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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 »

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 »

What is Holganix? What’s in It? How Does It Work?

What is Holganix? What’s in It? How Does It Work?

Our lawn and pest care philosophy is based on the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, which seeks to blend a variety of eco-friendly strategies to solve a pest problem. You may think this is unnecessary since chemical pesticides are convenient and often successful.

But pesticides contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to humans, wildlife, and the environment. They contaminate the air, water, and soil, disrupting all the links in the food chain.

There are many reasons why eco-friendly pest control is preferable:

  • Balanced Ecosystem, Healthy Environment
  • Pests Often Build Up Resistance to Pesticides
  • An IPM Approach Is Safer and More Sustainable
  • IPM Saves Money

One great way to avoid the adverse effects of pesticides is by replacing chemical pesticides with organic fertilizers and composts, such as Holganix. There are many different options when it comes to lawn care, but Holganix has proven itself to be the best lawn fertilizer for strong soil and healthy plants.

What is Holganix?

Holganix … Read Full Post »

The Importance of Eco-Friendly Pest Control

The Importance of Eco-Friendly Pest Control

We share a planet with other creatures, some of which we live peacefully with, others not so much. Unfortunately, most pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, contain chemicals that cause health complications for humans and wildlife.

The Pesticide Problem

Pesticides cause a wide range of short and long-term health hazards, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Skin and Eye Irritation
  • Dizziness and Nausea
  • Cancer
  • Endocrine System Damage
  • Birth Defects

Pesticides present acute dangers to other living organisms as well, sometimes having devastating environmental effects. Pesticides can pollute the air, water, and soil. They are harmful to many living species and can kill microorganisms that would be have eben beneficial for soil health.

Over one billion pounds of chemical pesticides are used every year in the United States (about 5.6 billion pounds worldwide) (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).

This causes a significant health and environmental concern.

  • Water and air contamination
  • Killing of plants and wildlife
  • Chemical over-exposure and the harmful associated health problems

Some of the common chemicals in pesticides are methoxychlor, vinclozolin, … Read Full Post »

What Flowers to Plant in the Fall in Texas

What flowers to plant in the fall in Texas

What’s one thing Texas homeowners take pride in? Along with our homes, we take great satisfaction in the trees, garden beds and other landscaping that add something special and beautiful to our property. Attractive landscaping adds curb appeal and increases property value, and it makes spending time outdoors that much more enjoyable.

If you’re a newcomer to the state, you might not realize gardening in Texas isn’t just for springtime. With a little know-how and planning, you can, indeed, enjoy fresh, colorful blooms almost any time of year. 

Wondering What Flowers to Plant in the Fall in Texas?

Green thumbs in many parts of Texas enjoy a climate that allows for beautiful gardens throughout the year. Fortunately, there are several varieties of flowering plants that Texas gardeners love for their ability to thrive throughout the cooler, wetter seasons.

Fall Flowers in Texas

The start of school and fall activities usually bring with them cooler … Read Full Post »

Grass Mites on Humans: Are They a Problem?

grass mites on humans

Grass mites are tiny lawn pests that can difficult to see with the naked eye. Mite is actually a collective term, as there are many variations of this insect-like organism, some of which are known to feed on wild and domestic animals, including humans. Homeowners may know mites as tiny creatures that can feed on plants, but are grass mites on humans a problem? Let’s take a deeper look into these microscopic bugs to learn more about them and how they might impact you.

Grass Mites On Humans: Are They A Problem?

There are a variety of mite species that might be on your property, but the types of mites most likely to bite humans are more commonly known as chiggers. Although these species of mites live in grass and are sometimes lumped together with other bugs that are called grass mites, these animals do not feed on plant matter and are … Read Full Post »

Cankerworms: What Are They?

Cankerworms

Have you heard of cankerworms? If you haven’t, you’ve undoubtedly seen them, especially in the spring, swinging from tree to tree as they defoliate large groups of trees at a time. What are cankerworms exactly? What does it mean for you, as a homeowner? And how can you get protect yourself and your trees against these creatures if they are causing a problem?

Cankerworms: What Are They?

Cankerworms, also known as “inchworms,” are spring caterpillars which are light green to brown in color. They’re different from normal caterpillars in that they have fewer legs than most, with only two feet on their abdomens, resulting in their odd form of movement.

Cankerworms hatch just when the trees are starting to bud in the spring. They feed on broad-leaf trees, such as elm, oak, boxelder, maple and ash. They can defoliate a large swath of trees, but you’ll only notice it if the trees they’re … 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 »