Is your lawn a weedy mess? There’s still hope! A north Dallas lawn needs four things to be healthy and lush. Lots of sun, the correct amount of water, weed control to give the grass room to grow and fertilizer to give it nutrients to sustain the growth. If you have all four of those things bermuda and St. Augustine will grow on concrete. Really. The photos below are of a Richardson lawn that we began treating late last spring. When we began it had more weeds than grass. This year it’s the best looking lawn on the block.
When you plant a new tree you have to stake ir to keep it from falling over right? Not necessarily. A new tree should have a large enough rootball that it doesn’t need to be staked. What”s wrong with staking a tree? Take a look at the photo below in this Garland landscape and you’ll see what happens when the wire around the trunk gets forgotten. Eventually the tree grows over the wire and girdles the tree – cutting off the supply of nutrients running between the roots and the leaves. You’d be surprised at the number of trees I have seen this on.
Can you guess which of the two Richardson lawns has its fertilization done by Village Green? Hint: Ours is the green lawn…
Sometimes you might see a wet spot in your lawn and think it might be your sprinkler leaking but how do you know for sure? An easy way is to first make sure no water is running inside your house such as a washing machine. Find your meter and your backflow prevention device (the one below is called a double check) – usually it’s a big, green rectangle next to your meter. Open the meter box – you’ll probably need a meter key to open it and those can be purchased at any hardware store. When you look in the meter you’ll see a very arrow or triangle – if the triangle is turning and you’re sure no water is running in the house then you have a leak somewhere. If it isn’t turning then you probably don’t have a leak.
Let’s assume the arrow is turning and you have a leak. The next question is whether or not it’s the sprinkler system. Open your doublecheck box and turn either of the handles so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. Turning the handle cuts off the water to your sprinkler system. Look again at the little meter arrow. If it is still moving the leak is in the house water line, if it has stopped you have a leak in your sprinkler system. At that point you have a choice – start digging and get really muddy or leave it off and call a professional – I recommend Village Green, of course.
Mulch helps slow down weeds in beds. Bare dirt in beds like the one below in this Richardson landscape is just begging for weed seeds to land and take root. We’ll be installing 2″-3″ of fine shredded hardwood mulch and that will create a barrier that weeds have trouble penetrating and when they do it’s a lot easier to pluck them out of mulch than trying to get them out of our clay soils. If you’re looking for a non-chemical method of controlling weeds it doesn’t get any better than this. An added plus is the hardwood mulch breaks down into the soil giving it great organic material.
Fescue is a good choice for grass in the shade. The tough part is you it has to be planted by seed (Fescue sod is expensive and hard to find) and you have to plant it when you’re not normally thinking about your landscape – fall and late winter. The best fescue lawns I have seen have been by homeowners who every October and February throw more seed out. Consistently planting the seed will keep the lawn reasonably thick. Using fescue means you won’t fertilize in the summer and you will be limited in the pre-emergents you can use. This Fairview lawn looks really nice.
Looking for a colorful shade annual? You won’t find anything more colorful than impatiens. These will easily reach 12″ and I’ve seen some reach 24″. Notice we massed them at the entrance of this Fairview landscape installation. That gave us great bang for our buck. Not long from now the perennials will kick in and this entrance will have color throughout the year.
Here’s an example of freeze damage to a St. Augustine lawn in richardson probably from radiating off of the concrete. We’re going to use an 18-46-0 fertilizer made from dimonium phosphate to help the roots recover. We’re using this type of fertilizer instead of the normal ammonium nitrate because brown patch feeds off of nitrogen from normal fertilizer. This is a little more expensive for us to use but the results are worth it.
This Richardson lawn is greening up nicely. Because it is a Bermuda lawn we’re using a 28-0-0 fertilizer and we already have applied our pre-emergent to keep out summer weeds like crabgrass. The St. Augustine part of the lawn received a 5-10-31 fertilizer to help root growth.