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.

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!

 

Best Weed Control Sprays

fresh cut grass lawn in fort worth

Your lawn is a valuable investment for you, but unfortunately weeds can damage its beauty and worth. To keep weed growth at bay, you need the best weed control spray, but there are many to choose from on the market. To help pick the one that best suits your needs, find below some of the best weed control sprays for the maintenance of your lawn.

Compare-N-Save Grass and Weed Killer

This weed killer solution is perfect for the budget conscious customer. It contains 41% Glyphosate formulation. This inhibits the weeds from producing proteins essential for growth. Plan on seeing dead weeds after 1 or 2 weeks.

The Compare-N-Save Weed Killer is best to use for perennial as well as annual weeds. It goes directly to the roots and eliminates weeds effectively. This weed killer is available in sizes of 32 oz. to 2.5 gallons. It can cover anywhere from 6,300 sq. ft. to 63,000 sq. ft. The formula is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way, saving you money in the long run. Affordable and effective, this weed killer spray leaves you with beautiful greenery.

Southern Ag 2, 4-D Amine Weed Killer

This top choice selective weed killer attacks broadleaf weeds and woody plants. It’s great for use on many types of terrain, and has a low economical use rate. The package contains 32 oz. of concentrate, and is recommended to mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of concentrate for every 3 to 5 gallons of water, per 1,000 sq. Ft.lawn mowing services

See quick results with this easy to use spot treatment, from 1 day to 2 weeks. Also great for only affecting the specified weeds while leaving your grass and lawn alive and intact.

Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate Plus

This weed killer spray is among the most sought-after weed killers on the market. It’s applicable to vegetation, grasses, flowers, and weeds. Formulated with 18% Glyphosate and an active ingredient of .73% Diquat. Made from systemic and contact herbicides, this weed killer is ultra-effective.

Prepared with Roundup’s FastAct technology, it infiltrates the root system to prevent growth. Weed decay can be seen within 12 hours, and weed death occurs in one or two weeks. RoundUp will dry and become waterproof from 30 minutes to 2 hours before a rainfall, and has high coverage capability, making it one of the most trusted brands in the industry.

Maintain peace of mind over the control of weeds with the best weed control sprays on the market.

 

How To Improve Lawn Soil

spring preparation

lawn fertilizationHealthy grass is what every lawn fan desires. But it’s not an easy dream. It takes time, effort, and money before you can turn that green turf into a reality. It’s a long process that won’t happen overnight.

A healthy lawn requires fertile soil. For established turf, improving and maintaining the soil quality can be a challenge. The good news is that there are things to keep in mind.

Dethatching: Use Enough Thatch

Improving the lawn soil starts from removing excess thatch. As a layer of organic debris, thatch can build up on any soil. While it plays a vital role in a shiny lawn, an excessive amount can be risky. Not only can it block the sunlight and water, but it can also inhibit the grass growth.

Aside from inhibiting growth, thatch can make your lawn susceptible to insect infestation and disease. For successful dethatching, use a rake to get rid of any debris. A mulching lawn mower is also helpful. You can use it to trim the grass and avoid unnecessary thatch.

Aeration: Fast Lawn Growth

Another tested tip to improve lawn soil is core aeration. For every lawn enthusiast, regular aeration is necessary. Unlike other maintenance solutions, it’s not on a monthly basis. Yearly core aeration is advisable.

As with other methods, this solution has been gaining in popularity because it can reduce soil compaction. As it transforms compact soil into a healthy one, proper water and nutrient absorption will be possible. But wait, there’s more! Aerating also leads to deeper root growth. This makes the lawn less vulnerable to insects and drought.

But when can you aerate the lawn? Early fall is a perfect time. During this season, the soil is likely moist and the grass is growing. To aerate your turf, let a specialist handle the job for you. An expert has the experience and tools to get the job done right the first time.

Soil Fertilization: Healthy Turf

Last but not the least is soil fertilization. Called as a top-dressing, a fertilization method increases the soil fertility. Early autumn is the right season to top-dress your lawn. This allows the grass to grow before the long, cold season hits.

When looking for a perfect fertilizer, it’s not as easy as you think and testing the soil should be a top priority. After that, you can make top-dressing with a mixture of sharp sand, loam, and compost.

For newbies, figuring out the right amount of ingredients can be a burden. Don’t worry! Just determine the kind of soil you have. Is it loamy soil? Then, an equal amount of all components is awesome. Do you have clay soil? A little amount of loam is good.

Low-quality lawn? Or pest-damaged turf? Whatever the case may be, the soil is what’s to blame. Get rid of the extra thatch, aerate yearly, and apply organic fertilizer. That’s it! Green and thick grasses will be a reality.

Fertilizing Lawn in Fall

fall lawn fertilization

fertilizing-the-lawnOur feet love passing through our fine, green grass. But are you aware your lawn does even more than feeling and looking good? Lawns enhance the air quality, lower the surface temperature and generate oxygen. That is another purpose of making sure your lawns remain healthy to enable they keep creating these perks.

One of the best ways in keeping your lawn and garden vibrant, fresh and healthy down to their roots is the application of fertilizer. 

Get to know why fall is considered one of the best time for lawn fertilization and learn all you have to know concerning the best period to fertilize. Should you fertilize first? Wait until the rain comes? Or wait for the best period of year to fertilize your lawn?

Fertilizing After Summer Heat

Summer heat isn’t good for your lawns.  Your grass roots use up a lot of nutrients from the soil when it’s very hot.  So applying a fertilizer at the end of summer helps to replenish those nutrients.  Fall’s temperature is cooler and offers the best setting for these lawns to regain their strength.

Fall is the perfect and most important period for lawn fertilizing because:

  • Fall’s morning dew gives moisture which enable turf to absorb the fertilizer.
  • The grass can still build stamina before the cold winter.
  • Roots grow more quickly in fall, requiring more nutrients
  • Improving root growth in fall results to a greener, healthier lawn in spring.

How to Fertilize Lawn in Fall

There are many ways in applying lawn fertilizer. Making use of a spreader gives even greater coverage compared to when fertilizing using hands. Applying fertilizers with hands usually ends up in burns at areas the fertilizer is over concentrated and result in areas that end up not getting enough fertilizer required.

Rotary or broadcast spreaders are simple to use and they do not result to striping like the drop spreaders. The benefit of the drop spreaders is that there’s no chance of spilling fertilizer on sidewalks, streets or driveways.

After applying these fertilizers, thoroughly water the lawn. Watering cleans the fertilizer remains off the lawn to prevent burns, and it aids the fertilizer to easily sink down to the soil to enable it work even faster. Keep the lawn away from pets and kids for the period of time on the label, which is often a day or two.

Types of Lawn Fertilizers

Not all fertilizers are the same.  If you use a lawn care company for fertilization service, make sure you know what type of fertilizer they are using, in case you need to apply yourself later on.  Keep these things in mind…

SLOW RELEASE FERTILIZERS

You do not need to utilize these fertilizers very often, but they are more expensive.  3 or 4 times per year would be enough, if only using this type of fertilizer.

FAST RELEASE FERTILIZERS

You get faster results when using a fast release fertilizer, but you need to apply these fertilizers in smaller dosage and more often. You may get your lawn burnt if you use a fast release fertilizer too frequently.  6 to 8 times per year would be good for this type.

WEED AND FEED

Try identifying the weeds before making use of a weed and feed Fertilizer and ensure your weed is also listed on this product label. Take good care around shrubs, trees and garden plants.  Just use this type on lawns and hand pull weeds around your plants.

ORGANIC MATERIALS LIKE MANURE AND COMPOST

The importance nutrients are not always as concentrated in materials like these, so you need to utilize a lot. Dry or compost manure before putting it to your lawn, and also be informed that most manures, especially horse manure, may also contain weed seeds.

LIQUID FERTILIZERS

Best used for pots and containers.  Liquid fertilizers are not often recommended for lawns, due to the difficulties in applying them and they need to be applied often.

Overall, fertilizing your lawn in fall should be easy-peasy with the above tips.  Let us know if you have any more questions.

How To Get Rid of Fleas in the Yard

getting rid of fleas
getting rid of fleas
Nobody wants fleas

Introduction
Fleas can be a real menace and very bad experience in any kind of home, and controlling them
might be so challenging. In fact, you might think that you have got rid of them from inside your
home and even on your pets only to realize that you forgot to deal with the root of the
problem.
The yard of your home is the root of the problem and you should think of how you can prevent
it from being infested with fleas. This the place where pets pick the fleas and then run with
them into your home.
There are so many ways you can use to get rid of fleas from your yard, but it will be up to you to
figure out the best method you can use to control them.

stop fleas with flooding

  • Flood the yard with water
    A flooded lawn is no place that Flea larvae and eggs can survive. You will be required to make
    sure that you periodically flood your lawn so that the fleas can be killed. In so doing, you will be
    ensuring that the feces from the adult fleas are washed away and this will reduce their chances
    of survival.
    During the rainy season it will be easier since the water from the rain will flood the area, but if
    it’s a dry season, you will have to cut the grass then flood the area which will prevent further
    breeding.

spraying for fleas

  • Spray the yard with insecticides
    Whenever you have fleas in your yard and you want to get rid of them, you will be required to
    go for insecticides that are environmentally friendly. You should follow the instructions
    carefully before spraying to avoid contaminating water in ponds and lakes. It will also be
    necessary to protect yourself by wearing protective clothing and then ensuring that you keep
    toys of your children away when spraying.
    Be thorough when spraying the yard especially the areas where the fleas are including fences,
    garden furniture and around trees.
  • Use nematodes in getting rid of fleas
    This is one of the natural ways to use in order to get rid of fleas from your lawn. It’s a safe way
    of controlling fleas since nematodes are harmless to human beings, pets and also plants. They
    are sprayed into the yard to eat the flea larvae.
getting rid of fleas
Cedar Chips are a flea deterrent
  • Using cedar chipsThis is another natural approach that you can use to get of fleas from your yard. What you will be required to do is to just spread the cedar chips in your entire yard. The smell from the cedar will prevent the fleas from getting to your yard and also killing them.

 

How to Prepare Lawn for Spring

Spring prep

Winter is finally over and that means it is time for Spring lawn preparation. Spring is an extremely important time to perform lawn maintenance. Following these 5 simple steps will not only make your lawn beautiful all season long, but also make your lawn maintenance more manageable.

5 Guidelines for Preparing Your Lawn for Spring Spring prep

  1. Spring Cleaning: We all know how important Spring cleaning is in our homes, and it is just as important to do spring cleaning in your yard. Once the soil is dry, clear away any remaining debris, such as twigs and leaves, and rake to break up the grass shoots.
  2. Aeration: The best time to aerate your lawn is during the growing season. Aeration is the process of perforating the soil with tiny holes to allow air, nutrients, and water to infiltrate the grass roots. The prime purpose of aerating is to alleviate soil compaction and promote new growth and root development. Failure to aerate your lawn sufficiently prevents your lawn from surviving in our hot Texas summers.
  3. Apply Fertilizer and Control Weeds: Early Spring is the best time to prevent weeds by using a pre-emergent weed control, and best used with a combination of fertilizer. This will both feed your grass and prevent crabgrass from germinating. It is crucial to apply the pre-emergent before soil temperatures reach warmer temperatures because crabgrass is extremely troublesome to eliminate.
  4. Wait to Seed: It is best to wait until Fall to seed your grass. After applying the pre-emergent weed control, the seeds will not be able to grow due to the weed killer preventing any type of seeds from germinating.
  5. Mow: It is extremely important to mow your grass as early and often as you can. A popular mistake made by homeowners is only mowing their lawns once a week in the Spring. It is best to mow about every 5 days to ensure that you aren’t stunting the roots from reproducing adequately.spring preparation

Remember, it is also very important to start watering your lawn frequently as soon as grass begins to grow. Before it starts to grow, you can water less often, but you want to ensure that your lawn is receiving at least 1″ of water per week during peak growing season.

The secret to your lawn thriving all season long relies on the lawn care and maintenance you provide for it in the Spring. Getting an early start in the season will cause your lawn to build a resilience to the effects of the Summer weather.


How Often Can I Fertilize My Lawn?

How Long To Water New Sod

sod installation service

sod-grassEstablishing your new sod grass is not a complicated process. Sod should be laid on your dry soil the day it arrives. If temperatures are above 80° the soil should be moistened the day before to cool soil temperatures. How long to water new sod? Begin watering new grass sod within a half hour after it is laid on the soil.

Do Not Over Water

After the sod is installed, the initial watering should soak the sod and hydrate the soil. Keep the lawn moist at all times.  Remember the key is to Keep the soil moist and not soaked. Too much water will cause algae and fungus to grow.

Apply at least 1 inch of water so that the soil beneath the turf is very wet. Ideally, the soil 3 to 4 inches below the surface should be moist. During the 4 weeks, Stay Off the Grass.

Day 1:

Immediately after sod installation the first watering should be about 45- 60 minutes depending on how hot it is outside, and if you have rotors or pop-up irrigation heads. (45 mins for pop-ups and 60 mins for rotors approximately.)

You will water your lawn two more times that same day. These times for only 15-20 minutes each approximately. Please be sure that your water is being fully absorbed by the lawn and is not soggy or boggy wet.

If you have a large amount of sod that you will be laying all in one day we recommend that you start watering your lawn in sections. By the end of the day your first few rolls have not dried out. This is very helpful when it is hot outside.

Day 2 to Day 15:

You will be watering your Sod Lawn two times on the 2nd day for 15-20 minutes. Our recommended times are between 7am to 12pm. For the following 2 weeks, water once a day.

Watering is most effective if done during early morning hours, 3 or 4 am, when sunlight and heat cannot cause excessive evaporation. After your lawn becomes established it requires approximately 1 inches of water per week.

Week 3:

You may now start watering your lawn once a day for 15-20 minutes approximately.

Week 4:

You may now start watering your lawn every other day or less approximately depending on the weather.

Cut water back during the winter, sometimes your lawn will only require watering once or twice a month if the grass becomes dormant. If you need help getting started installing new sod grass for your home, please call Lawn Service Fort Worth for a customized quote.

How Often Can I Fertilize My Lawn?

How Often Can I Fertilize My Lawn?

fertilizing-the-lawn

Fertilizationlawn care schedule

When you fertilize your lawn properly, you will have a healthy, dense turf that maintains a deep green color and chokes out weeds. Nitrogen is every lawn’s most important ingredient.  How often can I fertilize my lawn? Fertilizer affects not only lawn appearance, but also maintenance level. The more you fertilize, the more you’ll have to mow.  It is recommended to fertilize 2 to 4 times a year.  There are instances when you should apply fertilizer more than recommended.

  • Weed Infestation: Applying pre and post emergents will also aid in restoring your lawns health and color.
  • Lawn spots that appear to have some fungal disease. You will have to treat the area of disease, but once the soil and plants have been removed, fertilizing with new soil will quickly recover your lawn.
  • Excessive water runoff from frequent rain or flooding.  When your lawn has runoff, it will wash away vital nutrients in your soil.

Using Rotary Spreader

A broadcast or rotary spreader works well when you’re fertilizing larger lawn areas. For smaller areas, you can use a hand held spreader for spot treatments or small sections. Before filling the hopper, make sure it’s closed. Fill it on a tarp, so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer.

  1. Apply fertilizer around the perimeter of the lawn
  2. Then start to move back and forth across turf in an orderly pattern.
  3. Overlap application strips slightly to ensure that you cover the whole lawn evenly with fertilizer.

Fertilizer and Water

Water your lawn thoroughly a day or two before applying fertilizer.  Soon after your grass dries, apply fertilizer and then lightly water again. This second watering is important, because it washes fertilizer off grass blades and into soil.

To maintain a great lawn year round you should also mow regularly and often. Don’t mow your grass too short.  Additionally you can also dethatch and aerate your lawn during the year.  Always make a habit of checking for weeds.

Related Article:

Planting Trees in Clay Soil

Summer lawn care tips

Subscribe to CTV News to watch more videos: https://www.youtube.com/ctvnews Connect with CTV News: For the latest news visit: http://www.ctvnews.ca/ For a full video offering visit the CTV News Network: http://www.ctvnews.ca/video CTV News on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CTVNews CTV News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CTVNews Watch CTV News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WatchCTVNews CTV News on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+CTVNews/posts CTV News on Instagram: https://instagram.com/ctvnews/ CTV News on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ctvnews CTV News on Vine: https://vine.co/u/1134196353757794304 — CTV News is Canada’s most-watched news organization both locally and nationally, and has a network of national, international, and local news operations.