Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving – Irrigation Part and Plant of the Month

Happy ThanksgivingWith sincere thanks and deeply felt gratitude to all of our customers, everyone at Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance join in sending you and your family our wishes for a bountiful and very Happy Thanksgiving!

We are grateful for all of the amazing work that everyone does here at Goodman’s and to our customers. We wouldn’t be here without your continued support!

Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

Other names include: Mescal Bean, Texas Mescalbean, Frijolito, and Frijolillo. This evergreen shrub or small tree grows to about 12 feet high, it has smooth bark, and its dark green oval leaflets are 1-2 inches long. It blooms from February to April, and it produces Wisteria-like lavender-blue flowers in 4 to 8 inch clusters. The silvery gray 1 to 8 inch seed pods open when ripe exposing red seeds. These small tree often times produce multiple trunks. Keep them in full sun or light shade. They tolerate Arizona alkaline well-drained soils. When moving a Texas Mountain Laurel, make sure to not disturb the root ball.

Texas Mountain Laurel

All parts of the Texas Mountain Laurel are toxic, however it’s the seeds that pack the highest concentration. If ingested, among other symptoms, you can expect to see profuse salivation, weakness, impaired vision and a slow heart rate.

Why is it in our landscapes?

It’s small size, Wisteria-like blooms, grape Kool-Aid / grape bubblegum scent and overall ornamental appeal make it a popular plant for small spaces. Avoid planting in areas where children or pets spend unsupervised time.

Irrigation Valve Solenoid – Irrigation Part of the Month

A solenoid is a component of a solenoid valve. Its basic function is converting electrical energy to mechanical energy. A small electrical current is sent to the solenoid spring, causing the spring inside to essentially become a tiny magnet. Coiling tighter as a result of the magnetic field it pulls a tiny piston backward, sealing off the hole that allows air into the chamber. With the release of air pressure, a diaphragm is pushed aside by incoming water which passes through the valve to feed the irrigation lines. When the programmed amount of time ends, the electrical feed is halted and the process reverses. You can usually tell a solenoid is malfunctioning because it’ll make a distinct “click” and hum or vibrate when it is activated.irrigation valve solenoid

How to change a broken irrigation valve solenoid:

  1. Disconnect both wires connected to the solenoid.
  2. Turn solenoid counter-clockwise until free of the valve.
  3. Screw in new solenoid by turning clockwise, hand tighten only, be careful not to over-tighten.
  4. Connect both wires to new solenoid using waterproof wire caps.

Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance has full-time irrigation repair and installation crews that are ready to help you with your next project. Contact us to learn more about our irrigation services in your local Phoenix and Scottsdale area.

Top 3 Reasons to Purchase a “To Scale” Landscape Plan

to scale landscape design plan
What is a “To Scale” Landscape Design Plan?
Some landscape design contractors will provide an attractive landscape drawing for you to look at, however, when everything isn’t to scale, looks can be deceiving. For example, lets say that they provide a design that has 3 larger trees, 2 bushes, and a fountain. It may sound perfect, until everything is installed in your yard. Depending on how large your yard is, it could look too busy or it could look empty. Proportions are very important to understand when you are trying to visualize what your future landscape could look like. Another example is the amount of rock or grass to be used. In a drawing that isn’t to scale, you really have no idea how much rock or grass is actually going to be used. The contractor could potentially reduce the cost on his end by not providing you with the amount of rock you thought your yard was going to have.

Reason #1:
A “To Scale” landscape plan ensures that your vision and your landscape designer’s interpretation of your vision are congruent. If you have strong preferences about the look of your landscape (which I am sure most of you do), you want to provide your designer website and magazine pictures showing examples of what you want. Another good idea is to provide the designer with actual material samples. This will ensure that the preliminary design drawing is as close to the finished design drawing as possible. Most companies have a limit as to how many revisions are included in the price of landscape plan drawing. If you exceed that amount, there may be an extra charge for additional revisions, so it is best to clearly describe what you are looking for the first time the best that you can.

Reason #2:
When you have a to scale landscape plan you will be able to obtain apples to apples competitive pricing for the work. This is VERY important. If you don’t have a plan that spec’s out all the details, you may get lower pricing from some contractors, but that pricing will not be for the same amount of work or materials. It is best practice to get no more than three bids after you have done your research on the three companies by checking BBB statuses, licensing, reviews, and references.

Reason #3:
If you don’t have the budget to have all of the work completed at the same time, a landscape plan allows you to have the work done in stages. This will better allow you to maintain a cohesive look throughout the various stages. Make sure you have the work done in stages that make sense. For instance, you wouldn’t want to have all of the paver work done before the irrigation goes in. Experienced landscape contractors will be able to suggest possible stages and why they make sense. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and really understand why parts of the landscape need to be on hold while others are finished up. It is best to have all of the materials purchased in quantities needed to complete the entire project. You want to make sure that the materials used in the 1st stage are from the same batch, and are available at the 2nd or 3rd stage of the project. Otherwise, there could be noticeable differences in the materials or the supplier could run out, leaving your yard undone until they are able to get another shipment in.  Buying the materials in bulk also allows you take advantage of sales or volume discounts.

Have Goodman’s Landscape provide you with “to scale” landscape design plan for your backyard and receive $25.00 off. Save an additional $15.00 if you get the front yard landscape plan at the same time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultationThis offer can’t be combined with other offers and expires 12/31/2013.