How To Plant Grass Seed In Bare Spots

planting grass seed

Even the most meticulous lawns will occasionally develop bare spots. It’s important to know why and what to do if you find these spots appearing in your lawn.

It’s important to be able to diagnose these spots so that you know how to best treat them when you find them. Some spots can appear and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. For instance, unless you catch a neighbor’s dog, cat, or other wild animal urinating on your lawn there’s not much you can do about it.

It would be nice if that was the only cause we had to deal with. The truth is, there are actually many different causes and the treatment varies.

Fertilizer Burn

Fertilizer contains Nitrogen, which can potentially burn out your vegetation. This will be the case if you inadvertently spill or apply too much in one area. The solution here is to quickly apply water in an attempt to wash away the nitrogen and prevent it from burning your lawn.

Salt Burn

If you’ve had a particularly cold winter, or you live in a northern area where snow and ice are the norm, the substances applied to roadways to prevent dangerous conditions will absolutely damage a lawn. The hopes here are that since the grass lies dormant during this time, it will be able to repair itself in the spring. If it doesn’t, you will most likely need to re-seed the area.

Grubs/Pests Below Surface

Grubs are the larva stage of many different types of beetles. An infestation will result in the grubs devouring the roots of your grass. Ultimately, if the grubs are causing dead spots, your lawn is unable to fend off the amount that has accumulated below its surface and you will have to intervene.

The grass is able to fend off a grub infestation, to a certain extent, and once conditions are beyond that you’ll notice the dead spots. The best thing to do is address the grub infestation and re-seed the bare, dead spots or re-sod the areas.

Fungal Infections

That’s right, a lawn, just like Uncle Ted’s toes, can develop a fungal infection. The fungal infection on your lawn will manifest as a fine white webbing covering and killing the grass. These are common and usually brought on by temporary environmental circumstances.

Normal lawn care procedures such as watering and mowing should alleviate these fungal infections requiring no further treatment.  Should the issue persist, consult your landscaping company. These solutions should not be invoked on an attempt to get rid of Uncle Ted’s toe fungi.

Chemical Spills

In this case, mother nature gets the day off and it’s our turn to see what we can screw up. In all seriousness, just like the fertilizer burn, a momentary lapse in attention or a misread instruction set can lead us to spill one chemical or another and damage the lawn.

Even some lawn-safe chemicals can damage grass if you spill the concentrated formula directly on the grass. Prevention is the solution here, be careful with any type of chemical near your lawn and try to do your mixing and refueling on the sidewalk or patio area if one is available.

Other Causes

Dead or bare spots can be caused by a period of particularly heavy traffic in one area and improper sprinkler placement leading to over or under watering. Maybe after you planted a particular area, the grass seed was washed away the first time you watered or some birds advantageously took the opportunity to have a small feast on your dime.

The list can go on and on and might not ever include what particularly happened in your yard as most plants are very vulnerable to just about everything else, especially before they’ve been established. Sometimes the culprit is long gone and the most appropriate thing to do is move forward, having no problem to diagnose or find a solution to.

Repairing A Bare or Dead Spot

No matter the cause of your unsightly yard blemish, here is the process of reseeding the area and is the final steps in handling all the above mentioned problems:

  1. Using a rake or a tiller in a big bare spot, break up the soil and remove any rocks.
  2. Spread seed throughout the bare area according to package instructions
  3. Cover the area with potting soil, approximately 3X the amount of seed used.
  4. Water the area gently until the ground is saturated, being careful to avoid puddling.
  5. Continue to saturate the area daily until the grass is approximately 2-3” tall
  6. Avoid mowing until the grass has been established.

Learn more about Over-Seeding here.

Final Thoughts

Taking the time to give your grass a hand can make the difference in your lawn reflecting poorly on you as a negligent home-owner or proudly declaring you as the king of the neighborhood with your beautiful, lush, envious lawn. Details require attention and details ultimately add up to the bigger picture, so take the time to follow those easy steps and finish out the summer as the king of your castle and your lawn!

How much for outdoor lighting installation?

landscape lighting

If you were asked the question “How much does it cost to have outdoor lighting installed?” by a friend, you would likely get a number in return that ranges anywhere from $1000 to several thousand dollars. That’s a hefty price to pay for something that will only take up a few hours of your weekend. And if you don’t want to pay someone to install it, then you have to figure out a way on your own to do so. The good news is that there are many different ways that you can install outdoor lighting.

In this article I will briefly discuss three different ways of doing so. In all of these examples the main consideration is the cost effectiveness of the various lighting solutions that we are considering. For more details and a list of services, visit lightscapeslighting.com.

– Solar powered outdoor lighting: There are many different ways that you can light up your patio or garden with a solar light. The most popular one of course is with a solar panel that you install on your roof. These panels catch the sun during the day and convert it into energy that is used to power the light bulb. In addition, they have the advantage of being able to be connected to multiple lights, which gives you a lot of flexibility when choosing different configurations. Of course, all in all they are a great way to go if you are looking for a low cost option.

– Battery operated lighting: There are many different models available on the market today. These generally operate on a single C cell battery that has an extremely long life. As with the solar model above, they have the advantage of being very easy to connect to. They also have some unique features such as a motion detector, which will trigger the light to flash, as well as a timer which will control how often the light flashes.

– Pools lighting: Poolside lighting is becoming extremely popular in Orlando. Some of the options include solar powered, solar and ground source lighting. With poolside lighting you get a lot of options because there is plenty of room around the perimeter of the pool. Most of the available poolside lighting available today are weatherproof and offer a wide variety of colors. In addition, some of them offer motion sensors so that they only illuminate if someone walks by.

– Spot Lighting: This is one of the more unique options that can be used to enhance the exterior of an apartment or house. When you are thinking about how much does it cost to have outdoor lighting installed? The first thing that you need to decide is where you want the light to be situated. The most popular options that are available are on top of trees, along the walkway or along the driveway. The best part about adding spot lighting to your home is that it adds a whole new look and provides a sense of security to your outdoor areas

Your Guide to Choosing New Sod Grass

zoysia sod pallets

zoysia sod palletsThere are several things to consider when it comes to choosing the right turf grass for your sod installation project.

What is the soil type in your region? How much rainfall do you get? How much shade coverage does your yard have, and is it consistent from one area to the next? What about the mowing and fertilizing schedules?

These are all good questions to ask yourself, and your local lawn care experts, in order to guarantee that you make the right decision.

Soil Types

The characteristics of your topsoil have everything to do with where you live, and what that land was like before it got settled. In a state as large as Texas, we’ve got deserts, plains, beaches, forests, and even the limestone-rich hill country.

Based on where you are, your soil could have an abundance of clay, sand, or various other minerals. This directly affects what can or cannot grow naturally in the region. Here in North Texas, our soil is naturally rich in clay, which isn’t always ideal for healthy grass.

Many landscaping companies will offer soil amendments and topdressings to enrich the earth before planting seeds or laying sod. Get a professional to perform a soil test, so you know whether your lot will need any special preparations.

Irrigation

Most Texas grasses require about 1 inch per week of watering, but there is some variation between popular breeds.  Check the watering guidelines by grass type.

The rainfall your area receives should certainly be counted toward this measurement, especially in regions where watering restrictions are common. If you’re not sure how much rain your area gets on a monthly or seasonal basis, purchase a rain gauge and check your almanac for annual trends.

The most commonly used sod grasses in Texas are relatively drought tolerant, but some are more so than others. If you want to be mindful of your monthly water bill, be sure you choose a turf that can go awhile without irrigation. Best Grass For North Texas has some helpful information on this topic.

Shade Coverage

Some grass types will only thrive in full sun, while others languish if they don’t get a moderate amount of shade. Of course any yard will receive some shade, during the times when the house itself casts a shadow due to the position of the sun. But yards and neighborhoods with mature trees, and with homes built close to each other, are more likely to have shadier yards.

“Full sun” refers to at least 6 hours per day of direct sun exposure. “Partial shade” is when the ground receives 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight. “Dappled shade” is when the sun is shining through a solid object in a speckled or indirect fashion, such as it would through a trellis or through the leaves of a tree. Finally, “full shade” is when there is little to no direct sunlight at any point in the day.

Survey your yard, and determine which of these is the most accurate description for the majority of the ground. This information will help you choose a grass type that will best tolerate your lot’s shade coverage.

Mowing and Fertilizing

Most Texas grasses do well at about 2 inches in height, with an occasional application of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. However, some grasses need more nitrogen than others, which can potentially increase the cost of maintaining your yard. Likewise, some grasses grow more quickly, or do better at a shorter length.

With these, you may find yourself needing to mow and/or fertilize more often. If you are a lawn enthusiast who doesn’t mind the extra work, these factors won’t be an issue. But if you need a low-maintenance lawn that’s mostly self-sufficient, this will influence the type of sod grass you choose for your property.

For choosing new sod in Texas, check the best 3 grass types.

How Much Mulch to Use

What is mulch?

Mulch is a vapor barrier covering soil in landscape beds.  Mulches can be made of organic or inorganic materials. Flower bed mulch can help suppress weeds, maintain soil temperature levels, and provide a decorative touch to the bed.

How Much Mulch to Use?

Suppliers recommend from 1 to 3 inches of mulch on a highly sloped landscape. A hard rain will wash such material off the slope where sloping occurs.  Proper barriers must be installed to hold the mulch, and heavier materials such as gravels or rocks.

When choosing a mulch, aesthetics is typically the most important concern of a homeowner or landscaper.  A successful water conservation program will educate the final user about proper application of mulch, including maintenance in order to get the greatest water savings. Water savings are related to depth of mulch slope of soil, irrigation system, and proper application. Mulch placed too close to trunks of plants can provide a habitat for pathogens (fungus or molds).

Types of Mulches

Rocks and gravel hold heat more than organic mulches, therefore organic mulch should only be used with heat tolerant plants. Other inorganic mulch products include recycled rubber products. The principle advantage of inorganic mulches is the fact that organic materials decompose. Organic material must be replaced or added to every year.

Organic mulches, such as include shredded bark, leaves, and chipped wood can decay. After rainfall mulches can compact, and if anaerobic spaces develop.  A “sour” mulch with ammonia, or other organic gases can develop which can damage or kill the plants. Mulched beds with organic materials need regular turning to prevent such anaerobic processes. Some types of mulches can hold water better than others. Micro irrigation is recommended, however it is wise to avoid sprinkler irrigation which wets the entire mulched bed.

Mulching is not always easy. Let Prosper Sod’s professional team work your garden and flower bed to perfection.

Tips for Growing a Blue Plumbago

Maintenance

Blue Plumbago is relatively easy to grow, and blooms all year in climates with mild winters. With long, thin stems and pale blue flowers, it’s prized as a shrub, climber, potted plant and ground cover.  Although this shrub has few special needs, it does have specific requirements for ideal growth.

Plumbago is propagated from cuttings in the summer, but you can also grow it from seed. Plant plumbago in light, sandy, well-drained soils, spacing each shrub 36 to 60 inches apart to allow room to grow. If spaced properly, blue plumbago will naturally cascade in a fountain shape. Blue plumbago prefers slightly acidic soil, so don’t add lime to the soil or plant in alkaline soils. Blue plumbago requires six or more hours of direct sunlight each day. While it can tolerate partial shade, it will produce fewer blooms than if you plant in full sun. Blue plumbago can be grown indoors and in your garden.

Water

 

Water new plants regularly to keep the soil consistently moist until the plants are established. Once established, blue plumbago requires watering only when the soil is dry to the touch. Blue plumbago is considered moderately drought-tolerant, and excessive moisture can lead to root rot.

Pruning

Plumbago plants should be pruned heavily to control growth, maintain their bush shape and maximize blooms. Blue plumbago blooms on the current season’s growth, so prune faded blooms in late winter. Removing flower buds is not necessary. Remove old, diseased or dead branches completely to allow new growth. Cut back to live or healthy wood when pruning dead or diseased branches. Make angled cuts just above buds when pruning healthy growth to improve your plant’s shape. An application of fertilizer after pruning encourages new growth.

Have questions?  Your landscaping looking a little rough?  We are here to help! Click here for more information about our services and get a free quote.