Landcare news and tips
A year ago, we provided information about apps for watering your lawn in the hot summer months. In addition to watering apps, there are many other lawn and garden apps that are low or no cost that may be helpful to you.
This FREE app, by House and Garden Magazine, allows you to access their magazine digitally by individual issue or through a longer subscription. They offer great ideas for a beautiful garden and landscaping outside as well as ways to bring the outdoors in.
For $2.99, this app diagnoses plant diseases and sends it to a professional plant pathologist who will provide live, interactive communication regarding the plant and the disease.
This 99 cent app allows uploading of photos to a team of experts who will identify any plants that you’re not familiar with. There is a $1 fee per plant. However, if the experts can’t identify it, you are not charged the $1 fee. That’s a nominal price for expert advice.
This FREE Android app, gives you instant access to information about plants, insects, and diseases. By uploading a photo, the user can see possible matches for their submission to show more information about plant care. If the app doesn’t provide a good match, the user can submit the photo directly to an expert from within the app.
This is a FREE garden app that connects you to a local group of gardeners who know your area and have helpful information for what grows best. You can upload photos to the community of growers who help with plant identification as well as all other aspects of gardening in your area.
Bonnie has been a well-known name in vegetable and herb plants since 1918, and with their FREE app, they provide expert advice for newbies and experienced gardeners alike. With information on almost 300 vegetables and herbs, they are sure to have something to help grow your garden to its fullest extent.
FREE to those who want to search for pollinator plants, soils, bloom color, sun to shade requirements and plant type.
This cool app is FREE and works with your phone’s GPS to identify the properties in soil throughout the continental U.S.
Although apps are often convenient, and can be fun and educational, you may still have the need for a professional lawn and landscape company to provide you with the best advice, in person, based on your specific needs. When you need lawncare in DFW, All Seasons Landcare is always happy to help.
This article is ©2017 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved
In addition to regular lawn care in DFW, such as mowing and weed eating, maintaining a healthy yard can be challenging when issues such as thatching occur. Thatching is caused by the dead roots and stems of your lawn becoming too thick which can prevent oxygen, water, and other nutrients from reaching the good, viable, root system.
The process of dethatching is often confused with aeration. However, unlike aeration, which allows nutrients such as oxygen, fertilizers, and water to reach the root system of your grass, dethatching is done to remove dead roots and stems found between your grass and the soil. Some thatch can actually be protective, but when it’s over ½ inch thick it should be taken care of in order to keep your lawn looking its best.
Thatching happens when grass is producing new growth faster than it can be broken down. This can occur for several different reasons which include:
- Compacted, poorly draining soil
- Watering too often and too lightly
- Nitrogen levels which are too high and constantly push new growth
- Fungicides used excessively which kill off microbes that help break up organic matter.
Dethatching can be done at any time of year, but it’s not recommended in the springtime due to the transition from dormant to active grass growth. It is also not recommended during extreme drought. If you have a small lawn, a dethatching rake can be used to remove the dead roots and stems, but a larger yard will require heavier equipment. It can be labor intensive, and isn’t as easy as it may look online. Making sure not to get the dethatching blades into the soil can be tricky. Just the thatch, itself, should be removed. If not, it can be forced deeper into the soil and not much progress will be made. This is why many homeowners opt to have a professional do their dethatching.
The experts at All Seasons Landcare can conduct a thorough analysis of your lawn and determine if dethatching is needed. With many lawns in North Texas, dethatching may be needed at least once a year. However, some lawns require bi-annual dethatching to keep the grass as healthy as possible. Prior to dethatching, the lawn should be cut a little shorter than usual. This allows for easier removal of the thatch and lessens the possibility of it falling back into the soil.
After dethatching, depending on the time of year, aeration and then fertilizing can encourage grass growth. Whether your lawn needs dethatching, aeration, fertilization, or a combination of all three, to keep it healthy, All Seasons Landcare can ensure the job is done properly and efficiently.
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.
This article is ©2016 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved