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Tips & Treats

Referral Refund Programs

Landscape/Hardscape Project Referral Refund

Receive a $50.00 credit towards your account for every new $5,000.00-$9,999.99 landscape/hardscape project referral you send to us. You will receive a credit at the completion and payment of the referral’s project. Please have your referral mention your name when calling to schedule an estimate/consultation.

Receive a $100.00 credit towards your account for every new $10,000.00-$49,999.99 landscape/hardscape project referral you send to us.  You will receive a credit at the completion and payment of the referral’s project. Please have your referral mention your name when calling to schedule an estimate/consultation.

Receive a $500 credit towards your account for every new $50,000.00-up landscape/hardscape project referral you send to us.  You will receive a credit at the completion and payment of the referral’s project. Please have your referral mention your name when calling to schedule an estimate/consultation.

Seasonal & Drought Proofing Tips

Seasonal Tips

The following is a list of seasonal service recommendations to keep your lawn and landscape healthy and beautiful all year long!

Spring

Spring Clean Up: Now is the time to remove all leaves, sticks and other debris. Heavy accumulation of lawn debris will smother the lawn and create bare areas.

Fertilize: In the spring, your lawn will need a fertilizer to stimulate an early green up.

Pre-Emergent: This application is a weed preventer and is applied prior to germination. This special application will not only give your lawn the food it needs, but will help to prevent certain weeds from growing throughout the spring and summer months.

Bed Maintenance & Seasonal Color: Now is the time for the removal and disposal of existing weeds and dead plant material from your landscape beds. Then you’ll be ready to brighten up your property by installing colorful flowers into your landscape beds.

Mulch Beds: Re-mulching landscape beds around your home not only spruces them up and highlights your seasonal color, but it also helps keep the soil moist to the roots of the plants and discourages the growth of weeds.

Lawn Scalping & Mowing: Scalping your lawn in February will remove the thatch and un-decomposed debris that accumulated during the previous year.  Scalping allows necessary sunlight to reach the new growth, which promotes the health and future growth of the turf. Afterwards, it’s time to start your regularly scheduled weekly/bi-weekly mowing.

Summer

Proper Watering: Water in the morning, and try to avoid late afternoon or night watering. This will allow ample time for the grass and plants to dry throughout the day and prevents fungus or other bacteria from growing in moist areas overnight. A lawn needs about 1 inch of water per week.

Core Aerating: During the summer, soil tends to become compacted, which can be decreased by aerating. Aerating your lawn allows water to seep down to the grass roots and brings air back into the sub-soil. Sub-surface air and water are necessary for turf to grow.

Fertilize: It is necessary to fertilize in summer to continue the health regimen of your lawn. This will help thicken the grass and promote an overall greener lawn.

Grub Worm Prevention Application: Early- to mid- July is the best time to apply grub worm prevention so that your lawn doesn’t suffer from an infestation of these pests.

Lawn Mowing: Avoid cutting your lawn too short during the summer. Optimal length of your grass should be 3 inches. This helps shade out weeds, keeps the roots cooler, and encourages deeper root growth. Cutting too much off the top leads to thinned out grass and shallow root systems.

Fall

Pre-Emergent Application: This specially formulated winterizing fertilizer is higher in nitrogen and contains a weed preventer. This application will make the grass more winter hardy, help prevent weeds, and green up the lawn earlier next spring.

Fertilize: It is necessary to fertilize in the fall to continue the health regimen of your lawn. This will help thicken the grass and promote an overall greener lawn.

Lawn Renovation: Fall is the time to over-seed your lawn with a fescue or rye application, provided that there are no city watering restrictions.

Plant: This is a great season for planting trees and shrubs. These new plants will have plenty of time to settle in and allow their root structures to become stronger before winter dormancy. Make sure they have plenty of mulch and water on a regular basis until they become established.

Bed Maintenance & Seasonal Color: This is the perfect time to remove all of the remaining spring color from your landscape, clean out the beds, and install new fall (flowers) color.

Mulch: Don’t forget to check your mulch density for the recommended 2-4 inches, and add more if necessary. Again, adding fresh mulch will help your seasonal color pop and retain much needed moisture for your plants.

Winter

Remove Weeds, Leaves & Debris: Always remove all debris and leaves from your lawn and landscaped beds. This is important for winter lawn care so that the debris does not breakdown or decompose on your lawn and cause possible fungus or other lawn disease problems. Even though there may be fewer weeds in the winter, still make sure they are removed so they do not choke out your slower growing lawn.

Tree Trimming: This is the optimal time for tree trimming.

Trimming of Ornamental Grasses: To give these plants a better start in the spring, we recommend trimming them back during their dormancy.

Drought Proofing your Texas Lawn & Landscape

Mow at Higher Setting: Adjust the height setting on your mower up one or two notches. Taller grass will create shade which will reduce evaporation of water from the soil and protect the roots from excessive heat.

Aerate Lawn Area: Clay soil becomes compacted over time from activities, rain and irrigation. To increase the soil’s ability to absorb water, aerate the lawn area in the spring and apply about 1/4 inch of compost. Do not however, aerate your lawn during a drought it will cause undue stress to the root zone. See “Turf Aeration” section for more information regarding aerating your lawn & landscape.

Do Not Fertilize: Plant growth naturally slows down and/or plants go dormant during a lengthy drought. Do not encourage new growth by fertilizing.

Mulch All Planted Areas: Mulch is like icing on a cake because mulch keeps the soil moist the same way icing keeps a cake moist. Mulch slows evaporation of water from soil, allowing water to infiltrate the soil efficiently, moderates the soil temperature, and breaks down into nutrients for the plants.  Maintain a 2 to 4 inch mulch layer in all planted beds and containers.  See the “Mulch Installation”  section for more information regarding the benefits of mulch.

Plant Drought Tolerant Plants: Utilizing native and adaptive drought tolerant plants reduces the amount of landscape water needed. However changes should not be made to your landscape during a drought. Wait until drought conditions and watering restrictions have lifted before making any changes. The best time to plant is during the early spring, fall or winter.  See the “Xeriscaping” section for more information on planting drought tolerant plants.

Plant Trees: Shade trees cool the landscape, thereby lowering the evapotranspiration rate. Evapotranspiration is the loss of water from the soil due to evaporation and from plants due to transpiration. Plant trees on the western side of your landscape to receive the most benefit from shading (this will also save electricity). Select trees that are recommended for your area. See “Flower, Shrub & Tree Installation” section for more information regarding planting trees.

Watering Time: Be sure to water your lawn and landscape before 10:00a.m. and after 6:00p.m. for best effectiveness. However, it is not recommended to water at night due to potential fungus growth.

Efficient Irrigation is Essential: If your irrigation system is not working properly, no matter how much you water, the landscape suffers and water is wasted. Check for pipe and valve leaks (indicated by greener and/or faster growing areas), breaks, clogged heads, sprinkler heads not working, misaligned heads, misting versus spraying due to too much pressure, water spraying onto hard surfaces and runoff into the street. See the “Irrigation Installation & Repair”  section for more information regarding sprinkler systems.

Judge Irrigation Requirements in the Morning: High afternoon summer temperatures cause plants to wilt, be off color, drop leaves and/or shrink, even if there is significant moisture in the soil. Once the sun sets, the lawn and plants look normal; if in the morning the lawn and plants look like water is required, irrigation is justified. If in doubt, use a long screw driver to test for moisture in the soil. Push the screw driver into the soil (like a toothpick into a cake) to see how much moisture is in the soil. The screwdriver will push easily into moist soil and will not push easily into dry soil.

Catch Can Test: A catch can test is used to determine how long to run an irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler and how well the water is distributed over the landscape. The root zone (where water and nutrient absorbing roots grow) is typically 6 inches deep in clay soil and 8 to 10 inches in sandy soil. Usually 1 inch of water will fill this root zone, but in many cases, irrigation systems apply water faster than the ground can absorb. During a summer drought with high temperatures, the water requirement may be higher. Each type of sprinkler (spray, rotors, multi-stream rotor, drip) applies water at different rates, therefore the catch can test is essential to determine the run time and efficiency of the system. To determine the runtime of your irrigation system:

  1. Place 5 to 9 catch cans (tuna or cat food cans work great) in each irrigation      zone or station.
  2. Run each zone for 3 minutes to determine how much water is applied in each zone by measuring the amount of water in each catch can.
  3. To determine run time (time each station should run), use this example: if        there is 1/4 inch of water in each catch can after running for 3 minutes, to     apply 1 inch of water set run time for 12 minutes (This is just an example,       your measurements could vary greatly). Some irrigation systems apply        water faster than the ground will absorb 1 inch of water. To avoid water          running off the landscape into the street, you may need to run these   stations several short times instead of one long time. With this example, set       the controller to run 6 minutes 2 times. See ‘Soak and Cycle’ and ‘Aerate       Lawn Area’ for more ideas.
  4. If the water levels in the catch cans are equal or near equal, your irrigation system is working efficiently (distributing water evenly). If the water level in each catch can vary greatly, it may be time to contact an irrigation system professional like us to diagnose the variances and to improve distribution of water.
  5. Test each zone. Water application and distribution can vary by zone.

Soak and Cycle of Irrigation Method: Some irrigation systems apply water faster than the ground will absorb 1 inch of water. This is especially true in lawn areas. Mulched areas absorb water more efficiently. To avoid water running off the landscape into the street, you may need to run these stations several short times instead of one long time. Use soak and cycle method by:

  1. Determine how long to run each zone. (see ‘Catch Can Test’)
  2. Water these areas in 2 or 3 short cycles or 4 cycles if on a slope instead of 1 long cycle.
  3. Wait 20 to 30 minutes between cycles.

Most irrigation controllers have a way to set different start times. If you have trouble programming your controller, contact us.

Change Nozzles: Change sprinkler head spray nozzles to water conserving multi-stream nozzles which apply water in heavier droplets, so less water is lost due to displacement by wind and evaporation.

Replace Controller: Replace an older irrigation controller with new models with water conserving settings (soak and cycle; seasonal adjustment) or with a smart controller which use evapotranspiration or moisture sensors to determine run time.

Install a Rain and Freeze Sensor: This sensor prevents an automatic system from applying water while raining or during freezing conditions to avoid loss of water and prevent hazardous ice conditions.

Drip Irrigation: Install drip irrigation (many existing irrigation systems can be converted to drip irrigation). Drip irrigation is 90% efficient compared to spray irrigation which is about 65% efficient if designed, installed and maintained properly. There is now sub-surface drip tubing available for lawn areas.  In some cases drip irrigation is exempt from drought restrictions.