Fall is officially upon us and we in Florida are looking forward to some cooler temperatures. Long time Florida residents say the weather breaks October 15. For those of you who’ve been away or those of you who are just coming back, you may be greeted with some consequences of the wet Florida summer-and in the last few weeks it actually has been HOT with little rain. There is lots of black algae, weeds, and washouts. You may want to be proactive and get on the service list for vendors to power wash driveways and roofs and landscapers to do weeding…See Pictures below…
If your gutters have not been cleaned recently and they are clogged and backed up, you may come home to find some holes in the ground at the down spouts due to runoff and the heavy downpours. Most homes built in Black Diamond have drain baskets in the ground where the super gutters for lanai areas run off into. Over the years, they can become clogged with leaves and debris and you will eventually notice a washed out area in a flowerbed or grass area. (see picture)
Black Diamond’s POA has recommended these services for power washing roofs: Back to Bright LLC, 352-445-4840; Perry’s Home Services, 352-503-4488; Citrus Roof Cleaning & Power Washing 352-270-3927.
Rain Sensors conserve water and save money-especially if you are away from home. It is reassuring to have a rain sensor for your irrigation system. A rain sensor can save money as reported in an article I found on the net:
A simple add on to any sprinkler system is the Hunter Wireless Rain Click and it could save you hundreds dollars per year. Some municipalities charge more for water than others, so if water is expensive at your home or business, then a rain sensor is practically a necessity if you have a sprinkler system.
So just how much water can a rain sensor save on a typical sprinkler system?… A small sprinkler system that has 6 zones to water the grass and each zone waters for 30 minutes every time the sprinkler system runs. This would be a total of 3 hours run time or 180 minutes with approximately 20 gallons per minute running through the system for a total of 3600 gallons of water. At $1.49 per 1,000 gallons of water, one cycle would cost $5.36. So every time the rain sensor kept this system from running during the rain, the property owner would save $5.36 on the water bill. Again this is a small system of 6 zones and if it prevents water from needlessly coming on 10 times you save $53.60.
In Citrus County, if you use more than 10,000 gallons to water because your yard is larger with more zones, the price per gallon goes up. See chart below.
Citrus County Water Utilities rate: Residential Consumption Charge Per 1,000 Gallons 0 to 10,000 gallons; $ 1.49 ;
10,001 to 20,000 gallons $ 1.88 ;
20,001 to 30,000 gallons $ 2.98 ;
30,001 to 50,000 gallons $ 5.22;
Over 50,000 gallons $ 7.45.
Of course, sewage and other fees are added onto the bill in CC.
We have an operating rain sensor and our average water bill is $150-$160 a month. We have a two person household, pool, 8 station irrigation system and lots of flowers. Last week the sensor shut the system down one of our two watering days. Over the course of a year, the potential to save money on not having to water is very good.
All Wet Sprinklers (352-527-3587) can install a wireless “rain sensor” -has to be in a good spot so it is not blocked for instance by trees- for about $150 plus service call and 1/2 hour labor (if it is an easy install : $22.50). Non- wireless systems are less money $85 but with wiring, labor will be longer for installation. You can also get a more pricey rain sensor that shuts water off when freezing temperatures occur. Pipe It To, Mike Eddinger (352-465-4543) will install a wireless rain/freeze sensor for $120 plus labor.
Roses have not liked the rain and heat but the pagoda and ginger plants have thrived!
If you have a trouble spot in your lawn that doesn’t seem to want to grow grass, it may be the soil. Here is the link to the Florida Extension Services Newsletter that talks about soil, fall yard tasks and gardening tips:
While we love the rainy season in Florida, you can see that too much rain can cause some homeowner headaches!