1919 C Winchester Rd

Huntsville, Al 35811



  • How to turn the ball valve off to your sprinkler system?

      • In the event of an emergency with your lawn irrigation system, turning off the water source to the irrigation to prevent continual water loss is the best option.

      • If you have 2 water meters on your property, one will be the main water supply for your house, and theBall Valve other should be for your sprinkler system. To turn off the sprinkler water meter, locate the shut off valve that runs along the main line from the water meter. Use a pair of plyers or a wrench for leverage and turn this a quarter of a turn to the right so it is perpendicular to the pipe to turn the water flow off.





    • If your property only has oneHow to turn the ball valve off to your sprinkler system meter, you will then need to look for the ball valve to the irrigation system. This is typically located about 2-3 ft directly in front of the water meter when facing the house. You will need to locate a 6” green round lid that will be located down in the ground. Make sure to move any long or thick grass around as this may prevent it from being seen easily. When you remove this lid, you will see a white PVC pipe with a T handle located on top.

    • In order to turn the water off, you will need to turn this handle a quarter of a turn to the right to block the water flow to the systemHow to turn the ball valve off to your sprinkler system










  • How to adjust a rotor sprinkler head

    • Over time, the sprinkler heads can become out of alignment. This can easily be taken care of by making some quick and easy adjustments with a small flat head screw driver.rotor sprinkler head

    • On the top of the rotor head, there is an area called the arc adjustment where a flat head screw driver can be inserted to adjust how far to the right the head will turn. That is called the arc adjustment.

    • If you want to adjust how far the water is spraying, the radius adjustment will increase or decrease the spray.How to adjust a rotor sprinkler head






  • About the new Wi-Fi capable timers

    • RainBird

      • LNK WiFi Module

      • Control your Rain Bird irrigation system remotely from anywhere in the world

      • Rain Bird LNK WiFi Module

      • Rain Bird now offers the LNK WiFi Module for Residential and Light Commercial Rain Bird controllers.

      • The New Rain Bird LNK WiFi Module allows easy access and control of a Rain Bird irrigation system from anywhere in the world.

      • With the LNK WiFi Module and Rain Bird’s FREE mobile app, users get access to off-site management, About the new Wi-Fi capable timersreal-time alerts and advanced water management tools via their smart phone or tablet.

      • Visit wifi-pro.rainbird.com to learn more about the LNK WiFi.

  • How does a rain sensor work?

    • The wireless rain or rain / freeze sensor shall employ an electro-mechanical actuating mechanism designed to cause a circuit interrupt if programmable low temperature or rainfall set points are satisfied. Satisfied set points cause the device to temporarily suspend the irrigation controller schedule. As environmental conditions return to a state that no longer satisfy the low temperature or rainfall set points, the controllers normal irrigation schedule is resumed.

  • Testing your soil

    • Four Easy Do-It-Yourself Soil Tests

      • Soil Test #1: The Squeeze Test

      • One of the most basic characteristics of soil is its composition.

In general, soils are classified as clay soils, sandy soils, or loamy soils. Clay is nutrient rich, but slow draining. Sand is quick draining, but has trouble retaining nutrients and moisture. Loam is generally considered to be ideal soil because it retains moisture and nutrients but doesn’t stay soggy.

To determine your soil type, take a handful of moist (but not wet) soil from your garden, and give it a firm squeeze. Then, open your hand. One of three things will happen:

  1. It will hold its shape, and when you give it a light poke, it crumbles. Lucky you—this means you have luxurious loam!

  2. It will hold its shape, and, when poked, sits stubbornly in your hand. This means you have clay soil.

  3. It will fall apart as soon as you open your hand. This means you have sandy soil.

Now that you know what type of soil you have, you can work on improving it.

  • Soil Test #2: The Percolation Test

It is also important to determine whether you have drainage problems or not.

Some plants, such as certain culinary herbs, will eventually die if their roots stay too wet. To test your soil’s drainage:

  1. Dig a hole about six inches wide and one foot deep.

  2. Fill the hole with water and let it drain completely.

  3. Fill it with water again.

  4. Keep track of how long it takes for the water to drain.

If the water takes more than four hours to drain, you have poor drainage.

  • Soil Test #3: The Worm Test

Worms are great indicators of the overall health of your soil, especially in terms of biological activity. If you have earthworms, chances are that you also have all of the beneficial microbes and bacteria that make for healthy soil and strong plants. To do the worm test:

  1. Be sure the soil has warmed to at least 55 degrees, and that it is at least somewhat moist, but not soaking wet.

  2. Dig a hole one foot across and one foot deep. Place the soil on a tarp or piece of cardboard.

  3. Sift through the soil with your hands as you place it back into the hole, counting the earthworms as you go.

If you find at least ten worms, your soil is in pretty good shape. Less than that indicates that there may not be enough organic matter in your soil to support a healthy worm population, or that your soil is too acidic or alkaline.

  • Soil Test #4: Ph Test

The Ph (acidity level) of your soil has a large part to do with how well your plants grow. Ph is tested on a scale of zero to fourteen, with zero being very acidic and fourteen being very alkaline. Most plants grow best in soil with a fairly neutral Ph, between six and seven.

When the Ph level is lower than five or higher than eight, plants just won’t grow as well as they should.

Every home and garden center carries Ph test kits. These kits are fairly accurate, but you must make sure you follow the testing instructions precisely. Once you know whether your soil Ph is a problem or not, you can begin working to correct the problem.

If you find that you’ve done all of these tests, and amended the soil as needed to correct the issues, and your plants are still struggling along, the next step is to contact your local cooperative extension service. They will tell you how to go about collecting a soil sample and sending it into their lab for analysis. They will return a report that will alert you to any mineral deficiencies in your soil, as well as steps to correct the issues.

These tests are simple, inexpensive ways to ensure that your garden has the best foundation possible.

  • Dangers of over watering your lawn

    • Overwatering

    • Watering your mature, healthy lawn every day, or even every other day, is the definition of overwatering. This is wrong no matter what other people tell you or what your neighbors do! What is wrong with watering like this?

    • Overwatering drowns the plant's roots

    • Grass plants do not need, and cannot use, this much water! The soil underneath your sod is composed of sand, silt, and clay particles - as well as porous spaces. When it rains, water fills those porous spaces by pushing out the air. Daily watering keeps those pores filled with water instead of oxygen, which is vital to plant growth. Without oxygen, the roots of the sod will suffocate and die, leaving the plant with a very shallow root system.

    • Shallowly rooted plants are easily stressed

    • When the roots of the turf plant die due to lack of oxygen, the plant is put under stress. This, in turn, makes them more susceptible to disease and insect damage. Minor disease and insect problems can become major lawn disasters when a lawn is shallowly rooted. Even though the roots are not easily visible, they alone determine the health and beauty of the plant.

    • Overwatered lawns have more weeds

    • To compound the problem, the weeds that overwatered lawns often have are the kinds that are more difficult to control. This is especially noticeable on a lawn that has been overwatered for more than two years.

    • Overwatering wastes time and money and contributes to pollution

    • Ground water is a natural resource. Wasting water on plants that do not need it just doesn't make sense. Pumping this unneeded water also wastes electricity. Established lawns do not dry in drought - they go dormant and start growing again after a rain. Your lawn will not die if you underwater it. Fertilizer that is applied to overwatered lawns is washed past the roots before it can be absorbed by the plant. Ultimately, this results in nitrate pollution of the groundwater.

    • Excessive fertilizer applications are needed

    • Since the fertilizer that you have applied is washed through the root zone before absorption, the lawn will lose color faster. The natural response, of course, is to then apply more fertilizer. In reality, one application that is absorbed, and not washed out, is all that is needed.

    • How to properly water a lawn

    • Homeowners want to believe they can have a beautiful lawn all year long by setting their sprinkler system once in the Spring. This is simply not possible because the only settings on a system are how often and how long a zone is watered. What really determines if grass needs water is how dry the soil is. Soil moisture is determined by air temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainFall frequency and amount, soil type, and overall grass condition. These are complex and interrelated factors and the type of equipment needed to take all these factors in account is not available to homeowners today. Until this technology comes along at an affordable price, homeowners will have to take a hands-on approach to lawn watering if they truly want to have a nice looking lawn.

    • The proper way to water a lawn is very simple: thoroughly but infrequently. When the soil is dry to a depth of five inches, water the lawn long enough to wet the soil five inches deep. When a homeowner has a new lawn and or a new automatic sprinkler system, he or she should take the time to become acquainted with both. The important area to explore is how much water does the sprinkler apply in, say, 30 minutes and how deep in the soil will this water go down? A garden trowel can be used to dig in the soil to see how dry it is. A screwdriver can be used to poke in the soil. By digging and poking, you can soon learn to equate how much effort it takes to poke the screwdriver in the soil with how dry the soil is. This saves you from constantly digging up your yard. Twelve hours after watering is long enough to see how deep in the soil the water traveled. Each zone should be checked the same way because there are usually differences in the amount of water each zone needs and how much water each sprinkler applies. A lawn can be watered any time of day but it is best to avoid watering in the late afternoon or evening. Early morning is a good time to water.

    • How do you know when to water?

    • Walking in your yard and looking for visual signs that it needs water is also important. Grass will get a bluish color, the leaves will look narrow, and your footprints on the grass will remain for a long time when the grass is dry. Ideally, the lawn should be watered the day before the visual symptoms occur.

    • We water every day when it is dry, but we do not water every field every day. We operate on a schedule. For example, say you have five zones and zone one needs water first. On day 1, water zone one. Day 2, water zone two. Day 3, maybe water zone three and four or as many zones that need water. If rain causes you to stop watering, then start again on zone 1 when the soil is dry. If no rain occurs, then repeat the schedule again beginning with zone 1.

    • Watering correctly seems complex, but all it takes is a little practice. Remember, your lawn will not die if you underwater it. There is a larger penalty to pay for overwatering than under watering!

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