Fungus Among Us Lawn Mushrooms

Fungus Among Us Lawn Mushrooms

Mushrooms are actually part of a fungus that grows underground, hidden from sight. Lawn fungi and their mushrooms don’t harm a lawn. They’re actually good guys in the ecosystem of your yard, breaking down organic material into nutrients your lawn can use. When most people hear the word “mushroom,” they think of the typical umbrella-shaped one, which is sometimes called a toadstool. Common names for lawn fungus, include puffball, shaggy mane, Japanese parasol or the oddly shaped and smelly stinkhorn.

Common Causes and Solutions
Fungi living beneath lawns are usually long-lived organisms that produce mushrooms when conditions are right. The top reasons mushrooms occur are buried organic matter, high moisture and low light.

Cause: Buried organic matter
A fungus grows by breaking down organic matter. In a lawn, that organic material could be buried timber, a stump, or tree or shrub roots that remain underground after plants have been removed.

Sometimes you can hasten the material’s breakdown by applying nitrogen fertilizer. Use a readily available nitrogen source, not a slow-release one. Aim for a rate of 1/2 to 3/4 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. If you don’t mind disturbing your lawn, you can also try digging up the organic material.

Cause: High moisture
Periods of prolonged rain can coax mushrooms to form, as can overwatering a lawn. Heavily compacted soil and a thick thatch layer can create drainage problems, which provide ideal growing conditions for mushrooms.

Solution: While you can’t do much about overabundant rainfall, you can address lawn watering practices. Aim for deep, infrequent lawn watering, which encourages turf to develop an extensive root system. Learn tips for lawn irrigation.

For drainage issues caused by compacted soil, try aerating your lawn. If your lawn needs to be aerated, check out our services below.

Lawn Aeration

 

Mother Mulcher, How Much Mulch is Too Much?

Mother Mulcher, How Much Mulch is Too Much?

My mother is an overzealous mulcher. She’s obsessed with buying 10-15 bags of redwood mulch every few months to keep her beds looking fresh and bright. This is such a waste of money, but also could be hazardous to the shrubs and trees the mulch encases.

The Harms of Over Mulching

  1. Burying shrub or tree roots deeply under mulch decreases the oxygen supply. Roots need oxygen in order to provide it to plants.
  2. Lack of oxygen prevents beneficial soil microbes from breaking down the mulch. Instead, harmful soil microbes produce substances that are toxic to roots.
  3. Trees surrounded by mounds of mulch may send shallow roots into the mulch, instead of the soil. This makes them more susceptible to drought, stress, and wind.
  4. Piling up mulch against the trunk provides a safe haven for harmful insects. It can also promote rot due to excess moisture retained by the mulch.

Mulching Rule of Thumb

Before topping off your beds with more mulch, first measure how much mulch is already there. A two to four-inch layer is ideal, and provides many benefits to plants like:

  1. Weed suppression
  2. Moisture retention
  3. Slow addition of organic matter to the soil as the mulch decomposes.
  4. Keeps mowers and weed trimmers away from trunks which can be easily damaged by such equipment.

Since mulch does so many good things, it is easy to think more would be better. In reality, thicker layers of mulch actually harm plants. When mulch builds up over four inches it often becomes a water repellent. When this happens water simply sheds off the top of the mulch rather than soaking in to the soil below, leaving plants thirsty.

Thick layers of mulch can also suffocate plant roots. We don’t often think about the role of air in the soil, but roots need air to survive. Burying root systems under excessive layers of mulch reduces the amount of air in the soil, causing plants to decline. This decline is usually slow, often taking years for plants to die from over mulching.

If you already have a four inch layer of mulch on your beds, but wish to add more to brighten up the bed’s appearance, you have two options.

  • Option 1: Remove part of the existing mulch before adding new mulch. You can add the old mulch to your compost pile or use it as an under layer for new beds.
  • Option 2: Stir up the existing mulch. Often only the top layer loses its bright appearance and if you mix the mulch up a bit, you will bring some of the more richly colored lower layers to the surface.

Another common mistake is to treat mulch like a soil amendment, mixing it into the soil when you plant. When mixed into the soil, they slowly release nutrients, help retain moisture and also improve drainage. Most mulches are too coarse to make good soil amendments. Often mulch and soil are mixed together by accident when new plants are set out. Over time, you can build up a layer of mixed soil and mulch that is several inches thick. Plants typically do not grow well in this mix because it stays too dry and because the decaying mulch actually pulls nitrogen out of the soil. To avoid mixing mulch with soil, always rake mulch away from the area before planting. If you have beds where mulch has become mixed with the soil, rake down to the soil level and be sure to plant into soil rather than mulch.

Need lawn care help or just chew the mulch with us, call today (214) 701-7622!

Landscaping

Dog Urine Burning Your Lawn?

Dog Urine Burning Your Lawn?

We love our dogs. What we do not love is the side effect of dog urine on our lawns. You know what we mean – those unsightly brown “burn” spots on the lawn. They make the yard unsightly and seem impossible to get rid of. And if  like us, you have multiple dogs, you can quickly find yourself with a dead lawn.

How can dog urine turn your lawn brown?
Because dogs eat a high level of protein in their diet, they break the protein down and excrete it as nitrogen in their urine. The result unfortunately, can kill your lawn. You will get the same kind of burn if you put a concentrated handful of fertilizer in one spot. However, it’s interesting to note that not all dog’s urine does this, which is a mystery.

Is there anything you can do to protect your lawn from dog urine?
Here’s some advice on what pet owners can do to protect their lawn and keep their pet healthy and happy.

  • Use a leash to control where your dog urinates.
  • Water the lawn right after your dog urinates to dilute the nitrogen on the grass.
  • Dilute your dog’s urine by encouraging them to drink more water.
  • Try a different high quality dog food. Do not switch your dog’s food to a low quality, low protein food just to save your lawn. There are other ways that will not compromise your dog’s health.
  • Do not put fertilizer on your burned lawn to try and bring it back. Fertilizer’s are also high in nitrogen, so you will just speed up the killing.

There is no real way to remove the spots once they are there. In fact, as mentioned above, trying to use a fertilizer to get your grass to grow back will actually make it worse. It is best to just wait until the grass comes back on its own.

Affordable Lawn Mowing Service Rockwall

Affordable Lawn Mowing Service Rockwall

Affordable Lawn Mowing Service Rockwall

We make lawn mowing so easy. No hassle. $28 lawn mowing. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call us at (214) 701-7622. We take pride in the quality of our work, and always strive for complete customer satisfaction.   After all, your lawn is our reputation!

First Response Lawn Care provides landscape maintenance to homes and businesses of all sizes.  We do one thing, and we do it well – we make your lawn look the best it can.  All work is performed by our friendly, professional staff. Here’s what we promise to deliver –

• Clean, Neat, Well Cut Lawn Free of Debris and Clippings
• Reliable, Same Day Service Every Week + Fast Response But Not a Rush Job
• Conscientious – Gates Closed and Environmentally Friendly

Our mowing service includes mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing off all hard surfaces. The stuff that isn’t fun to do yourself. It’s hot out there, and it’s hard work. Our goal is to simplify your life and/or business tasks so you can concentrate on the things that matter most to you.

Lawn Mowing & Maintenance

Time to Aerate Your Lawn in Texas

Time to Aerate Your Lawn in Texas

For warm season grasses, like those you find in our great state of Texas, you should aerate in the early summer. Why? Because warm-season grasses begin their period of active growth in summer. If you aerate a warm-season lawn in late spring to early summer, the ensuing period of rapid growth will quickly fill in the holes you create. If you have Bahia grass, Bermuda, Buffalo grass, Centipede grass, St. Augustine or Zoysia grass, you have a warm season grass.

Aeration Tips

• Follow up the aeration treatment with fertilizing or reseeding your lawn since aeration creates openings for nutrients and seed to penetrate soil.
• The process of aerating can spread weed seeds or portions of weedy roots. Be sure to control weeds prior to aerating.
• If you have a newly planted lawn, wait for at least one year to aerate. This time lapse will ensure that the grass is well established.
• Aerate when soil is moist, but never when it’s saturated. The tines of a lawn aerator penetrate moist soil more deeply; soil that’s too wet clogs tines and isn’t as effective. To achieve the correct moisture balance, your lawn should absorb 1 inch of water – delivered through rainfall or irrigation – prior to aerating. This may mean you’ll water for one hour one day prior to aerating or, if your soil is hard, for shorter times on several days prior to aerating.
• Avoid aerating during drought or high heat. You’ll stress the lawn by allowing heat to dry soil If you aerate in these conditions,
• Plugs should be left on the lawn following aeration, as they contain soil microorganisms that help to break down thatch. These plugs disappear in a short period of time when left on the surface of the lawn.

Call First Response Lawn Care today if you have questions about aerating your lawn. Our technicians are trained to aerate at the optimum time for your soil conditions, giving you the best-looking lawn in the neighborhood.

Lawn Aeration

Inflatables Can Damage Your Lawn

Inflatables Can Damage Your Lawn

Inflatables Can Damage Your Lawn

We recently had a customer call with a great summer time question. For those families with children, you will appreciate this. This customer had a large (10 foot) inflatable pool taking up part of the lawn for a few days, and it killed their grass. When they discovered that there was some serious damage to the lawn underneath, they called First Response Lawn Care for solutions.

In a situation like this, we offer a few tips and advice on how to overcome the perils of inflatable pool fun versus the health of your lawn. The issue with inflatables is that they can cause damage to your lawn by blocking out air, sunlight, and water from reaching the grass beneath. We hope you’ll find the information helpful so you can continue with the summer fun with slip n slides, plastic pools, jump and bounce houses, etc.

  1. If the lawn is damaged, we can certainly reseed and provide nutrients to encourage repair.
  2. If the lawn is dead, we can quickly lay a patch of new turf in the area that is dead.
  3. Move the summer play items on the lawn every 24 hours to a different spot if the items are smaller.
  4. Empty the inflatables and hang them to dry each night. We realize this sounds like a pain, but not as painful and potentially expensive as replacing your lawn.
  5. Whether you mow yourself or have scheduled lawn maintenance by a professional, it is important to move your inflatables off of your grass before mowing.

Inflatables Can Damage Your Lawn

If you have a hard surface such as a patio, consider moving the inflatables there. One customer had a clever idea to put a big foam padding beneath so the pool bottom would stay cool and comfortable for the kids.

To get a free quote for a one-time or extended service package, call First Response Lawn Care Royse City, Rockwall today at (214) 701-7622 or contact us HERE Click the box below for more information about our services.

Contact Us

Texas Summer Lawn Watering Guidelines

Texas Summer Lawn Watering Guidelines

Texas Summer Lawn Watering Guidelines

During times of prolonged summer heat and dry weather we need to provide plants, trees, flowers, lawn sod and seed with extra watering. Weeds are very opportunistic and will take advantage of dry, thin turf to quickly spread. Keep your lawn healthy to serve as a natural weed prevention. We’ve got the goods on the sweet spot!

Save these watering guidelines as a handy reference during the hot, dry days of summer:

For best results, water your lawn thoroughly three times a week if you do not get significant rainfall.

  • In hot, dry weather, water shrubs and flowers daily.
  • Morning, around 2 to 8 a.m., is the best time to water. Why? The a.m. is the best time to water the lawn because the air is cooler and there’s usually not much wind to blow the droplets. In the middle of the day, water evaporates too quickly. And in the evenings, water can cling to the blades of grass overnight, which can cause lawn diseases.
  • Watering at any time of day is better than not watering at all.
  • The rule of thumb for lawns is to water one-inch deep each time you water. It’s better for the lawn to water heavily and less frequently, than to lightly mist it every day.
  • Use a rain gauge to make measuring an inch of water easy. If you don’t have a rain gauge, place a tuna can (or similarly sized vessel) in your yard as you water. When the can is full, you’ve watered enough!
  • Pay special attention to high-sun areas of the lawn.
  • Don’t forget that even mature trees need water, too.

Follow the watering guidelines above to ensure a dense turf throughout the summer.

If you have an irrigation system that isn’t working properly or have any questions about maintaining a healthy lawn, call First Response Lawn Care today at (214) 701-7622. We service Rockwall, Royse City and surrounding areas.

IRRIGATION

Lawn Mowing Rockwall

Lawn Mowing Rockwall

We are proud to offer top-notch lawn mowing services to homes in Rockwall and surrounding cities. Mowing the lawn is something of a chore to most people, but not us. We take pride in our lawn mowing service and strive to provide you with a top notch job.

Every lawn is unique, which is why we custom tailor our approach to best meet your specific needs. Our unique lawn mowing approach takes into account variables. We consider your grass type, varying mowing patterns, weed proliferation, and ideal cut height that is just right for your yard

Did you know that it is best to leave your grass a little on the long side? Mowing your grass too short can result in stress, bald spots, and increased weed production. Cutting your lawn at the right height will allow it to grow deeper roots which require less watering. This will have positive effects on both the environment and your wallet.

Our lawn mowing technicians are skilled workers who have deep expertise in lawn mowing and lawn maintenance. They know grass, and will deliver a perfect cut each and every time they mow. First Response Lawn Care will also trim hedges, fix sprinklers, and edge your lawn. Most importantly, we stand by our work. You will be happy to stand by it too, pardon the pun.

If that sounds good to you, get a quick quote for your lawn mowing service right now online We’d love to take care of your lawn!

Lawn Mowing & Maintenance

Heavy Rain Forces Ants Into Homes

Heavy Rain Forces Ants Into Homes

Heavy Rain Forces Ants Into Homes

When it rains, the precipitation flushes out ants, and their natural reaction is to head for higher ground. Unfortunately, that higher ground is usually your home.

“We deal with it every year. And it’s a consistent thing,” said Kelley Enright of Dallas, Texas. Then she decided to call a professional ant control service and that stopped the ant intrusion. First Response Lawn Care is kept busy answering similar calls.

“A lot of times if there’s a window with some moisture they’ll just stay in that window and forge out on your counter,” said Shannon Milliken with First Response Lawn Care.

Horticulture Agent Dennis Patton reported that he can pinpoint one main reason for the ant invasion. “With the ants this year, let’s just say it’s related to weather,” he said. Frequent rain is forcing the odorous house ant into dryer conditions like between walls. Patton classifies the ant as a nuisance pest. “So in other words they’re just a pain in the pa-toot. They really don’t feed, eat,  and they don’t carry diseases. They can bite or sting. They’re really just looking to survive,” he said.

The ant survives off nearly anything in your kitchen. “Anything sweet, starchy, even grease,” Milliken said.

First Response Lawn Care is an expert at killing ants. Service options include chemical treatments that can stop ants at the lawn level. If the rain has produced an ant population in your yard, call us today – (214) 701-7622. We can move them out–permanently.

Click below to find out more.

Ant Control

Professional Mowing Service

Professional Mowing Service

Mowing your yard on a Saturday afternoon doesn’t sound like the best use of your valuable time. We have good news! First Response Lawn Care has professional hard working lawn care crews in the Rockwall and Royse City areas that actually enjoy making your lawn the talk of the neighborhood!

If you need routine maintenance on your residential lawn or perhaps your commercial property, and you live in the Rockwall or Royse city areas, we’ve got you covered.

During the growing season, our residential lawn service is scheduled on a weekly recurring basis. On occasion, some customers with smaller lawns prefer to have their yards mowed every ten days. We’d be happy to work out the best arrangement for you and the needs of your lawn.

For an average sized yard, we use commercial grade push-mowers. We always bag the grass clippings. Our crews are respectful of your garden, ornamental plants and flower bed areas. All routine maintenance includes edging sidewalks and driveways, and trimming around fences and other areas where a mower can’t reach. And to top it off, we leave your lawn sparkling after cleaning up any dirt, grass or debris left around your property.

Huge Lawn? No Problem.

We have huge mowers, too! Your huge yard will get the same attention to detail as those folks with medium to smaller yards. Our trained pros have the knowledge and experience needed to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy lawn that you and your family can enjoy.

To get a free quote for a one-time or extended service package, call First Response Lawn Care Royse City, Rockwall today at (214) 701-7622 or contact us HERE Click the box below for more information about our services.

Lawn Mowing & Maintenance