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After the recent rain which was followed by the first real heat of the season we had a number of people complaining about the mower tire marks all over the lawn. “You’ve killed my lawn!” was the rallying cry of dozens – well … one – customer. It is really hard to convince a stalwart lawn-o-phile that it ain’t our fault, but I gave it a go. The reasoning went something like this:

The grass was lush and green due to the recent deluge so you turned off your sprinkler system, didn’t ya? When the lawn dried out it became stressed, especially when the temperature hit one hundred eight degrees! Hello, remember that weekend? I thought I was going to melt and I swear I’m two inches shorter now. Anyway, without sufficient water to bolster the leaves under the excessive heat, when we came to mow it the grass said “Okay, I give up” and crisped over nicely.

The motto of this blog is: always make sure your grass gets enough water every week. For those of you a little hard of hearing: ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR GRASS GETS ENOUGH WATER EVERY WEEK! That means at least a half inch delivered in one sitting during the cooler (or less hot) times of the day. Deep watering is essential for lawn health in Texas and if you don’t do it you’ll end up with a patchy, dusty, stressed-out piece of turf and complain when the mowers leave tracks in it.

I don’t know if any of you have thought about rainwater harvesting before, but I thought I would touch on the subject here and maybe provide you with a little incentive. I truly believe that if people knew just how much water they could get off their own roofs, they would jump at the chance of doing it. There is an initial expenditure for the guttering, barrels and sundries, but think of the vast sums you could save in the long term! Round Rock lawn care.

The formula for figuring out how much rain water you can collect off your roof is

Roof square footage x .623 gallons per inch of rainfall x annual rainfall in inches.

The variable is .623 – A cubic foot of water being equal to 7.48 gallons, which when divided by 12 (i.e. inches in a foot) equals .623 gallons per inch of rain.

So, for instance, if you have a 2000 square foot roof area that has been guttered, you can expect to harvest over 1,200 gallons of water from a single inch of rain! Also, consider this: even in the severe drought of 2011 the Austin area still received 16.90 inches of rain, converting to a yearly rainwater harvesting total of over 21,000 gallons for the same sized roof!

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With that kind of production I could gutter my hat for drinking water!

 

I was walking around the local park the other day – I admit not as often as I should, but I have a go. In one of the play areas I noticed that instead of a manufactured material the ground was mulched with ground up old tires. This is a perfect example of green landscaping and keeps them kiddies bouncing real good! Uncle Billy was with me at the time and he actually got onto his hands and knees, stuck his nose in there and breathed deeply. “Better’n sniffing glue,” he said with a dreamy look in his bloodshot eyes. I must talk to his wife. I’m not sure Aunty Betty knows all of Billy’s checkered history …

If in Round Rock lawn care you are thinking about designing a hardscaped area in your yard, go greener by steering away from quarried stone, wood or concrete and try to utilize things like the shredded tires or even recycled plastics. I’ve seen beds mulched with recycled glass. It may sound kind of dangerous, but fear not. I threw Uncle Billy in there and he never got cut even once! They round off the glass in a great big tumbler and sell it in bags. It looks great as an accent, colorful and all shiny. Although I’m not sure I would have it all over the yard. It might look a little … gaudy.

It is always a good idea to use native plants in your green landscape, but remember that if you plant them in a soil that resembles last night’s chili or a bag of chalk or pile of rocks, you are not going to have much success. If you decide to take out some of your lawn – Round Rock lawn care – and replace it with a flower bed, always look at the soil first. I guarantee you that ninety-nine percent of the time it is not up to par. I’ve had customers to tell me their existing soil is just fine, trying to cut a few dollars off the estimate, but it’s not. It never is. Amend your soil. Bring in the highest quality landscaping soil you can find and pile it on. Whatever you plant in there will do great! If you don’t do this the whole project will suffer and even the sturdiest of native plants will look around and think: bloody cheapskates, I’m damned if I’m going to flower this year!

In the past I have likened this process to construction. That if a garden is the house, then the soil is the foundation, and we all know how important a solid foundation is. But I think the analogy has to go further than that. The soil is not just the foundation of the house, it is the walls, the windows, the roof, the AC and the plumbing. The plants themselves would be the little knickknacks you add when the house is complete.

So take my advice: soil yourself.

 

Switching to a green landscape starts with a look out the living room window. After hurling abuse at the neighbor’s dog for befouling your lawn, examine closer the vast expanse of turf and realize one poignant fact: sometime in the future there ain’t gonna be enough water in Lake Travis to keep that sucker alive. That’s right, periods of extended drought may become the norm rather than the exception to the rule. Some folks will argue that we’ve had droughts before and the rains have always returned, and that is true. All I can do is judge by the accumulated scientific data on the subject and extrapolate. I believe the time to start dealing with the problem is now, not ten or fifteen years from now, and we can all do our part.

Now, I’m not saying you should get rid of the lawn altogether, after all, there’s nothing like a nice stroll around the Round Rock lawn care. What I’m suggesting is shrinking the lawn. If you can reduce the number of spray heads in your irrigation system and replace them with drip emitters instead, you will make a huge difference in your water consumption.

 

Now, when we talk about green landscape design exactly what does that mean? There are a lot of misconceptions out there as to what it really is, but to rule out a few misnomers:

1) It doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful looking yard.

2) It doesn’t mean all the plants have to be recycled.

3) It has nothing to do with St Patrick’s Day.

What green landscape design does mean:

1) Conserve water.

2) Use native plants.

3) Use recycled materials.

The population of many cities is expanding dramatically yet in most, Austin included, the water source remains the same. As we have seen in recent years drought can severely restrict a homeowner’s ability to keep a lawn watered adequately. Even those who do have a water bill that would make me choke on my pint of Guinness! Round Rock lawn care has suffered just as much as any other region, but I had to put that in there for SEO purposes. You get the idea.

So how can you switch to being green? And we’re not talking about Kermit here, either. Tune in tomorrow for more …

 

We have a customer with a lovely looking lawn on a corner lot over on the north-west side of town. It is so lovely, in fact, it is hard to cut sometimes because it is so tall.

Incidentally, I was up there the other day and that fellow rode by on his bicycle. Don’t know if you’ve seen him, but he’s probably in his sixties, rake thin, and rides his bike wearing only a thong. I mean, come on! What if I were eating at the time? I know people say keep Austin weird, but sixty year old butt cheeks weren’t on the menu when I sat down. If he were in Williamson County or lawn care Round Rock he would have been arrested long time past!

But I digress. The yard in question has a sprinkler system and the City of Austin came and did an audit. They said everything was groovy except that a lot of the heads were ‘misting’ instead of ‘spraying’. I’m sure you’ve seen this as you drive down the road – clouds of water vapor drifting across the street away from the lawn it was meant for. Very wasteful.

This is caused by the zone pressure being too high. If the entire system is doing it you might be lucky and just be able to reduce the pressure on the master valve, keeping in mind that each head is designed for optimum efficiency at about 25-30 psi. In this particular case all the zones had to be adjusted individually as they were unevenly loaded with heads and water pressure is finicky that way. However, after a jolly good tweaking the system is now running splendidly.

And after all that useful information, I bet the only imagine that you take away from this post is that thong … am I right?