ABC Blog

7 Elements of a Perfect and Happy Lawn

A Short and Complete Guide to Nurturing North Texas Yards

If lawn care chores are wearing you out, you might be trying too hard. Nurturing a Dallas landscape takes some effort, but why make it complicated? You can keep that yard perfectly happy with seven simple steps.

1. Understand the Grass – Just knowing what kind of turf you’re growing isn’t enough. Bermuda grass doesn’t like shade, and St. Augustine is a heavy drinker. Whether it’s buffalo, centipede or zoysia, show that lawn some love by learning about its preferences.

2. Watch Your Watering – Break the habit of watering on set days. Slow, deep soakings encourage healthy root systems, so wait until the yard looks a little thirsty. Whether you irrigate with a sprinkler or an automated system, water early in the morning for maximum effect.

3. Feed on Schedule – Most North Texas lawns like their nutrients served every two months from … Read Full Post »

Is Your Florida St. Augustine Grass Turning Brown?

St. Augustine is the turf of choice for Central Florida lawns. You might notice a color change in the late summer and early fall that could cause alarm.

This common lawn fungus is easy to identify, as it creates circular pockets of grass that appear to have died. We’re talking about Brown Patch.

All warm-season turfs are at risk for Brown Patch, especially Zoysia and St. Augustine grass. The disease pathogen, Rhizoctonia solani, will most likely spread from September through May when temperatures are below 80 degrees. It is usually not observed in summer months, but summer weather can lead to over-irrigation, which can lead to fungus. Florida gets excessive rain and high humidity, which can also over-saturate turf grass and lead to infection.


If an area of your lawn has poor drainage and lacks sufficient sunlight, it may be prone to getting the disease. You’ll notice a soft, dark rot at the … Read Full Post »

Brown Patch Lawn Fungus on the Rise in Houston

Have you ever noticed beige patches of dead-looking grass interrupting your lush green lawn? The name of this turfgrass disease is a no-brainer: Brown Patch.

Brown Patch is technically classified as a summer lawn disease. However, our Houston Lawn Specialists have noticed an increase in reported cases in the fall due to excessive lawn watering in an effort to battle the overly rough weather conditions Houston experienced during the past few months.

Brown Patch derives from a disease called Rhizoctonia, which is a fungus that thrives in warm, humid climates (sound familiar, Houston?). It lives in plant debris, or thatch, and enters plants through wounds caused during mowing. In most cases, grass can go several months before showing any sign of disease, but trust us, it is growing beneath the surface – and fast.

Brown Patch damage first appears in your lawn as circular areas of brown, dead grass surrounded by … Read Full Post »

Avoiding Summer Damage to Your Lawn

Practice proper lawn care to maintain healthy grass

When the heat of the Dallas summer meets high-traffic outdoor activity, your lawn can suffer. Try these lawn care tips to bring your outdoor environment back to life and keep it looking beautiful all summer.

Develop a Watering Routine

The general recommendation for watering is to give your lawn one inch of water per week unless the weather is extremely hot. Water in the morning before the heat begins to build. Use a sprinkler or irrigation system to get the water deep into the ground and give the grass the moisture it needs to thrive.

Mow Smart

Warm-season grasses should be cut to a height of two to three inches. Shorter grass browns in the heat and sustains damage more easily. Moisture loss increases when grass is shredded rather than cut clean, so sharpen the mower blades before the season begins. Avoid the urge to mow frequently. … Read Full Post »

Solving the Mystery of Small Dirt Piles

What are worm castings, and how do they help with lawn care?

When digging around in your garden, you’ve probably come across worms making their way through the dirt. The more worms you see, the healthier the soil is likely to be, but why exactly is that?

What Goes In Must Come Out

As worms tunnel from one place to another, they munch on organic matter, process it, and excrete what are called castings. Also known as vermicast, this nutrient-rich “worm manure” can be produced in controlled settings and used as a rich natural fertilizer.

Benefits of Worm Castings

Vermicast offers many benefits for your Austin lawn and garden, including:

• Improved soil aeration
• Higher levels of beneficial micro-organisms
• Higher concentrations of bioavailable nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium and potash
• Better plant growth and yield with fewer diseases
• Stronger root systems
• Recycling waste products
• Natural, chemical-free fertilization
• Attraction of more worms to further improve soil health

In … Read Full Post »

Lawn Pests You Can’t Afford to Keep

What’s in your grass? You DO want to know

Your lawn is your curb appeal. It’s the darling of your green thumb, the reminder of carefree childhood days, the sense memory of plush comfort under bare feet and a hangout for pests that bite, dehydrate, excavate, and destroy.

Which of these isn’t like the others? We just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.

What’s bugging your lawn? San Antonio hosts a handful of pests capable of turning your grassy idyll into a lawn care nightmare. Learn more about our usual suspects.

Chinch bugs

Even the name is annoying. These winged insects suck the life out of your grass by removing the juices from individual blades, and their handiwork initially resembles drought damage. Chinch bugs adore St. Augustine grass, but they’ll occasionally snack on Bermuda and other species.

Fire ants

Ouch! These hot tamales won’t eat your grass, but they’ll leave you with a bite that’ll … Read Full Post »

How to Keep Your Lawn Beautiful This Winter

Winterize your outdoor space to ensure a healthy lawn in the spring

Autumn has a way of becoming winter in the blink of an eye. Before your lawn gets overtaken by frost or disappears under an unexpected layer of snow, it needs special attention. Try these tips to get your grass ready for the cold.

Get Rid of the Leaves

The carpet of accumulated leaves covering your grass deprives it of light, which can result in an unhealthy, brown lawn come spring. Though it can be a tedious job, breaking out the rake and cleaning up allows the grass to breathe. Using the mower to turn debris into mulch is another option, but this won’t break up thatch the way raking can.

Feed Your Grass Right

Frost is the determining factor as to whether you should fertilize your lawn before winter. If you have warm-season grass and anticipate that it will freeze over during winter, … Read Full Post »

Can I Collect Rainwater in Bryan and College Station?

The legal ins and outs of a sustainable landscaping solution

There was a time when watering your lawn meant racking up high water bills and straining the water supplies of drought-prone cities like Bryan and College Station. Thanks to some recent legal and technological changes, however, this is no longer the case. Let’s take a look at how the legalities of rainwater collection have evolved and whether it’s time for you to invest in a rainwater retaining system for your property.

Is It Legal to Collect Rainwater in Texas?

It’s generally legal to set up a rainwater catchment system in Texas, including in the communities of Bryan and College Station. This is due to a relatively simple legal framework that forms the foundation of water rights within the state. Unlike many other jurisdictions, Texas limits the state’s control of water resources to natural surface waterways like rivers, streams and creeks. Until it enters … Read Full Post »

The Grass Is Always Green in Dallas

How targeted services can help keep your Dallas lawn beautiful

Like most homeowners, you want to keep your lawn in tip-top shape. A beautiful lawn makes a great impression on guests and adds to the visual appeal of your property. Unfortunately, keeping your yard in great shape isn’t always easy. It’s essential to take climate conditions in the local area into consideration when formulating a lawn care plan.

How Climate Impacts Your Lawn

Weather conditions in Dallas have a significant impact on your lawn’s health. While the area enjoys relatively temperate winters, very hot summers can be tough on your yard. Humid conditions can provide a haven for bugs that wreak havoc on grass, shrubs and trees. That’s why it’s important to choose a lawn care service specifically designed for local homeowners. When you take local conditions into consideration, you can develop an efficient and effective watering, weeding and mowing routine.

Essential … Read Full Post »

Brown Spot, Rust and Fairy Ring: Can Your Lawn Survive the Onslaught?

Finding patchy, unexplained grass death, weird rings or reddish-orange powder all over your San Antonio lawn can be disconcerting. Invasion by unusually small aliens or unscheduled irrigation courtesy of the Great Dane that lives next door might be among your first suspicions. Before you make tinfoil hats or plot revenge against your neighbors, you might want to consider these common fungal diseases as a potential cause.

Brown Patch: Is It Fungus or Fido?

Brown patch is commonly seen in Bermuda and St. Augustine grass. The visible symptoms of brown patch can vary by season and environmental factors. Circular or irregular patches of thin, light brown grass are typical. Lumps of dark brown, foul-smelling solids near the area may indicate that your problem is a mammal rather than a fungus. Treatment for brown patch includes conservative watering early in the day, good aeration and careful avoidance of over-fertilization. Fungicides are most effective as … Read Full Post »