ABC Blog

Add Color To Your Yard With Texas Winter Flowers

plants that grow in winter

Anyone from Texas can tell you that we have unique weather patterns. There are few other places where you can experience all four seasons in just one day. The running joke of “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute” rings true to many of us. While it can be nice to experience summer weather on a December day here in Texas, winter flowers can pose a challenge for even most experienced gardeners. 

While keeping soil type and watering requirements in mind, remember that on average, Houston gets 18 days each year with temperatures that dip below freezing. Our growing season lasts an average of 300 days, which can be great for growing a wide variety of plants and flowers. Keep in mind that throughout the winter, our days are shorter, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you choose flowers which require a certain number of … Read Full Post »

Your Guide to the Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017

Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017

There are many signs of the holiday season here in Houston. Stores put up their holiday displays, gingerbread and peppermint goodies start appearing everywhere and gift guides aplenty flood our inboxes and our mailboxes. In addition to making time for holiday decorating, deciding what lights to buy and getting presents, calendars start to fill up with seasonal events. We’ve compiled a list of Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017 to help you make time for some special memories this year.

Nothing puts everyone in the mood for Christmas quite like lights. Depending on which lights displays you choose to see, you may opt to stay in the car, which can be easier for friends and family members who are younger or older, who might have a harder time walking long distances or standing for long periods of time. Driving around to see lights can also be a good option for those rare Houston days … Read Full Post »

Too Much Water in Pool Due to Rain? What You Can Do

too much water in pool due to rain

Here in the southern states, we almost always enjoy it when it rains. A good soaking typically cools the temperature and provides our lawn and landscaping with much-needed water. However, there are times when a strong storm, hurricane or tropical depression dumps a lot of rain on our property. That’s when there is too much of a good thing, which can lead to too much water in your pool due to rain.

We’ll tell you what you can do when your area experiences heavy rainfall, how to lower your pool’s water level, what happens when your pool is overflowing from rain, the problems a storm or severe weather event can cause and give you some tips on hurricane pool preparation.

How To Lower Pool Water Level

If you have a typical rainfall, or even several inches, your pool should be fine, since drains and skimmers are designed to remove the excess water. … Read Full Post »

Negative Effects of Floods and How to Clean Up Your Property

Negative Effects of Floods and How to Clean Up Your Property

Around the world, the most prevalent kind of natural disaster is flooding. In the United States, floods are the leading cause of weather-related deaths, taking the lives of around 200 Americans each year. During 2016, 19 floods took place across the United States—the most since record taking began in 1980. Over the past 36 years, Texas is the state which has seen the most fatalities from flooding and flash floods.

The negative effects of floods are numerous and it can take years to rebuild. So this begs the question: is there anything you can do to help protect your home from floods? What should you do if your house floods? What can you do after a flood to help your home withstand potential damage from a future flood?

A flooded home isn’t necessarily a total loss. In a Washington Post article, Claudette Hanks Reichel of Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center, who has … Read Full Post »

Landscaping Ideas Houston Homeowners Can Use to Transform Outdoor Spaces

Landscaping Ideas Houston

A well-landscaped yard can bring balance, peace and harmony to your space, creating an oasis right at home. Wanting an aesthetically-pleasing lawn is one thing; making it happen is something else entirely. With our hot, humid weather, inconsistent rainfall and occasional flooding here in Houston, it can feel like a challenge to decide which flowers or plants will work best and how to get started on your landscaping project.

Before you begin, you’ll need to learn more about your soil type and think about what plants would survive our climate. On average, Houston gets 18 days each year with temperatures below 32° and 99 days above 90°. Our growing season lasts an average of 300 days, which can be great for growing a wide variety of plants and flowers. However, you have to make sure the plants you choose are heat tolerant.

Local soil is typically either clay or sandy. You’ll … Read Full Post »

Moles In Texas: How To Control This Lawn Pest

moles in Texas

When something is burrowing in your yard, it can be hard to know what you’re dealing with. Those mounds of dirt can seemingly pop up overnight, displacing plants and flowers or creating ugly tunnels. One of the possible culprits for this type of lawn damage is a mole. What kinds of moles live in Texas, and what should homeowners know about these creatures? In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these animals, including how to discourage them from making your property their home.

Moles in Texas: How To Control This Lawn Pest

Knowing the difference between gophers, moles and voles, and which is damaging your lawn is helpful in determining the best course of action. All three burrow underground but differ in appearance and diet. When any of these animals take up residence on a golf course or another large tract of land, it can be very … Read Full Post »

Replastering a Pool: A Complete Guide

Replastering a pool

Your pool has become a gathering place where friends and family enjoy spending time together. You have invested time and energy over the years to maintain your own personal swimming hole. Over time, however, you have noticed that the walls and bottom of your pool have become rough, bumpy and even sharp in places.

Something needs to be done, but what? As pools get older, the plaster originally used tends to get rough and make them unsightly and potentially dangerous. How do you fix the problem? By replastering.

Replastering a Pool: A Complete Guide

In a nutshell, replastering a pool means putting a new layer of plaster on the walls and bottom. What does plaster do? 

First, it serves to make your pool waterproof. Kind of important, right?

When you had your pool installed, the people who did it likely used either concrete or gunite to form the “shell” of the pool. The problem with both of these … Read Full Post »

Are Bugs Attracted to Light?

bugs attracted to light

Whether it’s a bulb on your front porch or a lamp out in the backyard, it seems that there are always bugs flying or crawling around that space. At any given time, it’s easy to see a variety of insects flocking towards the light. Why are bugs attracted to light around the exterior of your home when the sun goes down?

Are Bugs Attracted to Light?

The short answer to the question is what you are probably suspecting: yes, bugs are attracted to light. You probably have more questions about insects and light, however. Are there certain types of bugs that seem more drawn to outdoor lighting? What is it about light that seems to attract insects? Most importantly, what should we know about this phenomenon which can help us keep pesky insects away from our entryways, so they don’t make it inside? How can we keep insects from bugging us when we … Read Full Post »

How to Puppy Proof Your House and Yard

how to puppy proof your house

Tomorrow’s the day–your little bundle of joy is coming home! You’ve gotten the bed, the toys and the food. But have you prepared your home? Knowing how to puppy proof your house can protect your belongings from risks associated with a precocious pup. Your new addition needs to be protected as much as your home.

How to Puppy Proof Your House

There are not a lot of differences between preparing for a baby and preparing for a puppy, but forgetting to take those steps could cost you, both in terms of broken keepsakes and in injuries to your furry bundle of joy.

Why Puppy Proof?

You don’t have to watch hours of Animal Planet to know puppies are little balls of energy. They spend their days playing and playing, then drop into a deep sleep without warning. Before long, they’re up again, playing-playing-playing…and then drop again.

Puppies, like babies, have no self-control. Everything goes into … Read Full Post »

Daddy Long Legs: Everything You Need To Know About These Creatures

Daddy Long Legs

You had an inspection done before purchasing your house. But like any new homeowner, you want to really explore your property after moving in. Look around. Get the lay of the land. While you are poring over every inch of your backyard, you run across a blackish gray mass. You walk over to pick it up to examine it and it explodes into a swarm-like cluster of hundreds of daddy long legs, which can understandably come as quite a surprise.

Should you be worried? Do daddy long legs bite? You have heard the rumors about how poisonous they are. Do you need to call an exterminator?

Everything You Need to Know About Daddy Long Legs

Before you decide this house isn’t for you, there are a few things you should know.

First, there are actually two creatures known as daddy long legs. One is a spider (Pholcidae) and one is not (Opiliones). One is a venomous … Read Full Post »