ABC Blog

Aerating Versus Dethatching: What’s the Difference?

green lawn with trimmed landscape and white fence

Keeping your lawn looking its best isn’t always easy, but it can be rewarding. Periodic dethatching and aeration are beneficial treatments for keeping your lawn green, healthy and beautiful.

Dethatching removes built-up dead grass blades and organic matter that resides on the soil surface below the green, creating a barrier. This barrier inhibits water, nutrients and air from getting into the soil to reach the root zone. Dethatching slices this barrier and allows that debris to be removed.

Aerating, on the other hand, helps to break up compacted soil, removes built-up layers of organic matter and introduces pathways for air, water and nutrients to reach deeper into the root zone.

What Is Dethatching Grass?

Dethatching your lawn is a helpful step in keeping your lawn healthy and green throughout the year. Dethatching helps remove any built-up debris or organic matter on the surface that may prevent water, air and other nutrients from reaching the … Read Full Post »

Can You Use Compost as Soil?

a shovel in compost

Compost, often called “black gold,” adds rich nutrients to your soil that help your garden thrive. However, is it possible to use compost as soil and leave out the soil altogether?

While using compost as soil works in some rare instances, it is not recommended. This quick guide will explain why you shouldn’t use compost as soil and the important differences between compost and potting soil. It will also go over how to use compost correctly with your soil to benefit your garden the most.

Can You Use Compost as Soil? 

Compost is a nutrient-rich material that offers many benefits for your garden. However, should you use compost as soil? While compost and soil may seem interchangeable, they are two separate materials that should be used differently for the best results in your garden.

It is sometimes okay to use compost as soil, but those instances are rare. For example, you can use compost … Read Full Post »

Common Types of Weeds in Grass

weeds in grass

Are unruly weeds taking over your lawn and damaging your grass? They can also cause problems for your plants and become a major annoyance for gardeners.

There are thousands of species of weeds, but some are more common and invasive. Some weeds are simply eyesores, while others, such as poison ivy, can cause harm. The best way to keep them under control is to educate yourself on the most common types of weeds in grass.

Composting your weeds is a great way to get rid of them. Weeds can add valuable nutrients to your compost that will benefit your garden. However, spreading their seeds through your compost is possible, so you must ensure you completely kill off the weeds in the composting process.

Finally, there are types of purple weeds that are deceiving. They may look like beautiful blooms but can become difficult to control. The best way to get rid of weeds … Read Full Post »

How to Design a Sprinkler System

a sprinkler in a yard

When it comes to having the lawn of their dreams with lush flower beds and a perfectly manicured yard, many homeowners have to make a choice between spending their time maintaining their lawn or finding a way to automate a lot of the care.

With our hot summers, a sprinkler system seems like a perfect solution. Watering your yard can take hours every week, and missing even one day can damage your lawn on sweltering days. It can mean you take twice as long the next day to make up for the day you missed. Sometimes even that isn’t enough to save your plants.

Sprinklers are the obvious solution. Oscillating sprinklers that arc back and forth overhead are quiet but must be moved regularly. These sprinklers do a great job covering a rectangular patch evenly, but that’s all they do. They can’t be tuned for oddly shaped areas and don’t move from … Read Full Post »

Sprinkler Valve Leaking: Signs and What To Do

a home's yard

A reliable sprinkler system is a vital part of lawn care; luckily, sprinkler systems can work on autopilot when functioning correctly. However, sprinkler system leaks can throw a wrench in your dream of having a beautiful, lush lawn.

Sprinkler systems can leak from multiple places, including valves, underground equipment and heads.

Leaks in your sprinkler system can lead to property damage, such as soil erosion, fungal diseases, root rot and more. It can also cause unnecessary water waste and a spike in your water bill.

The best thing you can do when you notice a sprinkler system leak is to contact a licensed irrigation specialist. They can identify the leak, find the underlying cause and repair the system and any damage done.

Sprinkler Valve Leaking: Signs and What To Do

A leaking sprinkler valve can result in water waste, a more costly water bill and a damaged lawn. Luckily, there are several signs that homeowners can … Read Full Post »

Can I Mow and Fertilize on the Same Day?

Lawn mower on green grass

Proper lawn care is a vital part of owning a home. All homeowners want their lawns to look lush and green, and one way to do that is to fertilize them a few times a year properly.

Can I Mow and Fertilize on the Same Day?

Whether or not you should mow and fertilize your lawn on the same day depends on which activity you do first. Professionals typically advise mowing your lawn right before you fertilize it; however, you should not mow your lawn after you fertilize it on the same day.

Mowing your lawn the same day before fertilizing helps the soil absorb more nutrients from the fertilizer. Mowing removes debris that can get in the way and opens up the soil’s pores. Another benefit is that your grass will be at the ideal length right before fertilizing it, so you won’t have to mow it for at least a week.

The yard … Read Full Post »

How Much Fertilizer for My Lawn?

a handful of fertilizer

Knowing how to fertilize your lawn can seem difficult. While it’s easier than most homeowners think, it’s important to get the ratio of fertilizer correct. If you apply too much fertilizer, it will burn your grass and kill your roots. Then, you’ll have to start over from the beginning with grass seedlings. But applying too little fertilizer means your lawn will not get the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

The good news is that there’s an easy formula to determine exactly how much fertilizer you need on your lawn. Working with a lawn care specialist will ensure you never use too little or too much.

After you apply fertilizer, you should stay off your grass for a day or two to give the nutrients a chance to sink into the soil. Walking or running on the lawn too soon can damage the grass and disrupt the fertilization process.

How Much Fertilizer for … Read Full Post »

How To Fix Patchy Grass

a brown patch of grass

There’s nothing quite like warm weather. The smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of the sprinklers and enjoying time outside in your yard.

It can be disheartening when you see a patchy area or a couple of spots close to the house where the grass just isn’t green and healthy.

It may save you some time to know that simply watering bare or brown patches won’t help. If watering were the only problem, you wouldn’t see irregular patches. Instead, you would notice some pattern related to your sprinkler system. Barren and brown patches indicate something else is happening in your lawn.

Fixing bare patches in your lawn can be simple once you’ve figured out the root cause of why the patches are present.

What Causes Patches of Dead Grass?

There are many reasons why you may have patches of dead grass and some are easier to fix than others. Here are the reasons why … Read Full Post »

Identifying Zoysia Grass Versus Bermuda Grass

zoysia grass

Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass may seem similar in appearance but have different characteristics and needs. They are popular options for warm climates such as Texas and Florida, as they thrive in the heat.

Zoysia Grass Appearance, Care and Maintenance

Zoysia grass, pictured above, is a vibrant green grass that is relatively low maintenance. Since it thrives in warm weather, it can handle drought-like conditions and maintain its bright color. It can also survive bouts of cold weather and has a higher shade tolerance than Bermuda grass. However, zoysia grass takes longer to recover from damage than Bermuda grass.

Another benefit of zoysia grass is that it is an invasive species that can overtake weeds, especially when planted as sod. Homeowners can save time on weed pulling with zoysia grass. It only requires a little water or mowing.

A key difference between zoysia grass and Bermuda grass is blade width. Zoysia grass can range … Read Full Post »

Low Maintenance Side Yard Ideas

a low maintenance side yard

Are you stumped on how to utilize your side yard? You aren’t alone. Most homeowners don’t know what to do with this space, and they often go unused and overlooked. However, there are several beautiful and functional ways to incorporate your side yard into the rest of your property.

Whether your side yard is big or small, it provides opportunities to get creative and set up the outdoor space you’ve always wanted. For example, you can beautify the side yard with a vertical garden or create a functional pathway with paver landscaping.

Low Maintenance Side Yard Ideas

Homeowners spend a lot of time and money perfecting their front yard and turning it into a beautiful entrance to their home. The backyard also becomes a hub for family activity and gets a lot of love. However, side yards often go overlooked.

Most homeowners don’t know how to utilize their side yard since it is often … Read Full Post »