5 Signs Your Irrigation System Needs Maintenance

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At its best, an irrigation system should make every property owner’s life significantly easier. With the installation of the right irrigation system, caring for your landscape can be as simple as setting a timer or flipping on a switch. No longer will you have to haul out a heavy sprinkler in the middle of July or conduct the painstaking process of dragging out a hose to tackle lawn maintenance

Irrigation systems make watering your lawn and the rest of your landscape a breeze– that is, as long as it is working properly. A malfunctioning irrigation system can cost you precious time and money. In that case, you’d be better off with no irrigation system at all! 

To avoid these costly risks, it’s important to catch subtle flaws in your irrigation system before they become major problems. For a proactive approach, here are five signs your irrigation system needs repair. 

Visible Leaks

One of the most obvious tells that your irrigation system is in need of repair is that it has visible leaks. 

Certainly, there will be water present on or around spigots simply because valves disperse water, but it is not normal for valves to leak. Especially if your irrigation system is leaking water while it is not in operation, this can be a sign of damaged equipment. 

A brief visual sweep of the irrigation system on your property can help to ensure that these visible issues are mitigated quickly. 

High Utility Bills

Monitoring the cost of your water bill is more than just a prudent financial practice; it could also tip you off to an issue with your irrigation system. 

Typically, you control the settings on your irrigation system, so unless you have increased the amount of water you want dispersed throughout your lawn, the cost of running your irrigation system should remain the same. 

If you’ve noticed a jump in the cost of your monthly utility bills, double-check your irrigation system. This could be a sign of a leak or faulty valve that is causing your system to release more water than intended. 

Excess Pooling

If you don’t observe any visible leaks, and if the leaks aren’t significant enough to cause an increase in your water bill, you can also catch this issue if you notice any excess pooling of water on your property. 

Puddles gathering around your lawn might be fun for the family dog, but they spell trouble for your landscape assets and are a clear sign that something is malfunctioning in your irrigation system. If you notice water pooling on your property, contact a landscaping professional immediately to mitigate this issue and avoid disaster. 

Plant Damage

Conversely, too little water flow can be another sign that your irrigation system isn’t functioning properly. 

If you’ve noticed patches of dead grass or other lawn problems, your first course of action may be to adjust the settings on your irrigation system. If you find that still doesn’t solve the issue, it could mean there is some sort of blockage or disruption in your irrigation system preventing water from flowing to your property. 

Not enough water eventually means that you will have two problems to solve: repairing a damaged irrigation system and fixing the dead landscape. This can be doubly costly if not discovered and addressed quickly.

Disrupted Water Flow

It can also be beneficial to take a look at your irrigation system while it is running. Typically, irrigations have a steady flow or rhythm while in operation. 

If you notice any disruptions, this is a clear sign of damage to your irrigation system. Disrupted flow can be a sign of a blockage or clog in your system and can be detrimental to the health and safety of not only your landscape, but the system itself. 

A system running without enough water pressure will not sustain the life of your landscape and a system running with too much pressure could damage the irrigation system in the long run.

It’s one thing to identify the issues with your irrigation system; it’s a whole other thing to be able to mitigate those issues. Hiring the experienced professionals at The Parke Company for landscape services is the first step to ensuring you receive the kind of lawn care necessary to preserve the assets on your property. 

From lawn mowing to tree removal, the landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 

Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Landscape Maintenance: Should You Be Using a Different Mulch?

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According to the experts at HGTV, one of the best things you can do for your landscape as it pertains to mulch is to simply try a new one! In fact, they also suggest that not having any form of mulch on your property can put you at a serious risk for erosion and sediment runoff.

If you’re already using mulch throughout your property, bravo! But your work shouldn’t stop there. Mulch is certainly not a one size fits all product and over time you may find that the mulch you chose just isn’t up to snuff.  

Here is what you need to know to answer the FAQ: Should you be using a different mulch? 

Erosion and Damage

If you do use mulch and you’ve noticed erosion and soil damage in and around your plant beds or trees, this probably tells you that it’s time for a new mulch. 

Depending on the type of mulch you’ve chosen, you may also notice damage to the quality of soil. Organic mulches continuously decompose which release nitrogen into the soil, providing nutrients to your trees and flowerbeds. If you are using inorganic mulch, the soil quality will likely stay the same or even worsen if it is already unhealthy because there are no nutrients being created by decomposition. 

It stands to reason that–if you want to improve soil quality–you should certainly switch over to an organic mulch. Furthermore, if you find that your organic mulch isn’t yielding the results you seek, talk with a lawn maintenance and landscape professional, like the experts at The Parke Company, to determine precisely what kind of organic mulch will best serve the needs of your property.   

Age

Like any living substance, organic mulch will change over time. You may find that the bright reds and rich browns of your mulch have faded into a lackluster grey. If this is the case, you may want to consider another type of mulch. 

While most professionals agree that a dull looking mulch can still nurture the soil around it, it may be unsightly after 1-2 years (while still effective for 5-6). Depending on your preference, you may opt for an undyed mulch to save yourself from unsightly curb appeal or from having to replace the mulch every other year. 

Along a similar vein, there are so many options for mulch (both organic and inorganic) that you can make this choice based on aesthetic preference as well. From nut shells, to wood chips, to seaweed, you can tailor your mulch to match the appearance of your property and any design you can dream up. 

Chemical Content

According to a UMass report, there is definite cause for concern when it comes to the chemical makeup of some mulches. 

Surprisingly, it is not inorganic mulches that are under scrutiny, but organic mulches sourced from ground-up trees. 

As reported, some now-prohibited wood preservatives contained dangerous chemicals like arsenic, which can seriously compromise the health of your soil. 

Especially in cases where the wood used for much comes from demolition or construction sites, “it has been found that some of the recycled waste wood used for making landscape mulch products is contaminated with various chemicals, such as creosote and CCA (chromated copper arsenate),” according to the UMass report. 

In any case, you shouldn’t need to have a degree in biochemistry to choose a mulch for your yard, nor should you live in fear that you could be contaminating your property. The best step that you can take when you have lawn problems is to consult a professional for landscaping services. 

From simple tasks like raking leaves, tree removal, or helping you select the perfect mulch, the landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 

Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Tree Services: 3 Ways Tree Care Professionals Prevent Tree Decay

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Tree decay is detrimental for a number of reasons. On one hand, tree removals can be a costly, unwanted procedure. Especially if the tree has been on your property for some time, the last thing you may want is for your beloved arbor to be uprooted. 

On the other hand, tree decay can pose a serious threat to the safety of your home. Damaged, unhealthy trees can be a hazard during storms and run the risk of falling on your home and causing injury to your family or your assets. 

While it may be necessary in some cases to have a tree cut down, prevention is always a better option. Are you curious as to how the tree professionals at The Parke Company can help you prevent tree decay? Here are five ways they can do just that. 

1. Tree Inventory

One of the most common reasons you may find decay in your trees is simply because their issues have gone unnoticed for an extensive period of time. Especially if you have a large property, trees in areas of your yard you don’t frequent, or you oversee a large municipal area your trees may be suffering from neglect. 

A tree inventory is a calculated process conducted by a tree care professional to locate the trees on your property and take stock of their health. In this way, you can ensure that you are keenly aware of any potential health risks to your trees and can tackle problems quickly as they arise before your trees suffer decay. 

While tree inventories are typically conducted for municipal projects, there can also be some value to conducting a smaller tree inventory of your personal property’s landscape. While the chances are that you don’t have trees you are unaware of, you may not necessarily know the intimate details of your trees’ health. A tree inventory yields that helpful data. 

2. Pest Control 

While woodland creatures are often cute and fluffy, they’re also called pests for a reason. Any animal that chooses to make your tree its home puts your landscape at risk for tree decay or advances any existing damage. 

Talk with your landscaping professional about potential barriers for pest deterrence. They will be the most knowledgeable source to help you decide if you should establish a physical barrier, use repellents, or some combination of the two to best protect the health of your trees. 

3. Brush Clearing 

Another proactive way to care for the health of your trees and prevent decay is through frequent lawn maintenance and brush clearing. While dropping leaves and limbs can often be a sign that a tree is in poor health, those piles of brush and foliage also put your trees at risk for even more damage. 

On one hand, piles of brush at the roots of trees are very attractive homes for rodents and other pests which, as previously mentioned, cause great damage to trees. On the other hand, these uncleared piles of brush can also be a source of trapped moisture, which increases the risk of fungus growth at the base of trees. In either case, without proper regular maintenance from a lawn care professional, trees may be at a greater risk for decay. 

When it comes to landscaping services, the needs of your property extend further than just lawn maintenance and raking leaves. To ensure that your property stays safe and healthy, it is vital that you do everything within your power to maintain the health of your trees. 

Lawn care and landscaping can seem like a complicated and overwhelming task, but the most important thing is that you don’t do it alone. The landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 
Give us a call at (615) 350-6033 or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

How Long Will My Home Landscaping Installation Take?

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Most homeowners know that there is no renovation completed without a little bit of mess. Any painting project will require some tarps thrown around your home. Tree removal projects will involve trucks around your home and quite a bit of debris cleaning and raking leaves. 

Even so, no one wants tons of bulky equipment lying around their property and landscaping professionals milling about for weeks on end if it’s not absolutely necessary. 

If you’re considering a new landscaping installation, expedience is a must. When you’re weighing your options for landscaping services, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

Mutual Availability

Like any major project in your home or landscape, a new landscaping installation will take some planning and schedule shifting. 

If your availability and your landscape service provider’s availability aren’t harmonious, you may be at a bit of a standstill. While not all landscaping projects require that you are present during their completion, if you’re someone who likes to closely monitor projects being completed on your property, mutual availability will be something to take into consideration. 

You will also want to consider when your landscaping service provider is available to begin work on your desired landscaping project. 

If the particular installation you desire is a hardscape like paving or a new pond, you will most likely need to wait until the next warm season to begin breaking ground on those projects. The same goes for certain seasonal plant softscapes. 

Talk with your landscaping professionals about how their availability (and yours!) may affect the timeline of your next project. 

Property Status

Starting your next landscaping installation project will also depend heavily on the current state of your property. 

If you’ve already got lawn problems and are in dire need of lawn services, the basic needs of your property will need to get taken care of before you start adding “window dressing,” so to speak. 

When you speak with your landscaping professional about what you envision for your property, ask them for an evaluation on the current state of your property. If they notice that your property needs a significant amount of basic care and lawn maintenance before new installations can be considered, you may be significantly extending the timeline of your next installation. 

This may also cause your to reconsider the design of your project to better fit the current state of your property, for expediency’s sake.

Whatever you decide, it is vital that you have a professional take inventory of your property before you start planning big projects. 

It would be devastating to start planning and designing a gorgeous gazebo, only to learn that several trees would need to be removed first, setting back your timeline significantly.  

Project Magnitude

It goes without saying that a larger project will likely take more time. For most people, there is a particular design dream they have in mind and the timeline will simply have to work around that dream. 

On the other hand, if you’re just looking to revitalize your property and can allow for some adaptability to your design ideas, you may be able to speed up the process of beautifying your home. 

For those in a time crunch, speak to your landscaping design professionals about your low-maintenance options for beautifying your property. These experts may have great ideas for ways that you can improve the look and feel of your outdoor spaces that will save you time and money.

Regardless of how long it takes to complete your landscaping installation, the most important thing is that you don’t do it alone. The landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

How Often and How Much Should My Lawn Be Watered?

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Regardless of the climate in which you live, letting natural rainfall be your lawn’s sole source of water is a recipe for lawn problems. If you want a lush, green lawn that is the envy of your neighborhood, you’ll need to water your lawn through other methods. Whether it is through an irrigation system, a tried-and-true sprinkler, or some other method, you’ll need to conduct some lawn maintenance if you want to keep your lawn looking vibrant and healthy. 

In that case, you may then find yourself asking the same question many property owners are asking: How often and how much should my lawn be watered? 

When you’re strategizing for your next landscaping project or hiring lawn services, you’ll want to consider these factors in your decision-making process.

Type of Grass

Every person has different tastes and dietary needs, and so do different types of grass. According to the lawn experts at Scott’s, keeping a newly-seeded lawn moist (but not drenched) is critical for maintaining your lawn’s health. 

According to their lawn professionals, “You will likely need to mist the seeded area once or twice a day (possibly more if it’s hot and dry outside). Once the seeds start to germinate, continue to keep the top 2 inches of soil moist until the new grass reaches a mowing height of around 3 inches. After that, begin to cut back watering to twice per week and soak the soil deeper, about 6 to 8 inches, to encourage the grass roots to grow down deep into the soil.”

The specific breed of grass can also be an indicator of the quantity and frequency of water necessary to keep your lawn healthy. 

Grasses like tall fescue have deep root systems that will hold up well during dry spells and require less frequent watering. On the other hand, breeds like Kentucky Bluegrass will lie dormant during dry seasons and perk back up when rain comes back. 

If you didn’t personally seed the grass on your property, there is a good chance that you’re not even sure what type of grass your lawn is comprised of. In that case, call up the seasoned professionals at The Parke Company to get a proper evaluation of your property’s lawn and strategize how to best care for its health. 

Climate

In most cases, it’s important to understand that an established lawn is fairly resilient. Lawns can turn grey or brown during a dry spell and go dormant, then revive when rain returns.

This may not be the case, however, if your grass is in constant turmoil. A typical, healthy lawn might be able to survive weeks without being watered, but if you live in a dry climate, in which your lawn is suffering months at a time without rain, your lawn is already at risk. 

To determine if the climate of your region has gotten the best of your lawn, you can perform the “footprint test”. If you walk through your lawn and your footprints quickly disappear, you’re in luck! Your lawn has stayed hydrated. If your footprint remains, this means that your grass lacks the moisture to spring back into place. 

Experts recommend that the “top 6 to 8 inches of soil (where most turfgrass roots grow) is wet. Most lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week—either from rain or watering—to soak the soil that deeply. That amount of water can either be applied during a single watering or divided into two waterings during the week.” 

If your climate does not naturally offer this much rainfall, you’ll need irrigation to compensate for the lack of moisture. 

Figuring out exactly how much moisture your lawn is receiving is no simple task, and while there are hacks like “can tricks” and complicated math, you might want to save the science projects for another time. 

For now, make your life simple. The same experienced professionals who can help you with lawn mowing and fall cleanup can also help ensure that your lawn is being watered properly for the specific needs of your property. Our experts have the exact skills necessary to evaluate your lawn’s current condition and strategize how to best fulfill your landscaping dreams. 

Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.