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Why should I have Green Acres start up my irrigation system?

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

People often ask me if they should start up their own sprinkler system or have Green Acres do it.  I always say it is good to have us look at their system at least once a year and that is not just because I own the company.

For years Green Acres serviced a commercial account that had several sites.  Their sites were all over the Twin Cities and always looked beautiful, healthy and green.  Then the manager we worked with retired and the new manager opted to have their maintenance people service their sprinkler systems.  Many of these sites are on my commute route to and from work.  Soon I observed dry spots in the lawns, then whole areas or zones became dry.  After a while it turned into many areas looking bad, and was universally the case with all the sites.  Over a number of years many of the property’s sprinkler systems had fallen into disrepair and had been abandoned.  The sites were now dry, desolate and unattractive.  Years later after much decay and damage to the landscapes and sprinkler systems we were asked to come back to do major rebuilding and replacement of these systems.

My point is that sprinkler systems need annual maintenance in order to keep them working well.  The Spring start up is a great time for this.  We have set up our start up procedure for this very goal.  We check through all the zones and heads and do any adjustments needed.  Our technician will look for any leaks before they become a nuisance or a major leak.  We want to make sure that your sprinkler system is working efficiently and watering all that it was designed to water.

My advice, let us do the spring start up.  A little maintenance goes a long way in keeping your sprinkler system running well and protecting your beautiful green landscape.

Rob Cooper, Owner



Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

This has been a cold winter!! I heard on the news that this has been the coldest January in the last 30 years.  The average temperature was only 10.3 degrees.  I’m glad January is over.

In a rigorously cold winter like this, I start to get a little spring fever.  Yet we still have a lot of winter left.  I really do start to long for warmer days.

When I was a boy, my grandfather would pass the time by looking at his seed catalogs.  He would begin to dream of spring and plan for the coming year’s vegetable garden.  My grandfather’s garden was unusually large at about 5 acres.  In February, he would order the seed and in March it would arrive.  At some point he would begin to plant in his green house.  I remember it would be cold and wintery outside but on the inside the sun would steam in and the air would be moist and so very warm.  Looking across that green house you could see a sea of green sprouting plants, all testifying that spring was soon to arrive.

Like my grandfather, I think we too need a little encouragement.  To not lose heart, I love to look at summer pictures of grass, plants and flowers.  Seeing it is only February, I thought I would share with you some of these,  Isn’t it amazing what beauty can be realized with a little sun, warmth and water.  Boy, I miss summer, how about you?


Rob Cooper

photo 3-1photo 4photo 2-1 photo 1

How late in the season should I run my irrigation system?

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

It’s September and I want to keep watering as long as possible.  Maybe you have new sod or plantings, or it’s been dry (like that last 2 autumns 2011 & 2012).  What can I do about those nights the temperature dips below freezing?  Will it damage my irrigation system?

You are wise to be thinking about those freezing temperatures!  You want to avoid icy sidewalks and frozen pipes which can result in a hazard for pedestrians and costly repairs to your system.  There are a couple of things you should do in this situation.

  1. Don’t water on these nights to prevent dangerous icy sidewalks and driveway.  If you have a smart controller, the controller will not allow watering to take place when the temperature drops below freezing.  If you do not have a smart controller, simply shut the controller OFF to prevent watering.
  2. You will want to do is locate the plumbing, outside, where it enters the house.  These pipes and the back-flow preventer are at risk of cracking if the water inside them freezes.  Wrap the pipes and back-flow preventer with an old blanket or rug.  You will want to insulate these from the cold.

Taking these precautions will allow you to water beyond the normal watering season.

Remember to call Green Acres for an appointment to winterize your irrigation system.

High Water Bills

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Have you received a higher than normal water bill this year? There may be a few reasons for this:

  1. Your city raised the water rates, check our blog for your local municipality’s 2012 water rates
  2. You may have a leak, it is easy to miss a small leak that is creating a soft spot in your yard.  Check your lawn for any excessively wet areas or soft spots and call us if you find something.
  3. Your system is overwatering your lawn. Check out some of our water saving devices or call us if to learn more. This article has some useful information about how to save water with cheap water saving devices.

Zebra Mussels – Warning to Lake Customers

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Zebra mussels have infested metro are lakes. While it is too early to know all of the effects this will have on using lake water for irrigation, this is what we do know. Not all lakes have the same rate of infestation, for information on your lake visit the MN DNR website. Zebra mussels will grow inside the suction filter in the lake. For areas with established populations we recommend a monthly external inspection and cleaning of the lake screen. In August an internal inspection and cleaning of the screen should be done, our observed muscle growth inside the lake screens in 2011 was much greater than what attaches on the outside of the screen. Specimens are needed to confirm sightings, in Minnesota, possession and transport of zebra mussels is illegal, except when providing them to the DNR for identification. Unauthorized introduction of zebra mussels, fish, or plants into the wild is illegal.