Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sprinkler Issues

Old diaphragm
Well, it seems I spoke too quick.

While over 700 miles away, I get a text from our neighbor that our sprinklers are shooting water straight into the air in the middle of the day, which is not on the schedule. She let it run for a bit thinking the timer would turn it off and when it didn't, she thankfully came over and turned off the valve to the front yard system and spigot. Of course it was about 800 degrees here while we were gone too...

I am sure that the old diaphragm died...thought we would get one more week out of it, and we didn't. So I looked up the sprinkler people online, and called their supplier to order three diaphragms thinking we might as well replace all of them at once. They haven't come yet and I am starting to get worried since we can't water in the front at all unless by watering can.

Oh, and while the gushers were going, which of course I can't determine anything about yet, a lot of bark in one of the beds got washed out...more fun work to do...LOL. I am hoping that there is not another leak in the system somewhere else...

Update: Now that I think about it, we do have a spigot in the garage, I might see if it is still functioning with the front turned off, because I could put in a rotating sprinkler for the front in a few spots. Especially if the delivery doesn't come today. Have to wait until it gets shady in front though...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Functioning Sprinklers

One of the large popups
Okay, it seems that we have a fully functioning auto sprinkler system in the front yard. I don't have it set exactly as I want it but it will do for now. I still need to order the diaphragms for the valves but right now, none of them seem to be leaking so I am not super worried about that just yet.

So the other day, after my trip to Ewing and the packed full brain of all the info that they gave me, I replaced all the sprinklers that I had purchased replacement parts for, and I put the old diaphragm back into the valve so that I could turn the system on and find the rest of the missing popups.

New small popups
I figured out pretty quick that I didn't have the big popups in right because they were both watering the street instead of the lawn but I was able to just grab them and "ratchet" them around like the folks at Ewing had told me.

While the sprinklers were on, I ran through the yard with my homemade markers and found the missing small popups as well as three more that I didn't even know about. I marked them all and made another trip to Ewing for more small popups.

While running the system again, I also realized that some of the small popups I got were
Blue tape marks the spot
spraying way farther than I needed them too, so I traded 5 of them in for smaller distance heads.

Today, I dug up all the remaining marked popups that needed to be replaced and went through and replaced each one. Some of the popups were so buried in vegetation that I had to cut them out a little hole to see through. They are clear enough to pop up but I will need to clear more vegetation if I want them to spray as far as they are supposed to.

New guts and head
I then turned on the system to see if I had them set the way I wanted. I realized when I was working on the last one that the system was installed in 2000-2001 timeframe when I think the sod for the front yard was done. Make sense that some of them have tilted a bit with the growth of the yard. I got soaked while figuring out the settings for each head but it kind of felt good since we had a close to 90 degree day today.

Once I was sure they were all spraying the way that I wanted them to, I set the auto system up to water on odd numbered days so it should water tomorrow morning, and I'll know if it is working as it should on a schedule. Fingers crossed that it all functions as it should.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pruning Again

Yardwaste day was creeping up on me and I wanted to get that bin filled up so I would feel like we were getting our money's worth. There is so much to do here in the yard that at times it is completely overwhelming but there is nothing to do about that but tackle one thing at a time.

We have a second Purple Plum tree in the backyard that is in desperate need of pruning and while I can't prune it as it needs to be done, I definitely can make a dent.

Tools of the trade
This tree sits right off our back deck and the branches at the bottom were so low that you would hit them walking down the steps on that side. There was some dead stuff in there too, and a ton of crossing branches and suckers from previous trimmings.

I grabbed the small pruners, the big loppers and set to work. It only took me a few minutes to realize that I was going to need more than those two tools. I had spread out a tarp on the deck because when I pruned the front plum tree, I found out how much of a mess cleaning up these branches could be when there were plums already on them.

In the driveway
I went back to the garage and decided what I needed was our sawsall with the new pruning blade on it. This was a perfect excuse to bring out a power tool and I was looking for any excuse. So grabbed the sawsall, our new blade, and the extension cord, set it all up and set to work.  With the sawsall, I was able to take out a couple of big branches I would have not been able to do before.

Once I got everything cut off the tree, I bundled up the smaller stuff on the tarp and took it down to the driveway to be cut into small bits to put in the bin. I had to drag the two bigger branches to the driveway on their own since they wouldn't fit in the tarp and I didn't want to mess up anything else during the course of dragging them down the side of the house.

It took a good 30 minutes to cut most of the smaller  pieces up to fit in the bin and then I had to fire up the sawsall again on the two branches to cut them in thirds. None of them were more than two inches in diameter so it was no problem.

If you look at the tree now, it looks a lot better even if it isn't as good as it would be should we hire a professional. And it is great to be able to walk under it without getting hit in the head by branches.