Winter will be over soon!

January 30th, 2014

It’s been a rough winter here in Oklahoma, and landscapes are showing signs of stress.  Plants may look “freezer burned”, and the lack of rain has contributed to potential problems when spring comes.  Contact us and we can look at your existing landscape plants and advise you on measures to take to rescue and improve your yard.

Also, winter is a great time to plan for your spring landscape.  We can get things designed and prepared now, and when warmer weather comes we can get your new landscape installed.  Winter is also a good time to plan for and install low-voltage landscape lighting which extends the season during which you can enjoy your landscape even though you are not out in it as much.  And when spring and summer are here, low-voltage lighting allows you to spend time out in the yard late into the evening.  We are recommending LED lighting, as it is much more energy-efficient and individual bulbs are longer-lasting than traditional incandescent lamps.

Give us a call, we’d love to talk to you.

Spring is coming!

February 2nd, 2011

The time is now to start thinking about your spring landscape needs. Do you need a sprinkler system? We can help. Do you need to have a landscape plan done? We can help. Does your landscape need to be updated or installed? We can help. Do you need low-voltage outdoor lighting, a patio, a pergola, or a water feature designed and installed? We can help.

In short, Grooms Irrigation Company can design and install any of your outdoor landscape needs.

Winter is the best time for designing your landscape, as we are less busy, and therefore able to give you our maximum attention. Contact us today.

Going Green in the Landscape

February 16th, 2010

Landscaping is generally thought of as “green’, but it could be even MORE green through several other treatments. These include:

    • Rainwater harvesting and rain barrels
    • Rain gardens and bioswales (bioretention)
    • Permeable pavers
    • LED Lighting
    • Native plantings
    • Green roofs

The water harvesting, bioretention, and native plantings can all result in the use of less water than you’re currently using, plus there’s the added benefit of sending less water into the storm water system.  The rain water that is captured can then be used for watering plants in the garden.  Permeable pavers allow water to soak into the ground rather than running off into the storm water system.  Green roofs, which have been in use in Europe for decades, also reduce runoff and will help to reduce temperature fluctuations of the indoor areas.

Think about this: you pay for your water, then you pay for it to be taken away (in the form of taxes that are used to build ever-larger storm water systems).

LED lighting is a relatively new trend in outdoor lighting, and although there is a higher initial cost for the fixtures, the cost will be lower over the lifetime of the fixtures from lower energy usage.

An excellent website to visit that shows a demonstration project with many of these green items is: http://www.delafleur.com/168_Elm/index.htm

Getting started on your new landscape

February 1st, 2010

Do you want a new landscape, but don’t know how to begin?

Here are some tips to get you started:

Ask yourself how will you use your landscape. Will it be for formal entertaining, gardening, purely for looking at, a place for your children to play, or for your own enjoyment?  Most landscapes are a combination of several of these things, and often more.  And don’t forget other elements, such as a fence, a fountain or water feature, a deck, a patio, night lighting, or other outdoor item.

Before we meet, some things that you can do to make the design process go smoothly include:

•  Have a budget in mind. One rule of thumb is to invest 5 to 10 percent of your house’s value. Many landscape improvements are estimated to return 100 to 200 percent of their cost when a house is sold.

•  To help you communicate what you want to achieve (or avoid), look in books and magazines for ideas and start a file of landscape photographs that you like or dislike.  Also, take pictures of yards in your neighborhood or in your travels of places that you like.  Even if it seems like it would be too exotic for Oklahoma, there are often plants that have similar appearances, yet are hardy in our climate.

•  Think about maintenance. Do you enjoy working in your yards and gardens, or would you rather hire a service to do it? Be sure to let your us know how you feel about this very important facet of your investment.

Steven L. Ancik, ASLA who is employed by Grooms Irrigation Company is a licensed Landscape Architect in Oklahoma. Credentials are important. Landscape architects must pass a rigorous exam to be licensed. Members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) have met their membership requirements and keep up with the latest technology and trends through continuing education programs and ASLA publications.

At our initial meeting, we will walk around the home and I’ll ask questions about your lifestyle, what you want to accomplish, and your budget. At this meeting, I can also provide references for you to call or answer questions you may have about our services and fees.

With a budget in mind, we’ll begin a preliminary design. The preliminary design includes the site layout, planting areas, surfaced areas, and a preliminary plant list appropriate for your site. Often we will have a second meeting to discuss the preliminary plan and to make changes to better meet the needs of the project.  A final design is then drawn, including pictures of the proposed plants, and we do a detailed cost estimate and bid, based on your budget.

Call Grooms Irrigation for a landscape consultation today. (405) 348-2557

Steve Ancik, Landscape Architect

LED Christmas Lights versus Incandescent Christmas Lights

December 1st, 2009

LED Christmas lights are becoming more popular every year.  But there are several considerations to take into account before making your decision.

Cost to purchase:

LED lights will cost 2 to 3 times as much to purchase as ‘regular’ incandescent lights.

Cost to operate:

Consumer Reports research indicates that “LEDs use 1 to 3 kilowatt hours of energy, compared with 12 to 105 kilowatt hours for conventional lights, saving $1 to $11 per hour”

Lifespan:

LED lights will last much longer than incandescent. Part of the reason is that the LEDs have a plastic lamp compared to the glass of the incandescent lights. Also, the LEDs will not burn out as fast – some sources show a 2000-hour life for incandescent lamps and over 17,000 hours for LEDs.

Other considerations:

Temperature: The LED lights are cooler to the touch, which reduces fire risk, and is also important when the lights are touching living plants.

Color: LED colors are actually a bit “richer”. Some people prefer this look while others prefer the traditional look.

Brightness: The C9 and C7 conventional lights are about five or six times brighter than the LEDs, and the mini conventional lights were slightly dimmer than the mini LEDs.

SUMMARY:

LEDs are costlier to purchase, but are better for the environment in terms of electricity usage; run much cooler; last longer; and cost less to run over their lifespan.  Incandescent lights are much less expensive to purchase, but cost considerably more to run; are hot to the touch; and last a much shorter time.  Both are acceptable options for your Christmas lighting.  The choice is yours.

Call Grooms Irrigation Company at 348-2557 to set up a meeting to discuss your Christmas light needs.

Oklahoma’s Grooms Irrigation is a Certified Rainwater Harvesting Professional

November 19th, 2009

Edmond, Oklahoma based Grooms irrigation Company, has recently completed the application process and has been awarded the distinction of Certified RainXchange™ Professional (CRP) by Aquascape, Inc. This new rainwater harvesting professional certification program was newly implemented in June 2009.

Certified RainXchange™ Professionals are the most qualified and informed RainXchange™ rainwater harvesting system installers in the water gardening industry. All CRPs are required to attend continual training and education seminars and maintain a proven record of outstanding work and dedicated customer service. In order to become a Certified RainXchange™ Professional, you must complete an in-depth application that includes referrals and an extensive knowledge base of rainwater harvesting and Aquascape’s RainXchange™ System. All applicants must pass a test before receiving official certification.

Aquascape, Inc. of St. Charles, IL is North America’s leading innovator in the water gardening industry and the inventor of the low-maintenance, naturally balanced ecosystem pond.  Aquascape is committed to helping its customers succeed at building, selling and retailing water features while supplying innovative products and solutions that capture, clean and reuse the planet’s most vital resource … water.

“Certified RainXchange™ Professionals demonstrate their concern for the environment by installing sustainable landscapes,” Greg Wittstock, CEO and owner of Aquascape, Inc. said. “It’s good to know that there are a group of professionals out there dedicated to smart use of water.”

When a customer chooses a Certified RainXchange™ Professional, they can feel comfortable knowing that they are receiving the most qualified contractor to implement the RainXchange™ System which pairs a sub-surface rainwater harvesting system with a decorative water feature.

Grooms Irrigation Company is now available for rainwater harvesting consultations and water feature installations. For more information on Grooms Irrigation or to book a consultation, call  (405) 348-2557 or log on to http://groomsirrigation.com.

 Grooms Irrigation Company is an irrigation design and installation firm specializing in irrigation, drainage, landscaping, water features, decks, swimming pools, patios, exterior structures, and more. Grooms Irrigation Company has been in business since 1983.

Winterization of a Sprinkler System

September 10th, 2009

In Oklahoma, our winters have enough cold days that your irrigation system will need to be winterized if your backflow preventer is above ground. Winterization consists of turning off the water at the backflow preventer and draining the water from it. Emptying the main line and lateral lines is not necessary as our winters are not severe enough to freeze the water in the pipes. If your backflow preventer is under ground or has heat tape, it will not need winterization.

Typically, we begin winterizing irrigation systems in early November. If your Grooms sprinkler system is less than one year old, we will automatically come out and winterize your system unless you call and ask that we do not. We will leave a Grooms flag at the backflow preventer to alert you that the system has been winterized.

If you need more information, need to schedule a winterization, or do not wish us to winterize your new system, please call Grooms Irrigation at 348-2557.

Mulching Plants, Shrubs and Trees

August 13th, 2009

Mulch: Organic mulch is especially important during hot, dry summer months, as well as during the winter. Mulch helps with moderating soil temperatures, protecting plant roots, maintaining soil moisture, deterring weeds, protecting tree trunks from damage by mowers and trimmers, and enhancing the attractiveness of your yard. Over time, mulch around your landscape plants tends to get compacted and will decompose, resulting in the use of more water and weaker plants.

Good mulch can consist of shredded hardwood bark, shredded cypress wood or bark, pine needles, or pine bark nuggets. A layer of mulch that’s one to three inches deep is best. With thicker, the plant roots can begin growing in the mulch layer instead of the soil, making them susceptible to drought and also freezing temperatures.

Check the existing depth of mulch before adding more.  Keep mulch a couple of inches away from the trunks of trees and shrubs, because this can lead to rot. Plastic should not be used as mulch material, because it does not decompose and can hold excess moisture. Do not use a plastic layer under mulch because the plastic will not allow water to penetrate into the soil layer.

Call Grooms Irrigation today. (405) 348-2557

Steve Ancik, Landscape Architect

Insect and Weed Control

July 30th, 2009

To keep your plants and lawn looking beautiful, you’ll want to pay attention to insect and weed control.

Insects: Numerous insects thrive during the summer months. In hot, dry weather, insects such as spider mites will have a rapid increase in population. If not controlled, mites can kill new growth on evergreens and cause early leaf drop on deciduous shrubs. Spraying water on the foliage of plants infested with spider mites can give partial relief, but sometimes a chemical spray is needed. If you are not sure of the cause of your plant problems, an expert may need to be consulted.

Aphids can cause distortions to the shape and appearance of leaves. Aphids are hard to see, but sap dripping from the tree or shrub may be the residue from the insects.

Also, be on the lookout for chewing insects feeding on your valuable landscape plants. They can defoliate shrubs and certain evergreens very rapidly. Often, chewing insects can be left alone if the damage is not great. On more valuable plants or for more severe infestations an organic or chemical insecticide may be required.

Weed control: Beginning in late August, pre-emergent herbicides for winter annual weeds can be applied. These products must be watered in after application.

Call Grooms Irrigation today. (405) 348-2557

Steve Ancik, Landscape Architect
Grooms Irrigation

Watering of Plants, Lawn & Trees During Hot Summer Months

July 16th, 2009

Your landscape is a large investment, and it takes some special care during our hot Oklahoma summers. During periods when no rain has fallen for several weeks, signs of stress will occur. You may see these signs in your yard or in certain shrubs or trees.

Watering: In order to provide your landscape and lawn with the proper amount of water, you should understand the specific needs for your lawn, trees, shrubs, and other ornamental plants. Some trees and shrubs, especially those which need more water, will drop a large number of leaves during periods of heat and drought. This is a normal reaction for some plants. 

It is important to provide enough water for your landscape, but it is also important to avoid over-watering, which can be just as bad as drought. There is not a perfect rule for watering, since many factors such as heat, shade, wind, the type of soil, evaporation, and the length of the grass all affect the amount of water needed by your turf.

In general, a slow deep watering every few days is better than frequent, shallow waterings. Watering for short time periods will only allow water to penetrate into the top layer of the soil, encouraging shallow rooting and soil compaction, and may not get deep enough for the roots of the landscape plants. When the grass has a blue-gray appearance and shows footprints after you have walked on it, it is beginning to wilt. Enough water should be applied to wet the soil to a depth of 6 inches.

Mowing: The height of your lawn affects the amount of water needed. Short lawn heights will require more water than taller heights, due to the limited leaf surface on the shorter grasses.  Also, allowing the grass to grow higher will help the grass tolerate the heat by shading the soil. Mowing heights of 3” for cool-season grasses (Fescue, etc.) is recommended. For Bermuda grass, gradually raise the cutting height from 1 ½ to 2 inches.

Steve Ancik, Landscape Architect
Grooms Irrigation (405) 348-2557

Why install low-voltage landscape lighting?

May 13th, 2009

Low-voltage landscape lighting provides important benefits.

ENERGY EFFICIENT:  Many homes with older outdoor lighting are powered by 120 volt current. Low-voltage lighting operates on a 12 volt current. This is similar to the amount of electricity used by a car battery. 12 volt is therefore much safer and more energy efficient.

BEAUTIFICATION: Focal points stand out and become more beautiful. Textures not seen in daylight become eye-catching detail.

USABILITY: Landscape lighting extends the time that can be spent outdoors.

SAFE PASSAGE: Hazards such as steps, low-hanging or thorny vegetation, abrupt changes in elevation, or other obstacles can all be avoided with properly placed landscape lighting.

SECURITY: It’s a proven fact that a well-lit landscape will deter potential intruders by eliminating dark areas and shadows that would conceal movement around the property.

VALUE: Landscape lighting not only brings a property to life, it also provides excellent return on investment by creating a stunning first impression when viewed by visitors.

Professional quality fixtures and equipment offer better construction, construction materials like copper and stainless steel, and are often accompanied by extensive manufacturers warranties. Also, there is a wider variety of professional quality equipment on the market. This allows a designer to choose specific fixtures with the specific functions that will best serve the particular landscape in question. There are a large variety of fixture colors and styles available.

The cost of a low-voltage system will depend on the number of fixtures specified, the size of the property in question, the purpose of the system and so on. You can be sure that the cost of a professional system will exceed the cost of a home store kit. However, this initial expense is offset by the extended life and added enjoyment available from a professional system that creates more appealing and diverse lighting effects. When compared to line voltage alternatives, low voltage is far more economical with regard to operating expense and per fixture costs.

Low voltage lighting requires a transformer to change the electrical voltage form 120 to 12 volts. This transformer is typically mounted on the exterior of the residence and can have a photocell or timer to turn the lights on and off.  The transformer is plugged into an existing outlet or one that is added specifically for the transformer.

Contact Grooms, Edmond, Oklahoma for more information (405) 348-2557

Does Landscaping Add To My Home’s Value?

March 27th, 2009

Landscaping is the wisest investment you can make to add value to your Oklahoma home.  
The National Gardening Association states that “homeowners spent $36.8 billion on lawns and gardens in 2003, of which $11.4 billion was spent on landscaping. It offers the best return on investment of any home improvement you can make”.

"Homes that are nicely landscaped will have at least a 4 to 5 percent higher value when compared to similar properties in the neighborhood", according to the Guide for Plant Appraisal, published by the International Society of Arboriculture. There are other benefits of landscaping as well: properly-located trees and shrubs can provide shade against the summer heat, block winds and undesirable views, and provide a pleasant retreat from the stresses of the day.

A good rule of thumb is to invest 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value on landscaping. Besides plants and trees, your Oklahoma  landscape can also include hardscape items such as decks, arbors, pergolas and trellises.

Other landscape features that add value include a waterfall, bubbler, fountain or swimming pool.  Call Grooms Irrigation, Edmond  Oklahoma for a consultation about your landscape needs.  (405) 348-2557.

Grooms Irrigation Safety Policy

March 16th, 2009

Grooms Irrigation Company considers no phase of its operation more important that safety and health protection. We will provide and maintain safe and healthful working conditions, establish, and insist upon, safe work methods and practices at all times.

Safety and health shall be an integral part of all operations, including planning, providing care, and administration. Accidents have no place in our organization.

Grooms will work consistently to maintain safe and healthful working conditions, to adhere to proper practices and procedures designed to prevent injury and illness, and to comply with federal, state, local, consensus standards, and company safety and health regulations.

Each level of management must reflect an interest in company safety and health objectives and is required to set good examples by always observing the rules as a part of the normal work routine. Management interest must be vocal, visible, and continuous, from top management to employees.

Grooms Irrigation employees shall follow safe working practices, obey rules and regulations, and work in a way that maintains the high safety and health standards sanctioned by the organization.

We urge all employees to make our safety and health program an integral part of their daily operations. Then the total elimination of accidents and injuries will become not just an objective, but a way of life.

Why do I need a lawn sprinkler system?

March 12th, 2009

Grooms Irrigation not only designs and installs lawn sprinkler systems, we maintain and repair them.

A well maintained lawn gives a great impression of you, your home or business. A well-maintained lawn gives a subconscious message that your business is as well-maintained as the lawn is.

Why do some lawns look lush and green and other yards look sickly? A big key is the right amount of water. Not enough water will make it shrivel and dry up, but too much water can lead to disease. Our goal is to get the right amount of water to the right areas of your lawn so everything is growing and healthy.

There are several different kinds of lawn sprinklers and Grooms will help you determine which is right for your lawn, your plants and trees. We will also investigate the type of soil your property has.

In 26 years, Grooms has installed thousands of commercial and residential sprinkler systems. Call us today for a free evaluation & quote. (405) 348-2557

Grooms Irrigation in Edmond OK

February 26th, 2009

Grooms Irrigation is a professional, full service irrigation, drainage and landscaping company in Edmond, Oklahoma. Besides irrigation, Grooms offers a complete array of swimming pool and water features, landscaping design and outdoor living options for every lifestyle.

Twenty Six years of business speaks volumes about the dependability and quality of service that Oklahomans can expect and deserve! We are here to serve you! Call (405) 348-2557 or email us: info@groomsirrigation.net