Mueller Landscape, Defeating the Villainous Drought and Reviving People’s Dreams.
A beautifully landscaped yard and lawn means different things to different people. It can be a symbol of success and competence; an adventure or romance waiting for daring partners; a hint of fun and creativity; or simply, a reason and invitation for a family to play. Now, enter the looming drought like the villain brandishing sabotage, challenge, confusion, despair, and boredom. “To defeat the drought, a hero is desperately needed”, says John Mueller, Owner and Manager of Mueller Landscape, one of San Diego’s premiere lawn and landscape companies. Further, John explains, we’ve all heard it said, “All that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.” While many people are experiencing a hint of despair from the drought and the consequential water restrictions, what they need to know is that technology has already provided a means of maintaining and even thriving with existing lawns and gardens. There are really four positive services we can do with a customer’s lawn and garden that will enable them to withstand this drought and even to thrive. As part of our regular arsenal of services, Mueller Landscape provides core aeration to allow rationed water to thirsty grass roots. We implant lawns with Aquasmart Pro, a sand-like polymer that absorbs and retains water. Mueller converts existing sprinkler systems to Netafim drip systems to deliver water needed to locations required. Finally, they teach their customers age-old tried and true watering and mulching techniques.
Lawn aeration gives your lawn an extra boost of health to its root and soil system that results in greener lawns for longer periods of time–even thru hot weather and drought. Some clients ask, “Is aeration necessary?” We encourage you to see aeration as a crucial part of your lawn care if you want to defeat the drought while maintaining a green and healthy lawn—especially under reduced water conditions. The turf in San Diego County often contains clay in the soil and the weather can become dry. If your lawn becomes too compact, the roots of the lawn won’t receive the water, oxygen or nutrients they need for good health. Core Aeration creates holes that open up the soil and provide a healthy root zone for your lawn. In addition, subterranean root growth becomes healthier and the overall vitality of your lawn will be stronger from the first aeration and continually by maintaining it once a year or twice a year if soil has a high-clay content. With aeration, your lawn will stay green and healthy long after a non-aerating neighbor’s property turns brown.
Under the new San Diego water restrictions, Mueller Landscape Inc. is experiencing great success helping its customers defeat the drought by cutting back on water usage as much as 50% while saving significant money, and still maintaining a lush healthy lawn on virtually any type of grass. Our secret– AquaSmartPro–a polymer-coated sand product available in the form of a straight additive for increased moisture retention and growth of plants, flowers, trees, and grass/turf with water savings estimated at up to 66% in some cases based on soil and climate conditions. AquaSmart™ PRO turf dressing acts like a rainwater harvesting system for your turf, helping to keep moisture accessible long after the surface dries. Mueller Landscape Inc. recommends applying AquaSmart PRO to your lawn after doing a double aeration. Once the product is spread evenly across the aerated lawn and worked into the aerated holes, one heavy watering (generally double the normal irrigation run time) to fully hydrate the product is done. Then return to normal irrigation run times, but decrease watering frequency by up to 50% depending on climate, soil type, and variety. This water savings from reduced water usage often quickly offsets the cost of treatment.
Mueller can help you defeat the drought by converting your plant beds and turf to drip irrigation. Many products are available to help change your existing irrigation system to drip irrigation. Most of the time we can use existing piping in the ground to retrofit a new drip system in your plant beds. We recommend installing these systems above ground, pinning down the drip tubing with garden staples then covering with mulch. Pressure regulators and filters are installed for each valve running a drip system. We never mix drip irrigation with regular pop up or shrub head sprays in your system. It is important to understand that drip irrigation requires much less pressure to operate. Drip systems trickle the water and are measured by GPH (gallons per hour) vs GPM (gallons per minute). Since the tubing is compressed together and not glued, normal water pressure that is used for your average irrigation system, will not work for drip irrigation. Mueller uses Netafim drip systems. This is tubing has emitters incorporated into the tubing itself. After attaching to the valve or existing underground PVC, we lay out this tubing, weaving it around your plants or making a grid without worrying about running individual emitters to each plant. Think of it as a soaker hose. Netafim can even be used for underground turf watering.
At Mueller, we’re a big advocate of the tried and true–though often overlooked–technique of mulching. Among many other benefits, mulching helps us defeat the drought, preserve precious water, and even keep up with weeds. Fruit trees and shrubs are easy and get mulched with bark or wood chips, and perennial beds with cocoa shells or compost. But when it comes to vegetable gardens, mulching gets a bit more complicated. Scientific field tests have determined mulch can increase (or decrease) yields by as much as 30 percent, so it’s worth thinking through the options. Mueller has done that and we can help you choose the mulch that is right for you.
Conserving water to defeat the drought does not have to come at the expense of your beautiful landscaping. With some planning, new irrigation technology, and proper horticulture practices, we can all continue to enjoy our outdoor sanctuaries. There’s no question the drought is here, but he won’t be here forever. We have good news that this year will bring a record El Nino—and its thirst quenching rain water–to Southern California. Until then, let’s be the hero. Let’s together consider what’s right for you and your lawn and garden. We have four positive services we can provide your lawn and garden that will enable you to withstand this drought and even to thrive. Whether its core aeration delivering rationed water to thirsty grass roots; Aquasmart Pro, to absorb and retain water; a new or modified Netafim drip system to deliver water needed to required locations; or finally, age-old tried and true watering and mulching techniques. John Mueller explains, in her book Out of the Dust, author Karen Hesse says “the way I see it, hard times aren’t only about money, or drought, or dust. hard times are about losing spirit, and hope, and what happens when dreams dry up.” “My job in this drought,” Mueller says,” . . . is to replenish people’s hope and dreams. Call us. We want to help. 619-440-3762.”
Article by Stephen Gannon, Solution Effect