Outdoor Home Living, Landscape Contractors, Mesquite, TX
Blog

Outdoor Home Living Blog - Landscaping Tips

Outdoor Home Living Blog

5 Decluttering Tips for Making Your Yard More Serene

March 19th, 2017

While the inside of your home may be neat and organized, the outside may be another matter entirely. It’s easy to let those tools pile up, let the garden overgrow, and let stuff (think bikes, sports equipment and the like) stay scattered throughout the yard. It’s time to declutter your yard and bring a serenity it may not have seen in years. It’s more than just picking up stray items; it’s about organization and balance in your landscape design. Here are five tips:

1. Make a commitment:

Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Commit a day or weekend to your tidying project. Your modus operandi may be to tackle a little bit each day, but that’s actually counter-productive. Getting it all done in one or two sessions is more conducive to successfully finishing. By doing small tasks every day over several days or weeks, you run the risk of failing to finish because you run out of steam. Start with the deck, then move to the garden then to the shed and so on. Bring trash bags and tools with you as you move from task to task.

2. Think about your ideal yard: More than that…think about your ideal yard as it fits in with your REAL life. What’s your outdoor lifestyle? Do you love to garden, or are you the neighborhood BBQ king? Do you enjoy watching the sunset from your back patio? Come up with realistic goals and follow through. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Could be as simple as making room in the garage for your car (finally!). Work with your lifestyle to avoid overshooting and setting yourself up for failure later.

3. Space over category: Tackle your decluttering project in a logical, reasonable order. Think about your pain points and solve those first. You may hate how hard it is to get your bike down from the wall rack when you want to take a ride, or maybe you get frustrated with the fact that you can never seem to find that perfect small screwdriver or hammer that you always need. Or maybe the way your patio furniture is currently set up blocks the natural flow of traffic. Whatever the case, create the space you want rather than make piles of the things you don’t. And always remember: go easy on the yard décor. It shouldn’t take over a lawn, but it should add to it, says Home Advisor.

4. Find the wow factor: You know the one…when you finally look at the space you’ve created and you realize it all comes together. What joy does your space bring you? Have you achieved it, and if so, how can you apply that approach to other areas of the yard? Maybe this means you finally cleaned up the weeds around the pergola, gave it a fresh coat of paint, added some flowers, and put a cute little sitting bench nearby. Maybe you cleaned up the shed so that it finally created that open concept you’ve been going for — so you can actually get some work done in there!

5. Know your limits: Whether it’s space or your budget that’s keeping things on the small side, remember that you’re not necessarily looking to create the perfect space in the ideal yard in your dream neighborhood. It’s important to be grateful for what you already have and enhance it with things that fit your life. The goal isn’t to cram all the arbors, firepits and water features you can find into one space. Rather, it should be to pick and choose which elements bring you happiness and convenience, and use them to your advantage.

Contact Outdoor Home Living

Here at Outdoor Home Living, we love helping Dallas homeowners realize a serene outdoor space that truly works for them. Contact us at 214-328-5296 for more inspirational advice.

Benefits of Having a Well-Maintained, Landscaped Property

February 1st, 2017

Everyone wants to have a nice, manicured lawn and beautiful landscape so they can stand out in the neighborhood. Sure, it looks aesthetically pleasing, but what other benefits does it have? From increased curb appeal to prevention of water run-off, check out these many benefits of a well-maintained, landscaped yard. And by well-maintained, we mean free of weeds, with lawn that’s been clipped to the proper height and that’s received all the right nutrients. We also mean non-green elements of your landscape, as well, such as neat walkways, attractive arbors and proper lighting.

Water Run-Off Prevention

When you have a nice, thick carpet of turf, rain water is absorbed quickly. That water feeds your lawn and brings it the nutrients it needs to sustain life. The best kind is properly seeded dense turf grass, which leaves no room for weeds to grow. This type of lush grass will hold in all the moisture and retain it best without wasting nutrients.
Image result for beautiful landscape front

Cleaner Atmosphere

A healthy lawn traps all that dust and dirt that fills the atmosphere, which incidentally contains a lot of toxins that are bad for our health, specifically hydrogen fluoride, peroxylacetyl nitrate and sulphur dioxide. Not only are they bad for our health, they deplete the ozone layer.

Healthy Family

A healthy lawn equals a healthy family. When your yard is inviting, safe and comfortable to play and entertain in, you will find yourselves outdoors more. Having plenty of open space encourages kids to get out and play, reducing their risk for obesity and increasing their heart health. Getting exercise every single day can reduce the chance for circulatory diseases as well as weight gain. Breathing outdoor air gives us a mood boost and keeps us healthier overall.

Increased Curb Appeal

About 71% of home buyers say curb appeal is a major factor when choosing a new house. Even if you don’t plan on selling soon or at all, curb appeal is something you have to consider in order to maintain a respectful presence in your neighborhood. Don’t forget: how your property looks will affect how well your neighbors’ properties look. You don’t want to be the one to bring down the entire neighborhood, do you? Landscaping happens to be a big part of curb appeal, along with permanent fixtures such as arbors, walkways, gardens, landscape lighting, fences, water features and pergolas.

Image result for beautiful landscape front

Higher Property Value

While landscaping adds a certain aesthetic appeal to your home that can’t be denied, hardscaping (those permanent elements mentioned above, such as paved patios, pavilions and fire pits) can actually add value to your property. It’s true: adding an outdoor living space provides you with a tangible asset on your property, thereby increasing its value. Upgraded landscaping can boost the value of your property by up to 15%! Of course, you have to make the initial investment. For that, turn to Outdoor Home Living.

g an outdoor living space complete with a paved patio, fire pit, pergola, pavilion or gazebo gives you a tangible asset on your property and increases the value of that property. – See more at: http://hitchingpostsfl.com/hardscape-landscape-increase-homes-value/#sthash.tq2Fqxpz.dpuf

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas TX

Looking to upgrade your landscape? We have the experienced professionals who can help you achieve the yard of your dreams. Contact us at 214- 328-5296 or fill out our convenient online form for more information.

well-maintained landscape, back or front yard adds an aesthetic value to your home that can be difficult to put a dollar value on.

Adding an outdoor living space complete with a paved patio, fire pit, pergola, pavilion or gazebo gives you a tangible asset on your property and increases the value of that property.

– See more at: http://hitchingpostsfl.com/hardscape-landscape-increase-homes-value/#sthash.tq2Fqxpz.dpuf

well-maintained landscape, back or front yard adds an aesthetic value to your home that can be difficult to put a dollar value on.

Adding an outdoor living space complete with a paved patio, fire pit, pergola, pavilion or gazebo gives you a tangible asset on your property and increases the value of that property.

– See more at: http://hitchingpostsfl.com/hardscape-landscape-increase-homes-value/#sthash.tq2Fqxpz.dpuf

Decorating Your Yard For Fall

October 27th, 2016

Autumn is a beautiful time spent outdoors. The weather is cooler, signaling the end of summer. The blooms are fading, replaced by hay bales, scare crows, pumpkins and mums. Think bright yellows, oranges, and reds to complement the symbols of the season, from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Get creative with some of these proven ideas that are sure to make your home stand out in seasonal brilliance.

Create a Focal Point

For some homes, this is the front porch; for others, it’s a walkway or garden out front. Whatever your focal point is, make it stand out in fall colors. Got an old wagon, wheelbarrow or bushel basket sitting around in the shed? Haul it out, stock it with different colored mums and Indian corn, with various sizes of pumpkins and gourds arranged in front as seen here in DIY Network. Stagger the height of your display with hay bales. Add a touch of color to orange pumpkins by painting them and adding gauzy bows to the tops. You don’t need a colorful display to make a statement, though. Stick to one color, such as white, to get an unexpected reaction. Add pine cones, cinnamon sticks and acorns around them and you have a versatile display that will make its way into winter.

A pumpkin planter is another alternative, taking its rightful place at the top stair of your front porch. Try this terrarium comprised of a bell jar and a shallow terra-cotta bulb dish that creates a fall-inspired terrarium highlighting your favorite natural elements like miniature pumpkins, pine cones, Spanish moss and leaves.  

decorate for fall

Backyard Getaway

If you love to spend time in your backyard in fall, deck out your patio in warm autumn colors and decor. Pepper it with seasonal flowers that fit your color scheme, matching your patio furniture and throw pillows for a cohesive look. Add a permanent fixture that will last through all seasons, such as a pergola, that gives shade yet offers a beautiful accent to any backyard. Dark wicker furniture with rusty orange padding works great for the fall season. What about a string of outdoor lights in fall colors to accent your porch? Those little twinkling lights aren’t just for winter! They can illuminate your backyard space and give it a touch of whimsy at the same time.

Outdoor Living

 

Add a Custom Firepit

There’s no better way to spend a crisp evening in the backyard than sitting around a crackling fire pit bundled up in sweatshirts and telling stories. Incorporating a custom stonework fire pit surrounded by cozy chairs can help you boost the character and atmosphere of your outdoor living space. But why stop there? Pair it with a full outdoor kitchen so you can entertain and cook for friends and family without missing out on the conversation. The designers at Outdoor Home Living can help you create a design plan that works with your yard, existing outdoor living space, budget and lifestyle.

New Fire Pit Installed in Dallas

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Based in Mesquite Texas, Outdoor Home Living offers a wide variety of landscaping, landscape design and lawn care services in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to bring your home to the next level. Please contact us at 214-328-5296 for more fall decorating ideas and estimates on our services, or fill out our online contact form today.

Flipping Houses? Don’t Forget the Outside!

October 17th, 2016

We’ve all seen the home improvement shows on TV…you know, the ones where they buy a run-down home for cheap and completely renovate to sell for a profit. Well, if you do this in real life, or if you’re thinking of doing this for a living, you know the exterior is just as important as the interior when flipping houses.

Curb Appeal Starts with the Outside

Studies show that curb appeal is most benefited by certain outdoor features, such as a fresh coat of paint on the front door, a new garage (which can take up to 40% of the front of the home), and a refreshing landscape that doesn’t just include mowing of the lawn but the addition of unique water features, flowers and mulching.

Check out the following tips to spruce up the exterior of any home you flip in order to attract buyers and entice them to go inside.

Warm up the Welcome

Better Homes and Gardens suggests painting the exterior of the home a warm white with khaki shutters just a few shades darker flanked by blue slate steps and stacked stone risers. This carves a clear path to the entry way, inviting guests to your door with a portico that continues to define the entry and offer a transitional space. Of course, what you do with the space depends on the style of the home. To breathe life into a Gothic Revival-style home without sacrificing its historical significance, for example, paint it a subtle gray-blue offset by cream-color trim highlighted by quaint benches and planters to welcome guests.

lawn-landscape-maintenance-tampa1

Liven up the Landscape

Colorful flowers are a great way to achieve classic curb appeal. Line your manicured lawn with a white picket fence reminiscent of yesteryear, covered with roses or vines for a classy look that adds a pop of color to a lush green background. If your entryway isn’t clearly defined, make it stand out with a simple stone or brick path to add charm, suggests DIY Network. Take that charm a step further and add some texture by incorporating various plants, bushes and small trees for variation. Strategically placed landscape lighting will ensure safety come night fall plus illuminate your home and any paths leading to it.

Incorporate Customer Features

For the most impact, it’s wise to have something unique in your landscape, something that stands out above all else, something that no one else has. Custom pools and water features can really transform the look and feel of a home and fetch a higher price. Some features that certainly fit the bill:

  • Custom Water Features
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Putting Greens
  • Landscaping
  • Fire Pits
  • Swim Up Bars
  • Lighting Effects

The goal of water features in particular is to pull the whole backyard landscape together with unique finishing touches, such as:

  • Water Features such as fountains, waterfalls and jets
  • Pool Finishes
  • Hot tubs
  • Decking and Coping
  • Lighting
  • Spillways
  • Water troughs
  • Bubblers
  • Bird baths
  • Garden streams
  • Add-ons such as slides and diving boardsoutdoor-pool

The purpose of flipping houses is to make money, but the only way you can make even more money is to spend money!

Contact Outdoor Home Living

Contact us if the above ideas sound good to you. Outdoor Home Living is based in Mesquite, TX, designs, installs and maintains one-of-a-kind outdoor living spaces with specialty landscape design and installation services backed by a team of skilled architects, stonemasons, craftsmen and gardeners.

Combining Creativity and Nature for Stunning Landscape Design

June 29th, 2016

Combining Creativity and Nature for Stunning Landscape Design

From manicured hedges in intricate patterns to pops of colors, enhancing the overall appeal of your home is made easy with visually pleasing designs. If you’ve been thinking of bringing color and life to your front yard, it’s time to ditch the ho-hum and go big! Landscape design is a combination of creativity and nature, so it stands to reason that blending them in one seamless design is a great way to spruce up your curb appeal. Let’s take a look underneath it all and see what goes into great landscape design.

Large Garden

Considerations

Before even putting pencil to paper to form your ideas, it’s important to go over the basics. The shape or structure of a plant or object is its form, and which form you use will depend on the landscape design theme, says the Landscaping Network. If you’re looking to go with a formal garden, your forms should be tailored, featuring clipped hedges and sculptured topiaries. If it’s an informal garden you’re after, you can go with more of a natural, flowing form.

Scale

Next up, consider the scale of your plan. This basically refers to the size relationship between elements within the garden and the yard around it. Making appropriate size choices that are in perspective with the setting will give you a good scale from which to start. When considering which plants and structures to incorporate, take into account the size of the yard as well as the size of the home. You don’t want a large gazebo in a tiny yard, which will overwhelm the space, or a small trellis in a huge yard which will quickly get lost.

Texture

Texture is also important. Texture is a big part of plants, to be sure, but it’s also a big part of hardscape materials. When you think of texture, you think of how smooth, rough or coarse something is, which is why you should take into consideration the texture of your plants, from branches to leaves to bark, when designing your landscape. A variety of textures provides a variety of visual elements that can really pull the whole look together.

Color

Don’t forget that pop of color! Bright reds, yellows, oranges and greens create dimension and interest. When used in conjunction with paving, walls or fences, you can use colors to craft harmony or contrast, depending on the look you’re going for. Color is perfect within a landscape to draw the eye to important features like sculptures or fountains, complement your home, and even attract wildlife such as deer and birds.

Natural Flow

Shrubbery and plants are two important elements of incorporating natural flow in your designs, as they not only hide imperfections, but also add a green and flowery element. Take great care in planning your trees, shrubs and ground covers, planting them in stages and selecting materials that work in harmony with the rest of the landscape. Use mulch and ground cover to define your boundaries, making them undulate or achieve crisp lines: your choice. Water features are another way you can embrace nature within your landscape designs. If you have a small lake or pond on your property, use cobblestone pavers to create an irregular-shaped patio, with a rustic stone pathway that meanders to the water feature.

Traditional Patio

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas, TX

For more ideas of inspiration when it comes to blending nature and landscape design, contact us at 214-328-5296.

Importance of Fertilizer Ratio for Growing Lush Green Lawns

June 24th, 2016

For many homeowners, an important component of building a beautiful outdoor living area is to have a lush, green lawn. Not only do lawns add aesthetic appeal to homes, they also provide a number of other benefits, including soil stability, air cooling, and noise pollution reduction. For homeowners who are new to lawn care and maintenance, it’s important to note that it takes a fair amount of planning and effort to reach such a point. One area of lawn care that many tend to overlook is the nutritional balance in the soil. Like any other plant, grass needs a number of different nutrients to thrive and grow. The next time you pick up some lawn fertilizer, one of the immediate things you will notice on the packaging label is the percentage of nutrients the fertilizer contains. Typically, the focus is on the following nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each of these nutrients plays an important role in the development of lawns and, when combined, they are referred to as the N-P-K ratio. In the below infographic, you can learn more about the role each nutrient plays and some basic rules to follow on the application of different types of lawn fertilizer.

NPK Ratio Lawn Fertilizer Infographic

Role of N-P-K

Each nutrient plays a specific role during the lawn development process. The first nutrient in the ratio is nitrogen (N). One of the primary roles of nitrogen is to stimulate shoot growth. At the same time, nitrogen plays a part in the production of chlorophyll, which is needed for photosynthesis to take place. Phosphorus, on the other hand, is focused more on the downward growth. Phosphorus is there to aid the development of roots and the application of this particular nutrient is most effective before the grass seeds are planted. Last but not least, the role of potassium is to help the turf grass build resistance and prevent the grass shoots from becoming stunted and yellowed. As you can see, each of these nutrients plays an important role so it is important to know the right amount of nutrients to apply for specific stages of the lawn cycle.

Basic Rules

Prior to applying any lawn fertilizer into the soil, the first thing you should do is to conduct a soil test. Generally, it is best to consult with a lawn care professional but you can also conduct this test using a DIY kit. The results should give you a general idea of whether the existing soil is lacking any of the important nutrients of the NPK ratio. Once you have the results, consider the following rules.

If you are establishing a new lawn from the very start then the emphasis should be on root development and resistance. Therefore, it would make the most sense to apply fertilizer that contains a higher amount of phosphorus and potassium. If your lawn is already established then consider applying fertilizer that contains a higher volume of nitrogen and potassium, and less of phosphorus.

Having basic knowledge of the NPK ratio goes beyond lawn development. When you plan and build your outdoor living area, the application of different fertilizers may also apply to other plants you anticipate on growing in the backyard or patio. If you have any questions then feel free to reach out to us for more information on lawn maintenance and related services.

Make Your Backyard Party Central This Summer

May 31st, 2016

If you’re an entertainer — especially when the weather warms up and the pool is open — you want your backyard to be party-ready. After all, summer just wouldn’t be complete without dips in the pool, campfires, grilled burgers and dogs, and music. If your backyard is just ho-hum, it’s time to spruce it up and get serious about summer entertaining.

Go Big or Go Home

If you realize your sad little picnic table and grill just won’t cut it anymore, get innovative through some customized features. You can spend as little or as much as you want on your backyard paradise; it all depends on your budget and entertainment needs. You can always add on features each year until you have a complete backyard oasis. Got a big family or love to entertain the neighbors in the beautiful weather? Kick it up a notch with an outdoor living space that defines what you’re all about and what you want to accomplish. You don’t have to go it alone. Here at Outdoor Home Living, our consultants can help you come up with a design that works for you.

Backyards have come a long way from simple decks and patio areas: today’s outdoor living spaces are almost like you brought the inside of your home outside. If you’re the grill master of your family, you’ll want a full kitchen complete with grill, sink, prep areas and seating areas. The trend is moving away from simple concepts and toward open concepts yet with defining spaces of walls, ceiling, roofs, gazebos, and pergolas, says HGTV. With the addition of a custom pool, gazebos, arbors, and full kitchens, you can finally achieve the outdoor living space of your dreams. Here are a few features inherent in a beautiful backyard oasis.

Outdoor Living Addition
Photo by Lindross RemodelingLook for contemporary patio design inspiration

 

Everybody in the Pool!

The hot months of summer leave many craving a dip in the pool to cool off. Throwing the ultimate party that everyone wants to attend starts with a pool — a custom pool if you can swing it. Want to really impress your guests? A swim-up bar just like you would find at a Caribbean resort is the perfect accompaniment to outdoor living. Don’t stop there. Water features are all the rage. Just imagine laying on a raft in the pool while listening to the gentle sounds of a waterfall. Landscaping around the pool can include something unique like decorative stamped concrete with texture to avoid slippage. Landscape lighting and surround system with piped-in music will set the stage for any party.

Dallas Vanishing Edge Project
Photo by Falling Water Custom Pools, Inc.Search tropical pool design ideas

 

Relaxation

If you and your golfing buddies still want to play some golf but don’t want to head all the way to the local golf course, add your very own putting green to your backyard. For relaxing after dinner, a custom stone work fire pit surrounded by versatile outdoor furniture with comfortable padding is the ideal way to gather at the end of the day. Your semi-enclosed patio area may feature a man cave of sorts, with flat screen TV on the exterior wall, electric lights and stereo system.

Best Landscape
Photo by Samscaping Landscape Design and BuildDiscover contemporary landscape design inspiration

 

Give Outdoor Home Living in Dallas a Call

Want to bring all those ideas to fruition this summer? There’s still time to call and schedule a design consultation. Contact us at 214-328-5296 or fill out our contact form for more info. Happy partying!

Landscape Design Ideas for 2016

April 19th, 2016

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your landscape design ideas for the upcoming season. You likely have a lot of ideas in your head but you need to start formalizing those plans on paper and hire a professional like Outdoor Home Living to make those ideas some to fruition. No matter what kind of budget you’re working with, you can get creative in your landscaping style. Here are some landscape design ideas for 2016 that fit just about any budget, from low to high.

Large Budgets

Obviously you can do much more with a large budget than small, incorporating several eye-catching elements into your yard for the betterment of your enjoyment and comfort. Don’t have much space outside for entertaining? Why not create a large patio area where you entertain, cook, relax and chat all in the same space? Go for the trifecta of patio, outdoor kitchen and a fire pit so you can fully enjoy your backyard no matter the season or time or day.

Another idea to add a pop of color to the space is to craft a vegetable or flower garden off to the side featuring a beautiful trellis as the focal point. You’ll need to determine how much sun and shade that particular area gets throughout the day, so spend a few days charting those elements. You should allow at least six to eight hours of full sun each day for most vegetables. The reward will be fresh, hand picked veggies for your nightly suppers throughout the summer. Tomatoes, squash, peppers, you name it! To add depth, shading, textures and design to your patio, consider decorative concrete in circles, squares, star bursts or even custom geometric patterns for a gorgeous, long-lasting addition to the area.

Covered Patio
Photo by Kikuchi + Kankel Design GroupLook for traditional patio design inspiration

 

Medium Budgets

With a middle-of-the-road budget, you can tackle smaller elements of your landscape that maybe don’t pack as much of a punch but still add unparalleled beauty. Create a pathway to your garden (packed with native plants that don’t require as much care or fertilizer as non-natives), flanked on either side by baby trees. Use pavers distributed in a haphazard way for a rustic look or go with decorative crushed stone or gravel that will cut down on the weeds that may crop up, plus you don’t have to water the area as much. Got a small shed nearby? Hang a painted window box brimming with colorful blooms and greens.

Las Villas
Photo by DeMaria Landtech, Inc.Look for Mediterranean landscape pictures

 

Low Budgets

You may be low on cash but you can still make your landscape stand out. When at the garden center or nursery, choose perennials like blanket flowers, Veronica, and tall garden phlox over annuals because they boom every year, making for a better investment, says Better Homes and Gardens. To take advantage of natural resources rather than buying expensive fertilizers and such, start a compost pile in the backyard. A small garden off to the side or in front of the home doesn’t have to be expensive when you complement the more expensive blooming plants with low-growth greenery for a complementary, versatile look. You can get some pretty sweet deals on shrubs, plants and flowers if you check out local neighborhood associations, chambers of commerce and garden clubs.

Garden update at Ridge Oak
Photo by Sue’s Gardens LLCLook for traditional landscape pictures

 

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas, TX

No matter what your budget is, Outdoor Home Living can assist you in making your lawn and outdoor living space look great this year. Contact us at 214-328-5296.

How to Treat St. Augustine Grass in Spring

March 24th, 2016

Treat St Augustine Grass in Spring in Dallas Texas

St. Augustine grass, known technically as Stenotaphrum secundatum, is a fast-growing, warm season grass that easily adapts to various soil conditions and pH levels. It happens to be the most common turf grass grown in Florida, Texas, and the southeastern United States. If you’re looking for a dense, lush carpet of grass that’s dark or blue-green in color, you’ll be well suited to St. Augustine grass. It’s a coarse, textured grass growing to several feet long if left to its own devices. It doesn’t have a very good wear tolerance, so it won’t be found on golf courses or sports fields, but it’s ideal for home and business lawns.

There are many benefits to this type of grass, namely:

  • Easily adapts to variety of soil types
  • Excellent salt tolerance
  • Takes root relatively quickly
  • Develops into lawn quickly from sod
  • Can develop from sod, sprigs or plugs

Watering as Needed

Irrigation is important for St. Augustine grass, as it is for other types, but only water as needed. You’ll need to give it a good soaking to a depth of up to four inches to promote root growth. This helps the grass get through extended drought periods in warm climates. When you notice the grass turning a bluish-green color, you’ll know you have to water again. You can also get a clue when it needs watering when your footprints on the lawn don’t immediately spring back up. It’s best to do your watering in the early morning so the sun can dry it out by night time. Moisture coupled with soil is a breeding ground for disease.

Mowing Your Lawn

Mowing Dallas Texas LawnsIt’s a good idea to keep your lawn at no more than four inches. If you prefer a lower mowing height, try a dwarf species which is ideal for a two-inch mowing height. Just be careful, though, as these species can more readily develop thatch and insect infestation. Be sure to sharpen your mower’s blades on a regular basis, as St. Augustine grass does best with a clean cut. If your blades are dull, the lawn will take on a light-brown sheen.

Try Sod

Although it’s a more expensive option, this is certainly the quickest way to a beautiful yard. You need a smooth surface to begin with, though, which involves prepping the soil and ensuring the yard is properly graded. If not, this will lead to inconsistency of mowing heights. After adding sod, you’ll have to water daily because the roots won’t take hold for a few more weeks. Just a light watering is fine. Avoid mowing during this period or you risk lifting up the sod as the blades run across it. You can also plant St. Augustine grass through plugging (grass squares) and sprigging (grass stolons).

Don’t Forget the Fertilizer

According to the Lawn Care Academy, your lawn will need between four and five pounds of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet every year, with an extra pound each month during the growing season if you’re using plugs or stolons to promote quick growth and spread. Don’t over-do it on the fertilizer, though, as thatch, insect and disease problems can all develop.

Contact Outdoor Home Living, Lawn Care, Dallas, TX

Need help with caring for your St. Augustine grass? Outdoor Home Living is your premier full-service residential and commercial landscaping company happily serving all of Dallas, Texas. Contact us today to get on a schedule of lawn care that will make you the envy of the neighborhood.

4 Winter Landscaping Tips in Texas

February 26th, 2016

You may wonder: who does landscaping in winter? But any good landscaper will tell you it’s important to keep up with certain landscaping tasks even in the colder months to prepare for a successful spring season. Winter is also the perfect time to add accents to your landscape that embrace the beauty of the season. Check out these four tips for winter landscaping.

Winter Landscaping Tips in Dallas, TX

1. Prep the Lawn

Even though your grass may have stopped flourishing with the cooler weather, you should take this opportunity to fertilize and reseed the lawn. This is the time in which the roots are growing deeper into the ground in order to make it through winter. Your landscaping professional can advise you on when to apply pre-emergent herbicides in the winter and post-emergents in the early spring to avoid weeds.

2. Prune Shrubs and Hedges

In order to encourage healthy growth come spring, you need to prune your shrubs and hedges, says Home Advisor. To achieve this in the best way possible, make a cut at a slight angle about a quarter inch from the branch. This can be a tricky task to get just right, so you may want to hire a professional for this job. Wrap your shrubs in burlap to keep the frost from damaging them. You may also want to spread some mulch at the base to give them even more insulation for those cold nights.

3. Trim the Trees

Overhanging tree limbs can pose a safety threat. Trim them back in order to prevent them from hitting power lines or your roof. All too easily, branches can pull on your gutter system and give you even more headaches to deal with. An arborist will be better able to tell you which trees to prune during which months. These pros also know how to remove branches strategically without doing damage to the tree.

4. Prep Landscape Fixtures

A large part of your landscape is made up of plant life, to be sure, but a significant part is also made up of fixtures like patios and walkways that need TLC to get through winter. When it comes to brick, stone or concrete surfaces, such as that for your patios and walkways, temperature changes and humidity from the summer can cause shifting throughout the year. This leads to uneven settling that can pose a problem if not attended to. Make sure these areas are kept free from pooling water and debris to cut down on chances of damage. If these areas are prone to ice buildup, do what you can to prevent this from happening earlier in the season. You may nee to make an adjustment as far as drainage goes, perhaps adding some gutter extensions or a gravel drainage channel to address these issues. If you have an inground pool, you should have hired a professional to come out and winterize them last fall. However, hot tubs typically come with removable covers that allow homeowners to enjoy them all year long, even in cooler weather. Make sure you give your hot tub pump, motor and accessories a tune-up before winter to avoid freezing water in the pumps.

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

For expert advice regarding winter landscaping as part of residential landscaping, give us a call here at Outdoor Home Living. We’d be happy to come to your property and come up with a plan.