With summer just arriving, it’s not too late to create a cooler landscape. There are several ways to design a landscape which allows more shade and helps lower the temperature, so you can enjoy spending more time outdoors. To start, identify which areas get the most direct sun and heat throughout the day and the areas which are more stagnant with less air circulating. Many of these areas can be addressed cost effectively by using materials that provide more shade and allow air to flow freely.
Incorporating more trees, man-made structures, and updating walkways are three different ways to create cooler spaces.
Trees are, of course, the most obvious and natural choice for creating shade in a landscape. Trees with the thickest canopies are the best for cooling down the temperature and helping block harmful UV rays. Some of the best trees for shade in North Texas, according to NeilSperry.com, include:
These trees can be planted to block the intense sun which may hit areas such as a deck or other space used for entertaining.
If you’ve planted smaller trees and are waiting for them to grow, man-made structures, such as pergolas and gazebos can provide protection against direct sun and heat. Depending on the size, some of these structures can be built in about a week. Less permanent options include umbrellas and canopies. Or, incorporate an eclectic combination of all of these.
Constructing or placing these items in areas where you want to grill, relax, or entertain, will keep everyone cooler throughout the day. Also, placing outdoor fans or misting systems on any of these structures is an additional way to cool things down.
Some people don’t consider walkways and walls when thinking about shade, but the materials used in these areas can affect the amount of heat reflected or absorbed. Darker colored materials absorb more heat than lighter ones. So, choose a light stone for walkways and white, neutral, or pastel colors for walls as a backdrop for the areas you will be utilizing to escape the heat.
In the humidity of DFW, if air is circulating it is cooled more effectively. Fences that allow air to flow and circulate, naturally, in a garden setting, on a deck, or patio are the best. So, any current areas you may have were the air is stagnant may be caused by inefficient air flow around fences or other structures. Fences can be built to allow air to flow and still be secure. Materials used can be everything from wrought iron, vinyl, wood, and stone.
All Seasons Landcare has been helping people makeover their landscaping in Colleyville, Keller, Southlake, Hurst, Euless, Bedford and other areas for many years. We would be happy to help you create a cooler landscape, so you can enjoy the summer outdoors. Contact us today!
This article is ©2018 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved
The weather is heating up in North Texas and the need for lawn maintenance in DFW is increasing. With the hotter weather, taking care of the lawn is not something most people enjoy. When you factor in the time, energy, equipment, and cost of maintaining your own lawn, it might be more beneficial for you to hire a professional lawn and landscaping company.
Following are the top reasons it might make sense for you to hire lawncare professionals like All Seasons Lawncare.
For many people in DFW who do their lawn on a weekly basis, time is a huge factor. Time spent on mowing, edging, and weed-eating could be spent on more enjoyable, and less labor-intensive, activities especially in the hot summer months. Allowing a professional to do your lawn can reduce stress and allow you to enjoy your time more freely.
To maintain your lawn properly, the items most needed are a lawn mower, an edger, a weed-eater, and a fertilizer spreader. If you have trees and shrubs, tree and shrub trimmers are also needed. All this equipment must be stored and maintained to keep it functioning properly and once it wears out, new items have to be purchased. A lawn maintenance company will have all the equipment needed leaving you with more space to store items you enjoy using using.
The cost of maintaining your lawn can end up being more when doing it yourself. This is because, for some, time is money and the time spent on maintaining your lawn could be spent in more productive, income producing areas. Also, if you are a sole proprietor who regularly meets clients at your home office, you can also write-off the cost of lawncare. In addition, when you factor in time and maintenance of equipment, the cost for lawn maintenance drops dramatically.
Oftentimes, nothing can be better than the abilities of someone with professional expertise. This can definitely be the case in several areas of home and lawn maintenance. Many DIY shows, and websites, encourage people to take on projects themselves and that is okay for some. However, when it comes to some areas of lawn and landscape management, a professional can keep you from getting in over your head. In addition to knowing how to treat issues which may arise with your grass, shrubs, and trees, lawncare experts can quickly and easily address other areas such as automatic sprinklers, French drains, and any other lawn and landscape issue that you may not be sure how to deal with.
As the temperature rises in DFW, the amount of time you spend on your lawn can drop drastically if you hire a professional lawncare company. All Seasons has the professionals to make your lawn look better than ever at an affordable cost. Give All Seasons Landcare a call today!
April is National Lawn and Garden month and All Seasons Landcare can not only help you with lawncare in DFW, but can also help you cultivate new ideas for plants and flowers in your spring landscape. One of the easiest ways to create color and variety in and around your lawn is to incorporate container gardening. Growing plants in containers allows you to move them, as needed, for sun or shade, utilize the best soil possible, and irrigate more easily. You can fill containers with anything you want such as herbs for more flavorful cooking, colorful flowers for fresh cut arrangements, or vegetables for healthy eating.
Follow some of the simple tips below for great container gardens throughout your landscape.
GardeningKnowHow.com provides lots of information on the different types of containers you can use for gardening. From less expensive clay pots to metal, wood, and plastic, they give important details about which container will work best for the type of plants you want. For example, since clay pots are porous, they allow more air and water to pass through easily, so they’re more suited to plans that are drought resistant. They can also be more apt to break, but are usually cheap and easy to replace.
Due to the heavy clay dirt found throughout DFW, gardening directly in the ground can be challenging, so container gardening is one of the best ways to avoid this. You can fill your containers with nutrient rich soil from your home and garden center to ensure whatever you’re growing is more apt to grow fully. The Texas A & M AgriLife Extension website says that almost any vegetable that you would grow in a backyard garden can grow in a container and, they provide a handy 7-page guide on how to grow vegetables in containers.
Container placement depends on the plant and whether it requires more sun or shade. However, you can get creative with how you display your container. Instead of just placing containers on the ground, steps, or sidewalk, they can be elevated using a shepherd’s hook, hanging on a branch, or even hanging on a wall or fence. They can also be placed on deck, or balcony railings, but should be heavy enough not to topple over in heavy winds.
Irrigating containers can be done by placing them in areas where automatic sprinklers can reach them or attaching a soaker hose to the container. However, it’s usually best to hand water containers to make sure they are watered properly and avoid overwatering.
Most container plants do not need as many pesticides as plants placed directly in the ground. However, this doesn’t mean your container plants will be pest free. Utilizing natural pesticides, and helpful insects such as ladybugs, can ensure your container plants are as pest free as they can be. You can purchase natural remedies from your home and garden store or see this article by Robert 'Skip' Richter (CEA-Horticulture Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Montgomery County) which gives great tips on attacking pests naturally.
Container gardening can help beautify your surroundings and provide you with plants that you can enjoy for months and even years. For more ideas on lawn and landscaping ideas for your home, contact All Seasons Landcare today!
As spring arrives, the wildflowers are beginning to bloom, but to make sure weeds are not sprouting and your lawn looks it’s best, Allseasons Landcare offers these tips.
To remove old, dead grass, it’s recommended to scalp your lawn after winter. This is done by dropping the blade of the mower, so the dead grass can be removed easily. This process allows more sun into the soil and results in a healthier lawn more quickly.
As we have written about in other blogs, a pre-emergent weed killer can stop weeds from germination. Warm season weeds such as crabgrass, and others, can be controlled with a pre-emergent which can give you about 100 days of resisting weed germination. However, this must be done a couple of weeks prior to the last freeze for it to work effectively. For weed control in DFW, this usually means the first application should be done by March 15th with a second application a couple of weeks into June. A pre-emergent is safe for all types of grass, but only after it’s been through a first winter.
Herbicides will get rid of weeds, such as clovers and dandelions, that have already germinated. However, herbicides are not as safe as a pre-emergent and can affect trees and shrubs if not applied correctly. It’s advised to apply them directly to the weeds and avoid surrounding shrubs, plants, and trees. So, obviously, do not attempt this on a windy day.
Consistent and deep watering is needed for a healthy lawn in the spring. Many sprinkler systems in DFW need to be adjusted appropriately for the time of year and if drought conditions dictate the times at which watering can occur. So, it’s important to check that your sprinkler system is functioning well and hand water, if needed, to make sure your grass, plants, and trees are getting the water they need. Also, make sure that your lawn is level, throughout, to keep water from pooling.
As we have discussed before, dethatching your lawn can get rid of thatch and topsoil that prevents nutrients from reaching the soil. This is done by using a dethatching machine, but make sure it’s really needed by determining if the thatch is over ½ inch think. Dethatching, if really needed, is best done by a professional as many of the dethatching machines that can be rented can end up doing more harm than good.
For North Texas, fertilizing should be done around the first week of April. Testing the soil to determine the best fertilizer will keep you from wasting time and money on the wrong one. However, for the mostly heavy clay soil found throughout DFW, an all-nitrogen fertilizer is recommended. A good, quality, slow release fertilizer will keep you from having to fertilize frequently.
Contact Allseasons Landcare, so we can help you have a lush, healthy lawn for spring and throughout the entire year.
There are many different options for installing an outdoor fireplace. Some homeowners opt for purchasing a portable fireplace, or fire pit, and simply placing it anywhere it can be utilized safely. However, depending on the size and style of the fireplace you may want, one can be custom built and integrated into your existing landscape for less than what you may spend for a high-quality portable one.
A custom, outdoor fireplace can become the central area for entertaining in any sized yard. For smaller areas, a fireplace built on a smaller scale can offer just as much heat as a larger one. Smaller fireplaces are also easier to clean and maintain. For backyards with more space, a fireplace as the focal point can bring family and friends together in one place.
Large or small, the materials used to build the fireplace will determine not only it’s visual appeal in your overall landscape, but the maintenance needed to ensure its continued use for years to come. Stone construction has been the most popular material used in fireplace construction in Dallas and Fort Worth in recent years. However, steel, marble, stucco, brick, and tile are some other great choices.
Some outdoor fireplaces are specifically built with outdoor cooking in mind while others aren’t used for anything other than providing heat, so it’s important to have a skilled, knowledgeable contractor who clearly understands what you are looking for from the initial design to the final product. This will ensure your fireplace is built to local codes and meets your full expectations.
If the area you are in has restrictions on a more traditional fireplace or fire pit, keep in mind that wood and gas logs are not the only options to create an inviting atmosphere. Other ideas for a warm glow include candles, river rocks with gel fuel, and electric fireplaces if they have adequate cover.
No matter what design and material you decide to use, safety is key in utilizing a backyard fireplace properly. Plants and trees with oversized leaves or extended branches should not be located near the fire source nor should flammable fences or other backyard items such as playground equipment. However, an adequate water supply should be as close to the fireplace as possible. In addition, screens and gates should be utilized to ensure pets and small children are restricted from access to any flames.
Companies who install outdoor fireplaces in DFW are not all the same. Not all companies care about the safety, or long-term enjoyment, you should have with a custom-built fireplace. All Seasons Landcare has decades of experience in designing fireplaces and firepits in DFW, for any backyard landscape, with many happy customers. February is the perfect time of year to install one. Depending on the design you choose, you can start enjoying your fireplace in under one week. Contact us today!
Winter weather slows the need for mowing in DFW, and other lawn maintenance tasks, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your lawn altogether. There are some steps that should be taken to ensure your lawn is healthy throughout the colder season, so it will be in great shape once spring arrives.
Even though mowing is not needed as frequently in the winter, it should still be done. For the month of January, Southern Living Magazine states that when it’s dry outside on a winter day, mowing can be good for a “dormant warm-season” lawn. Mowing can also help minimize pests.
Many areas of DFW such as the Mid-Cities of Hurst, Euless, and Bedford and other areas such as Colleyville, and Keller in need of lawncare, may have many leaves covering the grass. If leaves have fallen, they can be mulched into the grass to protect and nourish it. This will also clear the grass so it can be inspected for winter weeds. Weeds can either be pulled or a post-emergent herbicide can be applied. However, it’s always important to make sure to follow the label directions for herbicides and make sure that it can be applied for your grass type. Otherwise, you may accidently kill your grass.
Below are other lawn and landscaping tips for wintertime.
Any items, large or small, left on the grass in the winter can create brown patches. The brown patches are where the grass has died, or almost died, making your lawn not only unsightly, but more susceptible to weeds and pests. So, don’t forget to remove any items such as toys, furniture, or potted plants from your lawn to avoid harming the grass. In addition to man-made items, other debris such as fallen branches can leave your grass with brown patches as well.
If your lawn is continually walked over for extended periods of time during the winter, it can compact the dormant grass. Once spring arrives, and the grass is no longer dormant, compacted grass will not grow properly and won’t get the nutrients it needs. Avoid walking on the grass in the winter by keeping your sidewalks and driveway clear.
In addition to the wrong pesticides or herbicides, any chemicals used on, or near, your lawn while it is dormant can negatively affect it. In the winter months, chemicals for deicing your driveway and sidewalks should be kept away from your lawn. Less harmful deicing methods include using kitty litter or sand or just plowing or shoveling icy or snowy walkways to keep any harmful chemicals from seeping into your lawn.
In addition to mowing and lawncare, other areas of your landscape, such as pruning, can be addressed during the winter months too. According to the Texas A & M Horticulture Department, pruning can be done anytime of year, but during the winter months, when growth is slowed, pruning can remove dead leaves, limbs, and branches to allow more growth in the spring. For more information on pruning, see the Texas A & M Horticulture website at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/proper-pruning-techniques/
For questions about landscaping and lawncare in DFW anytime of the year, give All Seasons Landcare a call at (817)545-8590 or contact us at http://www.allseasonslandcare.com/Contact-Us.
Even though the fall temperatures in North Texas have been mild, a sure sign that autumn is here is the colorful leaves that have fallen from the trees. A light layer of leaves in your yard is okay and they can act as a fertilizer. However, numerous trees that provide much needed shade in late spring and summer can drown your landscape in a sea of red, orange, and brown leaves by late fall if you don’t take care of them every week.
There are some ways, besides just raking them, to efficiently keep them under control and prevent them from overtaking your yard completely.
If your leaves haven’t gotten too deep, they can be mowed and bagged and made into mulch. This is one of the easiest ways to keep them under control quickly and easily. However, mowing has to be done when the leaves aren’t too thick, or you will have a hard time mowing them.
A leaf vacuum is just like a vacuum you use in your house which can pick up leaves that can then be ground for mulch or bagged for disposal. Just like with mowing, it’s best to use a leaf vacuum when there aren’t too many leaves already on the ground.
A leaf blower can be used to easily maneuver the leaves where you want them, and this works best for larger yards. Blowing them into a pile and then bagging them will get them out of your way much quicker than using a rake. It’s also much easier to get leaves out of your flower beds and other areas where a rake isn’t as efficient.
Ground leaves used as mulch are a great benefit to other areas of your landscape and can be shared with friends and neighbors if you have too many. They can also be used in your compost as an added nutrient for your garden. If you’re bagging the leaves, instead of just throwing them away, your city may have a compost area for them.
As pretty and colorful as fall leaves can be at first, they can quickly become cumbersome once they’re covering your sidewalks and landscape. Pretty flower beds and hedges can be overtaken by them and too many dead leaves can clog swimming pools and drains.
Spending time dealing with leaves isn’t appealing to most people. Also, many don’t have the time or equipment to handle them effectively. Allowing a professional lawn company in DFW, such as All Seasons Landcare, to take care of your leaves can help free up your time and make your lawn beautiful again. To make sure your lawn is looking great for the upcoming fall and winter holidays, call All Seasons Landcare today!
This article is ©2017 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved
Having beautiful landscaping in North Texas is important to many people. However, if you’re a pet owner, you may not be aware of the best landscaping plants for your four-legged friends.
Crepe Myrtles – The beautiful, confetti-like blooms of the Crepe Myrtle can be found throughout the DFW area in the spring and summer. They are perfectly safe for cats, dogs, and horses.
Sweet Potato Vine – Sweet Potato Vine is also safe for cats, dogs, and horses and provides pretty climbing or ground-cover in any landscape. Just be on the look-out for cotton tail bunnies who love to snack on the bright, green leaves.
Pansies, Roses, and Snapdragons – Popular flowers that can add vibrant color to North Texas landscapes include, pansies, roses, and snapdragons and they are all perfectly safe for cats, dogs, and horses.
Hosta – A hardy, shade-tolerant foliage, Hosta can be harmful to cats, dogs, and horses. It’s best to plant them in areas not accessible to pets.
Aloe – While aloe can have cooling, soothing properties for humans, they are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.
Chrysanthemums, Lantana, and Tulips – Flowers found throughout the area, such as chrysanthemums, lantana, and tulips, may be beautiful, but are not safe for pets.
Plants that are great for any pet owner’s yard are those that are not only safe for your furry friends, but also repel pesky fleas and ticks.
Rosemary – Rosemary not only keeps fleas and ticks away, but flies and mosquitos too. It smells great and is a staple in many chefs’ kitchens.
Lavender – Lavender repels fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and moths, but is beautiful and fragrant in your garden or flower bed.
Catnip – Catnip is a flea, cockroach, and mosquito deterrent. It’s great for your cat and your garden. However, be aware that you may end up with more cats than your own!
Chamomile – Most people know that chamomile can have a calming effect when used in herbal teas, but they also keep your pets calm by keeping ticks and flees at bay.
A great place to search for a more thorough list of plants that are safe for your pets can be found at the ASPCA website. If you’re a pet owner, or just want to make sure your yard is safe for your pet loving friends, All Seasons Landcare has the landscape design team to help. Contact us today!
Watering your lawn in North Texas can become a costly endeavor when the summer heat lasts well into the fall months. This is even more true when the heat is coupled with low, or no, rainfall. Recently, cities across DFW have implemented water conservation measures such as watering on specific days, and for shorter amounts of time, to ensure less consumption of water.
There are some ways you can conserve water, lower your water bill, and still have a lush, green lawn. For most residential lawns in the DFW area, watering is done through sprinkler systems, hand watering, and/or drip watering systems. It’s important to remember that watering in the morning is recommended because watering at night can cause fungus growth.
Hand watering allows you to control the amount of water you use in all areas of your lawn, flower beds, or other areas. However, it can be time consuming and cumbersome in the hot North Texas summers. As an alternative, use a rain barrel, or other collection device, to catch rainfall and runoff from downspouts. Rainwater can be used for plants and flowers and is usually healthier for your plants than tap water. Just make sure the barrel has a good cover, or screen, to inhibit mosquitos.
An automatic sprinkler system is what many in DFW use to water their lawns. It can be set on a timer but must be adjusted or turned off when there is rainfall to avoid unnecessary watering. Portable sprinklers can be more convenient than hand watering but still need to be moved periodically to avoid overwatering.
A drip irrigation system is good for a small lawn or for watering individual plants. The drip system applies the least amount of water over a longer period-of-time which works well for areas that may otherwise be easily eroded by hand watering or sprinkler systems.
No matter how you water your lawn, one of the best ways to monitor water usage is through rain or moisture sensors. These sensors can trigger your watering system to shut down to avoid unnecessary watering until the need for more water is detected. If you’re not familiar with rain or moisture sensors and need help with installation, All Seasons Landcare can help. As licensed irrigation experts with many years of experience, All Seasons can also design a custom watering system to specifically meet your needs to save you money now and for years to come.
The prime selling season for houses in the DFW area is during the summer months, but no matter what time of year it is, one of the best ways to ensure great drive-up appeal is to improve your landscape. The return on investment for landscaping in Fort Worth and Dallas will vary, but many homeowners may not realize that just small improvements can yield a higher selling price and decrease selling time. Some of the least expensive ways to add drive-up appeal are:
Just as you see on the home improvement shows on T.V., potted plants and colorful flowers can instantly improve your home’s appeal by providing a welcoming feel near your front door.
Mulch livens the landscape and provides rich nutrients to beds which have lost their benefits due to rains, watering, and erosion. In addition to mulch, it's important to keep the yard mowed, edged, and weed free.
For larger projects, hiring a lawn and landscaping professional in DFW can save a homeowner valuable time. Sometimes, even the smallest tasks can turn into seemingly unmanageable projects if you’re not a skilled landscaper. More extensive projects, which can result in a higher return on investment, are improvements that All Seasons Landcare specializes in and includes:
Drainage systems are important to divert standing water away from your home’s foundation which can result in major issues when it comes to selling your home.
Fencing is important to potential homebuyers and fencing that is in need of repair, or missing completely, can decrease the value of your home.
Residential retaining walls are meant to be functional and are normally used to hold back soil in a sloping landscape. Like fencing, retaining walls that are in disrepair can lower your home's value as well as become a safety hazard.
If you don’t have many trees, planting some can add value to your home. Also, the shade from trees can help reduce the electric bill especially in the summertime. Keep in mind that branches that extend onto your roof can cause damage to the roof and allow bugs and other insects easy access to your home. This is an area that Texas home inspectors look at and will report on to a potential homebuyer.
Trimming scraggily hedges and bushes, and removing any dead areas, is a part of the landscape that would definitely need to be addressed prior to putting your home on the market. Also, just like with trees, if you don’t currently have any hedges or bushes, adding some can instantly increase drive-up appeal as well as the value of your home.
Even if you’re not selling your home this year, improvements you make now can have a positive impact on your home’s value now and in the future. All Seasons Landcare is always happy to help you achieve the landscape ideas you may want or need.