Contrary to popular belief, a well maintained lawn isn’t just for looks. The Lawn Institute (www.thelawninstitute.org), an organization founded in 1955, encourages research and education about lawns and sports turf and they have a pretty cool website that offers some fun facts.
For example, their current homepage boasts that the average front lawn has the cooling effect of 8.5 tons of air conditioning and that fifty-five square feet of turfgrass provides oxygen for one person for an entire day. Their Turfgrass Facts and Stats page offers up some impressive and often little known facts about lawns that include the following:
In a well maintained, thick 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) lawn there will be 6 turf plants per square inch (25.4 millimeters), 850 turf plants per square foot (30.45 square meters) for a total of 8.5 million turf plants.
Grass plants are 75 to 80% water, by weight.
Up to 90% of the weight of a grass plant is in its roots.
Clippings contain nutrients usable to the grass, when left on the lawn.
A lawn, 50 by 50 feet (15.24 by 15.24 meters) (2,500 square feet) (232 square meters) releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride, and peroxyacetyl nitrate.
A dense, healthy lawn prevents run-off, absorbing rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field and four times better than a hay field.
Turfgrass helps control pollution, trapping much of an estimated 12 million tons (10.9 million metric tons) of dust and dirt released annually into the US atmosphere.
The front lawns of eight average houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons (68 metric tons) of air conditioning, while the average home-size central air has only a 3 to 4 ton capacity (2.7 to 3.9 metric tons).
As part of a well-designed and maintained landscape, turfgrass increases a home’s property value by 15 to 20 %.
Safety sightlines discourage intruders and heighten visibility.
Absorbs noise and reduces glare.
Needless to say, the maintenance and care of your lawn is important not just to provide an aesthetically appealing front or backyard, but to ensure it continues to provide all of the benefits possible for you and your neighbors.
Hiring a professional to care for your lawn may be a smart investment for you if you’re too busy to do it yourself or you’re just not interested in maintaining it, but want to keep it looking great.
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a professional lawn company is to save you time and money over the long term. A professional lawn company, like All Seasons Landcare, has experts to ensure every aspect of your lawn maintenance is addressed. From weeding and seeding to fertilizing and aeration, they know how and when to address any lawn care issue you may have. They do this with top of the line lawn equipment so you don’t have to purchase and have the added cost of maintaining and operating mowers, weed eaters, edgers, blowers, and other equipment yourself.
Your lawn is an important investment as it adds value to your house and the environment surrounding it. So, maintaining it the best way possible will ensure your investment will provide benefits for years to come.
This article is ©2016 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved
When the temperature in North Texas inches toward triple digits, you may be tempted to water your grass, as well as your plants, shrubs and trees, as much as possible. However, over watering your lawn can cause root rot and make your lawn much more susceptible to disease. Shaded areas getting too much water may cause the grass to die. Trying to regrow it by adding fertilizer can make the grass grow back, but more mowing will be required as well as de-thatching.
On the other hand, not watering enough can result in unsightly, brown, dying grass. Grass can go dormant after not being watered for two to three weeks and still survive. However, infrequent watering, or not watering at all, after four to six weeks of dry, hot weather, can kill the grass completely.
So, how do you know when you’re watering too much or when you’re not watering enough? Knowing how much water your lawn needs, at different times of the year, and for the particular grass that you have may leave you with more questions than answers.
There are many online resources and apps that can be targeted to the Dallas Fort Worth area that can help you determine how to water your lawn for optimum results.
If you live in a city that is a client of the North Texas Municipal Water District, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offers WaterMyYard.org to provide water saving tips and ways to keep your yard healthy.
Another site, SprinkerTimes.com, provides an app, for a nominal fee, that allows you to enter your zip code to calculate the average weather data, based on the last twenty years, for your specific location. You then enter your plant type (grass, shrubs and trees, drought tolerant plants, annual flowers, or newly planted plants), sprinkler type, soil type, and amount of sun exposure. The app will generate a monthly watering schedule customized specifically for your landscape.
In addition to websites and apps, there are also smart sprinkler system controllers that can replace your existing control box. These are available at places like Home Depot, Amazon, and Best Buy for a few hundred dollars or less.
These systems work similarly to the SprinklerTimes.com app where you enter information about your plants, soil, and sun exposure for each zone of your yard. Then, watering cycles are automatically calculated to deliver just the right amount of water.
Adding a water feature such as a fountain, waterfall, or pond to your existing landscape can provide some great benefits to your outdoor space. Water features are not only aesthetically appealing, but during the hot spring and summer months in DFW, a water feature can help cool the surrounding areas. It can also provide a soothing place to relax and unwind after a stressful day.
All Seasons Landcare can help with adding any of the following water features to your existing landscape:
Fountains have been popular for centuries because of their endless elegance and style. The possibilities for fountains can range from small to elaborate with simple streams of water shooting up into the air, to a spouting statue with single or multiple sprays, to colorful lights "tinting" the water in colorful hues. Modern fountains are made functional by installing electrical pumps which circulate and spray the water.
Waterfalls and Walls
When thinking of a traditional waterfall, a tropical forest or mountain brook with water cascading over a cliff may come to mind. In your landscape, achieving this on a smaller scale can be done by using plants that thrive in and around water and using river rocks and boulders built up from the ground level.
A water wall is a less traditional way to incorporate a water feature into your space and is sometimes found in more minimalist, urban landscapes. A water resistant wall can be created by using colorful mosaics, or any other tiles or rocks, and pumping water closely against it into a small basin covered with with stones, rocks, and pebbles. Incorporating bottles, clay pots, or copper piping can also give a water wall a unique look.
Adding a pond to an existing landscape can usually be done in the course of one day depending on the size of the pond desired. With any pond, it’s a good idea to add a pump, waterfall, or water fountain to keep the water circulating. This will keep it from becoming stagnant and becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes or other pests. Adding fish, such as Koi, to a pond can help with mosquitoes and make a pond more entertaining. However, it's important to keep the pH balance of the pond in good condition to ensure any fish will thrive.
No matter what type of water feature you decide on, maintaining it properly is important to keep it looking nice throughout the year. Keeping it free from dirt, leaves, and other debris as well as winterizing it in colder months will ensure it will stay beautiful for years to come. Contact the experts at All Seasons Landcare to help you design and create a water feature to fit your landscape!
Constructing a privacy fence from wood, brick, or stone is not the only way to create your own space away from the hectic hustle and bustle of the Dallas Fort Worth area. Building a border or barrier with plants, shrubs, or trees can provide all of the privacy of a traditional fence and offer more flexibility. Privacy landscaping not only looks appealing, it can be designed in ways that standard fences can not. It can also provide noise buffering in high traffic areas and offer a nice backdrop to almost any space.
There are many varieties of screening plants recommended by Texas gardening and horticulture expert Neil Sperry for the DFW climate. They include:
Eastern Red Cedar Juniper (to 35 ft.)
Little Gem Magnolia (to 30 ft.)
Teddy Bear Magnolia (to 20 ft.)
Nellie R. Stevens Holly (to 18 ft.)
Yaupon Holly (to 16 ft.)
Oakland Holly (to 10 ft.)
Mary Nell Holly (to 10 ft.)
Waxleaf Ligustrum (to 10 ft.)
Willowleaf Holly (to 8 ft.)
Glossy Abelia (to 7 ft.)
Elaeagnus (to 7 ft.)
Sea Green Juniper (to 6 ft.)
Lady Banksia Rose
Confederate Star Jasmine
Madame Galen Trumpet Creeper
Sweet Autumn Clematis
These plants normally bloom from spring into early fall, so the type of trellis or arbor you pick will determine the amount of privacy you will still have once the plants are no longer blooming.
Trellises can be purchased from large home improvement stores or local nurseries and are usually made of wood, metal, or vinyl. Popular styles include fan, ladder, and diamond shaped designs. However, you can also create your own trellis from more unique materials such as copper piping.
Summers in the Dallas Fort Worth area can exceed 100 degrees. Add in high humidity and even the hardiest flowers can start to wilt. However, there are some flowers which will hold up to the harsh North Texas heat. Adding some of these beauties to your landscape can brighten your home's curb appeal and welcome your summer guests with pops of pretty color. Butterflies and humming birds love them too!
DWARF MEXICAN PETUNIA
These light lavender flowers grow on clumps of dark-green foliage. The Mexican petunia likes full sun, but will grow in part sun, especially with a little afternoon shade. However, the more shade the plant has, the fewer flowers it typically produces.
These are vividly purple, two-inch clusters on trailing, dark-green foliage which can make it a nice ground cover within a landscape bed. It grows 6 to 10 inches tall and spreads to about 3 feet.
Similar to daisies, this native plant is beautiful indoors and out. Black-Eyed Susans get their name from their prominent dark centers. The flowers are most often a golden yellow, but some types have flowers in shades of orange and red.
Just like it's name, these flowers resemble a pin cushion in colors of purple, lavender, pink or white. Scabiosa varieties grow to about 18 or 24 inches tall. These durable plants look great in rock gardens or as borders.
Autumn Sage is not just for the fall. It will keep blooming in colors of red, purple, lavender, fuchsia or white blooms throughout the summer and into autumn.
VICTORIA BLUE SAGE, MEALY-CUP SAGE
This species is Texas native favorite and easy to grow. It has beautiful blue flowers with lots of depth and grows to 1 or 2 feet tall.
STELLA DE ORO DAYLILY
Smaller than standard daylilies, they bloom abundantly into early fall. The foot-high foliage is evergreen; the plants can be used in borders, beds, and containers.
The rosy red flowers look a bit like snapdragons and are plentiful from now to fall. The plant only grows to about 8 inches tall, but cut it back occasionally to keep the foliage full.
A tough native to Texas, the blackfoot daisy has small white flowers with yellow centers. It grows to no more than about a foot tall and is a good choice for rock gardens or to mix into a perennial bed. It needs well-draining soil.
NEW GOLD LANTANA
There are lots of choices of color for the Lantana, but New Gold Lantana is the best for the Dallas Fort Worth area. The gold-yellow flowers will hold up strongly from spring to fall.
No matter where you live in the North Texas area; Colleyville, Southlake, Keller, the Mid-Cities, or anywhere in-between, call All Seasons Landcare to add some pretty summer flowers to your summer landscape!
Adding mulch around your flowers, plants, and trees is not a necessity, however, there are many benefits to doing so. Depending on the mulch you use, It can not only liven up your landscape aesthetically, but can provide nutrient rich compounds to your soil. Mulch is made up of organic materials such as grass clippings, leaves, peat moss, straw, and wood chips. It may also be made out of compost.
Mulch made from grass clippings and leaves is usually readily accessible and inexpensive, but it breaks down quickly and has to be reapplied more frequently. Wood chips are often the mulch of choice for homeowners in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Wood chips look more attractive and stay put much longer. No matter what your choice of mulch may be, it works in several ways to help your garden and trees.
Prevents Weed Growth
Mulch prevents weeds from growing by cutting out sunlight and stopping weeds from germinating. Placing newspapers, one to two sheets thick, under the mulch adds an extra layer of protection from weeds. Mulch used around trees, where possible, cuts down on the need for weed eating around the trunks where damage can occur.
Depending on the type of mulch used, evaporation from soil can be reduced by twenty-five to fifty percent! This lessens the need for watering in the hot summer months which is a big benefit to homeowners in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
Mulching prevents soil erosion by keeping existing water in the soil, but also by preventing new water from disturbing the soil underneath. The mulch lessens the force of water hitting the ground and moving nutrient rich soil away.
In addition to the benefits above, other positive aspects of mulching depend on the specific type of mulch used. For example, some types of mulch, such as cedar bark, have natural oils that repel pests. Also, even though there are many good reasons for using mulch, it's important to use it properly. When adding it to gardens and flower beds, landscape professionals like those at All Seasons Landcare make sure to keep the mulch away from the stems of flowers and plants and the trunks of trees. Not doing so can attract certain insects and disease. Piling on the mulch, over four inches or more, can also be a problem, so it's important to know what you're doing or hire a professional.
Fences in Dallas-Fort Worth are most often constructed in suburban areas to enclose a backyard or for safety around pools. For backyards, the style is typically wooden pickets or panels although there are others such as wrought iron, vinyl, brick, and stone. Fences are designed for appearance and functionality and can be just about anything that a homeowner wants. However, local ordinances and homeowners associations in areas such as Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Keller, and Southlake have some limitations on the type, color, and size of fence that can be put in place.
The two most important factors when building a fence are the quality of the material and proper construction. The two must go hand-in-hand. A homeowner may have the most high quality, durable wood fencing materials available, but if a fence is not built correctly, it will not function as intended and repairs will be needed sooner rather than later. The same is true for lower quality materials. No matter how well-built a fence may be, lower grade materials will result in repairs, or a complete reconstruction, required much earlier than expected.
Most fence construction is not as straightforward as it may appear. For wooden fences, galvanized metal poles anchored in concrete every eight feet will last for decades. On the other hand, 4 x 4 wooden posts bolted to concrete footing or placed directly into the dirt will breakdown within just a few years. Also, placing individual wooden pickets side by side, instead of larger panels, will result in a custom fence that can follow the grade of your landscape. Replacing individual pickets, as needed, is sometimes easier than replacing entire panels.
Sealing or painting a wooden fence, once it's installed, can slow down the aging process. A good exterior stain penetrates the wood to repel water from sprinklers or rain and protect it from the harsh Texas sun. Exterior stains come in many colors and can enhance the landscape and curb appeal of your home.
In addition, when building any fence, it's important to have a good, functioning gate. Most gates in the suburbs of DFW are wooden or wrought iron and can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be. They can open and close with mechanisms as basic as a metal latch or through much more sophisticated means such as solar panels and wireless technology.
No matter what design you decide on for your fencing needs, All Seasons Landcare builds them to last by using high quality materials and utilizing the best standards for fence building in the industry.
In a previous blog, Make Sure Your Lawn is Ready for Spring, we mentioned redesigning expansive areas of grass through the use of pavers, stone pathways, and brick or stone patios. By incorporating stone or Pavestone pavers, your yard can be transformed from boring to breathtaking in just a few days depending on the project.
Patios, walkways, and borders can be created with the use of natural stone, pavers, or bricks, or a combination of all three. Natural stone, such as marble or granite, is usually more costly because it's not manufactured. It is from a quarry and cut to a specific size and shape. Bricks and concrete pavers are manufactured in a plant by mixing materials and firing them at extremely high temperatures. Therefore, they are more readily available and less costly than natural stone.
No matter what type of material is used, just about any design can be created to achieve a look for a patio or walkway that is as beautiful as it is functional.
Some popular designs include:
Or a combination of all of these.
One important factor to keep in mind with stone or pavers is durability. For example, some material used for a walkway might not necessarily be strong enough for a driveway or other area where there is heavy use.
For trees, flower beds, gardens, walkways, and any other area, borders, or edging, can be used to reduce erosion and add a nice touch to an otherwise dull landscape.
In addition to patios, walkways, and borders, All Seasons Landcare also specializes in using brick, natural stone, and Pavestone pavers for building:
The possibilities for making your yard a fabulous, functional outdoor living space are endless when you use the professionals at All Seasons Landcare.
Spring is one of the best times of year to show off your lawn and landscaping in DFW. Due to the mild winter this year, spring has sprung early. Trees such as crepe myrtles, Texas Redbuds, and Bradford pears are already blooming as are other plants and trees. So, it's good to get a head start on your lawn as well. Meteorologist are predicting continued warm weather with no threat of another freeze.
In previous articles, we addressed some ways to ensure a spring ready lawn with the use of pre-emergents and through aerating. Here are a few other ways All Seasons Landcare can help make your yard ready for spring:
Redesigning Expansive Areas of Grass
If you have expansive areas of grass, your lawn can be redesigned to be more aesthetically appealing. It can also result in healthier turf, plants, and trees. This can be done through the use of pavers, stone pathways, and brick or stone patios. When done properly, these borders can help prevent damage to plants and trees caused by mowers and string trimmers by keeping them out of harm's way. A redesign can also result in smaller areas of grass that require less watering and nutrients can be more evenly distributed throughout your landscape.
Over the winter, some areas of the lawn can become barren or brown and reseeding in those areas can take care of those issues. However, it's important to understand what caused the lack of growth in the first place. Sometimes, the soil's nutrients are lacking and a simple soil test can determine what the soil may need to restore it to a nutrient rich capacity. Or, certain pests such as grub worms may be causing the problem. Once the issues are addressed, reseeding can be done successfully resulting in an evenly distributed lush, green lawn.
Once reseeding is done, fertilizing the grass will encourage growth and minimize weeds. Fertilizing must be done correctly, at the proper time, to prevent damage to the grass and surrounding plants and trees. The professionals at All Seasons Landcare specialize in fertilization and know how and when to apply it properly for maximum effect.
All Seasons Landcare knows that there is much more to mowing the grass, than some may realize. Cutting the grass too short can be harmful as it causes a loss of nutrients and exposes the soil to direct sunlight which can result in weeds. Mowing frequently, so only the top third of the blade is cut, is recommended to place less stress on the grass to keep it more lush and full.
In cities such as Hurst, Euless, Bedford, and throughout DFW, a good drainage system can prevent the damaging effects of water. To ensure a proper, professional, drainage system is installed, the experts at All Seasons Landcare can determine which type of system you may need. A gutter system, with proper downspouts, may need to be installed on a house to divert water away from it. In addition, re-grading or resurfacing can prevent standing water in low areas of the lawn which can become water logged due to previous erosion. This is done by building up the lower areas with soil and/or sod and taking measures to prevent future erosion with the use of drainage systems.
The most common types of drainage systems for residential, suburban properties include:
This article is ©2015 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved