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Please note that any adjustments to the controller within the first year of installation will effectively void all warranties of grass, trees, and plants.
The use of programs (A/B/C) allows users to isolate certain zones to specific days/times. Sunflower typically uses program ‘A’ for sod/grass, program ‘B’ for plants/trees, and program ‘C’ for miscellaneous purposes (i.e. Ponds, pools, gardens, etc).
Days/Times subject to Local Water Restrictions
Program A: Sod (runs 3 days per week)
Program B: Drip (runs every day)
Program C: Miscellaneous (set according to needs)
To adjust the date/time on your controller, use the up and down arrows, advance to the next selection with the left and right arrows. The selected figure will flash to indicate that it is currently being adjusted.
The start times indicate what time of day the irrigation will run. If there are times of 5 AM in the first start time (1) and 5 PM in the second (2), both on program A, this is simply showing that any zones set to run on program A will run for a set amount of time at 5 AM & 5 PM. Program B will show 1 – 6 AM, 2 – 6 PM. Program C will show 1 – 5:30 AM.
The run time indicates for how long the irrigation will run. Each number (1-4, 6 & 8) is communicating the specific zones/wires in the lower control panel of the controller, which correspond with individual valves found in the manifold box.
Program A will show 1 – 20 minutes, 2 – 20 minutes. Program B will show 3 – 30 minutes.
The controller will designate which days the irrigation will run. From here, you can designate which days you want certain programs (A/B/C) to operate.
Program A will show Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Program B will show every day.
You can also adjust the irrigation for the weather or season with ‘seasonal adjust’. The ‘seasonal adjust’ feature allows you to adjust the entire controller from one button.
If you are not clear on what you are trying to achieve by adjusting the controller, please call Sunflower Landscapes instead of doing it yourself. The programs are set to offer long term sustainability and the slightest adjustments can result in irreversible damage.
MORE IN DEPTH NOTES ON IRRIGATION:
Sunflower uses ROYGBV for wiring sod. A black wire and anything after indicate drip and/or miscellaneous valves. The white wire is common.
- White wire is common
- Red, Orange and Yellow indicate sod (ROYGBV). These will program ‘A’. For this, there will be two start times – before 10 AM and after 6 PM, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Black wire is for drip. This will program ‘B’. There will be one start time every day of the week.
Winter in Colorado is no joke! Here are a few steps to making sure your landscaping is ready for it.
Turning off your irrigation system.
- Locate the water source in your utility room (the room with the water heater). The sprinkler line is typically the first ‘tee’ above the water meter for your house. Turn the ball valve to a perpendicular position to stop the water flow.
- Outside the house, locate the backflow (brass and copper hardware fixed to the side of the house) and manifold box (green or purple lid in the ground). Open the manifold box lid and open the drain valve at the end of the PVC piping. Water should start coming out.
- On the backflow, turn both valve handles a couple times to release the pressure built up in the unit. Occasionally, you will audibly hear the vacuum seal being broken. Turn both valve handles 45 degrees so the position is half open/closed.
- Next, locate the drain cap on the brass elbow immediately after the copper line emerges from the house (not available on all systems). LOOSEN BUT DON’T REMOVE this cap to allow more water to drain from the system.
- Lastly, take a bucket back to the water source from Step 1. On the bottom of the valve turned to shut water off, there should be another drain cap (similar to Step 4). With the bucket below the drain loosen this cap as well and capture the water to discard.
At this point, your system has been drained and is ready to weather the upcoming cold mornings. Another damage-preventative measure that can be taken is insulating the copper/brass by wrapping the pipes with a bath towel and some tape. Pool noodles are also a great way to insulate.
Winter watering is, unfortunately, NOT OPTIONAL in Colorado. Winter is the driest season here and it is important to take care of your plants when the weather starts getting cold. With the irrigation turned off, there are other ways to make sure your plants make it through the season.
Dry conditions and fluctuating temperatures cause lawns, shrubs, and trees to become distressed. The damage isn’t immediately obvious. Plants grow in the spring using the food energy which was stored in the root system in the fall. It is only when the temperatures begin to rise in late spring or even early summer, that the distress from the winter will show itself in the plants’ health.
After you have turned off your sprinkler system, continue to water your grass with a hose (remember to connect and disconnect due to freezing temps). In Colorado, this period typically runs from November through April. During these months, you should water 1-2 times per month. Water the lawn when the air temperature is above 40 degrees. Water at mid-day, if possible, so the water has time to soak into the ground and doesn’t quickly freeze. If the water freezes, solid ice could suffocate your lawn and leave it matted.
You will need to water everything in your yard that was planted during the last growing season. If the grass, plants, trees or bushes have not been through a winter season yet, then they need to be winter watered. You will also want to water anything that is exposed to wind (especially evergreens) or a lot of sun.
Trees and shrubs should be soaked well once a week to twice a month to ensure they are healthy coming out of dormancy in spring. Evergreens should also be watered/misted from the top of the limbs to the base to add humidity to the needles during the winter. Because they do not shed their foliage in the winter, the needles can experience browning or bleaching from the dryness and wind.
How long should I leave my newly planted trees staked?
One year is all they require to grow enough of a root system to support their canopy. Leaving stakes and straps on trees for longer runs the risk of girdling the trees, stressing them out and potentially killing them.
Why are the root balls of my trees planted high in the ground?
Most trees/plants die as a result of being planted too deep. Planting the root ball 2-4” above grade (and even higher in heavy clay soils) ensures your plants will have enough oxygen to thrive.
What are the best ways to prune my plants?
Spring pruning helps with removing dead and diseased branches and maintaining the desired shape of the plant. This can rejuvenate a struggling plant and help it to thrive. A good time to prune for shaping would be once the leaves begin to emerge to see where to cut back to. Plants that particularly benefit from this are hydrangeas, caryopteris spirea, and Russian sage. Grasses should be cut down to approximately 3” from the ground so that new blades can emerge from the ground uninhibited.
Once you have completed your pruning tasks, be sure to completely remove all debris (and winter mulching from the base of the plant) from the area to prevent fungus or disease spread in the healthy growth.
How do I keep my mulch areas looking fresh and beautiful?
Mulch beds are an excellent way to bring some warmth to your landscaping. However, the upkeep sometimes can seem intimidating. Easy ways to keep the mulch from looking stale are to do regular ‘top-offs’ with new bags of mulch and to use a pitchfork to lightly fluff the mulch when it is looking flat and boring.
What should I do to fertilize or treat my plants once they have been planted?
Nutrient rich soil is essential for a plant to thrive. Adding compost as a top dress or directly into the soil when planting can give the plant a wonderful boost! Fertilizers are a great addition once the plants have been in the ground for at least a year before you apply.
Sunflower’s warranty covers the cost to remove and install the replacement plant as well as 50% of the retail cost of the plant. Sunflower does NOT warranty perennials. The warranty period for covered plants/trees is one year from original install date.
If you notice that you have plants struggling in your yard, the staff at Heidrich’s Colorado Tree Farm Nursery can inspect photos via email or in the office to give you the best solutions to help them.
If you have plants that have died, please mark the location of the plant on your plan and contact us HERE.
Please include in the message a clear photo of the plant in its entirety and a few close up pictures (if necessary) of any points of interest. These could include, but are not limited to, bark discoloration, sap oozing, insect/animal damage, weather damage, etc.
If you do not still have a copy of your plan, you can reach out to us and we can email another copy to you!
Heidrich’s Colorado Tree Farm Nursery
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