ABC Blog

Don’t Let Faulty Sprinklers Get You Down

If the grass looks green, most people assume their sprinklers are doing a good job. However, even faulty sprinklers can still contribute to a green lawn. To prevent some dangerous and costly mistakes, it is important to check sprinklers regularly for leaks.

Problem: Higher Water Bills

Water leaking from a sprinkler will contribute to a higher monthly water bill. When a sprinkler develops a leak, the problem may worsen quickly due to water pressure.

Problem: Mosquitoes

When water leaks from the sprinkler’s head, it pools up in the surrounding area of the lawn. This creates standing water, which is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. During the summer months, the added humidity and heat create optimal conditions for mosquito infestations. These pests carry several harmful diseases, so if your sprinkler system is fault, your best bet is to contact a San Antonio irrigation and lawn service company.

Problem: Uneven Appearance

If a leak gets worsens, the … Read Full Post »

Make Sure Your Gardening Choices Are Safe for Pets!

Did you know that there are several popular plants and gardening products that can be hazardous to your pet?  By consulting with or utilizing a professional lawn care service, people can keep their pets safe while still enjoying the green thumb lifestyle and all of the benefits that come with an attractive yard.

Cocoa mulch is a very popular option for gardening because of its rich brown color and sweet smell of chocolate. Cocoa mulch contains the remnants of cocoa bean shells that have been used in the production of chocolate. Much like the finished product, cocoa bean shells can be toxic to dogs. A dog that consumes chocolate or cocoa bean shells can suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including elevated heart rate, diarrhea, muscle tremors, vomiting, seizures or even death. Fortunately, there are several other less-toxic mulch mixes that are available, including mulches with a pine or cedar … Read Full Post »

Austin Landscaping: Four Seasons of Shrub Care

In Central Texas, a lush, green row of beautiful shrubs quickly offsets the often disagreeable heat, inviting friends and family to enjoy a bit of an oasis just outside your home. While watering, pruning and fertilizing are key factors in keeping your shrubbery healthy, these aspects of basic gardening work most efficiently when combined with a comprehensive lawn care system.

ABC Home & Commercial Services employs specialized Austin landscaping techniques in order to cater specifically to the various types of plant life found here. Rather than approach the care of your shrubbery and lawn with only spring and summer in mind, our team of experienced professionals believes that you deserve beautiful, healthy plants throughout the year. Our highly trained and certified lawn care experts work with you and your lawn to keep it looking its best, regardless of the season.

In order to provide customers with the best service available in Austin … Read Full Post »

Houston Landscape Design

Preparing the plans for an Houston landscape design of your yard can be daunting, but starting with the basics can take away from of the pressure. The most basic question might be, “What will I plant?” The best choices for North Texas landscaping are the obvious ones: the ones that can handle this Texas heat! So, what are the top 5 Landscape Plants for North Central Texas?

 

The top 5 perennial Landscape Plants for Central Texas

Salvia (Salvia greggii)
Salvia is native to the Trans Pecos of Texas, favoring the limestone outcrops and canyon lands of the area. Salvia comes in a wide variety of colors from white, to pinks and reds. It is a small, shrubby plant with fragrant leaves. The flowers bloom all summer long and into the fall. It prefers full sun. With too much shade it will become leggy. Cut it back to the main stem in January or February, to … Read Full Post »

7 Ways Dallas Commercial Landscaping can help your Business

Commercial Landscaping

Your company’s commercial landscaping is the first impression customers receive when they visit your company. As you may already know, a well-designed landscape can enhance your Dallas facility by creating a desirable place for your customers and employees to conduct business. However, well-designed landscaping provides more than just aesthetic value.Here are 7 ways Dallas commercial landscaping can be beneficial to your business and community:

  • Plants increase tourism revenues
    Interior landscaping at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, is credited for an unusually high (85 percent) occupancy rate. Guests willingly pay an extra $30 per night for rooms overlooking the jungle-like display, netting $7 million a year in additional room revenues. The city of Virginia Beach attributes, in part, their $52 million in convention revenue for 1994 to the landscaping efforts of recent years.
  • Views of plants increase job satisfaction
    Employees with an outside view of plants experience less job pressure and greater job satisfaction … Read Full Post »

Harvesting Water With Rain Barrels

Maybe, as some predict, fresh water will become the next oil in terms of being a necessary but limited resource. However, even if that turns out to be hyperbole, regional droughts will always be with us. That means that at some point many people will be forced to conserve water. 

”The population is growing, but the water supply is not,” says Bill Hoffman, a coordinator for the City of Austin Water Conservation Program, in Texas. That’s why people around the country are turning to the centuries–old practice of collecting rain as an alternative source of water.

By collecting rain from a roof during wet months and storing it in a tank or cistern, homeowners can create an alternative supply that won’t tax the groundwater or jack up the water bill. 

And because rain doesn’t contain the minerals found n wells or the chlorine in municipal supplies, it’s ideal for watering the … Read Full Post »

Mulch: Your Tree’s Best Friend

Mulching is one of the most valuable things a homeowner can do for a tree’s health. Mulch is any material placed on the soil to conserve moisture and improve growing conditions. Common materials include wood chips, bark, pine needles and compost. However, if mulch is applied too deeply or the wrong material is used, it actually can harm trees and other plants.

Proper mulching

◾ Check soil drainage in the area to be mulched. Determine if there are trees or plants that may be affected by the type of mulch. Most organic mulches work well in most landscape situations. Some plants may benefit from mulches such as pine needles or bark that acidify the soil.

◾ Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch over well-drained soils. Use a thinner layer on poorly drained soils. The wider the mulch ring, the greater the benefit. Mulch out to the tree’s drip line, if possible.

◾ Do not pile … Read Full Post »

How to Save Water With a Sleeping Lawn

The average lawn size in the U.S. is about 1/5 of an acre, or a little less than 9,000 square feet, and it takes at least 624 gallons of water to apply 1″ of water on 1,000 square feet of lawn. It thus takes a total of more than 67,000 gallons to apply 1″ of water per week to an average lawn for three months during one summer. Even if you only halve that amount by allowing your lawn to go dormant, you’re still conserving a tremendous amount of water–enough water to supply a family of three’s drinking water requirements for 61 years.
Whether you want to help conserve water or you just don’t have time to water your lawn regularly, letting your grass go dormant during the hottest months of the year can help. A dormant, or “sleeping,” lawn will turn brown, but with proper care the underground crown of the grass plant will survive. In fact, … Read Full Post »

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 »

Tips for dealing with Drought

We’re experiencing a drought that is close to becoming a record setter for this time of year in the Houston area. Here are some of ABC’s tips for keeping your outdoor environment in good shape.

Watering and Irrigation

-If you have an irrigation system, make sure that all zones and sprinkler heads are operating correctly and covering adequately.

-For most lawns, watering a couple times weekly is adequate.  Plant beds may need additional watering, especially if they drain well.

-Over-watering is detrimental, contributing to a number of root damaging diseases and yellow, weak plants.

 

Mowing

– St. Augustine needs to be mowed weekly. Higher mowing helps St. Augustine conserve moisture.  Shorter mowing heights shock St. Augustine, forcing it to expend energy and moisture growing new blades, and ultimately weakening and thinning it.

-Bermuda and Zoysia lawns are healthier cut much shorter and more often.

-Make sure your mower blade is sharp, reducing moisture loss.  Dull mower blades fray the … Read Full Post »