ABC Blog

Can Your Lawn Reveal Your Deepest Secrets?

You probably won’t find lawn conditions mentioned in many pop psychology books, but if you look carefully, there may be a correlation between a person’s lawn and their personalities and priorities. At first glance, it might not seem important, but if you’re looking for a mate or trying to impress your neighbors, your personal environment and what it reveals about you could be a make-or-break factor. Here are a few personality types that could potentially be linked to lawn condition (and of course, we take these results with a grain of salt!).

The Control Freak

The Control Freak’s lawn is never more than a fraction of an inch too long or short. It’s the perfect shade of green, and any blemishes are quickly isolated and treated intensively until they’re back in formation. The Control Freak regularly inspects every plant in the yard and references the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab when necessary.

The … Read Full Post »

Garden Magic: Making an Amazing Compost Mix

A well-kept lawn or bright flower garden can significantly add to your home’s curb appeal and value. Of course, maintaining a beautiful lawn or garden in the hot climate of San Antonio can be tough. Keeping up with regular watering and lawn maintenance is important, but it won’t take care of all of your healthy lawn needs. If you want to create a lawn or garden that’s truly well nourished and adds value to your property, it’s time to start a compost pile.

Creating Your Basic Compost Mix

Composting is the process of allowing waste materials to decay so that they are broken down into a nutrient-rich mix that can be used to fertilize lawns, plants, trees and gardens. If you’d like to start composting, you’ll need to buy or build a compost bin. You should be able to find wire, wooden and metal compost bins. Metal bins are generally built to … Read Full Post »

Avoid Large Irrigation Bills This Summer with These 5 Easy Tips

Stop pouring water and money down the drain

Thanks to the arid Texas weather, it’s often necessary to install an irrigation system that keeps your landscape looking good. However, this system may cost a fortune to operate. Here are five easy tips to help you keep irrigation expenses down this summer.

1. Run the Sprinkler in the Morning

Early in the day, the temperature is cool and wind is usually at a minimum, which means that less water will be lost from evaporation. Watering your plants at night can cause diseases to form on leaves and roots. Most often this is a problem in a humid climate like Texas.

2. Check for Leaks

If water appears to be running onto your sidewalks after your sprinkler has been turned off, there may be a leaky valve in your system. This can cause a great increase in irrigation bills because water is constantly running. Many times this … Read Full Post »

Growing a Greener Lawn in 5 Steps

The greening of San Antonio lawns

Choosing the right grass for lawns in south-central Texas can reduce maintenance headaches. The recommended types are St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bermuda and Buffalo. There aren’t any distinct advantages of one over the other, although buffalo grass is native to this area. All four types require irrigation, regular mowing, seasonal fertilization and pest control management.

The Grass Is Thirsty

If there’s one thing that keeps grass green, it’s an adequate amount of watering at the right times. This means you can’t count on San Antonio’s unpredictable showers to keep your lawn irrigated. Water your lawn as needed, which means observing the blades for signs of stress. St. Augustine and Zoysia grasses demand heavy irrigation. Buffalo grass requires only half an inch of water to thrive.

In general, water to a depth of six inches every four to five days. Determine the length of time that sprinklers should be left … Read Full Post »

Such Great Heights: How Tall Should Grass Really Be?

Having a great lawn isn’t as simple as watering and cutting your grass at regular intervals. It requires careful planning and constant vigilance. Among other things, it’s crucial to know exactly how tall to keep your lawn’s grass. This isn’t a cut-and-dry consideration: It’s dependent on a number of factors, including local ordinances and style preferences. Learn more about how to keep your grass at just the right height.

Variety Is Key

Aside from local ordinances and homeowner covenants, grass variety is the single most important determinant of lawn height. Since the San Antonio area lies at the boundary zone between several distinct climate types, your lawn could be dominated by one of several types of grass. While the region’s most common grass type is probably St. Augustine, some lawns use Bermuda grass or native buffalo grass.

St. Augustine Grass Considerations

Although St. Augustine grass is native to the Gulf Coast region and tropical … Read Full Post »

Determining Soil Type

Your taste in landscaping might run to flowers, vegetables or lush green lawns, but if you don’t take time to identify your soil type, your gardening results could be less than optimal. Soil types in San Antonio will vary by location. Additions can improve it, but first you need to know just what you have.

Clay Soil

If your soil turns hard and cracks in dry weather, what you’ve got is clay. This type of soil drains poorly. When not sun baked into brick-like solidity, it can quickly morph into a pit of mud. Its dense composition can dry, drown or suffocate plant roots, but it does hold nutrients in place.

If you can’t identify this type of soil by sight alone, add some water to a handful and roll it between your hands. You’ll find that clay soil will retain its shape quite well.

Sandy Soil

In contrast to the clay variety, sandy soil … Read Full Post »

Winter Lawn Care Don’ts

As the warm weather begins to fade, your lawn’s need for seasonal maintenance doesn’t. Not quite. Although winter is a kind of lawn dormancy, neglecting winter care means your lawn is much less likely to flourish in the spring. With that in mind, here are some winter lawn care don’ts:

Don’t Let Debris Accumulate

Winter yard work can be unpleasant, but debris can ruin your lawn. Leaves, toys, and other items can damage your lawn by smothering the grass. Additionally, some debris will provide cover for troubling pests, including burrowing insects and rodents. Once the problems find a home in your lawn, severe damage to your property can occur.

Don’t Damage Your Turf

A healthy lawn is highly resilient during the active growing season, but dormant grass is easily damaged. According to Louisiana State University’s College of Agriculture, filling and aeration can disrupt your lawn during the winter.

Don’t Forget to Mow

Mowing during the late … Read Full Post »

Your Yard Is Yours—Reclaim It!

If you’ve long been fighting the epic battle to remove weeds from your lawn, you need not pull every last hair out of your head. In fact, you don’t even need to use harsh chemicals. By committing to a few organic lawn care techniques that will keep your yard in great shape, you’ll be able to enjoy green grass throughout the entire year. Those dastardly weeds will go the way of the dodo, and you’ll soon feel confident enough to hold picnics, barbecues and family gatherings on your unblemished lawn.

Discover the Joys of Mulch

Mulch is an excellent way to keep your lawn healthy. If you have a specific corner of the yard that’s dedicated to small bushes, you can sprinkle mulch around the roots of the plants to keep the soil moist. This will block light from reaching the weeds. In fact, weeds that have not yet sprouted will be … Read Full Post »

Compost Piles: Do They Attract Insects?

One of the easiest ways to get rid of kitchen scraps and other organic waste from around our homes is to compost. Maintaining a healthy compost pile doesn’t take much space or attention. The benefit is nutrient-rich soil that develops in just a few months and can be used to improve soil in gardens and around the yard.

Composting reduces the amount of solid waste that would otherwise go to landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that 20% to 30% of what we throw away is organic material that can be composted. By composting, we get good soil and cut down on what goes to landfills.

A compost pile doesn’t need fancy equipment, just a space in your yard or garden that isn’t too wet or too sunny so that the organic materials will get the right amount of air and water to decompose quickly. The climate in the Houston area … Read Full Post »

Checklist for Cleaning Up Your Lawn Act

You’ve cleaned up the last of the dead leaves, finished mowing the lawn, and trimmed dead flowers from your landscaping beds. Your home’s lawn maintenance is nearly done, but you still have a few last chores to complete.

Clean Your Gutters

Even though you cleaned up your yard, there are likely thousands of leaves trapped in your gutters, which will overflow during heavy rainfall. Besides making the ground around your home a muddy mess, sitting water can actually cause foundation damage, so you want to make sure that your gutters are completely clean before the temperature drops below freezing.

Trim Dead Branches

Dead branches can snap off and cause damage if it snows, so trim off any dead branches that you can easily reach with a ladder. Hire a tree trimming company if you can’t reach high branches. Large branches make great firewood logs, and you can use smaller branches as kindling.

Prepare Engines

Once all … Read Full Post »