Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Benefits of an In-Ground Sprinkler System

A well-maintained lawn can be a thing of beauty. The deep greens and clean lines of a healthy yard are just as important to curb appeal as any part of the physical home. We all know that without water, or with too much water, lawns will suffer. To avoid an outrageous water bill and grass gone golden in the dry Texas summers, you have to find the perfect balance. In-yard sprinklers systems, once viewed as a simple luxury, are now proving to be a homeowner's secret, water-saving weapon.
So, how exactly do sprinkler systems save water? The last most people heard was that hand watering was the way to go. Sprinkler systems have come a long way since then. Not only can you program your irrigation system to automatically adjust its output according to the season, it can even include rain sensors to pause watering when rain renders it unnecessary. Another perk of an automated irrigation system is watering in cycles. Instead of watering for 15 or so minutes straight, your system can perform three segments of 3-4 minutes, allowing the water to soak into the soil and using less water. This also reduces wasted water from runoff. Sprinkler systems also save water due to their ability to water when most people aren't awake or normally able to water. Watering at night can lead to standing water and contribute to mosquito problems. Watering during the afternoon wastes water due to evaporation, and who wants to wake up extra early to water their lawn? You can let your sprinklers do it and hit the snooze button a few more times.
Whether you've planted, or plan on planting, trees, flowers, shrubbery or just plain old grass, a new sprinkler system can help to ensure that each plant receives the recommended care without wasting water. Start by hydro-zoning your yard. Plants that require the same amounts of water should be placed near each other to avoid over or under-watering. Once you have your yard zoned for watering, have your local plumbing company install a sprinkler system. Today's in-ground sprinkler systems can be operated manually, by remote control or set to a timer. While timers can ensure that you don't over water during dry days, it's important to remember to manually pause them on days when it rains if your system is not equipped with a rain sensor.
When choosing your installer, there are several things to keep in mind. Will they not only install your home irrigation system, but also repair and perform any maintenance as well? Do they have irrigation specialists to work with you to design your system based on hydro-zoning recommendations? Over the years, sprinkler heads, valves and other major components of your sprinkler system could need repairs or upgrades, and having an experienced team to turn to is definitely worth it in the long run. So quit dragging that garden hose around and simplify your life, while simultaneously conserving water and cultivating a gorgeous lawn, with an in-ground sprinkler system.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Walk-on Fir Bark at Dixon Landscape Materials

Raj Hansra with Dixon Landscape Materials shows us the Walk-On Fir Bark which is very popular in landscaping and is much easier to work with than Gorilla Bark.

Dixon Landscape Materials, 150 East H St, Dixon CA. 707-678-8200.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Types and Uses Of Landscape Mulch

As you drive around the Heartland, you see that most landscape beds are covered with some sort of mulch. Although many people consider decorative gravels as mulch, I would like to define landscape mulch as an organic material that is used as a ground cover. There are a number of different mulches to choose from. Perhaps I can help you discover the facts about different mulches and make your selection a little easier.
Mulches are used in landscape beds for a myriad of different reasons. First, mulch enhances the aesthetic look of a landscape. In addition a thick layer of mulch helps hold moisture in the soil. This water holding capacity is especially important during droughts and when trees and shrubs are first planted.
Probably one of the most important reasons to use mulch is to control weeds that seem to continually come up in your landscape beds. Mulch also controls erosion that could develop if the soils between shrubs would remain bare.
Mulch keeps plant roots cool during the hot part of the summer and warm during the coldest parts of the winter. In addition, mulch around a tree or shrub seems to be a visible barrier for the weedeater operator who wants to get as close as possible to trees and shrubs.
Of all the different kinds of mulch available, hardwood bark mulch seems to be the most popular, undoubtedly due to is low cost. It is the least expensive mulch found in the Heartland. Every sawmill in the Heartland produces hardwood bark mulch as a bi-product of the milling operation. Because it is so plentiful and local, hardwood buck mulch seems to be the mulch of choice.
There are some drawbacks to hardwood bark mulch. Pest control companies say that this mulch attracts termites. I doubt that it attracts termites, but there is no natural termite repellent in hardwood bark mulch. If termites are in the area, they will certainly like the addition to their home range.
Hardwood bark mulch tends to deteriorate rapidly, and often forms an impervious layer on the surface of the mulch bed. This impervious layer often contributes to the demise of azaleas and rhododendrons.
Cedar and cypress mulches are also available in the Heartland. Both of these woods have natural insect repellents present. In addition these mulches do not breakdown as rapidly as hardwood bark mulch.
Many gardeners like to use pine bark mulch, pine mini nuggets, or pine nuggets. The mulch is similar in appearance of hardwood bark mulch, but it does not form an impervious layer, as does hardwood bark mulch. The nuggets and mini nuggets are just larger particles of bark, great for use around azaleas and rhododendrons. Unfortunately the nuggets and mini nuggets blow in the wind and can be moved easily during a heavy rainstorm.
More and more azaleas and rhododendron growers are using pine needles as mulch. In southeastern United States, pine needles as used quite extensively, probably due to their abundance and low cost. In addition, leachates from pine needles keep the pH of the soil close to 5.0. Low pH is just what azaleas like.
If you want to have the sweetest landscape in town, try using cocoa bean mulch. This mulch is derived from the husks of cocoa beans. Its small particle size gives your landscape mulch a more formal look. It usually stays where you placed it no matter what the weather. Its only drawback seems to be cost.
I have just mentioned a few mulches that you can find on the market. In addition to the ones mentioned you can use gravels, colored mulch which is ground up used pallets and dyed, rubber mulch which is ground up used tires, leaves, grass clippings, sawdust, and wood chips.
Let me caution you about using mulch with a high content of wood or undecomposed leaf matter. The fungi that decompose wood and leaf matter require a lot of nitrogen to do their thing. This nitrogen is absorbed from the soil below the mulch. The depletion of soil nitrogen can be extremely detrimental to shrubs and trees growing in the raw mulch.
When you mulch use about a three to four inch layer. Make sure you keep the mulch an inch or two away from the stem of trees and shrubs. If you put the mulch up on the stem, the stem will slow rot due to all of the excess moisture, and your trees and shrubs will slowly die.
Mulch is not always a cure all. Its presence can cause problems. If your area is naturally wet, layers of mulch will inhibit soil drying. Plants in that area can actually drown during wet seasons.
Be sure you know what the mulch will do to soil pH, and the pH requirements of the plants in your landscape. As mentioned above, pine needles will reduce the soil pH to about 5.0. Hardwood bark mulch usually keeps the pH around 5.5 to 6.0.
One other problem shows up in hardwood bark mulch. Sometimes fungi grow on the mulch in warm wet weather. This disgusting looking fungus looks like an animal vomited in your landscape. In order to reduce this problem, occasionally stir the mulch to allow air to get into it. This should reduce the fungus problem.
I have given you a lot of information about organic mulch. I hope this helps you select the right mulch for your landscape.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Concrete Patio & Hardscape Design A concrete patio is often the focal point of the backyard. This is where much of the activity occurs. See how this hardscaping plan was designed with three different types of hardscape materials including concrete for the patio, pavers, and gravel.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How To Install A Flagstone Patio

Flagstone patios are really popular and can be done in a number of different ways to suit your home and landscape. This video will explain the steps for laying a flagstone patio.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tropical Backyard Pool & Spa Ideas See tropical backyard landscape design was created by a professional landscape designer to include a pool and spa using faux rocks, tropical plants, waterfalls, and more. This tropical backyard also has a jumping rock, water slide, and solar heating system to keep the pool water warm.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Black Mulch Is So Popular, We Had Trouble Keeping It In Stock

At Dixon Landscape Materials we have always sold a lot of Black Mulch and had trouble keeping enough of it in stock, so now we stock 100 yards of it at a time!

Black Mulch is very popular for home landscaping around plants and bushes and is just as popular in commercial landscaping. The color gives excellent contrast with the plants, trees and bushes.

Dixon Landscape Materials is located at 150 East H Street in Dixon, CA. Call us at 707-678-8200 and visit our website at

Friday, May 3, 2013


One of the best things you can do for your plants is to add mulch. This video is part of 10 Things You Must Know show hosted by Amy Matthews . SHOW DESCRIPTION :A home improvement project would be a lot less daunting if you could just remember the 10 Things You Must Know! In this DIY Network series, host and licensed contractor Amy Matthews gathers the best experts in her field to count down the 10 insider tips every homeowner MUST know before taking on a basic home improvement task. Whether you're painting a kitchen, wallpapering a bathroom or building a deck, the job will be a whole lot easier if you watch DIY's 10 Things You Must Know first!