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Archive for the 'Lawn Maintenance' Category

Your Fall Dallas Landscaping Checklist

Monday, October 9th, 2017

 

It’s that time of year again: prepping your lawn for the upcoming winter. There’s lots to be done this fall in order to ensure your landscape makes it through the colder months. That’s because cooling temperatures slow above-ground growth, with moister soil encouraging strong root development, says This Old House. Here’s a handy Fall Dallas Landscaping Checklist to keep you on track.

 

Prune trees and shrubs:

This is an important step in fall landscaping so as to encourage growth next season. However, put off doing any major re-shaping til the dormant season, advises the Dallas County Master Gardener Association. Remove leftover annuals from the summer and get the dead blooms off the warm-season perennials. You can wait till later this season to re-shape those overgrown perennials.

Plant perennials right for your zone: Consider Mexican mint marigold, Mexican bush sage, purple coneflower, yellowbells and autumn sage. By planting these in the fall, you’re allowing them to establish deeper and healthier roots over the cooler months. As such, you’ll enjoy a more robust growth come spring.

Dig up and divide perennials: Sometimes it’s good to give your perennials some much-needed breathing room, like daylilies, cannas, wood ferns, violets, Shasta daisies and bearded irises. These tend to form large clumps or bulbs when left alone too long.

Keep an eye out for insects: Specifically, scale insects like hollies, euonymus and camellias. If you have a St. Augustine lawn, look out for brown spots, using fungicide if needed.

Relocate potted plants indoors but check for insects first. You don’t want those to breed indoors.

Rake leaves as they drop rather than wait till you have a bed of them covering your lawn. This can attract bugs and disease. You can use shredded leaves in your mulch or just add them to your compost pile.

Refrigerate tulips and Dutch hyacinths by late October, which will give them two full months of prep before you have to plant in late December.

Aerate your lawn: Soil gets compressed over time, which prevents nutrients from getting through. Use a garden fork or aerator for this job, depending on how big your yard is.

Plant trees now, not in spring: Most people mistakenly think spring is the best time to plant trees but actually autumn is. That’s because trees planted now will get a head start on establishing good roots before summer returns next year, says Dallas News.

Fertilize the lawn: Texas Home and Garden recommends using a lawn fertilizer with a ratio of 3:2:1 or 4:2:1 of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Figure about one pound for every 1,000 square feet of grass. Don’t over-fertilize; read the package instructions before attempting. Make sure you give your lawn a good soaking right afterwards. Avoid using a winterizing fertilizer until early November.

Plant some herbs: Now is the perfect time to plant an herbal garden. Include anything from dill and fennel to parsley and cilantro. Even thyme, oregano and rosemary are great additions.

Mow one last time: Trim your grass to about an inch and a quarter to close out the mowing season. This will make it harder for disease to attach to the grass. Just don’t trim too much or you’ll compromise its food production.

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Contact us for more information on our residential lawn maintenance and management services at 214-328-5296. We would be happy to handle these tasks and more for you this fall.

It’s Spring: Prep Your Yard for the Season

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Sprinkler water spray watering green grass lawn

Spring is a busy time of year for your yard, and there’s no better time to spruce it up than now. From landscaping to exterior maintenance, here are some tips on how to prep your yard for spring.

Inspect Your Tool Shed and Plant Window Boxes

If you’re like many homeowners, your shed is decorative in nature, perhaps mimicking the color and style of your home. If you have window boxes, add soil and plant colorful blooms. Clean out your tool shed at this time to get everything organized, get rid of any nests that have cropped up over the winter, and make any necessary repairs. Check the status of your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment, sharpen all tool blades, clean off the equipment, and stock up on gas for your mower.

Clean the Gutters

You may not see it from the ground, but from the street level, overstuffed gutters are unsightly and can detract from your curb appeal. Worse than that, debris such as leaves, acorns, and twigs can easily clog your gutters. With nowhere to go, water run off will accumulate around your foundation and leak into your basement. All that standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, too. Use a cup or scoop to get out the debris. While up there, check for a secure attachment on the gutters to your home. Then, check that the downspouts are pointing in the right direction, well away from the foundation so erosion or flooding doesn’t occur.

Take Care of Your Lawn

Remember, the three basics of lawn care are sun, water and fertilizer. Take it step by step, as a beautifully landscaped lawn is a careful balance of all the right ingredients.

  • Test the Soil: Pick up a test from the store to indicate the pH level of your soil. You could also send your soil out for testing by your state or local college’s agricultural department. Always strive for an even balance of acidity and alkalinity.
  • Regular Watering: With spring’s mild temperatures, water just once a week until the lawn is established. HGTV says you should “water deep” once summer hits, meaning give it a weekly soaking that will encourage roots to dig deeper into the soil. Thatching can result if you water lightly on a frequent basis. If your lawn is newly-seeded, water it daily for five minutes; once grass has sprouted to about a half inch, increase to 15 minutes.
  • Feed Your Lawn: Spring is the perfect time to fertilize. Use one with micronutrients like sulfur, copper and iron. Every third year, add dolomitic lime to restore the pH and add calcium and magnesium — minerals your lawn thrives on.
  • Aerate: High-traffic areas can compact your grass, which in turn stifles the roots. Give those roots air to breathe by aerating your lawn in the spring.

Contact Outdoor Home Living

If you need assistance with lawn care, come to Outdoor Home Living. You need an advanced horticultural approach to residential landscape maintenance and management in order to keep your landscape groomed throughout the entire year, but particularly in spring. Our experts make weekly visits and maintain annual maintenance procedures. Book an appointment now for spring clean-up in Dallas at 214-328-5296. From pruning back shrubs to planning out the season’s landscaping, it’s time to get going!

5 Decluttering Tips for Making Your Yard More Serene

Sunday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Importance of Fertilizer Ratio for Growing Lush Green Lawns

Friday, 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.

How to Treat St. Augustine Grass in Spring

Thursday, 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

Friday, 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. If you find that it’s too cold and wet out then look into this Kennesaw Landscaping Company for help. So, now lets 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. If you have a bigger lot of trees that need dealing with, a friend recommended tree lopping Perth services. They tell me they did such a great job of getting a lot of trees out of the way!

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.

Lawn Maintenance Tips for Texas Summers

Friday, May 29th, 2015

 

Lawn Maintenance Tips for Texas Summers

Would you like your lawn to be green all summer? Would you like some lawn maintenance tips for Texas summers?

Hot summers in Texas can be a big burden for your lawn. It could lead to problems like browning or lawn burn where the entire lawn or bits and pieces of it turn brown. This will give the lawn an ugly appearance. Fixing this is a massive task. Hence you need to take extra care of your lawn even while maintaining it during the summer. Following the correct process will ensure that your lawn stays green and luscious all through the summer.

So here are some lawn maintenance tips for Texas summers…

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