DAZZLE but DO IT WITH CARE!

Holiday Lighting Installation for a Safe Holiday

“Dad, you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination.” Those are the famous words of Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and we all know how that turned out! Whether your tempted to deck out your home with over-the-top “Griswold Lighting” or prefer an elegant and understated display, making sure your holiday lights are properly installed is the key to a beautiful and safe holiday home.

Our Terra Turf trained & experienced installers will use commercial grade C9 LED lights & accurately install them on your home or office.

First, start by making a plan. What areas would you like to decorate with lights? The roofline, windows, doors, lamp poles, trees, bushes or all of the above? Once you decide, measure each area to determine how much “length” of lighting you will need. Check stored holiday lights (if you have them)  to see if they are still in good condition. If holiday lights are tangled or worn with broken lights, for safety’s sake, it’s time to buy brand-new lighting.

We recommend commercial grade C9 LED light bulbs for new installations because they last longer and use less energy. Make sure all connections between the socket wire are made with manufacturer recommended plugs to ensure safe and durable operation each season. With holiday lights, you usually get what you pay for – inexpensive generally equals problematic.

Once you’ve chosen the lighting, buy plastic clips if you are planning on securing lights to your roofline or gutters. Just make sure you don’t have leaf screens, heavy duty shingles or clay roof tiles covering the edge. If so, you may have to opt for adhesive clips or nails. If you plan on lining walkways or flowerbeds, pick up some commercial grade lawn stakes to hold sockets securely in place for a neat appearance. Don’t forget the hot glue gun. Believe it or not, it’s the best way to install lights around the front porch and windows where plastic clips cannot be used. The glue will hold throughout the holiday season but allows for easy removal in January. You may also want to pick up a timer with a photocell to set your lights to come on from dusk until dawn or turn off after a set amount of time. It will save you time and energy, literally!

If you are climbing on a ladder, it’s wise to have a partner on the ground to keep it secure. Take extreme care and don’t over-reach when hanging lights to avoid losing your balance. Just one of the pitfalls of outdoor holiday decorating, you’ll also want to make sure electrical wiring and electrical sockets are in excellent shape and used properly to avoid a shock, sparking, or even a fire. Also, avoid installing lights when the weather is inclement. 

If this sounds like more work than you’re willing to take on, don’t feel bad. Many homeowners feel the same way and are now opting to hire a professional team to put up their lights. At Terra Turf, we offer these services in Plano, Texas AND have seen a steady increase in business over the years. And while there are no solid statistics on how fast the professional holiday decorating industry is growing, business owners around the country have told the National Association of Landscape Professionals, they are busier than ever. We’re not surprised!

If you choose to go the professional route, you’ll enjoy many benefits. At Terra Turf, for example, our trained and experienced installers use commercial grade C9 LED lights, with manufacturer recommended UL approved wiring and electrical sockets. They measure precisely, install accurately to ensure beauty and safety, and will return to take care of any unexpected repairs like a burned-out bulb, at no added expense. Our team also arrives in January to expertly remove and repackage the decorations. Since they are custom-fit to your home, they are included in the decoration fee, yours to store and reuse year after year. 

If you live in the Plano area, give us a call at 972-424-8873 or visit Terra Turf Landscape to learn more about our professional holiday lights service. If you live in another part of the country, make sure any professional service your contact adheres to similar quality and safety standards.

New Sod Watering & General Care Tips

Before Sod Watering

Use sprinkler flags to mark all the sprinkler heads and their boxes in the areas where your lawn will be receiving sod. Turn the sprinklers on so you can identify each head, but then turn them off. Turn your sprinkler box off and keep it off until all the sod work is finished. Sod watering is still possible without sprinklers but will require you to either manually water the fresh sod with a hose or purchase a sprinkler.

Sod watering requires different amounts of water if the sod is new.

After Installation of New Sod

Turn your sprinkler box back on and follow the below instructions for watering your new lawn!

The First Day: Thoroughly water your sod as soon as it is laid. You can check to see if it has been watered enough by walking on it—if you make deep footprints, it has been watered enough. If the soil is still hard, lift a corner of the sod to check it out. You ideally want the soil on the backside of the sod to be at the minimum damp and at the most, wet. If the soil is not damp, water for a minimum of 30 minutes.

The First Month: Check your lawn at least once every day, especially if the weather is hot or windy. You can walk on the sod to inspect it properly. The soil should be squishy and soft for the first week after installation.

Throughout the rest of the month, keep the soil extremely damp but do not allow it to get too wet or too dry. Wherever you see grass that has turned yellow or wilted, it has not been watered enough!

If any cracks should appear between the rolls of sod, this also means the sod is not receiving enough water. In cases like these, you should water the sod for longer periods of time and more often. Any temperature above 80 degrees indicates more sod watering should be done, while any temperature below 60 degrees indicates less watering is needed.

Cooler months such as March-April or October-November mean the sod needs much less watering.

Lawn mowing is usually not necessary during the first few weeks after sod installation. When it is time to get the mower out, avoid any drastic cuts, but lower the mower one level each time you cut. It’s common to see squares that have turned brown or look dead; don’t worry, this is normal. Allow your sod time to overcome the new planting shock it has experienced.

Your sod should be kept very moist for the first 30 days. Do not put anything stronger than a starter fertilizer on the sod for the first year. Talk to your fertilizer service about your new lawn to ensure no harsh fertilizers are used.

After 30 Days: After the first month of sod watering, twice a week, deep watering should be enough to maintain your new blades of grass!

Winter Rye Grass Watering

If you seed with ryegrass during the winter, this will require more water than traditional sod. Germination of this grass will need a good watering anywhere from 3-6 times every day. When watering, 30 seconds to 1 minute is an appropriate amount of time until germination.

You will then want to get on a watering schedule of one or two times every day for seven days a week. This will keep your newly germinated grass from drying out. After seven days, reduce watering to 3 days a week for 3 minutes per zone for the next two weeks.

After this, your ryegrass should be established and watering once a week should be sufficient. If you are located in a city that prohibits watering to no more than 2 times every week with an automated system, you will need to water the seeds by hand to achieve germination.

If you ever run into any issues or have any further questions about sod installation, feel free to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help!