After the recent run of crazy hot weather all around Australia there is a fair chance your lawn will be looking the worse for wear.
I have seen a number of browning, ‘crunchy’ lawns lately and it seems that the weather is simply getting the better of the two day/week watering regime. When the temperatures are as hot as they have been and we are only allowed to apply 10ml of water twice a week then your lawn just won’t like it.
The good news is that you can handwater to keep it going – which obviously isn’t ideal, but occasionally it is what’s needed.
The other thing to consider is that your lawn may have a disease. Black beetle is common at this time of year so you may have an infestation and will need to treat it for this.
As a general rule if the area in question is getting wet from sprinklers then the issue is not going to be one of water. It is going to be something else. So go to Bunnings and get some Confidor and get spraying!
Its always nice when you get a chance to see how a garden you have worked in has developed and grown. I did some work for D & D from Quinns Rocks around 18 months ago and then went back this week to help them with the front yard.
This is how the back looks 18 months later.
The turf is Empire Zoyzia and there is an assortment of some beautiful plants in there too.
Like all turfs the Zoyzia goes dormant over winter, but it is just starting to come back nicely now.
Some jobs are more fun than others!
The location of this one made it a very enjoyable one, as well as some very generous people who brought us chocolate, drinks and ice cream throughout the day.
It turned out to be a much longer, trickier job than we first imagined, but the result was a good one. Some fresh Sir Walter Buffalo laid and the sprinklers working well.
I drove past a school on the weekend that was painted blue, but had large red arcs around the paintwork – the result of sprinklers running off a bore.
If you have a bore and you are worried about staining then the answer is to try and design a garden and lawn that can minimise the results of bore water on them.
Some simple suggestions:
- Use either miniscape dripline or adjustable staked drippers in garden beds rather than sprays. Both of these methods target the plants and drop water in the areas needed rather than risking overspray.
- Have gardens close to the house and lawn further away, thus minimising the risk of water on walls.
- Use MP Rotator nozzles rather than regular Toro. They will spray bigger droplets and get blown around less.
A little planning can allow you to have all the benefits of a bore without any of the nasties.
Of course there are some suburbs where bore staining is worse than others. If you live in Greenwood then you are in for a heap of colour on your walls, whereas where we are in Yanchep there is minimal staining. If you aren’t sure what to expect then just look around you at other houses with bores and see what they look like.
The first time I did some DIY retic I tried to install my kerbside sprinklers by digging along the line of the kerb.
After 10 minutes I had all but given up. You see the soil along the kerb is actually roadbase. It is hard and rocky and not easy digging. If you want to install sprinklers along the kerb then dig a trench one metre away from the kerb and parallel to it and then ‘t’ off to the point where you need sprinklers. You will still need to do some hard digging but it will save you a lot of effort and you will do the job right.
The other tip with kerbside sprinklers is to make sure they are well below kerb height – because they will get driven over. If you’re lucky they won’t get damaged, but if they are even sticking up a little bit then expect to replace them regularly.
I get calls from one client a few times each summer to replace the same sprinkler. Personally I reckon it would be easier just to sink the sprinkler a bit lower…
I have a friend who lives in Quinns Rocks and is on a shared bore. In the last year we have replaced 3 solenoid coils on the same valve because they have corroded and become stuck open.
I haven’t seen this happen before, but it seems that the minerals in the water (or perhaps the salt) may be corroding the solenoid piston and causing it to fail.
At the moment I don’t have a suitable solution, but it may be that we need to find a solenoid that does not have any metallic parts. You obviously can’t change coils every few months so there must be a better way to hit the problem.
If you have had any similar problems then I’d love to hear about it