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 Florida Lawn HandbookThe Florida Lawn Handbook

An Environmental Approach to Care and Maintenance of Your Lawn,
second edition

Edited by Kathleen C. Ruppert and Robert J. Black

 from Plants Daily Post

8/28/2008 Landscape Maintenance

A Smaller Mower, please

There is a tendency in lawn areas between palm plantings, along driveways and pathways, or anywhere a narrow strip of sod exists, for such areas to become even narrower and progressively more chewed by the use of the "weed whacker" to mow. It is hard to believe a madly spinning reel of fishing line cuts turf better than a mower blade, because, of course, it doesn't. A narrow mower is a better solution, particularly when the use of gas and oil has been eliminated. Less mess, fuss, and pollutants to transport and store, as well as no smoky air pollution add up to a more sustainable approach to lawn maintenance.



 from Plants Daily Post

9/2/2008 Landscape Maintenance

A Useful Gadget: the Oscillating Bar Sprinkler

It is not unusual to encounter automatic irrigation systems installed and/or operating as if they exist only for themselves. (On the other hand, service and repairs to property may very well render a system useless.) We observe water pooling up in driveways or washing the sides of buildings rather than refreshing the plant life. Some gloriously spraying creations of plumbing actually cultivate extra-green mini-wetlands throughout the turf, other systems scarcely reach plant roots while spurting twenty minutes of hissing mist. There may be scant consideration of micro-climates, variable plant preferences for water, or evenness of coverage when new systems are put in, thus the annoyance of landscape areas receiving both too much and too little water on the same property.

Rain sensors on the most modern of sprinkler systems cannot detect elevations or wind exposures which are drying out off-schedule, nor poorly drained spots which never dry out. Another snag is finding a sprinkler technician to call in for fine adjustments.

Ideally landscape watering is done with an eye to the weather, current ground conditions and the status of the plants before the switch to the pump is tripped. It may not be necessary to irrigate all the zones on a system at once. An adjustable oscillating bar sprinkler provides a means to more precision in water delivery, and/or overcoming discrepancies and inconsistencies in systems which are horticulturally harmful, if not ecologically uncool.

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