ABC Blog

Tips for Aerating the Lawn this Fall

Hardly anyone thinks about the dirt the grass grows in, but the health of the soil is a key component to a great lawn. Grass does best in soil that drains well and has a rich, loamy texture.

Poor soil invites many lawn problems, including weak growth, which makes the grass subject to damage from insects, disease or weather conditions. If the soil is compacted or made of heavy clay, it may not drain properly. If it’s sandy or silty, it won’t hold water and will dry out too quickly.

Core aerate the soil every fall or every other fall. This process pulls 2- to 3-inch-long cores from the ground, where they stay until they disintegrate in a couple of weeks, feeding the soil as they do. Core aeration helps keep thatch, or dead root matter, under control and loosens compacted soil. The holes allow water, oxygen and other nutrients to work … Read Full Post »

Watering Trees in Texas Summer

While attempting the near impossible task of maintaining a green yard in the middle of a Central Texas summer, it is important not to neglect your trees when watering your yard. Frequent drought conditions and the Texas heat can take a toll on any shrub or tree, but it can be especially damaging to newly planted trees. The most limiting factor for newly planted tree growth and survival is a lack of adequate water. Without enough water, young trees experience slowed root and shoot growth which can cause the tree to become stunted. Once stunting occurs, it is very difficult for a tree to make up the lost growth. Drought injury on tree leaves include wilting, curling at the edges, yellowing; leaves might be smaller size drop early or stay on the branches even though dead and/or brown. Drought stress might not kill trees immediately but it might set them … Read Full Post »

Spring Plumbing Tips

Hanging a picture frame is one thing, but trying to do it yourself on any of your home plumbing can not only be expensive and dangerous, but could also drop you into some legal hot water! Most people are happy doing minor fixes like a leaky faucet, but when it comes to just about anything else involving water, it’s best to leave it to a professional master plumber. If you don’t know what you’re doing, messing with a plumbing system can result in not only serious damage and expensive repair bills, but potential health hazards.

There are still some Spring maintenance tips you can follow to protect your home against plumbing problems. Consider the following list:

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water.
  • Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl … Read Full Post »

Texas Oak Tree Leaves And Varieties That Thrive In Our Climate

oak tree leaves

Texas is famous for its oak trees. In fact, there are more than 50 varieties native to Texas. Oak trees are important for wildlife because they provide acorns for food, and the large trees provide shelter within their huge branches. Even after an oak tree dies in the wild, it provides shelter as it slowly decays. Some oak trees grow more quickly than others and make good trees for landscaping. These trees can also help decrease your utility bills, protect against erosion, add to your landscape’s aesthetic appeal, buffer your home from strong winds and add to the value of your home.

Oak Tree Leaves: Similarities And Differences

There are about 60 different types of oak trees which are native to North America. These trees fall into two primary categories: red oaks and white oaks. Oaks have what is called “alternate” leaves, which means that only one leaf emerges from the stem, … Read Full Post »

Flea Treatment

Flea Biology

Adult fleas are parasites of warm-blooded animals such as cats, dogs, and humans.  Fleas go through complete metamorphosis, meaning they have an egg, a larva, a pupa, and an adult stage.  Under most situations, fleas will complete their life cycle within three to five weeks.

 

The female flea will lay 4 to 6 eggs after each blood meal and can usually lay several hundred during her lifetime.  The light colored eggs are deposited while on the host, but they fall off the animal and are frequently found in the host’s bedding, carpets, sofas, and crevices in the floor.  The eggs normally hatch between 1 and 10 days, depending on temperature and humidity, while most hatch within 36 hours.

 

Flea larvae are slender, white, legless and between 1/10 and 1/5 inch long.  They are free living and feed on debris found in their environment.  The larval stage usually lasts between 5 and … Read Full Post »

9 Energy Saving Tips for Spring

Spring can be a transition season: a good time to clear out the effects of winter and look at what needs to be made ready for summer.

Here are nine things you can do in the spring to make you home more energy efficient:

Spring-cleaning

Spring-cleaning involves making sure all the fans in your home are working properly and are dust-free. Regularly wash or replace filters.
Change the airflow on your ceiling fan

Make sure you change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fan. In the winter, let the fan push warm air toward the floor and in summer, switch the direction and draw air upward, cooling the room and ensuring constant airflow.

Insulated, thermal-backed drapes

In preparing for the summer, consider investing in some insulated, thermal-backed drapes for your windows.
Air conditioning system

Before buying an air conditioning unit or system, find out its energy efficiency ratio (EER). Calculate the EER by dividing the unit’s cooling capacity (BTU’s/hour) by its … Read Full Post »