Fall Lawn Care

Fall Lawn Care

Autumn means football games, visits to the local pumpkin patch and pending holidays. It also means it’s time to get your yard ready for winter. The right preparation now will save you time and energy when spring rolls around, and will keep you and your family safe in the yard year-round. Make sure you get the most out of your yard next year by following our checklist of fall cleanup musts.

1. Clean out debris.

Fallen leaves and weeds are the perfect place for pests to settle in for the winter. Clear out flower beds to keep the critters at bay. Pay special attention to rose beds, as their foliage can foster disease over the winter.

2. Till the vegetable garden.

After the final harvest, pull out old vegetable plants, remove debris, and completely till the whole plot. If you compost, now is the time to add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.

3. Trim rogue branches.

Trim up any large or out-of-place tree branches that may cause trouble during the winter. You don’t want any branches breaking and falling during the winter months to come.

4. Clean out the gutters.

Not all fall cleanup is in the yard. This is the perfect time to clear leaves and other debris from gutters. Check for proper drainage, clear out any blockages with a small garden trowel, and rinse with a hose.

5. Dry everything out.

Drain all water from hoses, fountains, and drip irrigation systems, and store them in a dry place. Water left standing over the winter may damage your equipment.

6. Aerate.

Break up soil to keep water from pooling and guarantee that nutrients will reach the roots over the winter. A garden fork will do the job for small yards, but larger yards require a walk-behind aerator.

7. Feed the lawn.

Send your yard into winter with the nutrients it needs to survive the long, cold sleep. Add a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth and enjoy a lush, green lawn come spring.

8. Rake and mulch.

Don’t let fallen leaves get the best of you; if left unattended they can suffocate the grass. Rake them up, shred them, and use them as mulch for young trees, shrubs, and flower beds. 

9. Prune trees and shrubs.

Trim any dead branches and cut back overgrown trees and bushes. If you have blooming perennials like clematis or roses, now is the time to prune them and train the branches.

10. Give it one last mow.

Set your mower to a low setting and give the lawn a close buzz before winter sets in. This helps the soil dry out more quickly in the spring, which leads to a lusher lawn.

11. Divide and cut back perennials.

If your perennials really took off this year, go ahead and spread the love. Divide plants and add them to other beds where they will also do well. This saves money and time in the spring. Fall-blooming perennials like chrysanthemums shouldn’t be divided now — wait and divide them in the spring.

12. Protect cold-sensitive plants.

Keep sensitive perennials, shrubs, and roses in top shape through the cold days of winter. Add mulch to the base and wrap plants in cloth barriers to prevent damage from freezing. Depending on the hardiness of the plant and your climate, you can use a single sheet or blanket or wrap them in a combination of cloth and plastic.

13. Plant bulbs, shrubs, and fall annuals.

Some plants do best when planted in the fall. If you want to add new shrubs or spring bulbs like hyacinth, now is the time to get them in the ground. Fall annuals like pansies are also a great addition to keep some color in your yard as other plants go to sleep.

14. Protect the deck.

Prevent the growth of mold and mildew by giving the deck a good power wash. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can rent one from a garden store. Once the deck is clean and dry, add a weatherproofing stain to protect the wood from moisture damage over the winter.

15. Clean tools and store them.

Don’t throw your gardening tools in the shed and forget about them until spring. Take time to give them a good cleaning and add a light coat of oil to prevent rust during the cold season.

If you follow this checklist you’re bound to have a wonderfully winterized yard that will be ready to wow you with lush, green bounty once the warm weather returns.

If you’d prefer to leave the fall clean up to the professionals, call First Response Lawn Care at 214-701-7622. We can tackle all of these lawn chores for you!

Prepare Your Lawn For Fall

Prepare Your Lawn For Fall

The last day of summer is September 23, 2019. 

After the hot Texas summers, the cool brisk weather is more than welcome as fall approaches later this month. Now is the transitional period to take care of your lawn in preparation for fall. There are a few things to do to make sure that you and your lawn are ready for cooler temperatures. 

Here are a few tips to help you prepare your lawn for a seasonal transition in northeast Texas.

1. Continue To Mow

Regardless of the season, a rule of thumb when it comes to mowing is to never cut more than one-third of the height. Cutting your lawn too short can make it susceptible to diseases. Continue mowing even after summer to keep the lawn healthy. When the majority of the growth has stopped you won’t have to mow as often as you would in the summer months.

2. Fertilize

Mulch the grass as you mow the lawn. The grass clippings act as an organic fertilizer by applying the required nutrients to your grass while they decompose. In the fall, fertilizing your lawn will help protect it and keep it healthy when the cool weather rolls in. Before fertilizing your grass on your own, make sure you know what type of grass you have in order to choose the correct fertilizer. This should be a granulated fertilizer that is applied to the lawn using a manual spreader. First Response Lawn Care has an excellent 7-step program. All fertilizer and herbicides are commercial grade. We are licensed with the Texas Department of Agriculture Lic #450863. Our fertilizing program uses a 7 step program to ensure your yard is healthy and the best in the neighborhood.

3. Discard Weeds

Weeds are a constant problem and hassle to keep them away from your garden and lawn. Fall is one of the best times to treat for weeds allowing you enough time to completely discard of all the weeds before growth begins in the spring. When pulling weeds, it is important to grab the root in its entirety. Snipping the roots at ground level won’t remove it and it will be able to grow back. Our weed control program alleviates the problem of pulling weeds alltogether.

4. Aerate

During the summertime, it’s safe to say that your lawn gets a lot of traffic. With heavy traffic comes compact. When the soil is compacted, it can’t retrieve the vital nutrients needed to sustain healthy grass. Aerating your lawn breaks up the soil and allows it to “breathe.” First Response Lawn Care provides aeration services to Rockwall, Texas, Royse City, Caddo Mills, Fate, and surrounding communities. The results are a healthier and stronger turf and root zone that are able to better withstand turf related diseases, pests, and weeds. 

Fall lawn care may not seem like it’s that important, but in order to maintain a lush lawn in northeast Texas, it’s crucial to practice proper lawn care maintenance year round.

Need help with preparing your lawn for Fall? Whether it is mowing, fertilizer and weed control, aeration of any other lawn maintenance, contact First Response Lawn Care today at 214-701-7622. We can help!

Do Not Over Water Your Lawn

Do Not Over Water Your Lawn

The most common lawn watering mistake that most homeowners make is they over water the lawn. It is much more damaging to over water a lawn versus under water a lawn. Over watering a lawn causes the soil to become anaerobic or absent of oxygen. Water replaces air in the soil and anaerobic soils become compacted, prevent deep digging grass roots, and will kill beneficial microbial activity.

Daily lawn watering is extremely damaging for a lawn. Daily lawn watering prevents the roots of the grass from growing deep into the soil. These shallow grass roots will make the lawn unable to stay green during the heat of the summer.

The best way to promote the grass’ roots to start digging deep into the soil is to water deeply and infrequently. After changing the lawn watering to the recommendations below, your lawn might look worse before it starts to look better. The lawn will start to look healthier as soon as the grass’ roots start digging deep into the soil.

The ideal time to water a lawn is early in the morning before sunrise. Our recommendation is to finish watering no later than 6:00 AM. If this is not possible then the next best time to water is late evening.When daytime high temperatures are hot and average above 85°F: Water no more than 3 days per week. This is typically between mid or late June through mid or late August. (e.g. Water every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). 

This lawn watering technique is a very deep watering, but it also allows the soil to completely dry out before the sprinkler system waters again. Organo-Lawn invented this lawn watering technique and it is universal worldwide.

Symptoms of an Over Watered Lawn

Some clear signs of over watering a lawn include: severely compacted soils, the presence of Necrotic Ring Spot lawn fungus, the abundance of insect pressure, mold, root rot, and a shallow root system. Over watering a lawn is much worse for the grass and trees than under watering a lawn because a lawn that is watered too much will starve the soil of oxygen. Air is extremely important to the health of the soil and to promote deep digging grass roots. Most of the time when we see a lawn watering problem in a Boulder or Fort Collins area lawn, we advise the customer that we need to adjust the lawn watering schedule in their lawn, they often assume we want to increase the amount of water. This might be true some of the time, but the majority of the time we end up reducing the frequency of days the lawn is being watered and increase the duration.

First Response Lawn Care can perform a sprinkler audit and set up the system to water according to our suggestions. The lawn is usually being watered deeper and less frequent. Most of the time, after we make our adjustments, the total water use is reduced which goes a long way towards water conservation. It’s a good thing for your lawn, for resources and for your pocketbook.

Call First Response Lawn Care (214) 701-7622 if you would like a sprinkler audit, sprinkler repair or need a new irrigation system in Rockwall, Fate, Royse City and surrounding areas!

Summer Guide to North Texas Lawn Care

Summer Guide to North Texas Lawn Care

Now is the time to start paying attention to the summer guide to North Texas lawn care to ensure that the Texas heat doesn’t inflict its damage on your yard. With the heat rising and the outdoor season starting in earnest, the summer guide to North Texas lawn care will let you start off the season right!

Watering Habits

When and how you water your lawn is the most important factor in the quality of your lawn and plant life. The industry standard for the amount of water your lawn needs is roughly an inch of water per week or 1/2 an inch twice per week, whether the yard gets water manually or from rainfall. The best time to water the yard is early in the morning before the sun starts beating down on it. This will allow the water to soak into the dirt and to the roots.

Watering restrictions in your community during periods of drought will affect when you can water your lawn. Try to stay diligent to the one inch per week of water guideline. Too much water can be wasteful and damage harmful to the life span of the grass. Having your irrigation system checked and maintained during this time will ensure that water usage is appropriate for the needs of your yard.

Mowing

The grass should be taller during the summer months, which will allow for deeper root growth and cover from the sun. The insulation also allows for the soil to maintain its moisture better. The general rule of thumb is to keep the grass roughly about 1 ¾ inches to 2 ½ inches for most turf types.

It is also important not to let the grass get too long. and removing more than 1/3 or the leaf blade height at when mown can do damage to the grass. Different mowing and watering strategies are required depending on the type of grass. It is prudent to check the type of grass in your yard before taking any serious steps.

Preventative Care

The actions you take now will be seen a month from now. One key preventative measure is fertilization and aeration of the lawn. But not all fertilizers are created equal when it comes to summer lawn maintenance. Call us today at (214) 701-7622 to discuss your lawn care needs and we will be happy to help!

it’s critical to take care of weed problems during the summer before they’re able to germinate and seed in the fall. It is also recommended to apply weed treatment while the temperature is less than 85 degrees to prevent harming the grass. Aerating and loosening the soil is another pivotal step in the process. This act ensures that the dirt retains its moisture. Tight, compact soil typically leads to quicker evaporation. Keeping the soil less compact allows for greater water penetration down to the roots.

Pest and Insect Control

The summer months are also a time when you’re likely to see more pests and insects in your lawn as tiny creatures search out for water. Many beetles and other insects lay their eggs in the grass during the early parts of the summer, which hatch into grubs during the middle of the season that will eat at your grass.

A healthy lawn will help prevent insect infestations. Dry stressed, or dormant lawns are more likely to be home to insects. Aphids, Caterpillars, Fleas, Fire Ants, Chinch Bugs, Grubs, Mosquitoes, Spider Mites, Snails, Slugs and Beetles are just some of the pests can provide services for. Call First Response Lawn Care today at (214) 701-7622! For all your lawn care needs!

Did you know that your lawn care may be tax deductible?

Did you know that your lawn care may be tax deductible?

Long gone are the days we could pay a neighbor’s kid to mow the lawn for 5 bucks. Most home owners spend thousands of dollars each year sprucing up their lawns.  Homeowners associations have gone to the extent of setting lawn standards to be abided by all home owners. Therefore the question is whether or not caring for your lawn is tax deductible?

The answer is “MAYBE”! Part of your job as a homeowner, gardener or landscaper is to prune plants back to reduce their size and you can also do this with your taxes. If you’re self-employed, there are tax deductions that can trim the net amount of taxes you’ll owe.

According to the Tax Court, sole proprietors who regularly meet clients in a home office can deduct part of the costs of landscaping the property. The deductible portion is based on the percentage of the home that is used for business. The Court also allowed a deduction for part of the costs of lawn care and driveway repairs.

You can read what the IRS says about this and learn more at https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc509.

And be sure to contact First Response Lawn Care for all of your lawn care needs.

Winter Lawn Diseases

Winter Lawn Diseases

 

Winter lawn diseases and what you need to know about them.

Severe damage can occur in lawns during the winter months. Sometimes patches of lawn become brown or bare during the winter and don’t return to  green when spring comes around. For the most part, turf grasses are resilient and strong, though damage to grasses for Various reasons.

Cold Desiccation

Grasses will survive just about any temperature if they are blanketed with snow, but uncovered grasses in very cold conditions will continue to lose moisture and oxygen after the ground is frozen solid.

If the damage is minor, individual grasses may recover, or surrounding grass plants may fill in. With widespread damage, you likely will need to reseed or re-sod dead areas.

Snow Mold

When heavy snow falls over ground that is not yet cold, the moist conditions may foster a variety of fungal diseases collectively known as snow mold. In the spring when the snow melts, you will notice fuzzy or crusty patches, pink or gray in color, blanketing portions of the lawn.

Snow mold usually dies as sun and breezes dry out the lawn, but if the turf has been infected for a long time, the grass may die. Usually, though, the grasses will gradually recover. If the lawn still has debris from the previous year, rake this up to improve air circulation to the grass.

To prevent snow mold, make sure to de-thatch or aerate your lawn regularly, which will increase air circulation and prevent snow mold.

Crown Freeze

The crowns of turf grass can be killed if warm, moist weather is followed by a sudden freeze. This is most common in late winter and early spring, when unexpected frost occurs in warm climates.

Widespread damage requires reseeding or re-sodding. There is not much you can do to prevent crown freeze.

Voles (Field Mice)

Sometimes winter damage is caused by voles. The mouse-like pests average around six inches long, and they spend their winters tunneling beneath the snow or lawn debris, eating plant roots and keeping warm.

Re-seeding is usually the best option if the damage is not too severe. Otherwise re-sodding the damaged areas may be required. To keep voles at bay, remove dead grass and fallen leaves in the fall. Our fall or spring cleanup services might be right for you!

Questions? Contact First Response Lawn Care by clicking the link below to ask about our expert services in all these areas!

Contact First Response Lawn Care Today!