Landcare news and tips
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.
This article is ©2016 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved
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
Fall is here and many people are preparing to spend the upcoming holidays with friends and family. Part of that preparation is making sure your house is ready for guests. A welcoming home starts with a great landscape and keeping it maintained during the busy holidays can be challenging for some. During the fall, homes with lots of trees in areas such as Hurst, Euless, Bedford, and Grapevine start dropping their orange, yellow, and brown leaves. A confetti of color can be a nice change, but it can also make yard maintenance even more challenging.
Many areas, like those mentioned above, and suburbs such as Southlake, Keller, and Colleyville have local ordinances in place protecting trees. These ordinances are part of the cities' beautification projects and the trees help provide shade during hot spring and summer months in DFW.
However, anyone who enjoys the pretty, green trees in the spring and summer, knows how cumbersome autumn leaves can become as they fall from the trees. They seem to somehow magnify from a few here and there on the ground in early fall to several thousand leaves blanketing a previously pretty landscape right before Thanksgiving. Fall advertisements like to show family and friends laughing and jumping in leaves throwing them through the air with big smiles on their faces. The reality is that dealing with a large amount of leaves can be difficult and time consuming.
While some leaves can be an insulator keeping grass and gardens a bit greener longer, leaves that are left unattended for too long, can hamper growth. Leaves that start piling up on the roofs of houses and businesses and near curbs, can clog up gutters and outside drains leaving pools of water when it rains. Wet, decaying leaves can grow mildew and mold and piles of dead leaves can harbor pests such as bugs, spiders, and rodents.
Autumn leaves can also become messy as they blow onto areas such as decks and walkways and into garages on windy, fall days. Unwanted leaves can end up in your house and car carried in on the bottoms of shoes and feet bringing with them allergens, ants, insects, and dirt resulting in a continuous cycle of cleaning.
Don't let fall leaves get the best of your holiday season. All Seasons Landcare can take care of your leaf removal leaving you with one less item on your holiday to-do list. With the manpower and equipment to take care of your leaves quickly and effectively, All Seasons Landcare can help uncover your beautiful landscape allowing you more time to enjoy your holidays.
Lawn care in the Mid-Cities, and throughout the Metroplex, can be challenging due to the clay rich soil prevalent in the area. Clay dirt can be highly fertile, but in the winter months it can retain too much moisture and become water logged. In hotter temperatures, it cracks and creates clods. It can also become compressed and compacted anytime of year through watering, rain, lawn mowing, or excessive use. Over time, oxygen, water, and nutrients can be prevented from reaching the lawn's roots.
Signs of a compacted lawn are:
One of the best ways to combat compressed soil is through aeration. Aeration is a process which creates small holes in the dirt to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the topsoil to reach the roots of the lawn. It can be done through spiking the ground or using equipment that creates holes and removes some dirt at the same time. For the best results in clay soil, some dirt should be removed when holes are made rather than just spiking which can compact the sides of the holes even further.
To combat heavy clods of clay dirt, Texas A & M horticulturists suggest putting down compost immediately after aerating and then watering to help the compost filter down into the holes. This will still allow air to flow and by adding organic matter, the structure of the ground will eventually be improved and more manageable. This will also help create a stronger root system and result in a more healthy, vibrant lawn.
Aerating can be done annually, but the best time of year to aerate is based on the type of grass you have. For cool season grasses, early fall or spring is good. For warm season grasses, aerating should be done in late spring. Some high traffic areas may need to be done more than once a year.
Benefits to aerating are:
Fall is just around the corner in DFW and many people are looking forward to saying goodbye to the summer heat, welcoming cooler temperatures, and not having to water their yard as frequently.
Fall is also a time when professional lawn and landscape companies in DFW take preventative measures to ensure you will have a beautiful lawn in the spring. When the temperature drops, there are some weed varieties that begin to thrive under the soil. If not taken care of early, weeds that are allowed to germinate in the fall, will sprout in the spring.
Dealing with weeds after they've sprouted can be time consuming and expensive. You may find yourself having to pull them, or have them pulled, or trying to figure out which weed killers work best for your particular weeds. Weeds are also not only unsightly, but can affect the overall healthiness of your grass and surrounding plants, flowers, and trees.
The best way to avoid having to deal with an extensive weed problem in the spring is to use a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall. A pre-emergent stunts the growth of the weeds which will prevent them from ever sprouting and making your lawn ugly and unhealthy.
The time of year that a pre-emergent is applied and the amount of water used are important factors to ensure the herbicide works properly. Weather conditions such as drought or excessive rain, or unusually high or low temperatures can affect the timing of it's application. Also, ensuring a good, thorough application can be tricky to make sure surrounding plants, shrubbery, or trees are not affected adversely.
It's best to have a pre-emergent applied by a professional like All Seasons Landcare who can make sure it is used correctly which will ultimately save you time and money.
Some benefits to using a pre-emergent are:
- It breaks down the cycle of constant regrowth of weeds
- It saves time and money by avoiding the need for weed extraction and/or costly weed killers
- If applied properly, only a small number of weeds escape and can be dealt with easily
- The need for it may decrease as certain weed seeds are eliminated over time
Pre-emergents are not only used in the fall in DFW, but also other times of year such as in the spring to avoid summer weeds. All Seasons Landcare is thoroughly knowledgeable about the benefits of pre-emergents and timing them perfectly throughout the year for the best results. As an expert in lawn maintenance in Keller, Southlake, Colleyville, and the Mid-Cities, All Seasons Landcare can help take the guess work out of keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful anytime of the year.