ABC Blog

When To Apply Fungicide On Lawns: Experts Weigh In

When To Apply Fungicide On Lawns

Homeowners lead busy lives, with a seemingly endless list of things that need to be done at any given time. Faced with the reality of juggling work, home and recreation, it’s easy for your lawn to become an afterthought.

As much as we wish this wasn’t the case, healthy and well-manicured lawns don’t take care of themselves. First, you need to make sure your grass is getting the amount of water and sunshine it needs—and not too much. Then, you need to make sure you are mowing your grass to the proper height. Although most homeowners stop here, to keep your lawn happy and looking great you’ll also want to have an understanding of your soil chemistry to determine what nutrients might be lacking.

What are some of the risks you run if you don’t care for your grass? Lawn diseases, weeds and a dead, yellow lawn, just to name a few.

Lawn … Read Full Post »

Sprinkler and Irrigation Conservation Guide | Smart Irrigation Month

There are many ways to save water, but during the summer, the most effective water conservation improvements come from your sprinkler and irrigation system.

With just a little bit of knowledge, you can save water while keeping your landscaping healthy during hot, dry conditions.

Smart Irrigation Month Tips

  1. Know how much water your lawn needs

The amount of water your lawn needs depends on a lot of different factors including climate, soil type and grass type.

The trick is to water deeply but infrequently. You get deep roots with deep watering. As a general rule of thumb, do not water more than 1-inch deep each time.

  • Measure your sprinkler output by placing some tuna cans (or a similarly sized, flat-bottomed container) around your lawn.
  • ¾ to 1 inch of water is a good amount each time you irrigate.
  • You can get the average output by measuring the depth of water in each can and then dividing by the … Read Full Post »

6 Ways to Keep Your Garden and Yard Pest-Free Without Chemicals

6 Ways to Maintain a Pest-Free Garden and Yard Without Chemicals - How to Garden Without Pests or Pesticides

Today, we’re talking about how to keep your garden pest-free without the use of pesticides or insecticides. It’s a common question for people who want to maintain an organic yard or garden.

While it may not be easy, it is possible. So, don’t give up! Let’s turn that black thumb into a green thumb.

What is Organic Gardening?

Reconnecting with nature and all its beauty is a great way to heighten your awareness to the world around you, both big and small. Unfortunately, gardening is more complicated than it seems, as any true gardener knows.

First off, the soil is alive with a small-scale world mostly unknown to us. One scoop of soil can be home to hundreds of thousands of fungi, thousands of protozoans, and a huge assortment of microscopic creatures known as cryptozoa.

In the 1980s, Jostein Goksøyr and Vigdis Torsvik (Norwegian scientists), gathered a gram of soil from a nearby beech forest … Read Full Post »

How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring and Summer

How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring and Summer

Winter weather can leave your landscape wanting. To help bring your landscape back to its fuller and lusher self, it’s important to do some spring lawn prep and maintenance.

Spring lawn care in essential for keeping your yard thriving and resilient through summer. If you want to a beautiful lawn and garden, follow these steps to keep your lawn and landscaping lush and green for the summer.

10 Ways to Get Lawn and Landscaping Ready for Summer

1. Rake It Up

The first step to preparing your yard for spring and summer is to do some raking and cleaning around the home. Use your yard waste container to collect all the leaves, twigs and other debris that has accumulated over winter. Vigorously rake your lawn to clear your landscaping of thatch—dried out, dead grass and organic debris.

The more material you have on the ground, the more difficult it will be for your lawn to … Read Full Post »

Identify Home Moisture Issues to Prevent Pest Problems

Identify Home Moisture Issues to Prevent Pest Problems

Rainy springtime weather can have a big influence on the number and kind of pests that can enter a building. Warm and wet weather can cause pests to leave their outdoor shelters and head into manmade ones.

Many pests spend the majority of the winter months under rocks, logs, mulch and soil. By staying below the frost line, they are able to survive extremely cold temperatures. But when the warmer weather and April showers saturate the ground, most of these pests are forced out. That’s why ants and other pests often enter buildings following a heavy rain.

In addition to rainfall driving pests out of their natural homes, water also encourages termites, carpenter ants and other wood-boring insects, encourages mold growth, and serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.

How to Identify Moisture Issues Around the Home

Even if you don’t think there are any moisture problems around your property, it’s … Read Full Post »

How to Start an Organic Lawn & Garden | National Lawn Care Month

How to Start an Organic Lawn & Garden | National Lawn Care Month

April is National Lawn Care Month and National Pest Management Month! To help your May flowers get off to a healthy, pest-free start, learn how to start your first completely organic garden. Your lawn and garden will look lush and green, and of course, will be completely organic. Spring is the best time to start!

How to Start an Organic Lawn & Garden

Even if your soil looks dead and lifeless, it can be brought back to life. But in order to find out what your soil needs, you need a soil test. 

  1. Get a Soil Sample

Testing your soil is the first step toward building good garden soil. You could waste a lot of money and energy, not to mention the possibility for poisoning, by adding things to your soil before conducting a soil test.

It’s a good idea to test your soil every 3-5 years since levels change all the time. Spring is … Read Full Post »

When To Fertilize New Grass: Secrets From Lawn Care Pros

When to fertilize new grass

No one likes having a patchy lawn. So last year you decided to do something about it. You seeded new grass into problem areas and waited for it to grow. Grow it did—until it started dying off. What happened? How can you stop this from happening again and get your lawn back to the healthy, vibrant green you remember? Lawn care professionals understand that knowing when to fertilize new grass can make the difference between a thriving yard and grass that is less equipped to handle the brutal Southern heat.

In this post, we’ll discuss when to fertilize new sod, the difference between lawn starter fertilizer and regular fertilizer, how often to apply starter fertilizer and the answer to the question: When should I fertilize my lawn after seeding?

Do I Really Have To Fertilize My Grass?

Of course, you don’t have to fertilize! But you’re probably going to want to.

Why?

Well, let’s talk about what … Read Full Post »

What Are Herbicides? Herbicide Pros & Cons

What Are Herbicides? Herbicide Pros & Cons

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the weeds. Before you let plant predators such as cleavers, chickweed, henbit, sow thistle and wild carrot take over, learn the pros and cons of herbicides, as well as some non-chemical alternatives.

Weeds can rob nutrients from the soil and smother other plants, but they aren’t all bad. Some can help your plants grow; others you may actually enjoy. They can also act as a free soil test, telling you whether or not you need soil balancing. Certain weeds spring up only when the soil is too high or low in something.

Many times, you can organically solve your weed problem by simply getting rid of the existing weeds and then balancing the soil. Learn more about how to improve soil quality in your lawn.

Sometimes, however, herbicides are necessary. But before you start releasing chemicals around your property, it’s important to consider what they are, how … Read Full Post »

How Plant Probiotics Promote Soil and Plant Growth

How Plant Probiotics Promote Soil and Plant Growth

Probiotics, basically helpful bacteria, are recommended for treating everything from digestion to depression. But probiotics aren’t just beneficial to humans. They can also maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in plants and soil. Helpful microbes, like those found in Holganix, can help plants grow bigger, healthier, and stronger.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria or fungi that are non-harmful or helpful. Harmful bacteria and fungi would be classified as a type of parasite.

When the bad bacteria overwhelm the good bacteria, you can get sick. The same applies to your plants and soil. It’s all about maintaining a healthy balance between the trillions of cells and microbes that make up living things.

All plants have endophytes, organisms that live between plant cells, which is normally the term used for the plant version of probiotics.

Endophytes attach themselves to plants and serve a similar purpose for plants that probiotics do for us. In the … Read Full Post »

Benefits Of Mulching For Your Landscape

Benefits of mulching

There are all kinds of gardens in the world, and the most gorgeous ones might have many unique features—native plants that vary from region to region, for example, or a particular gardener’s own artistic stamp on the landscape design. But nearly all the world’s most lush and beautiful gardens have something in common: They use mulch to help keep undesirable weeds away and keep plants, flowers, trees and vegetables thriving. This is because every good gardener knows the benefits of mulching.

Mulch isn’t very complicated or mysterious. At its base, mulch is nothing more than a material, usually something opaque, that is applied over the soil in a garden in order to produce healthier and lower-maintenance plants. Sounds simple, right? Yet the benefits of mulching are many, and they apply to nearly all types of plants and gardens. Whether you’re mulching a flower bed or vegetable garden, applying mulch around trees … Read Full Post »