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March 26, 2024 0 Comments

Spring Irrigation Start-Up Guide

The daffodils are blooming here in Nevada County, you know what that means – spring is here! But before you get carried away with planting and tending to your landscape, there's one essential task that should be at the top of your to-do list: spring irrigation start-up.

Proper irrigation is the backbone of any thriving landscape. It ensures that your plants receive the right amount of water at the right times, fostering healthy growth and vibrant colors. To help you kickstart your spring gardening endeavors, we've put together a comprehensive guide to spring irrigation start-up for landscaping.

Assess Your System

Before you turn on your irrigation system, take some time to inspect it thoroughly. Check for any visible signs of damage, such as leaks, broken sprinkler heads, or clogged nozzles. Make sure all valves and connections are intact and functioning correctly. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage and water wastage.

Clean and Clear

Over the winter months, debris, dirt, and even small critters may have found their way into your irrigation system. Start by clearing away any debris from around sprinkler heads and valves. Then, flush out the system by running water through it to remove any built-up sediment or blockages. This will help ensure smooth water flow and prevent potential damage to your equipment.

Check the Controller

Your irrigation controller serves as the brain of your system, allowing you to schedule watering times and durations. Take some time to review and update your watering schedule to align with the changing needs of your landscape as it transitions into spring. Ensure that the date and time settings are accurate and consider programming in some flexibility to adjust for weather fluctuations.

Test for Efficiency

Before you fully commit to your spring watering schedule, it's essential to test the efficiency of your irrigation system. Run a manual test cycle to observe how water is distributed across your landscape. Pay attention to coverage areas, ensuring that every inch of your lawn and garden receives adequate moisture. Adjust sprinkler heads or nozzle settings as needed to achieve uniform watering.

Embrace Smart Technology

Incorporating smart irrigation technology into your system can take the guesswork out of watering and help you conserve water more effectively. Consider installing weather-based controllers that adjust watering schedules based on real-time weather data. These controllers can optimize watering times and durations to prevent overwatering during periods of rain or high humidity. Call Weiss Landscaping to upgrade your current controller, (530) 271-7478.

Monitor and Maintain

Once your irrigation system is up and running, don't just set it and forget it. Regular monitoring and maintenance are crucial to ensuring optimal performance throughout the growing season. Keep an eye out for any signs of leaks, malfunctions, or inefficiencies, and address them promptly. Periodically check and adjust your watering schedule based on seasonal changes and the specific needs of your plants.

By following these steps for spring irrigation start-up, you'll be well on your way to creating a lush and thriving landscape that will be the envy of the neighborhood. So, grab your gardening gloves and get ready to watch your greenery flourish under the gentle embrace of a well-maintained irrigation system. Happy gardening!

Here at Weiss Landscaping, we have specific guidelines for getting your landscape spring-ready!

Weiss Landscaping Spring Guidelines:


Spring (has almost) sprung!  All plants and trees should be pruned back.  Soil temperatures are still low, but days are warmer which means most plants will be budding and leafing out but not bolting.  The most important thing now is eradicating spring and winter weeds before they go to seed.


Time for your Irrigation System Check ~ Make sure all valves operate from the controller. Check all sprinkler heads for proper rotation, coverage, head angle, head depth and leaks.  Uncover and verify all drip emitters are putting out water. Adjust emitter location as needed to water root zone of plant (typically at the drip line; NOT the trunk).  Clean drip filters.  Clean additional filters.  Set spring water schedule.  Check/replace batteries in timers and smart controller weather transmitters.

Fertilization: (either organic or synthetic depending on your preference)

Organic: lawn with Dr. Earth Super Natural 9-3-5

Shrubs with Dr. earth life 5-5-5

Synthetic: lawn and shrubs with best 6-24-24

Deciduous Trees:

Begin to prune sucker growth while its small (shoots less than 12’’ long can often be rubbed/broken off for a cleaner effect)

Evergreen Trees:

Begin to prune sucker growth while its small

Prune “candles” if you are wanting to increase branch density and control growth.

*Note: most evergreen trees require very little care and are best left alone except to prune out dead, dying or diseased branches.

Deciduous Shrubs: (enjoy flowers and new growth)

Evergreen Shrubs:

In early spring fertilize Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas with an acid fertilizer for good flower production.

Perennials: should be cut back and showing signs of life at the base or at winter cuts

Ground covers: should be starting to grow

Grasses: should already be cut back and starting to show signs of life.

Vines: should be starting to grow


Enjoy the bulbs coming up. When bloom is finished wait for stalks to wither up to a crispy brown before removing. I know it’s hard to wait and they get ugly.  Tying them into “knots” helps keep them tidy.


Put mower lower than normal and mow lawns 1 time this way to suck up and remove winter debris and thatch (this mow should be bagged; future mows can be mulched if desired). After this mow raise mower to the height you prefer sharpen the blade of the mower.


Stay on top of weeds by whatever means you are most comfortable with (sprays, hand pull, scuffle hoe, etc). It’s better to get them when they are small and before they go to seed.


General post-winter clean-up will be in order: Lingering winter storms will continue to create small amounts of leaves, needles, sticks and pinecones that need to be cleaned up. This is the time of years to get detailed with cleanup efforts.  Get in and under shrubs to remove accumulated debris.  Remove pine needles by hand from ornamental tree branches.

Light refreshing of mulch, as needed. Evaluate mulch every three years for a fresh look and to maintain a 2” to 4” depth.

We hope this helps with getting your landscape spring-ready!


Storm drainage rock used for winter storm rain runoff, by Weiss Landscaping, serving Northern California.
February 19, 2024 0 Comments

The Crucial Role of Drainage in Landscapes

A well-designed landscape not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your property but also plays a crucial role in maintaining its structural integrity. One often overlooked yet essential aspect of landscaping is drainage. In this blog post, we'll delve into why drainage matters in a landscape, exploring the significance of swales, saturated soil management, and solutions for heavy rain runoff.

We'll also discuss the importance of landscaping drain basins, surface drains, and French drains while addressing common problems associated with excessive rain, grading for drainage, and erosion control.

Proper drainage setup for river rock, Weiss Landscaping, Nevada County Landscape Contractors.
Proper drainage will help add value and deter water from your investment.

Understanding Swales:

Swales, or shallow channels designed to redirect water, are a fundamental element in landscape drainage. These features help to prevent waterlogging and control surface water flow. Properly constructed swales not only enhance water movement but also serve as effective erosion control measures. Incorporating swales into your landscape design helps manage rainwater, preventing it from pooling in unwanted areas.

Saturated Soil Management:

Saturated soil can lead to a host of problems, including poor plant growth, root rot, and structural damage. Implementing drainage solutions such as French drains, surface drains, and drain basins can effectively combat saturated soil. These features help in removing excess water from the soil, maintaining optimal moisture levels for plants, and preventing water-related damage to structures.

Heavy Rain Runoff Solutions:

Heavy rain can pose significant challenges for landscapes, leading to erosion and flooding. To address this, landscaping professionals often recommend the installation of surface drains. These drains, situated below the soil surface, collect and redirect excess water, preventing it from causing damage to your property. Additionally, landscape drain basins act as collection points for runoff, facilitating efficient water removal and preventing erosion.

Landscaping Drain Basins:

Landscaping drain basins, also known as catch basins, play a vital role in capturing and managing surface water runoff. These basins are strategically placed throughout the landscape to collect water, preventing it from accumulating in low-lying areas. By incorporating drain basins into your design, you can effectively mitigate the risk of flooding and erosion caused by heavy rain.

Surface Drains and French Drains:

Surface drains, typically installed at ground level, are designed to remove excess water from the surface quickly. They can be particularly effective in flat landscapes where water tends to pool. On the other hand, French drains are subsurface drainage systems that utilize perforated pipes surrounded by gravel to redirect water away from areas prone to saturation. Both types of drains are valuable tools for managing water flow and preventing landscape damage.

Grading for Drainage and Erosion Control:

Proper grading is essential for effective drainage. Sloping the landscape away from structures and towards designated drainage areas ensures that water flows away from vulnerable areas. This not only helps prevent water damage to buildings but also aids in erosion control. Investing in professional grading services can significantly enhance the overall performance of your drainage system.


Incorporating effective drainage solutions into your landscape design is a wise investment that pays off in the long run. From swales and saturated soil management to surface drains, drain basins, and French drains, these features work in tandem to protect your property from the adverse effects of heavy rain and prevent erosion. By addressing drainage issues, you not only safeguard the health of your plants but also maintain the structural integrity and beauty of your outdoor space.

Concrete drainage for effective water runoff.