Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What is a Backflow Preventer?  Why do I need to have my Backflow Preventer tested?

Backflow prevention devices are a part of your irrigation system and stop the reverse flow of water and other substances in pipes to keep contaminated or polluted water from entering a home's main water system, which supplies water for drinking, cooking and bathing.  A backflow of water can occur when there is an increase in pressure in pipes, called back-pressure, which can happen when water is pushed backward by a pump, increase in temperature or when water rises.  It can also happen when there is a decrease in the pressure, called back-siphonage, because of opening a valve or hydrant or having a break in a pipe or water main.

Many businesses that use water for a commercial purpose, such as restaurants, medical and dental offices, funeral homes and others, as well as residences with underground irrigation systems must have the devices tested to make sure they're functioning properly. Virginia State law requires that backflow-prevention devices be installed, maintained and tested when they are put in and then yearly after that.

Though the law providing for this has been in place since the late 1970s, many counties have not been very strict with its enforcement, especially as it applies to residents.  Counties have begun sending out notices to homeowners recently and enforcing the inspections.  There is a window of 30 days after the system has been turned on before the inspection is due.  Failure to have this test completed can result in citation and fines for non-compliance.  Your water service may also be terminated to protect the public water system.

For more information:
Richmond City Backflow Prevention Flyer

In the Richmond Virginia area, Robbins Landscaping Inc. can provide full service maintenance on your irrigation system to include backflow certification, start-up and winterization.  

Request a Consultation

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Happy New Year from Robbins Landscaping!

Our crews are busy making winter season visits to your homes and properties. During these winter visits, you can expect to see the crews keeping beds clear of weeds, pruning, blowing surfaces and clearing any fallen leaves that may still be around.

Mulching Early Can Make a Big Difference. 

 It is more affordable to mulch your yard NOW.
 Stay ahead of the rush and schedule now for a QUICK turn around time.
 Your spring gardens will LOOK BETTER when they are mulched before perennials start blooming. 
 Give your tired winter landscape a FRESH APPEARANCE NOW!
 To enjoy the best cost savings and scheduling, call by March 1st!

Why Winter Mulch?

  • Insulate roots during the cold weather 
  • Reduce weed germination in the Spring 
  • Prevent water loss through evaporation 
  • Most cost effective.
Get Started!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Showing a little love for the Thomas Dale Knights!

Here at Robbins Landscaping, we like to give back to our community. We know that we couldn't be successful without the help and support of our neighbors, and we like to say 'thanks' by helping where we can. We recently completed one such 'Thank you, community!' project! Check out the press release below to learn about how we partnered with the Thomas Dale High School football program to improve their football field:
Chester, Virginia/USA - 09/25/12 - The Thomas Dale Knights football team, 2009 State Champions, needed help with their field in August 2011. Head football coach Kevin Tucker asked Doug Robbins, a proud Thomas Dale alum and owner of Robbins Landscaping, for help with the field’s condition. Tucker’s request prompted Doug Robbins to donate a turf rejuvenation to Thomas Dale High School on behalf of Robbins Landscaping, Inc. During a twelve-month rejuvenation, the Robbins Landscaping Team worked hard to help the Thomas Dale Football coaching staff rejuvenate the Thomas Dale football field. With consultative help from Gil Grattan of Virginia Green, one of Robbins Landscaping’s key subcontractors, the company followed a holistic approach to rejuvenation, beginning with an aeration, fertilization, and weed control program for the field. The Robbins Landscaping Irrigation division worked with the Thomas Dale coaching staff to establish and follow an irrigation schedule to support healthy turf growth. Throughout the renovation, the Thomas Dale coaching staff excellently maintained the field with proper cutting techniques. This summer, the Robbins team installed soil and sod to patch some particularly bare areas of turf and the field was over seeded and fertilized again. To add some finishing touches to their volunteer restoration, Robbins Landscaping fertilized the practice fields and offered its Maintenance Division to help with mowing and weed eating on the field and in the stadium area. Doug Robbins is often donating his company’s services to help others in the Greater Richmond Area. A strong sense of community responsibility permeates the Robbins Landscaping culture. Doug Robbins built his company on a strong belief in giving back and has worked to engrain this principle into the mission of Robbins Landscaping. When asked about this particular donation to the community, Doug responds “I want to be able to positively affect our community- particularly the young members of our community. I want to provide them with the best possible opportunity for success.” Robbins Landscaping was pleased to offer its resources to help the Thomas Dale athletes get ready for their season by providing quality turf on the football field. The Robbins Landscaping Team is excited for the Thomas Dale athletes to begin using their newly rejuvenated field and wishes them the best of luck for the 2012 football season. Go Knights!
A big 'Thank You!' to the Greater Richmond Community from Robbins Landscaping, Inc. We wouldn't be where we are today without you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

From Seedlings to Table

Hi all!

We're back with an update from our Vegetable Garden:

Last we posted on the blog (our Facebook photos show more progress) our little seedlings had just sprouted:

It's been 4 weeks since that post and we have already enjoyed our first harvest!

Here's what happened during those 4 weeks:

About two weeks after our sprouts showed up, our veggie bed was looking a little like this:

It's amazing how quickly things grow! Look at all the green leaves!

And at the 3 week mark:

And at 4 weeks: (You can see the gaps left in the rows after our first harvest!)

Isn't it great! Our Vegetable Garden experiment has been a great success so far!

Here are some progress shots just so you can see the dramatic difference in growth over the past 4 week.

Radish sprouts:

Radishes 14 days in:

Radishes 21 days in:

Radishes at 4 weeks:

And on Friday (April 13) we had our first big harvest! Sarah and her husband Ben made this tasty salad from our harvest for a little al fresco dining:

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vegetable Seed Planting and a Fun Surprise!

Hi all!

We're back with an update from our new vegetable gardens!

This past weekend Tom (one of our designers) was able to take some time to plant seeds in one of our new vegetable garden beds!

He planted some Mesclun mix, radishes, beets, cilantro, spinach, and some broccoli plugs.

Because it's a week or so earlier than recommended planting time for these veggies, we are experimenting with the black plastic mulching. We hope that it warms the soil and retains moisture without heating the plants too much or rotting their roots with too much water. We'll let you know what we find out on that front!

Anyway, after planting the one bed, Tom spent some time spreading a rich mushroom compost on some of the other beds.

Let me tell you, that stuff is stinky! It smelled very much like a regular farm over here while Tom was spreading that compost! Now that it's down, though, the odor is not very noticeable and the compost should provide a nutrient-rich growing environment for our vegetables. All in the name of healthy veggies, right?!

This morning we came into work to a wonderful surprise: our radishes and mesclun mix have started to sprout!

Here are the radishes:

and here are the mesclun mix sprouts:

Aren't they cute?

The weather here has been absolutely beautiful and we've had a few light rains since Tom planted on Saturday; this week has been the perfect growing environment for our little seeds! We'll keep you posted on their growth progress!

Is anyone else out there planting their early spring seeds already? What are you planting? Have you seen the quick growth that we have!?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vegetable Garden Bed Creation, Richmond, VA

As I mentioned here, we broke ground last week for our exciting Spring 2012 project at our Show Gardens: Vegetable Gardens!

What we accomplished last week was essentially the creation of the 6 raised beds.

Our trusted vendor, Dave Call with JB Mulch helped us with this part of the project by donating a very significant amount of topsoil for the raised beds! A HUGE thank you to Dave and JB Mulch for making this project possible!!! (You can see Dave's generous donation being delivered in the video below- something about big truck deliveries is so exciting to us as it means a fun project is about to begin!)

Here's a quick video to show you how we got everything done!

For those of you who can't watch the video, or would like a more detailed explanation of how we got from bare lawn to 6 raised beds, here is a play-by-play of what went on here last week:

First, Rigo, Francisco, and Manuel worked hard to align the beds with the existing landscape elements (namely an existing path and our patio.) They pulled strings and read levels to make sure that the beds would be just right for the space (which is slightly sloped.)

Next, the team used a trencher to really define the bed edges. Once the mechanical trencher created the lines, Manuel and Francisco went through to manually clean up the edges with shovels and hard rakes.

Then, Rigo used the skidsteer to remove the majority of the existing turf from the bed areas and we hauled the organic material to our compost area:

Once the grass was removed, Rigo and his team began adding the topsoil blend to the bed areas in order to create the raised beds.

After a hard day's work, this is what we had accomplished:

The beds are created! Our next step is to add a rich mushroom compost to add nutrients for the vegetables we'll be planting! And, of course, we will keep you updated as we go!

What do you think so far?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Breaking Ground on our Vegetable Gardens in Richmond, VA

So we've recently announced (here and here) that we are starting an exciting new vegetable garden at our Show Gardens in Richmond, VA and we are breaking ground today!

Before I start to show you pictures of the process, let me explain a little bit about our show gardens so that we are all on the same page:

This is an illustrated drawing of our Show Gardens (with some computer-generated markings described below) designed by Tom Stuart, our long-time designer on staff here at Robbins Landscaping. The area outlined in red is the section that we installed in the summer of 2009. This is what it looks like (during the growing season!):

The letters below correspond with the letters on the plan above just to help you get a sense of the garden layout

The area outlined in yellow has not been installed according to this plan. In fact, it is currently a grassy patch that looks a little something like this:

So after much discussion on the best, most exciting way to use this space, we decided to install a vegetable garden there! (In the yellow-outlined space.)

Tom got to work planning out the design of the beds and we now have a concept for the vegetable garden!

Here's a little video of Tom explaining his thought process to you:

Now for those of you that are at work and can't watch this video, Tom basically explains that he is planning to construct 6 raised beds for our vegetable garden. The beds will not, at this point, be bordered by stone or timber but will be rectangular mounds of rich soil that will soon be filled with thriving vegetable plants! We plan to leave grass walkways between each bed to allow for easy maintenance and harvesting. The layout of the rectangular beds is in such a way that the grass paths will align with the sidewalk that leads to our office front door as well as to our existing patio.

The challenges that we know we will face are "critters;" we know that deer and rabbits live near our office and are pretty sure that woodchucks might be a threat as well. We haven't determined our best practice for deterring these critters, but we will let you know what we decided to do- and what does and doesn't work for us! After all, a large part of why we have a Show Garden is to test plants and ideas so that we can suggest great options for our clients!

So now that everyone has a good idea of the lay of the land, I'll be back soon with posts of the progress! Here's a sneak peak for you to see what exciting things are going on: