Spring Fever

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Helpful Lawn Tips

Spring lawn tips: As your grass starts to green up, we all get in the mood for doing some yard work. Keep your eye open for Brown Patch. If you had it in the Fall, you will probably have it in the same places in the Spring. Remember, Brown Patch loves Nitrogen rich St. Augustine and cool damp nights. If you have not applied a preventative for Brown Patch, start watching for it to occur. If it does occur, a curative application of fungicide will be needed. Usually the curative rate is 2X the preventative rate. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL RATES AND INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE APPLYING ANY CHEMICALS.

Summer lawn tips: This time of year brings on a lot warmer and drier weather. Your mowers should be raised to its maximum height and not lowered untill the fall.   During the summer, Chinch Bugs and Grubs can become very active. Both are easily controlled, but turf damage can be severe if left untreated. Ask for a Turf Insecticide at your local garden center. Advise them of your problems and they can direct you from there. Grey Leaf Spot surfaces this time of year. You will see spots appear on the leaf blades, yellowing, wilting and eventually death will occur if left untreated. Again, ask your local garden center for assistance. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL RATES AND INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE APPLYING ANY CHEMICALS. Brown dry areas may not be just an irrigation issue like it may appear be . If you see an area that looks unusual, check it out. It could be a simple problem or it could be complex with multiple problems. Watering rates for your sprinkler system should be increased this time of year. Any watering should be done early morning (between 4 and 5am)during the cooler hours and also because there is significantly less wind,

Fall lawn tips: The days are shorter and the grass will be under less stress. It is time to watch for Brown Patch again (see Spring recommendations). Any fertilizing should be directed toward root growth. This will help the grass store nutrients before going into dormancy. If you are fertilizing properly, you will not see a lot of leaf growth with this application of fertilizer. Your mowing frequencies should be less and the grass should require less watering. If you need to water, set your sprinkler systems to do so during the late morning hours(8-10am). Irrigation practices during the fall should only be as required by your landscapes.  This will help reduce your chances of getting Brown Patch and other diseases.

Winter lawn tips: Grass will usually go dormant this time of the year. An occasional watering will help hold moisture in the root zone. When i say occasional i mean like 1-2 times a month.  My advice would be to run your sprinklers like twice a month and especially before a freeze.  This is essential for maximum rootgrowth. The grass will go through periods of leaf growth when the weather warms. Keep the grass mowed, but do not scalp. A light application of fertilizer to promote root growth is recommended this time of year. The healthier the roots, the healthier the grass will be in the Spring.

How many times per year should I fertilize?

You should apply 6-8 lbs. of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year. This can be accomplished in 4-6 applications per year.

What analysis of fertilizer should I use?

This is determined by soil samples. Take one sample for every 10,000 square feet of lawn. If you have less area than that 1 sample will be enough.

How much fertilizer should I put out?

You should not apply more than 1.251bs. of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet per application. Your fertilizer analysis will dictate the amount of fertilizer to be used.
How much sun does my grass need to grow?

Raleigh St. Augustine needs 4-5 hours of direct sunlight per day. Your Bermuda grasses need full sun.

Why is my grass getting thinner and thinner each year?

It could be bugs, fungus or water/fertilizer deprivation. We will be happy to help you make that determination. That service is of NO CHARGE to you.


Spring Fever

Fertilzers, Mulch, and Sprinklers

by Malisa V on 03/23/15

   Wow, is the rain only for Houston or what?  Well, it seems like we'll be in the clear for a few days at least, but in the meantime it's time to whip the landscape back into shape and get those sprinklers going again.  In the month of March, we usually recommend to fertilize the lawn, trees, and shrubs and apply a pre-emergent (weed killer) to the entire lawn.  You will want to do this now because the temperature is just right for your first fertilizer/pre-emergent application of the year.  If you wait too long, you may miss the opportune time and the effectiveness of the applications may be minimal.  If you want your lawn to look good in the Summer, you have to start now.Just like the lawn, your flowerbeds also can also benefit from the same 2 applications. To avoid a flowerbed weed frenzy, try to keep the mulch at least 2 to 3 inches thick and make sure it's quality mulch or you just may be adding to the problem yourself. A word to the wise, not all mulches are the same and may contain weed seed.  Ask your local vendor how the mulch is produced and that should give you a better idea what it may contain other than wood.

  Now that you've completed all of the above, it's time to fire up the sprinkler system. Turning on your sprinkler system after the Winter is like getting your automobile ready for a road trip.  You should begin this process by checking each station individually by allowing each to run for the time needed for you to check each rotary/sprayhead individually.  You will be checking for leaky heads, clogged spray nozzles, and leaking or damaged pipes.  One indication that you may have a significant leak in your sprinkler system is abnormally low pressure throughout the entire system or in just one station.  Another indication that you may have a leak may come in the form of dead or wilting vegetation.  I see this problem about 50 times a year and it's never cheap to replace grass, shrubs, or trees unless you do it yourself.  The smartest thing you can do to help yourself is just check your sprinkler system regularly and in the long run you can save yourself a big headache and most importantly, a lot of money.

  If you feel that this is something beyond the realm of your duties, give us a call and we'll be more than happy to help you.

 

Lower temperatures means and too much water brings Brown Patch

by Malisa V on 09/16/14

Around this time of year our temps begin to fluctuate which is good for us but bad for our grass.  With our nighttime lows in the 70's and moisture from our sprinkler systems and recent showers, Brown Patch is bound to flare up in low areas of our properties where water has no outlet.  It forms a circular ring of dead sod and another small circular ring within it that is usually still green.  Once it surfaces you can no longer get rid of it but you can prevent it from spreading by applying a granular or liquid fungicide. Brown Patch thrives on excessive moisture and cool temperatures but can be prevented if we can adjust our sprinkler controllers to water about half of what it's set for right now.  I personally have not irrigated my landscape for over a week now and all seems well.  Moral of the tip, it's time to scale back your irrigation schedule if you haven't already.  Yes I'm sure it will get exceptionally warm again but i believe the scorching heat is gone until 2015. 

The Freeze

by Malisa V on 03/05/14

Only in Houston will you experience a nice sunny and hot day outside grilling then wake up to a winter wonderland.  Frozen car windows, frozen and broken branches and a busted PVB and in need of a sprinkler repair and removal of tree branches from your yard.  Look at this frozen yet beautiful tree & this interesting car window after rolling it down  gotta love  Houston!!!

Weather Changing....

by Malisa V on 02/25/14

So excited to feel the warm weather slowly arriving!  Spring is coming and flowers start to blossom... one of my favorite Seasons.  Time to get started on new designs!  

My View

by Malisa V on 02/22/14

Woke up this morning early before anyone else; so peaceful and this was... my view