ABC Blog

Which Zoysia Grass Type Is Right For My Lawn?

Zoysia grass types

Most homeowners quickly realize that keeping a healthy, green carpet of grass in their yards is much more difficult than they originally anticipated. While most species commonly found in residential areas share similar characteristics, there are some distinctive qualities that make some types do better or worse under some conditions, particularly in parts of the country that are hot with little rainfall.

The most common warm-season species are bermudagrass, buffalo grass, centipede grass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustine and Zoysia grass. Zoysia is a popular choice for homeowners because it can tolerate shade, drought, cold and traffic. Better yet, these species have a low fertilizer requirement. With dozens of varieties to choose from, Zoysia grass types can provide slightly different advantages, depending on what you need, how much time you want to spend on your lawn and the conditions in your lawn. The quality and availability of each cultivar can vary by … Read Full Post »

Grass Spiders In Texas: Can They Hurt Me Or My Lawn?

Grass spiders Texas

Most of us who live here in the Lone Star State are familiar with the saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas”. When it comes to our size and our state pride, that’s usually a good thing. In some other situations, however, this phrase can extend to other topics which can easily evoke feelings of pure terror. Depending on your level of comfort with these eight-legged creatures, grass spiders in Texas could certainly fit into this category.

Why is that, exactly? There are probably several reasons many homeowners are frightened of any spiders they may run across on their property. First of all, there two types of Texas spiders that are venomous: the black widow and the brown recluse. While neither of these species is aggressive, and the risk of getting bitten is low, most of us can’t quickly identify whether what we saw in our grass or our closet was dangerous or … Read Full Post »

How To Save A Dying Tree: A Closer Look At Tree Health

how to save a dying tree

Homeowners with mature trees typically love them for their shade, majestic beauty and the enhanced curb appeal and property value they provide. But if you have a tree that seems to be ailing, you may wonder how to save a dying tree. Many homeowners also wonder how to recognize the symptoms of a tree that is diseased or otherwise in need of help, so they can provide care before it’s too late.

There are a number of different diseases that can infect a tree’s branches, roots or foliage. So many, in fact, that you may need the help of a professional who specializes in trees to give you an accurate assessment of your tree’s health. The good news is, most tree diseases cause a range of visible symptoms that can serve as warning signs, enabling homeowners to intervene on behalf of the tree’s health. The not-so-good … Read Full Post »

At What Temperature Does Grass Stop Growing?

what temperature does grass stop growing

During the winter months, when temperatures across the United States drop for several months at a stretch, most varieties of grass that people use in their yards go dormant—meaning, their active growth cycles slow down. The grass is still alive, but it is in a state of suspended animation. During this time, your yard may lose quite a bit of its bright, deeply green hue. Your plants might even look diseased or dead, and will certainly appear dry. While your lawn might look lifeless, lawn experts will tell you that dormant grass is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do when nutrients aren’t as readily available as they are during the warmer, sunnier months.

Since grass goes dormant in the winter, many people do not need to mow their yards more than a few times throughout the entire winter season and often debate on when to start mowing the lawn again. … Read Full Post »

Does Dog Pee Kill Grass? How To Protect Your Lawn

does dog pee kill grass

A homeowner with pets and a brown, patchy-looking lawn might wonder: Does dog pee kill grass? Maybe you’re not even a dog owner, but your neighbor’s pet has a habit of using your yard to do its business. Could this be a contributing factor?

The short answer is that it’s certainly possible. Due to the high protein content of most dogs’ diets, these animals’ urine contains a high concentration of nitrogen and salts, which can have a burning effect on grass and can cause yellow or brown spots in an otherwise healthy-seeming lawn. People with female dogs may notice even more concentrated spots of discoloration in their grass, since female dogs tend to squat to urinate in a single location, rather than relieving themselves in shorter spurts onto trees, bushes and fire hydrants, as male dogs typically do. Also, larger dogs pee in larger volumes than smaller dogs, so their daily … Read Full Post »

When To Stop Feeding Hummingbirds For The Year

When to stop feeding hummingbirds

If you are like many homeowners, you love hummingbirds. Watching them flitter and flutter around your yard is captivating. Seeing them hover in place as they enjoy the nectar you’ve left out for them is even better. Their speed and size and almost unnatural presence are awe-inspiring.

So, when your neighbor told you that you were stopping them from migrating by leaving out your feeders in the fall, your first instinct was to rush out and take them down. After all, you don’t want to do anything that could possibly harm these beautiful creatures.

Luckily, you decided to do some research first. Smart move on your part.

Why?

Because what your neighbor told you is a myth, and it’s one that lawn technicians hear all the time.

Leaving feeders out does not stop migration. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you leave a hummingbird feeder out while these birds are migrating, you’re actually providing these … Read Full Post »

Planting With Compost: Expert Advice From The Pros

Planting with compost

What do cow manure, grass clippings, dead leaves, coffee grounds and dinner scraps have in common? All of the above can be used to create or feed a compost pile, which you can then use in your garden to help keep your trees, plants, vegetable crops and soil healthy and thriving. Planting with compost is easy, as long as you know what you’re doing. Ready to learn everything you need to know about how to make and use compost in your garden? You came to the right place!

First, let’s talk about what compost is and what it’s used for. At its most basic, compost is simply partially decomposed organic matter—in other words, plant and other material that is nutrient-rich because it’s in the process of breaking down. Gardeners use compost to add important nutrients and microbes to the soil, in order to build its structure and help plants thrive. If … Read Full Post »

Best Trees For Central Texas: A Homeowner’s Guide

Best trees for Central Texas

If you live in Austin, San Antonio or any of the surrounding cities, towns and rural spaces that make up the vast and beautiful Central Texas region, you already know something about Central Texas trees: In order not just to survive but to thrive, they have to be able to withstand periods of high heat and drought as well as occasional frigid snaps and deluges of water when the rainy season hits in spring and fall. That’s right—Central Texas trees have to be as tough, hardy and resilient as the people who live here. The best trees for Central Texas landscapes include varieties that can withstand all of the above, along with a variety of soil compositions, including plenty of rocks and limestone. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the best trees for Central Texas gardeners and the outdoor spaces they love.

Texas Ash Tree: A Classic Choice For … 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 Often To Water Lawn In Summer

How often to water lawn in summer

As we all know, the official start to summer is in late June.

The truth is, homeowners in Texas and other southern states know that temperatures can start inching up in April or May, depending on the year.

Because of this, many people wonder when and how to adjust their lawn watering schedule to ensure that grass and plants survive our dry and hot summer months.

Do you water a little bit every day? Water only once a week, but leave the sprinklers on for a long time to let the water really soak down? Forgo watering altogether because you had a rainy spring and your plants are looking great?

Then, you may wonder when exactly to set your sprinklers. What time should you water your lawn, if and when you do?

Maybe you have been inconsistent in your watering from year to year, and it’s just not working. Perhaps you have a water-logged … Read Full Post »