Keeping Your Yard Healthy Through Fall and Winter

Aerating

AeratingWhile spring and summer are the seasons of active growth for most Texas plants, fall and winter are a great time to do a bit of maintenance work to keep everything healthy.

So what are the most important lawn care chores to attend to during the cooler months?

Mowing and Watering

Neither of these tasks should be stopped abruptly as winter sets in. This is especially true here in North Texas, when our mild winters can still reach seasonal highs of the upper 50’s. Your grass growth will certainly slow down, but it may not go completely dormant for the entire winter.

Slowly reduce the amount of irrigation you provide, as the growth of the blades begins to slow down. If it stops growing altogether and goes a bit yellow, you know it is no longer needing regular watering.

Your mower blades should be adjusted over the span of 2-4 mowing sessions, again as the grass growth slows. Dropping suddenly from 2.5 to 1.5 inches can be a bit shocking to your turf. Furthermore, leaving your winter grass at a length of 1.5 to 2 inches in height provides a bit of insulation against the cold air.

If your region experiences an extended warm spell, your grass bed might perk up a bit and hit a growth spurt. Again, if you decide to break out the lawn mower, just be sure not to cut it too low, or when the ground is wet.

For yards with steep slopes that are tricky to navigate, it’s important to use the right equipment. Check out Best Lawn Mowers For Steep Banks for some great suggestions.

Fertilizing

Applying fertilizer in the final months of autumn can help enrich both your soil and your root system. However, fertilizing too late in the season can be a waste of resources.

If your grass bed is already showing signs of dormancy, the roots are far less likely to soak up the nutrients you provide. This creates a hazardous soil environment, in which microbes and winter weeds may feast on the minerals instead.

Fertilizing in late winter follows the same line of reasoning: don’t waste it! Even in our temperate Texas winters, there is still a risk of one last February freeze. Applying nutrients to your yard for a spring boost is a great idea, so long as  you do your best to fertilize after the season’s final frost.

Cleaning and Pruning

There is nothing more damaging to your lawn than a buildup of rotting organic matter, left to decay and suffocate your grass. In both fall and winter, it’s imperative that leaves, twigs, and fallen branches be cleaned up diligently. This is also a great time to rid your trees and shrubs of limbs that are no longer thriving.

In late fall, when the leaves are dropping and you are still mowing the grass, you can simply mulch the leaves with the mower rather than raking them. If more foliage is shed once your lawn has gone dormant, you can rake them into a pile and mow them for mulching material in your garden and flowerbed.

However, freezing temperatures and frequent precipitation are not a good environment for mulch. Algae, mold, and other microbes can thrive in the debris more quickly than the matter breaks down for reabsorption. For this reason, you need to avoid excessive mulching, as well as other buildup, in and around your shrubs and smaller plants.

Once most of your trees have dropped their foliage, you will have a clear view of stems and branches that need to be pruned. Be sure you trim closely to the trunk and/or major limbs, and dispose of the cut branches properly. The cooler weather creates an optimal healing environment, as harmful bugs and diseases are far less likely to feast on the exposed plant tissue.

The 3 Best Indoor Plants That Don’t Need A Lot Of Maintenance

Jade Plant

Jade PlantThe effect that green plants can have on home interiors can often be striking. Homeowners don’t usually realize that such a subtle addition to the living room for example, can have such a drastic and positive aesthetic effect.

Indoor plants can easily blend into both classic and modern homes. The problem is that people (me included) can often find them such a hassle to care for and maintain.

Gardening outdoors in the front yard as a hobby is one thing. But when you go into the house, you want to forget about all that snipping and pruning altogether.

Here are 3 great indoor plants that require minimum care:

1) Devil’s Ivy

This is an incredibly resilient plant that doesn’t need your constant care to thrive. In fact, it might even feel insulted if you spend an extra minute of care on it!

They are so named as they are known to climb up trees in the forest in an effort to get more sunlight and water. This can supposedly deprive a tree from gathering it’s own nutrients from the environment.

Some come in bright green that can immediately spruce up any living space at home. And if you have grown sick of it in the living room, you can easily place it in the bathroom and let it go about its job of freshening up the air.

2) Jade Plants

This evergreen shrub gets its pet name “jade” due to the appearance of its foliage. It has thick branches and wonderfully succulent leaves, so much so that their leaves can often resemble jade stones!

They can be small enough to keep in a tiny pot, or even on one of those squarish pots that are commonly used for bonsai trees. This makes them easy to move about, so you can reposition them as you see fit.

On top of that, the jade plant has feng shui significance that supposedly attracts wealth and luck for its owners. That’s one more fun reason to have them in your home.

3) Cactus

How could anyone forget about cacti when discussing indoor plants? They are adorable and tough plants that can withstand as much hardship as manual laborers in third world countries!

But when we talk about cactus, we often think about the thorny plant with a semi-circle shape. With over a thousand different known species, cactus actually comes in all manner of shapes and sizes. Advancement of bio-engineering techniques also means that they can come in a huge variety of colors.

And with the general demand for them, you can be assured that you can find on with an appearance and size which your would find appropriate for your home. Just be wary of the thorns of these things. They might not be suitable for homes with small children.

Summary

Brightening your indoor space with greenery literally adds life and vibrance to any room. These 3 plants are beautiful, hassle-free choices that require almost no upkeep at all.

Click here for a free service estimate from Lawn Service Fort Worth!

Shade Plants That Are Easy to Care For

sunpatiens shade plant

Everyone loves a beautiful garden with verdant foliage and beautiful flowers blooming. But not all of us have time to care for fickle plants that would wither without careful tending.

Wouldn’t we all love to spend hours in our garden each week, caring for vibrant plants which bring us joy? Sure, but the truth is, our attention is needed in so many other matters, so it happens all too often that our lawns and gardens languish.

If you long for a colorful garden but lack the time it takes for daily maintenance, we’ve done your homework for you. Here is a fantastic list of low-maintenance, shade friendly beauties which can thrive in your garden even without regular care.

Here are a few low-maintenance plants to liven up your landscape:

Foxglove (Digitalis) Spurge (Euphorbia Maculata) Primrose (Primula Vulgaris) Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla Mollis) Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia Maritima) Sample Text Sunpatiens (Impatiens Hawkeri) Duchess Blue and White Torenias (Torenia Fournieri)

Foxglove  

These biennials produce a deep green foliage with trumpet-shaped flowers. It gets its name, Digitalis, from the fact that the flowers are long enough to fit on an adult’s fingers.

Foxglove needs very little care, and tends to reseed on its own. Its blossoms, which are sometimes spotted, appear in white, light grey, pink, and purple.

Spurge 

This plant is considered both an annual and a perennial, depending on the species, as it is available in several different varieties. The most common type of spurge is the well-known poinsettia.

In addition to its colorful foliage, these plants can produce large red or yellow flowers. Some even grow a bit thicker- more like a succulent- with a milky white sap that was once used in native medicine.

Primrose 

These beauties tend to be early bloomers, hence the “prime” in their name. While typically low-maintenance, they do need to be planted in an area that receives adequate moisture.

Primrose produces a bright green foliage in a wide range of huge range of heights, depending on its environment. It typically generates little balls of flowers that come in a wide range of colors, but some species produce just a few blossoms at a time.

Lady’s Mantle 

This plant is known for its broad, pleated or frilly leaves with a surface that causes water to create tiny pearl drops on contact. While it is tolerant to drought, it does best in shaded areas, as it needs extra water in excessive heat.

Lady’s mantle is often used as a filler in bouquets, due to its soft and velvety foliage. It produces bright yellow-green flowers and is known for its long blooming season.

Sweet Alyssum 

This fragrant beauty is known for its ability to attract butterflies. While it can sustain heat and drought quite well, it wilts in the frost of winter. With proper care, it can rebloom from one season to the next.

With occasional pruning, you can enjoy alyssum’s bright green foliage for several months. Its tiny flowers range from pink and salmon, to bright purple, white, and sunny yellow.

Sunpatiens 

This is a cross-breed between New Guinea Impatiens and Walleriana Impatiens. It is both sun and shade tolerant, and can handle a good amount of Texas summer heat.

Its lime green, pointed foliage offers a gorgeous contrast with deeper green edges Its flat, round flowers comes in a variety of colors. Despite its resilience, sunpatiens do not fare well in a hard freeze.

Duchess Blue and White Torenia 

Also known as the wishbone flower for its occasional trifecta of petals, this annual is mildly sun tolerant but perfectly happy in full shade. As an added bonus, it is known to attract hummingbirds to your garden!

This breed of torenia produces a medium green, serrated foliage. Its undulating petals will give your garden a sense of depth and beauty. They boast a stark white center with deep blue edges.

Conclusion

Each of these is a fantastic choice for adding color and dimension to your lawn, without the added worry of regular maintenance. Shade hardy and drought resistant, these resilient plants will bless your lawn with the color and vibrance you’ve been craving- but without the need for daily upkeep.

How to Harvest Summer Veggies

Fall is the perfect time to create new space for new growth. As the summer season is ending, this is a fantastic time to harvest what you have grown all summer long. If you’re interested in more information about great crops for the fall season, this article has some great ideas.  

Just like any other garden task, harvesting is detailed, but not difficult. When done right, it’s an activity that everyone in your family can participate in and enjoy.

After the hard work of growing your crops successfully, you need to ensure you harvest them properly. Be sure you collect them at the right time, for peak flavor and optimal storage. 

If you are completely new to gardening, Getting Your Garden Started offers some helpful information on how to get your project going, whether it includes flowers or veggies.

Here are some great tips on how and when to harvest some of the most popular summer vegetables. 

Green beans

 The best time to harvest green beans is when they are yet to fully mature. That is, once the seeds begin to fill the pod before the seeds appear lumpy in the pod. The green beans are tender and tastier if they are out of the pod while faintly velvet.

You need to pick the beans continuously, as the plant is likely to produce more pod if you continually pick the existing ones. This is great news if you are a green bean lover, as the plant will become a “gift that keeps on giving” so long as you are harvesting regularly.

Summer squash

The best time to harvest summer squash is when they are firm, but not yet hard. Pick them while you can still pierce them with your thumbnail.

Also, ensure that they have developed a deep, rich color. Do not forget that summer squash is continuously productive. Therefore, if you want to slow the production down, pick both the male and female buds. 

Tomatoes

 The most critical thing to do when picking tomatoes is to ensure you preserve the flavor. You do not want to have sour tomatoes after a hardy growing season, just because you picked them too soon. Before you pick tomatoes, ensure they have smooth skin that is glossy and fully colored, and that they are neither too hard nor too soft.

Even if the stem is yet to fully develop to full coloration, you can still start harvesting if you plan to let the plants ripen after picking them. To avoid confusion, you need to know the color variations among your tomato plants.

You can still pick tomatoes off the vine before they are fully developed, and allow them to ripen on the countertop or windowsill. If you do so, just observe the lower end of the fruit, that where the color will begin to change.

Peppers

Peppers are the simplest veggies to harvest- you just pick them once they get to the size you want. Once the fruits are well formed, they are ready to be harvested. The secret is to pick them early, as doing so will increase their yield.

Pepper plants have a yielding limit, meaning they cannot bear more fruits than they can support. Therefore, for the new blossoms to begin formation, you need to pick the already formed ones.

Broccoli

Many people aren’t sure how to determine when broccoli is ready for harvest. The best thing to monitor is the broccoli florets, rather than the overall size.

Before you harvest, ensure that the florets are bulging and relaxed. As you collect, do not pull them off the head directly. Instead, cut along the stem to create a space for fresh autumn vegetables.

Conclusion

If you’ve got a summer yield that you’re ready to harvest as fall sets in, make sure you are taking the right precautions to guarantee you’re picking your veggies at the very best time. Making the right decisions about how and when to harvest your plants can make all the difference regarding the taste, quality, and amount of produce your well-tended plants will offer your dinner table! 

Click here for a free online quote from Lawn Service Fort Worth, for help with any and all of your lawn care projects.

 

Getting Your Garden Started

If you have never been into gardening before, you could be unsure where to start. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to do this successfully.

Choose The Right Site

When you start your garden, location is just as important as when you buy real estate. You need to put your garden in a part of your yard where you can see it regularly. Out of sight will be out of mind and this is not something that you want. When you choose the right spot, you will be more likely to spend time in the garden.

Follow The Sun

When you are first learning to garden, you can easily misjudge the sunlight. You need to take the time and pay attention to where the sunlight is in your yard before you choose a spot for the garden. Most of the edible plants you want such as herbs, vegetables, and fruits will need at least 6 hours of sunlight to thrive.

Stay Close To The Water

One of the best tips for gardening is to plan your new garden close to a source of water. You need to ensure that you can run your hose to the garden and that you will not have to carry water to the plants each time you need to water them. One of the best ways to tell if your plants need more water is to push your finger into the soil to your first knuckle. If the soil is dry, you will need to water the plants.

Choose the Right Plants

The right plants and flowers will depend on so many variables. A garden that works well for cherry blossoms for instance, may not be ideal for morning glories. You can get the details now on Gardener’s Path if they’re something you wish to grow.

Start With Good Soil

When you start a garden, you need to invest in good soil which is well-drained and rich in nutrients. You can get this blend by putting around 3 inches of all-purpose garden soil into the existing soil. If you are not planting directly into the ground and will use a raised bed, you should use soil made for raised beds. This will have the best texture and weight for these beds.

Consider Containers

If you have limited space, you need to look at containers. It is possible to grow plants such as flowers, herbs, vegetables, shrubs and berries in pots. When you use a container, you need to ensure that it is large enough for the plants and you need to fill it with the right potting mix. Potting mix will be specially formulated to help the plants in pots thrive and it will help you prevent over or under-watering.

The Growing Conditions

When you choose plants, you need to match them with your growing conditions. This means that you need to place plants that love the sun in sunny spots. If you are in a warmer climate, you should choose heat-tolerant plants and give any ground eating vines like melons and pumpkins enough room or a trellis to grow. It is important that you do your homework and choose the plants that will grow and thrive in your space. If you want to get a step up on garden success, you should start with some vigorous young plants instead of growing from seed.

Know Your Zone

When you choose the best plants, you need to know what your hardiness zone is. This will be the coldest place that a plant can grow. The higher the zone number, the warmer the climate will be. This means that a plant which is hardy to zone 4 and you live in zone 5, the plant will survive. However, if you are in zone 3, it will be too cold and the plant will have a hard time thriving.

Learn Frost Dates

When you plant too early or late in the season, it can spell disaster for the garden. To avoid this, you need to know when the last average spring frost will happen for your area. This will stop you from accidentally killing your plants by putting them out too early. You should also know when the first average fall frost comes to know when to move your plants indoors or harvest them before the cold damages them.

Add Mulch

You should apply around 2 to 3 inches of mulch to each plant. This will reduce the weeds coming through and the moisture that is lost. There are many types of mulch that provide you with a polished look. You can also put down shredded leaves, straw, and other locally available materials.

Gorgeous and User-Friendly Umbrellas for Your Patio

cantilever umbrella

cantilever umbrellaOne of the best things about living in North Texas is our gorgeous summers. The grass is sparkling, the sun is beaming, and most everything is in bloom.

Sure, it gets hot. But if you’ve got a well-adorned patio area with plenty of shade, you can enjoy the Texas heat in comfort. Large patio tables with an umbrella in the center are a popular choice for outdoor furnishings.

But have you ever noticed how bulky they can be? Heavy, difficult to move, and it’s often a challenge to adjust the umbrella just so, to shade you as the sun rolls across the sky.

What if you want the comfort of shade, with the freedom of choosing patio furniture that fits your style better than a big clunky table? Cantilever patio umbrellas are versatile, attractive, and wonderfully easy to use. 

What makes them such a great choice?

They’re free-standing.

Cantilever umbrellas are not attached to any other furniture, meaning they’re easy to relocate. The small base, weighted base gives it a fairly narrow footprint. This makes it a breeze to move around your patio area.

Do you have some shade loving plants that need partial coverage? But maybe later in the day, you’d like to enjoy the shade yourself. No problem, just reposition the umbrella according to the sun’s position in the sky.

They’re adjustable. 

Most models have several different settings, so you can easily change the angle of the umbrella without moving the whole thing. This is a great feature for those balmy evenings when the sunlight is coming more from the side than directly above you.

They’re versatile.

Cantilever patio umbrellas come in a variety of shapes. Some have a straight pole, while others are curved, allowing you to place them directly over your favorite chair.

Many also have a joint in the pole, allowing you to adjust the height and reach of the umbrella. This allows you to accommodate potted plants, as well as patio furniture of any shape or size. Some of them even come with built-in LED lights, so you can enjoy a safely lit deck at night!

They’re weatherproof.

Both the base and the fabric are made with fully waterproof materials.  Your cantilever patio umbrella will outlast the full spectrum of weather conditions from one season to the next.

In fact, several models use heat-resistant aluminum for their base. This is a great design, because you’re never at risk of getting burnt when maneuvering your umbrella in the midday heat.

In Review:

  • These umbrellas can be scooted all over your backyard, because they stand alone and take up such a small amount of ground space.
  • They’re far easier to adjust and re-angle than traditional table umbrellas, making them vastly more user-friendly.
  • They come in a variety of heights, shapes, and colors that can easily complement your other backyard decor.
  • They’re weatherproof, and often come with heat-resistant aluminum poles, making them that much easier to handle and reposition.

Every lawn enthusiast knows that a beautiful, user-friendly yard is so much more than a healthy bed of grass. Artful landscaping, thriving plants, and an inviting outdoor living space really polish off the backyard aesthetic.

If you’re in the market to level-up your patio, deck, or poolside area, cantilever patio umbrellas are a wonderful, versatile addition to your backyard decor. Visit our friends at Peak Yard to discover a fantastic variety of options!

Low Light House Plants

spider plant

We all know that plants need sunlight for photosynthesis, which is vital for their growth. However, there are situations when one desires to grow plants indoors in offices or at home.

Low light house plants are the ideal choice because they grow without sunlight, requiring only bright indirect light. But how do you know which plants possess this ability to thrive in the shade, growing happily in indirect sunlight? Which plants are able to adapt to decreased sunlight if you move them inside?

Sorting this out can seem cumbersome if you’re new to low light house plants. This article helps to identify plants with these abilities, and the most effective ways of ensuring their survival.

Chinese Evergreen (aglaonema)

Chinese evergreenKnown for its resilience and beautiful features, the Chinese evergreen easily comes to mind first. Though it seems to prefer good light and relatively high humidity due to its tropical origin, the Aglaonema also thrives admirably well in low light and low humidity.

To recognize this plant, one just need to be observant of its graceful oblong leaves that grow from a central stem. The color of the leaves may be solid medium green or splotched with various shades of gray or lime green, depending on the plant species.

They should be ideally grown in a standard potting soil with bright reflected light and warm temperatures.  This plant’s ability to tolerate pot-bound conditions for a long time makes it a suitable low light house plant.

Chinese Evergreens require frequent watering, and regular application of adequate fertilizer is required. However, this may not be necessary in regions that experience cold winter seasons.

Dumb Cane (dieffenbachia)

dumb cane dieffenbachiaThis plant is sought after because of its generous size, impressive foliage and excellent tolerance of indoor conditions. Its leaves are easily identified, being variegated in greens and cream colors.

Its flowers also have a unique appearance, with calla lilies forming on mature plants. The young plants are known to grow on single stems, while the older plants tend to develop multiple stems.

However children must not be allowed to play with its leaves, as the acrid sap can burn the mouth and throat when eaten. In worst-case scenarios, it may actually paralyze a human’s vocal chords.

Like the Chinese Evergreen, Dumb Can tolerates pot conditions quite well, and only needs water when the soil feels dry to touch. Take care with excessive watering and sunlight exposure, as these may actually damage the plant.  In order to maintain its beauty, it is sometimes necessary to trim it back to 6 inches from the soil pot

ZZ Plant (zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ plantZamioculcas zamiifolia commonly referred to as the ZZ plant. It is very slow in growing, but is greatly appreciated for its upright, glossy foliage that is vaguely reminiscent of cycad fronds.

It leaves grow from the swollen base, and its soil must dry out between watering to ensure that it thrives in standard indoor potting soil. Direct sunlight will naturally scorch its leaves, so the ideal light source should be filtered or reflected.

This accommodation sounds a bit tricky, but there are a couple of ways to address it. If the plant is near a window, you can apply a light filter, or even coat the windowpanes in a transparent paint. You can also use ambient light from shaded lamps.

Spider Plant (chlorophytum comosum)

spider plantAnother plant well known for its unique growth habit is the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). The mother plant resembles long, broad grass blades that splay out much like a spider’s legs.

It sends out long stem with baby plants at the ends. These baby plants starts as tiny white flowers at the end of the foot-long stems, protected by the long-leaved canopy of the mother plant.

Spider plants offer a robust and textured foliage to any corner of your home or office. The bright green spiking leaves, with their tiny flowers, are easy to care for with minimal need for direct light.

Conclusion

  • Chinese Evergreens produce lovely multi-colored leaves that enjoy bright reflected lighting.
  • Dumb Cane is a large plant that does well in containers, and produces gorgeous calla lillies.
  • ZZ Plants offer a robust foliage that thrives in indirect lighting.
  • Spider Plants provide prolific, bright green foliage that splays out much like monkey grass in your hedges.

It will be impossible to explore every available low light plant that does well inside your home, but these are a few of our favorites. With their unique characteristics and hardiness to indoor life, you’ve got some great choices for bringing new life to your home and office environments.

The Benefits of Backyard Awnings and Gliders

Awnings and gliders have a magical way of improving your backyard space making it enjoyable and livable. They provide ample shade for entertainment, dining, and simply relaxing outside, no matter the season or the weather. If you want a space to enjoy sipping a cup of coffee, or to hold a party or protect your guest from the UV rays, they’ve got you covered.

An Outsunny awning protects your backyard gliders or loungers from the elements like water and sun damage. Gliders, like old-fashion porch swings, offer you and your family a great spot to relax with a book  Here are more benefits to owning these items.

Improve the Exterior Style of Your Home

Backyard awnings and gliders come in a range of shapes, styles, and colors. Once you have them in your backyard, they will magically transform it into a space of comfort and serenity. Nevertheless, as you pick, ensure you get the right pattern, style, and color that will compliment your yard.  

Awnings are Energy Savers

Awnings are one of the best options if you want to improve your outdoor living space without breaking the bank. Foldable awnings can be placed against your windows, cutting down on the heat and sunlight that gets inside. The added shade can naturally cool the windowed rooms by as much as 15 degrees, cutting back on your spring and summer energy bills. 

They Expand Living Space

Awnings help to increase the living space in a significant way, by adding a canopy to a portion of your yard or deck. As an effective cover against rain, you’ve got added living space no matter the weather. Add a coupe of comfy outdoor gliders with a matching side table, and you’ve practically got a second living room.

Shelter the Residential Property

If you get an awning to protect vulnerable exterior structures, such as a patio or wooden deck, you’re adding a layer of weatherproofing to your property. Wood, plastics, and many paints can still suffer damage from extended exposure to UV rays, moisture, and wind.

Awnings help protect these areas, as well as your gliders and other patio furniture, from the elements. They also provide a great spot of shade for outdoor pets and shade-loving potted plants. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for a way to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home, a great awning and a set of gliders is the way to go. think no other than back yard awnings and gliders. They will give you a perfect space to relax, hold a party or even watch a rainstorm while staying dry. These two pieces work well together to transform and enhance your outdoor living space. 

Summer Fertilization Practices

lawn care schedule

spring preparationNo matter the region or climate, fertilizer is frequently used to help keep residential lawns looking healthy. Fertilizer promotes thick, hardy grass growth by providing appropriate nutrients. 

A secondary advantage to fertilizing your grass is that weeds are less likely to propagate in a dense, thriving ground cover.

But when it comes to dealing with chemicals, you want to be sure you’re doing the job properly in order to promote growth and avoid damaging your lawn.

How do you Know if you are Fertilizing your Lawn Properly?

A bag of fertilizer is labeled with three numbers that represent the percentages of weight of some of the key ingredients that plants will need.

For instance, all grasses need varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

If a bag is labeled 12-6-6, that means it bag contains twelve percent nitrogen, six percent phosphorous, and six percent potassium. All of these nutrients are important for verdant grass growth.

Here is how each nutrient is benefiting your North Texas lawn:

  • North Texas lawns need nitrogen for top growth
  • North Texas lawns need phosphorous for strong roots
  • North Texas grass needs potassium for disease resistance

But What is the Best Ratio for Summer Fertilization?

Nitrogen-rich fertilizer is what works best with most North Texas grasses. 20-8-8 is a healthy ratio for the summer. In fact, some grasses don’t need the other two nutrients at all most times of the year. Be sure to check with an expert when purchasing fertilizer, to guarantee you’re coming home with the right product.

Other Important Things to Know About Fertilizer:

Fertilizer also has filler. So if you are looking at a bag that has 20-10-20 that adds up to 50. Which means there is 50 more percent of filler in the bag. Filler has no nutrients in it, but it’s important to also note that most bags come with filler.

The difference between fertilizers two important types- slow release and quick release:

Slow release:

  • Affects lawns for 3 to 10 weeks.
  • Produces steady, constant growth.
  • Less likely to cause chemical burns in extreme heat.
  • Slow release is granular with an outer coating, allowing it to soak in more slowly. 

Quick release:

  • Affects lawns for 1 to 3 weeks.
  • Liquid fertilizer is always quick release.

Using organic lawn fertilizer is also an option in North Texas to manage lawn care. Usually with organic types, the nitrogen is also slow releasing and contains less than the regular type.  

Another thing to consider when using organic fertilizer is that, since the levels of nitrogen is lower, a bag may read something like this: Nitrogen 5-3-2 instead of 20-10-20. That means you’ll need to use much more of the organic product due to the lower percentage of nutrients. This is a good thing to keep in mind regarding cost-efficiency.

Calculating How Much Fertilizer to Use:

  • Determine size of lawn in square feet.
  • Find square feet by multiplying the length of yard by width.
  • Determine grass type.
  • North Texas grass is usually Bermuda or St. Augustine, Zoysia or Tall Fescue. (In shady areas, you will often find Zoysia and Fescue).
  • If you have St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, calculate 4/5 pounds of Nitrogen per year to be used on your grass.
  • Potassium per year is about 1.5 pounds.
  • Phosphorous is about 2.5 pounds per year.

One you determine how many pounds of fertilizer you need, divide it up between treatments. You want to treat from April to August. Let’s use April 15th for an example. Calibrate your spreader if you use one to be sure you use the right amount of fertilizer. If you are using slow release, it will give you a slow release from five to six weeks. You will have a healthy yard all year round.

fall lawn fertilizationKeeping a lawn in North Texas can be easy or difficult, depending on how you take care of it. When to fertilize your lawn in North Texas is so important to follow all steps for the best looking lawn possible. Click here for more info on our lawn fertilization services!

 

5 Tips for a Effectively Cleaning Your Gutters

Gutters are an important component of your home’s structure. structural well-being of your home. They collect rainwater and channel it along your roof in a line of troughs around the edges, leading it down the waterspouts. This keeps water from pooling on your roof and around your home’s foundation.

You want to make sure they don’t get clogged, to avoid pooling, stagnating water that may cause rust and damage. This can lead to erosion in the troughs, as well as damage to the siding of your roof.

A clogged gutter can also create excessive water runoff at the waterspouts around your home. Eroding concrete and ditches in your yard, due to water buildup, are unattractive and can harm your landscape and your soil. But none of this has to happen if you know what to do.

Here are 5 helpful tips for keeping your gutters clean and effective:

1. Get the right tools. This is a list of tools you’ll want to collect before you get started, including what you’ll be using them for:

  • Heavy duty work gloves– They will protect your hands from sharp metal and stagnant water, helping you keep them safe and clean.
  • A plastic garbage bag– Keep a heavy trash bag available to throw out leaves, sticks, and other debris as you clean.
  • Safety goggles– Protect your eyes from dirt, insects, and water splashes.
  • Narrow trowel– Scooping and dumping dirt and sediment is easier with a small shovel.
  • Ladder– Of course you will need a safe way to get up onto the roof.
  • Long pressurized hose– Once you’re done cleaning out the bulky stuff, you will want to hose down the gutter troughs and surrounding area.
  • Rake or broom– Collect and bag up leaves, twigs, and other debris that you’ve removed from your gutters.
  • Handheld blower– These can easily clear away any dry sticks or leaves from surrounding foliage, so they don’t fall into the gutter system.

2. Practice safety. Before placing your ladder, be sure you’ve got a bit of solid even ground to work with. Once on the roof, take another look around for safe and sturdy footing.

3. Create a gutter cleaning schedule. It is best to check your gutters regularly. Pay attention to the weather, especially as the seasons change. It is recommended to clean your gutters once or twice a year, preferably around autumn or late winter.

4. Maintain and inspect your gutter system. Checking your gutters for cracks, leaks, or corroded areas is good preventative maintenance.

5. Seek professional help. Gutter cleaning is a chore, and can take a good bit of time. It is always a good idea to reach out to a professional service like Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Little Rock for extra assistance. With an important yet somewhat risky job such as this, the cost is worth knowing the job will be done properly. Professional gutter cleaning services have all the right tools, taking the hard work out of your hands.

With these tips for keeping your gutters clean, you’ve got the information you need. A clean and efficient gutter system will keep both your roof and your yard safe and healthy.