ABC Blog

Add Some Color to San Antonio Landscaping

Cooler weather can make traditional landscaping plants die out or go dormant, and a lawn that normally looks vibrant with colorful plants can start to look dull and boring. Add some color to your landscaping with plants that prefer cooler weather to perk up your lawn this winter season.

Calendulas

Calendulas are beautiful yellow flowers that bloom during the winter to add warmth to a lawn. An added benefit of calendulas is that they attract any butterfly species that are active in San Antonio during the winter months.

Snapdragons

Snapdragons are available in a variety of sizes, and the rocket snapdragons that grow to be about three feet tall are ideal for landscaping purposes. Colors range from bright red to deep purple, so snapdragons are definitely able to add color to a lawn. Blooming occurs through December and again in March, so planting snapdragons in the fall or middle of the winter is best.

Pansies

Pansies … Read Full Post »

How to Prevent and Control Oak Wilt

One of the most recognizable features of the Texas landscape is the oak trees that decorate the state. Can you imagine the countryside without them? Ceratocystis fagacearum, a fungal disease known as oak wilt, is the perpetrator behind the dwindling oak population. These magnificent trees are being singled out by this fungal disease and rapidly reducing the oak population. Properly identifying oak wilt and utilizing successful oak wilt management techniques can help reduce tree loss.

So how do you identify oak wilt? Patterns of tree mortality such as defoliation during different seasons are one way to identify oak wilt. While exceptions have been documented, live oaks generally lose their leaves and die within six months of being infected. Red oaks display autumn-like coloration that sets them apart from surrounding foliage. They never survive the fungus, usually dying within three to four weeks after being infected.

The oaks leaves can paint a disturbing … Read Full Post »

The Healing Potential of Commercial Landscaping

Landscaping can be undoubtedly appealing to the eye. Well-designed and manicured scenery can provide sanctuary from the bustling city or busy institution. While the visual appeal is obvious, there are also psychological benefits to landscaping. Landscaping designed to help ease stress and calm the mind can consist of additions such as water features, privacy-enhancing structures, flowers and more.

Introducing a water fountain to your yard can help create a serene and relaxing environment. The sound of running water is calming and healthy for resting your mind and body. But if you want to take that next step, a koi pond might be what you are looking for. Some studies show that gazing at fish help to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

You may have moments when you want a little time to yourself, or perhaps a bit more privacy. Partitions or screens that give needed privacy are a visually appealing option. … Read Full Post »

A Quick Guide to Year-round Edible Gardening in San Antonio

There’s nothing quite like a fresh salad of homegrown, handpicked vegetables or a main dish sprinkled with fresh herbs just cut from the garden. One of the benefits of living in San Antonio is that there are edible plants that can be grown at any time of the year. Knowing what to grow and when to grow it is a matter of doing some research on gardening in the region.

San Antonio is considered to be in Hardiness Zone 8 according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The information listed below is based on the season during which the plant will be ready for harvesting.

Spring

  • Broccoli can be started in the winter and transplanted to the garden by February. The timing of the planting season for broccoli makes it the perfect vegetable to be enjoyed in the spring.
  • Cucumbers are sown in warm weather and harvested quickly. If you start as soon as frost … Read Full Post »

Beat the Heat and Cold with San Antonio Landscaping Choices

You may know of ways to use windows, drapery and insulation to boost heat in the winter and keep the home cool in the summer, but did you know that you can heat and cool the inside of your home with the help of outdoor landscaping?

Methods of Cooling with Landscaping

Placing trees and other plants in the right location around your home could help shield your home from the sun during summer months. Keeping out harsh rays while the weather is warm means that your home will stay cooler and your air conditioning bills could be lower.

Use tall trees that lose leaves during cooler months to shade windows during the summer. Although the majority of heat that enters a home can be attributed to the beating of the sun’s rays through uncovered windows, a significant amount of the heat that is absorbed by a home when the weather is warm enters … Read Full Post »

Pet-Safe Gardening Tips for Landscaping in San Antonio

For many years, cocoa mulch has been a popular choice for landscaping. Recently, pet owners across the nation have been warned against using this long-lasting mulch. Although most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, few people know about the dangers of cocoa mulch.

According to the ASPCA, cocoa bean shells, which are a by-product of chocolate processing, contain up to 3% theobromine and approximately .36 % caffeine. Both of these compounds can compromise the health of dogs. A number of pet owners have seen their family dogs become sick after eating large quantities of this enticing cocoa-scented mulch.

San Antonio lawn care service providers at ABC Home & Commercial routinely replace cocoa mulch with other alternatives, such as crushed stone, pine straw and cedar bark. These materials help prevent weeds, and they retain soil moisture without endangering pets. Pet owners may also consider installing protective fencing to prevent pets … Read Full Post »

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 »

Love Your Lawn…Without Chinch Bugs

It starts when you notice just a slight yellowing of your once lush lawn. At first you consider the recent lack of rain, but the yellowing continues to spread and turns your prized lawn into an eyesore. A healthy lawn that turns to an ugly yellow is one sign that a homeowner is dealing with a chinch bug infestation.

Chinch bugs are lawn pests that feed on healthy grass. The pests use a straw-like part of their mouths to drink the juice of a blade of grass while simultaneously injecting harmful chemicals into the plant. The result of a chinch bug infestation is a yellow, unhealthy lawn that is typically most damaged in areas that are exposed to sunlight.

Identifying whether there is a chinch bug infestation is a matter of investigating the grass near the soil. Chinch bugs tend to be more active on hot days in the summer and in … 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 »