ABC Blog

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 »

Insects in the Garden: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Guest Post By Woodrow D. Weasel on his blog Ground Breaking Tips

LINK TO SHARE:  http://goo.gl/RbxOX

Gardens are amazing tiny worlds. Just like in our macro-size earth, maintaining a delicate balance is essential to a healthy micro-ecosystem. This is even true of the bugs!

The important thing is – get educated. Know your bugs. Don’t assume they are all bad. There are many beneficial insects that play an important role in the health of your garden. It’s also advantageous to understand their purpose so you can find natural ways to deal with them. Chemical remedies can be a last resort.

Generally speaking, if a bug is bad, it has a predator that is good and can work with you to get rid of it. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and being able to identify which bugs are good, which ones are bad and which ones are just plain ugly. Then you will … Read Full Post »

Houston Landscape Design

Preparing the plans for an Houston landscape design of your yard can be daunting, but starting with the basics can take away from of the pressure. The most basic question might be, “What will I plant?” The best choices for North Texas landscaping are the obvious ones: the ones that can handle this Texas heat! So, what are the top 5 Landscape Plants for North Central Texas?

 

The top 5 perennial Landscape Plants for Central Texas

Salvia (Salvia greggii)
Salvia is native to the Trans Pecos of Texas, favoring the limestone outcrops and canyon lands of the area. Salvia comes in a wide variety of colors from white, to pinks and reds. It is a small, shrubby plant with fragrant leaves. The flowers bloom all summer long and into the fall. It prefers full sun. With too much shade it will become leggy. Cut it back to the main stem in January or February, to … Read Full Post »

Dallas Lawn and Garden Pest Control

Some might say that Dallas is a city that never sleeps, but neither do the pests that live there. Though it may seem that winter brings a welcomed break from pests that seem to thrive during the hotter parts of the year, winter has its fair share of pests as well. The kinds of pests you encounter will vary throughout the year. This guide will help you know what to expect, no matter what season.  We hope this will give your Dallas lawn and garden pest control activities a boost.

 

SPRING / SUMMER

  • Summer is also a very active time of year for insects. Depending on the humidity and temperature, termites continue to swarm well into the summer months. Ants will also continue to swarm well into July.
  • Cockroaches are seen more frequently indoors during summer because they are searching out more favorable conditions such as moisture and lower temperatures.
  • Isopods (pillbugs) continue to … Read Full Post »

7 Ways Dallas Commercial Landscaping can help your Business

Commercial Landscaping

Your company’s commercial landscaping is the first impression customers receive when they visit your company. As you may already know, a well-designed landscape can enhance your Dallas facility by creating a desirable place for your customers and employees to conduct business. However, well-designed landscaping provides more than just aesthetic value.Here are 7 ways Dallas commercial landscaping can be beneficial to your business and community:

  • Plants increase tourism revenues
    Interior landscaping at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, is credited for an unusually high (85 percent) occupancy rate. Guests willingly pay an extra $30 per night for rooms overlooking the jungle-like display, netting $7 million a year in additional room revenues. The city of Virginia Beach attributes, in part, their $52 million in convention revenue for 1994 to the landscaping efforts of recent years.
  • Views of plants increase job satisfaction
    Employees with an outside view of plants experience less job pressure and greater job satisfaction … Read Full Post »