Here in north Texas, the 3 most popular grass types are Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, and St. Augustine. They all handle the heat and occasional Texas drought, but each one has specific needs regarding irrigation, fertilization, mowing, and shade cover. Whether you’ve already got one of these breeds and want to be sure you’re taking the best care of it, or you’re ready to lay a new bed of ground cover, we’ve got the basics covered for you.
While watering 3-4 times per week seems ideal, we often face watering restrictions in this region. Fortunately for these grass types, less can be more. Watering deeply- that is, for a longer period of time- can effectively hydrate your lawn on a twice-per-week schedule. Deeper watering saturates the soil, giving the root system multiple days of adequate moisture. If you’re trying to choose the most drought-hardy ground cover in order to save energy, Zoysia grass is your best bet. Bermuda grass is a close second, with St. Augustine coming in third, as it needs a bit more water than the other two.
Speaking of watering your yard, did you know that hand-held sprayers are a great way to disburse nutrients? Liquid fertilizers can be attached to your hose, making it easy to spot spray patches of lawn that need a bit more care. While it may seem logical to fertilize at the beginning of spring, your grass will benefit most during its peak growth season. This is typically around May in north Texas. Nitrogen is the primary compound needed for a healthy lawn, and it is a main ingredient in most fertilizers. Be sure you check labels for compound ratios that work best for your ground cover. Keep in mind that Bermuda grass tends to need a bit more nitrogen-based nourishment, while Zoysia grass needs very little.
Most professionals recommend keeping about 1.5 inches of length on your lawn to optimize even growth. All 3 grasses we’re discussing grow hardily in warm Texas weather, and your mowing schedule may vary depending on how quickly it grows. Bermuda grass stands out in this category, as it actually does best with a reel mower that can safely shave it down a bit closer to the surface.
The amount of shade your yard gets depends largely on the proximity of other homes, as well as the maturity of nearby trees. If you’ve got a highly or partially shaded lawn, St. Augustine will fare better than its counterparts. Zoysia grass offers moderate shade tolerance, while Bermuda grass requires full sunlight in order to thrive. If you’re in the market for a new pallet of ground cover, be sure you survey your yard at various times of day to get a good idea of which regions get large patches of shade.
Among all the factors to consider with healthy lawn care, some basic knowledge on these four topics should set you up to maintain a luscious lawn. Keeping a gorgeous green yard is all about knowing the essential needs of your ground cover. If you’d rather spend your downtime enjoying your landscape, check out our lawn maintenance services and let us do the work for you.
To get high germination rates when overseeding, not only is it important to water the seeds, but also make sure the seeds and soil have good contact. Two of the recommended processes to achieve this are dethatching and aerating. Read below to learn which of the two the better option is.
Dethatching vs. Aerate
The decomposing grass, roots, and debris that accumulate on the lawn are what is called thatch. It blocks the contact between the seeds and the soil, therefore, preventing germination of seeds. Moreover, thick layers of thatch block air and water from the roots. It also becomes infected with bacterial and fungal diseases, as well as insects.
Thatch often happens due to thick lawns. It results in compacted grass that blocks air and water. Aeration may solve this, but it is only useful when the layers of thatch are thin. It does not work on thick layers, which may need removal. In that case, using a dethatching machine is necessary to remove the thatch and ensure higher seed germination rates.
What is Aeration
Vehicle traffic, pets, and children playing can compact the grass and lawn. As a result, the pores are reduced, which are necessary for the soil to hold water, air, and nutrients for the roots. This problem can be solved by aerating your lawn, which also helps in treating thick thatch buildup. It allows air and water in the soil that helps in decomposing the thatch.
Aerating the lawn is done using a core aerator. This machine has hollow tines which are mounted on a revolving drum. As the drum revolves, the tines are pushed into the lawn, thereby extracting cores of soil about ½” to ¾” wide. Usually, the cores created by the machine are about 1-6 inches deep and 2-6 inches apart. Don’t use machines that push solid spikes as they can make the compaction much worse. Many lawn care professionals can help you with aerating your lawn.
What is Dethatching
You can use a vertical mower to dethatch the lawn. Vertical mowers have vertical knives capable of cutting through the grass, then pull the thatch onto the surface so it can be disposed of. The machine’s blade should be able to penetrate half of the thatch. In dethatching, you should do it in one direction, repeating at a 90-degree angle beginning from the first pass.
Extremely deep thatches might have to be dethatched a few times during the growing season. It is advised to do this at modest depths to avoid pulling them by the roots. The best time to dethatch is every other year during the spring. Cool season grasses are best dethatched in the fall as they grow abundantly in 60 to 70-degrees F then go inactive during the hot weather season.
Whether to dethatch or aerate depends on how thick the thatch is. If it is less than ½” deep, it is best to aerate the lawn before dethatching. It is a good idea to aerate first, because its cheaper and will do less damage to the grass. If the grass isn’t showing improvement, aerate one or two times a year. Dethatching is best done if the thatch is over 1/2”thick.
Have you noticed crabgrass growing in your lawn? Crabgrass is not harmless and should be treated promptly.
Crabgrass is considered to be one of the most stressing lawn and landscaping problems for every homeowner. Apart from it can outgrow beautiful lawn grasses, it can also be highly poisonous to your garden plants.
Because of the numerous seeds that crabgrass has, it is easier for it to multiply. They quickly germinate as the temperature starts to rise more than 55 degree Celsius, and sunlight begins to reach the moist soil. Also, the bare spots they leave are an ideal place for them to germinate more seeds.
Although commercial pesticides are effective on getting rid of crabgrass, it can harm your pets and children. Instead of chemical-based products, you can try the following solutions.
REDUCING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SEEDS
Seed distribution allows crabgrass to spread in a larger area which can dominate your lawn. One of the best ways to eliminate crabgrass without the help of chemicals, is to prevent seed distribution. When you pick grass from the ground, place in a plastic bag and throw these bags immediately into the trashcan or landfill.
Apart from discarding the crabgrass, you can tie up the bags and leave them under the sun from 4 to 6 weeks. The heat will kill the seeds, and provide the best time to compost them safely.
SOLARIZING THE SOIL
To solarize the soil, during the hottest months of the year, mow the lawn leaving it at a short length. Then, generously water the area and cover with a transparent plastic sheet. Seal the edges and dig a shallow trench. Next, cover the perimeter of the plastic using soil. You can leave the plastic covering up to six weeks to heat the ground helping to kill the seeds.
STOP THE GERMINATION
Crabgrass can quickly germinate if the lawn is not densely shaded. A healthy and thick lawn will protect the area against crabgrass. Plant during fall for healthy grass, and when colder weather comes, the freezing temperature can kill the crabgrass seedlings.
When watering lawn grass, perform it deeply but in an infrequent manner. This is because when the soil surface dries, it results in killing the deep-rooted crabgrass. Also, you can set the mower above the recommended height range of particular lawn type, and as a result, the crabgrass will find it hard to outgrow your lawn grass.
Crabgrass can be a significant problem if left unattended. Keep your pets and family safe from chemicals by trying the methods discussed above, all while maintain a beautiful lawn.
How sure are you that you’re giving the best care to your grass? If you notice your lawn tends to look unhealthy, it might be time to consider solutions to bring it back to excellent condition.
Our lawns can be one of the best places around our home to seek relaxation, whether it be bonding with family or entertaining guests, some of our fondest moments connect to this area. An extra effort is required to grow beautiful grass that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Performing proper maintenance, including fertilization, is essential to ensuring a plush lawn. Read below to discover the best grass fertilizing tips.
THE BEST TIME TO APPLY FERTILIZER
Grass needs fertilizing in early spring to nourish it as soon as it begins to green.
There is a particular schedule to follow to apply fertilizer, but the timing for fertilization for the entire season will depend on the type of grass, the kind of fertilizer you are going to use, and the climate.
To know the specific schedule, you can consider checking out the label of the grass fertilizer bag for the recommended schedule. Also, make sure not to over-apply the fertilizer and avoid application during the hot summer days.
PROPER WAYS TO APPLY FERTILIZER
There are several methods and tips to consider when applying fertilizer to grass to obtain the best results.
Use a spreader for more even coverage.
Hand fertilizing might result in burns, wherein pale areas will not get enough fertilizer.
Rotary spreaders offer ease of use and do not cause striping.
With drop spreaders, you can avoid the fertilizers from splashing onto streets.
Water your lawn thoroughly after the application of fertilizer.
Watering the grass can help rinse off the blades to avoid burning, as well as allow the fertilizer to sink down into the soil.
Keep children and pets away from the lawn, at least 24-48 hours, after application
Learning how to apply fertilizers properly can ensure you get the best results as well as maintain its healthy look.
Other Grass Fertilizing Tips:
It is ideal to water the grass before the fertilizer application to safeguard that it will not suffer from drought stress.
Fill your spreader on the cement or driveway, making it easy to sweep up spills easily.
Ensure that the blades of grass are completely dry before applying the fertilizer to avoid burning.
There you have it! After discovering the essential pointers when applying fertilizers, you can visit your lawn with a greener view for the perfect place to relax and enjoy.
What started as a standard fly swatter, anti-pest products have come a very long way. Today, a lot of devices and tools have been created to eliminate all types of flying insect infestations. And it is no wonder that a lot of companies are updating their products to make life better for us and make it a lot more difficult for insects. And that is not surprising really.
You see, the market has been very competitive for such companies, and a lot of people have gained from this. Other than the standard products such as mosquito coils and lotion, people can now also afford electronic insect repellents and mothballs.
Among the new alternatives, you can find many options when looking for the best bug zappers.
Backyard bug zappers can come in various styles. The two more famous kinds are the stationary bug zapper and electric bug zappers. No matter if you like it hanging from your awning or you wish to swat the bugs by yourself, the zapper enables you to select how you can remove the insects.
Another reason is the comfort and affordability which the best bug zapper brings to the table. Compared to bug sprays, wherein you need to apply over and over again, these backyard pest repellers don’t need you to perform any of that. No matter what type of device you use, it will offer with the safe efficacy as any other ointment.
With that, such backyard pest repellers are also very reasonable. Some repellents out there need you to get new batch each time you complete one. Along with a bug zapper, you need to find a plug or get new batteries. What’s more, it all varies on what type of zapper you’re interested in buying.
Plus, bear in mind that such electrical bug zappers aren’t going to be as messy as other items. They only burn the pests and insects to death compared to others which utilize substances and chemicals to get rid of pests. You see, it is a very hassle-free way for anyone.
To sum up, no matter how efficient and convenient those best bug zappers are, it still requires maintenance. Just stay them away from water because it can cause electrocution. Also, remember that you still need to clean them. Whether it is the ceiling hanger type of racket type, you still need to make that concerted effort for your device.
• Post-emergent – The post-emergent herbicides are beneficial to control weeds that are already emerged to the soil. It is systemic or contacts nature. The post-emergence contact herbicides can affect the plant parts that they contact. It cannot affect the other portions of the plant. The post-emergent systemic herbicides are translocated all over the plant. It is beneficial to control perennial weeds that generate new foliage in underground vegetative structure.
Application of Herbicides
Herbicides are best to apply in soil or foliage. Post-emergent herbicides are foliar applied, while the pre-emergent herbicides are used to the soil. The foliar-applied herbicide needs to be absorbed by the foliage. It is not efficient if it is washed away by irrigation or rainfall. The soil-applied herbicides can be used to granular or liquids. They must be watered to the soil on or after the application.
Chemical Control of Grass like Weeds
Summer annual weeds
Pre-emergence herbicides can control annual summer weeds. The herbicides form a chemical barrier to the soil before the seed emergence or germination. The barrier also helps to avoid grass seedlings from developing and emerging frequently.
If you are choosing pre-emergence herbicide, you must consider the safety of the chemical for cultivars and turf grass. Pre-emergence herbicides come with long residual activity in soil. It can also affect newly seeded grasses.
Perennial grass weeds
Perennial grass weeds cannot be controlled by selective herbicides. One of the most effective chemical methods is the glyphosate. It is a spot treatment that comes with a nonselective herbicide. Glyphosate is considered one of the most effective herbicides for perennial grass weeds. It can be translocated in rhizomes and stolons. The good thing about it is that cannot give harmful soli residual. Applying for growing plants is efficient.
Winter annual grasses
Annual bluegrass is hard to control winter grass weed. Most commercial pre-emergence herbicides are best applied for annual bluegrass control. The best time to use it is in September before the period of yearly bluegrass germination.
To sum it up, you must have the best quality herbicides to make the most of your chemical weed control methods.
When you feel stressed, and you need a place to have a significant relaxation, your outdoor area will always serve as a perfect spot. So, investing in improving the look of your landscape is a fantastic treat for yourself.
Nature’s view has its unique and effective way of providing you a valuable tranquility. It can even make it easier for you to forget all the negative vibes around.
After a busy weekday, it is ideal to put an effort visiting your garden area and recharge yourself. To make this more effective, providing your flower beds with landscape stone border can improve your experience.
Here, you will be able to learn different ideas for your next landscape stone border project. So, how are you going to choose the right stone for your flower beds.
Type of Edging Stones for Borders
There are different types of stone to choose from and each type has its unique characteristics. We can generally install any type of stone you prefer, but what we usually like to recommend is listed below:
Austin Chopped Stone
Oklahoma Chopped Stone
Leauders Chopped Stone
Boulder Moss Stones
Shape and Texture
Natural stones are known for its rounded shape resulted from long exposure to water in the streams, rivers, lakes or ocean. Manufactured stones provide a shape which is intended to imitate the appearance of natural stones. You have no trouble choosing the best stones for your flower bed landscaping because there is already a wide variety of man-made stone that provides organic and attractive look. Thus, it offers a uniform size and shape, with various color options.
With the help of a different type of landscape stone, it is made easier for you to create a more attractive look for your flower bed.
When you are deciding for landscape stone border design, you can play with your imagination. You may come up with a rock garden theme where you can use stones with a natural round shape and then choose plants that can enhance the overall look.
Different Rock Features
Landscape stones can be you to different landscape ideas where you can take advantage of different stone features to fulfill your creativity. In building a stone border, you can use either collection of pebbles and smaller stones or larger sizes within the gabion cages. This provides an attractive look while staying functional as a retaining wall.
Landscape stones are attractive and artistically dry. However, if you combine it with a water feature, its beauty, color, and texture become full of life. For a natural look for your flower bed, you can use paddle stones because of its neutral colors. Thus, they are quite flexible when it comes to creating natural mosaic designs.
There is no way for you not to try a landscape stone border to create an attractive and unique look for your flower bed. The next time that you will visit your garden, you will get more satisfaction with the view.
For help with installing stone borders around your flower beds contact JC’s Landscaping for a free estimate.
Create a Dog Friendly Landsape to Keep Your Pet Happy
Dog Friendly Landscape Design Ideas
You might be dogscaping your garden, and did not realize you were on the forefront of some common problems and of the newest trend.
Dogscaping is landscaping with the canine in mind. Conscientious pet owners, consider their habits such as general comfort and potty preferences already have backyards that are rather dogscaped. Most important features of a dog-friendly garden are shelter, shade, space for exercise, fencing, clean water and a place for dogs to do their business.
There come these three common dog related landscaping problems:
Designate Areas for Your Dog To Dig!
Conscientious pet owners can discourage their dogs from ripping up spring’s daisies by designating digging areas where they don’t mind digging up around 2 feet of the ground. It’s easier to dogscape your backyard. When your dog is not seeing, dig down at least 3 ft. and begin planting goodies for him to find.
Pack the dirt tightly over every item, leaving only a few inches between. As you reach close to the top, get anything that is smelly and attractive, such as a piece of meat, be the first item he discovers. Ensure it is a few inches beneath the ground, so he needs to dig a bit to find it. You can keep your dog within a designed area with wifi pet boundary.
Pathways for Patrolling Dogs
For patrolling dogs, it is best to work with the natural pathways. For most if not all dogs, it’s easier to note their favorite paths. Check for worn patterns, then mimic that path with wood mulch or stone pavers, as it is going to get worn down when the soil is left bare. Patrolling dogs want wide berth around backyard’s perimeter to have room for doing their duties to protect you. Planting trees and shrubs few feet away from fences as well as keeping them pruned up from the ground can let your dog enjoy damage-less access to walk.
Provide Appropriate Place for them to Potty
Giving clean water to drink and a proper potty place can be closely related point, one is directly connected to the other. Where to place clean drinking water in relation to place to potty is important.
If he pees all across the yard, just pick one spot to maintain free of food and toys, and he will begin going there, he would not need to be peeing all over his food and water. Keep the space on the lawn, however. It is your dog’s instinct to reach a softer surface to avoid the pee splashing back onto him.
Most importantly, you do not need to scarify your personal needs and wants for a beautiful garden. With just a few compromises, both your dog and you can be happy. Don’t give up on all the plants you have always needed to have in your backyard. You can put little fences or some barriers. You can make use of raised flower beds to get them out your pet’s way to prevent him from messing with. You can still reach your target to create a dog friendly garden.
Composting With Coffee Grounds
Coffee Grounds Ready for Composting
Many people have this doubt in their mind whether or not it is right to sprinkle coffee grounds in the compost pile. If the answer were no, a lot of confusion would follow, and in the end, it will be a lie, but, from experts views, it is a yes. While the color of the coffee ground is not similar to most vegetables, its addition to composite is considered “green.” Instead of wasting the coffee grounds in a landfill, composting will gladly add nitrogen to your compost pile in the aspect of increasing organic material to your soil that will facilitate growing of crops. It is known that fresh coffee grounds have some coffee remains which have some acidic level, but when you wash them before composting in your pile, a neutral feel will be triggered, estimated at 6.5 pH. This is an ideal pH for most crops to do well. This mechanism will add some improvements like water retention, drainage, and soil aeration.
While we focus on using coffee grounds as a green fertilizer, kindly make sure you balance them with “browns” to make carbon-rich materials that will improve its performance. It is for this reason that it has been accepted as one of the safe and beneficial means of improving farming.
In your gardens, you might be interested in coffee grounds for various benefits it will offer. They include;
Pest deterrent: Coffee grounds tend to keep slugs and snails away from plants. This has been characterized by the caffeine in the coffee which negatively affects such pets hence they avoid soil with the coffee grounds. Does it mean the ground gets abrasive inconveniencing the soft-slug body or the caffeine is harmful to them? Not so sure. The only visible reaction is, slugs avoid areas with coffee grounds.
Mulching: Do not mistake and use coffee grounds as the only component of mulch; the results will be detrimental. Coffee contains caffeine, and some seeds may not need it for germination, but if you add some to your mulch, the results will be friendly. Mulching is an excellent practice for gardeners and is incredibly beneficial to plants nourishment.
Food for worms: Coffee grounds are also regarded as worm food for those who do vermicompost. So, if you add them in small proportions to your worm bin, a considerable growth will be registered in the process. Therefore, it’s an excellent supplement for worm multiplication.
Cat deterrent: Cats are the common criminals using veggies and flowers as their litter box. No gardener will be impressed by such habits. But, coffee grounds are cat repellent. Adding them to your soil will keep away cats from doing what they love with your flowers and veggies.
While most people may be having questions concerning using fresh coffee grounds in the garden, it is possible though not always recommended. This is due to the high rates of acidity which may not encourage most plants to grow not unless they are acid-loving plants. The likes of hydrangeas, lilies, azaleas as well as blueberries will thrive; tomatoes will not. Otherwise, it will suppress many weeds and repel pests.
Coffee grounds will do good in your garden if you add small amounts and as well combining with “browns” to make a performance at high levels. This is because they don’t add nitrogen directly to the soil. Remember, this component only adds nitrogen to your compost.
The Autumn season signifies, cooler weather and start of the holiday seasons. We have survived the summer heat and the kids are back in school. This means the weekend becomes a target to focus on family and relaxing. Here are few autumn landscaping project ideas.
For many families, a back yard is a must for family gatherings and getting together for some quality time. There are quite a few things that can be added to your landscape to increase the backyard enjoyment during the cooler autumn weather.
To start of with a simple add to any landscape is a fire pit. Building a fire pit is a relative easy and inexpensive task to accomplish You can check out how to build your own fire pit here,
Fire pits are great for easy barbecue and marsh mellow roasting. Also just to sit around those really cool nights telling stories while drink a beer or your favorite wine.
A nice patch of grass would make for great picnic or night out camping with the kids. Be sure to keep your lawn mowed when throwing down those sleeping bags.
Keeping a small outdoor kitchen under your patio is a great way to serve your family and guest without having to keep running in and out of your home. Some out kitchens can cost several thousand dollars, but some DIY outdoor kitchens can cost as little as a few hundred dollars.
Outdoor Living Rooms
Many times we like to go to restaurants and sit outside on or in the patio area. Cool weather in combination with music playing or watching a football game. The benefits also include keeping and eye your kids playing in the backyard, as well as having quiet place to relax if you so desire.
Now a days many homes have television outside under a patio. Wall mounts and protective weather covers keep you electronics safe.
Outdoor Stereo and Speakers. There are a wide variety of outdoor speakers and audio options for outdoors. Bluetooth speakers and wireless audio
Most of these items can be purchased for for less than 1000.00 combined. All you will need is a good extension cord to run outdoors, and when your done just roll it back up. No extra wiring required, unless you want to go all out and wow the neighbors with a custom build outdoor living area or kitchen.
Good lighting is must for outdoor entertainment. In October the nights will start earlier and thus the needs for good lighting. Thanks to LED lighting you can get a whole lot of lights for little money. Not only to accent your plants and pathways, but also around your yard. These light also enhance the security of you home and perimeter.
The autumn season will be gone before you know it, but if you live in warmer climates along the southern United States then you would see some use during the winter months as well.
Don’t wait too long and miss the cool nights outdoors during this Autumn season.