Welcome to Lawn Talk.

Designed to answer any questions you have regarding fertilization, weed control and ornamental turf diseases. Be sure and scroll to the bottom of the page for helpful articles and past entries.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Decorated Families Program

Christmas Decor every year participates in the "Decorated Families Program" Each year a family is chosen in our local community in which one or both of the parents are presently serving overseas in the military, or has paid the ultimate price for our country in combat.
A portion of our profits go to help decorate a soldiers home for the holidays, giving back to those who protect our freedom. This small gesture takes place yearly in which we go out to their house and decorate for free, the fascia, roof line and trees are trimmed with lights to try and bring joy to an otherwise difficult time.
CDI is proud to be a part of something we feel spreads goodwill in the community, helps families recognize those who sacrifice so much during the holiday season and bring cheer to families with those serving overseas. Take time to appreciate those serving our country this holiday season and join Christmas Decor in our appreciation of our military.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Make this Holiday Happy and Profitable

We all love to see Christmas lights on our house, where we shop and in our places of business. The festive attitude brings about a cheery mood everyone seems to love. Making this holiday special means lighting up your environment. Doing so can be costly and problematic, hiring a company with no proven experience or track record of good service can be a holiday nightmare.
Most customers would admit to some negative experience hiring a Christmas light contractor to install custom lighting, the nature of the industry lends to some "fly by night" installers. Everyone knows someone; a painter, landscaper, mowing company, the boy next door, you name it, anyone and everyone can install Christmas lights professionally, right?
Wrong! Christmas lighting can be difficult, not to mention down right dangerous! In order to install Christmas lighting properly, correctly, within proper safety standards, and look classy and professional, training and proper supplies must be considered. Just a few problems installers face include:

1. Working in high places, (Risk of fall, injury or death)
2. Performing work in awkward places, (roof pitch, steeples, gables)
3. The right Equipment for the job, (extension ladder, wire tools)
4. Working in inclement weather, (slipping, falling, sliding)
5. Being electrocuted, (plugs, outlets, frayed wire, ground plugs)
6. Tripping or fall hazard, (unstable roof, ladder, ground clutter)

Despite all the hidden concerns, installing Christmas lights doesn't have to be hazardous, with the right company trained to install lighting professionally, following a safety first mentality, insured and bonded to be on your property or roof, can give the customer peace of mind. No matter if you are a business owner or homeowner, hiring a company with a proven track record for safety and professionalism is the answer. Taking all the risk out of installing and keeping your holidays a special memorable occasion is the best way to enjoy your holiday season.

The Christmas Decor Difference:

The Christmas Decor network has over 375 locations within our family of contractors, we specialize in holiday decor projects designed specifically for each customer, giving them a unique holiday lighting package exclusive to there neighborhood. Christmas Decor has specialized training, attention to detail and the best holiday decorating products available on the market today. Our crews will handle your holiday decorating needs promptly, professionally and above all safely. Click on the website below to find out more information about your local installer, find out why over 50,000 clients yearly rely on CDI to install their lights, Commercial or Residential Christmas Decor is your premiere holiday lighting installer.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thinking Pre-emergent as Early Fall Approaches

Pre-emergence critical to a beautiful lawn, must be applied by a certain date to be effective, without pre-emergents, lawns would be riddled with weeds to a point that they would be impossible to control. What is a pre-emergent and when should they be applied?
A pre-emergent is a class of herbicide designed to create a layer of protection just below the soil surface to stop new weed seeds from germinating. Herbicides of this nature are designed to be applied in two different ways and some pre-emergents have other benefits as well, depending on the type and brand.
Granular and liquid are the two types used in lawn care at different times of the year, some containing post-emergent qualities while others are strictly pre-emergent only. Each having similar benefits when applied at the right time, stopping most weeds from germinating.
Spring and fall are times when weeds germinate, some being "Summer Weeds" while other weeds are labeled as "Winter Weeds" pre-emergents are designed to curb the amount of weeds germinating in spring and fall, when applied at the right time, pre-emergents are a valuable part of lawn care. Without them, the industry would not be effective enough to stay in business.
Most consumers view the growth of weeds in a singular mindset, in other words; they imagine weeds germinating in the spring only, just as the flowers bloom or the trees bud, they assume weeds start just as spring arrives. Well they are only half right, some germinate in the spring while others germinate in the fall.
Winter weeds which germinate in the fall, can be more unsettling than spring weeds to most homeowners, most native grasses in this area go dormant in the winter leaving weeds to flourish in a bright kaleidoscope of colors, annoying as they may be to the observer they are most unpleasant to the consumer.
Pre-emergents are the answer and fifty-percent of the battle for a weed free yard, without the all important spring and fall pre-emergent, weeds are left to grow unimpeded, lawn care companies understand the vital importance of a pre-emergent applied at the right time, and cringe when a customer refuses a treatment containing one, knowing from experience the all important catalyst to an ornamental yard starts with correctly applied pre-emergent, without spring and fall pre-emergent applied, our job is near impossible.
Take the time to read up on the How, When, Where and Why of pre-emergent qualities and benefits, begin to understand the vital role pre-emergent plays in the ornamental state of your lawn, realizing the benefits, a consumer can only come to the conclusion that pre-emergence is the answer to a weed free lawn, let a professional apply the right pre-emergent at the right time, giving you the best over all weed control possible. That's what we do at Lawn Tech, we apply the right product at the right time, Fall pre-emergent is just around the corner, if applied at the right time, you will see less weeds, give us a call and set up the most important of all treatments, "The Fall Pre-Emergent" 972-346-2696

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ornamental Lawns, Drought and Water Restrictions

Having an ornamental lawn in this region can be a daunting task, most homeowners throw their hands up in disgust as their yard seems to relent under the pressure of the oppressing heat, county water restrictions, drought conditions, and the instinct to constantly apply water takes a toll on most homeowners.
Professional experience is more of a rational way to approach lawn care in this region, understanding how and when to water, what chemicals to apply and at what rate, can make the reality of the North Texas region more tolerable. Water restrictions are what they are, most cities across North Texas start water restrictions around this time every year, however, if you water the right suggested way, your yard should remain healthy.
Watering results can be different for every lawn, depending on several factors; slope or grade, type of soil and type of irrigation system. Yet water restrictions should not mean the end of a beautiful lawn. The University of Texas A&M, the foremost experts in native Texas soils and turf grasses, gives the following watering prescription year round, despite restrictions.
Texas A&M recommendation: "Water turf grasses once a week, insuring a long slow soak similar to a rain event, 1/2 to 1 inch of irrigated water in the north Texas region, this practice is better than several times weekly or 1/16 to 1/4 inch."(twdb2008)
This recommendation fits all water restrictions, usually under restrictions you can water at least once a week. So, according to the experts, your yard should not be damaged by lack of water, the method in which you apply water is the only change. Of coarse, watering more often for longer periods of time would be ideal to encourage a healthier lawn, however, its not needed, if your system is audited and puts out the right amount weekly, then one day is sufficient.
Lawn Tech can help you apply the right chemicals at the right time, limiting burn and helping you to target summer pest which can add to your problems, have your irrigation system audited, water once weekly as prescribed and your troubles should fade away, Call Lawn Tech today for help with your lawn, after all "A Beautiful Lawn Is Our Business" 972-346-2696

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What Can You Do To Stop Unwanted Pest From Entering Your Home?

Most homes eventually are invaded by one pest or the other, be it from ants, spiders, scorpions, crickets, all types of invading pest can plaque the average home, ex specially in the region we live in. Most pest are seeking three things, shelter, water and food. We know its almost impossible to rid our environment of the three things pest need. So what do we do?
There are many ways to eliminate pest, but some are not as effective as others, the most proven way to eliminate the nasty critters is to treat the inside and outside perimeters of your home. This process can be done by professionals in a way that minimizes chemical residue and limits drift. Chemicals for this purpose are usually chosen by industry for there low toxic levels and are usually considered safe to apply in and around your environment, once the chemical dries, the pest cannot cross the barrier without dying.
Lawn Tech, offers some special programs offering discounts for perimeter pest control and we are the best at providing good coverage in an effective manner, taking care of the outside of your home is best left to us, we have been offering perimeter pest control for years and specialize in spraying the perimeter of your foundation to ensure that stubborn pests are driven away.
Protect your environment today by calling the professionals at Lawn Tech and rid your home of nasty vermin up to no good. 972-346-2696 or go to our website at www.lawntech.com

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Water is Key!

The previous post gives homeowners insight to proper irrigation, most follow the basic procedures laid out by us and others in the industry, applying those watering procedures helps, nevertheless, we still find customers who do not water enough, this is a problem with our industry. I will list some comments we hear regularly:

"My system is set and I water regularly, there is no way I don't water enough!"

We get this comment all the time, only to audit the system, finding very little pressure at some heads and more at others, when measuring water output their system output falls short of weekly needs, some heads pointing opposite of target area and while others don't cover at all, the wrong head for the job or pop ups where there should be rotors and vice-versa. Also, most customers will water 10-15 minutes each zone twice weekly, in reality this is just not enough water when it gets hot.

"I water till I see run-off so I know my yard gets watered enough."

This comment is perplexing to me, run-off can start the minute you water, ground so hard water beads up and rushes to the path of least resistance. Just because you see run-off does not mean you have watered enough, reality is, you will see a ton of run-off when watering properly.

"I water my yard myself so I know its watered properly!"

You can water your yard yourself and do an adequate job, however, the odds are you will either not water enough, water one area heavy and not the other, or tire of moving a manual sprinkler throughout the yard. This may be a true statement,but can you really keep this process up?

"I water every other day, water is not the issue with my lawn!"

So often we hear customers say this, yet when we survey the yard, we can barely get the soil probe into the ground, hard as a brick, yet we can go to a different part of the yard, say the back and soft as pie, so why is this? Could be so many reasons, soil not as good in that area, sprinkler head doesn't put out as much, homeowner sees his system come on as he's leaving for work and assumes his yard is being water properly. All the while the rotor is not covering the area of his yard which illicit the most complaints.

"Its been raining, So I know my yard has been watered."

This example is very common, yes it may have rained, even if you keep a rain gauge in your garden and you know its rained two inches, how long does that rain last? Is that enough for a month? Rain is great but just because it rained one day last week, that's not enough to sustain a healthy lawn.

The comments above are merely examples to express to those who read this, your watering methods may not be as good as you perceive them to be, this is no hack on you personally, just part of customer service and helping to educate those who care about their lawn. All to often we investigate why a yard looks bad and 7 times out of 10, its a watering issue. Please consult this blog for additional information like the previous mentioned post or the Texas A&M watering guidelines PDF located on the sidebar of this blog, or call LawnTech if you have any questions @ 972-346-2696

Friday, April 29, 2011

Why a Flea and Tick Spray?

Fleas and Ticks are common in our region during the humid to hot months of the year, although they can be around much of the year, you may tend to see them more as the end of spring approaches or at the start of summer.
Understanding how best to handle these pest can be no easy chore, fleas and ticks are blood feeding insects, known to invade the common house pet, livestock or native animals. They can carry disease and left untreated can pose a huge threat to your pets. Fleas and ticks go about their life cycle trying to find a host, not typically feeding on humans, however, they can bite and cause rashes, another reason to effectively treat them.
During the day one flea can bite your pet more than 400 times and lay hundreds of eggs, they eat three times their body weight in one day, their saliva can cause skin problems for pets and ticks can carry a whole host of deadly diseases. So when and how do you effectively rid your environment of these pest?
From now till the fall, a common insecticide application outdoors can be the first step, spraying your yard, surrounding shrub areas, and foundation is a good start, in conjunction with this application the homeowner should treat their pets and indoors as well, giving the little vermin no place to reside.
Then approximately 7-10days later apply the same process again to kill any eggs or hatch lings left over. This process seems to help eradicate fleas and ticks, with the combination of outside and inside insecticide treatment, treating your pets with either a collar, flea dip or other applied medications can finally rid your home environment. Call Lawn Tech today to have us professionally apply flea and tick spray, we will work with you to come back and follow-up with second application, helping you effectively kill your flea and tick problem.
visit us today at www.lawntech.com

*Click on the title of this posting to find out more about fleas and ticks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Insecticide for Grub Control

White grubs eat organic matter including the roots of plants. Therefore, damage first appears to be drought stress. Heavily infested turf appears off color, gray-green, and wilts rapidly in the hot sun. Continued feeding will cause the turf to die in large irregular patches. The tunneling of the larvae cause the turf to feel spongy under foot and the turf can often be rolled back like a loose carpet. Once the damage is done, its hard to regain any new turf without sodding or seeding. The best alternative to damage is preventative grub insecticide, however, topical insecticide can be applied once grubs have reached mature stages to kill on contact, preventing any further damage from occurring. Often grubs are found in soft soils or healthy lawns near and around street lamps or outdoor lighting. If you would like to find out how you can prevent grubs from ruining your lawn, call Lawntech or visit our website.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time to Water?

Watering your lawn can be another added expense most people don't have, however, protecting your investment can pay off big time. If you plan on selling your house, landscaping can be the first impression a potential buyer gets, giving you a leg up before the new owner steps their foot inside. So, how much do you water and how often? If you have an irrigation system get to know how it works and how much water volume it puts out. This fact can help you decide how long to leave the system running. Watering this time of year can help top growth rejuvenate and give your yard a boost going into summer.
Deep watering your lawn slowly and for longer periods can make the root system deeper, making your lawn healthier than your neighbors, trees and shrubs need a boost as well and watering them deep can help. With high winds this time of year drying out your landscape environment, watering can be crucial. Pay attention to the amount of water your lawn absorbs, limit run-off by montoring the system, don't just "Set it and forget it."
Once you know your systems output, water throughly once weekly until run-off is visible the longer infrequent watering the better. Check out watering guideline icon over to the right of this blog entry, click on the link and you will get some additional information that may be helpful. Visit our website for the right chemicals at the right time by professionals who care about your yard. www.lawntech.com

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When should you mow and how short?

If you pay for a mowing service, having your first mow for the year may be the farthest idea from your mind, if you mow your own lawn, you may miss the exercise. Mowing can be critical at different times of the year, spring is one of those times. The first mow of the year should be this month, some years you may wait, depending on the weather, this year, mowing this month can help control weeds and help the yard transition.
Playing it safe, is the smart play however and most turf management professionals try to mow as late in march as possible or wait till April. The delay is in direct respect to the weather, and in Texas, weather is unpredictable. The worry is a late freeze coming after you have scalped the yard, a late freeze can literally be a killer.
Paying attention to the weather and having some patience can be difference in having dead spots or "Freeze Damage" show up in transition. The best recommendation is to wait till after the last freeze or the end of march as a rule. If you are a gambling man, you would mow now, the odds are with you. This region is not prone to late freezes, so you can be confident in the fact that if you mow, no freeze damage will happen.
Many homeowners have mowed already and let the turf manage itself, in most cases no problems result, yet, a late freeze can damage mowed turf. The height becomes a factor with first mowing's and the shorter the better, allowing sunlight to penetrate the root zone is the idea, making grass transition from dormancy to green top growth. Scalping is part of most turf management programs and scalping is done this month or next depending on the factors listed above. Contradictory however, is this notion of mowing now or waiting, a direct result of unpredictable weather in this region. Most homeowners and mowing companies feel safe to mow now and hope for the best. Good Luck

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ugly Weeds Are Showing Up Brightly

Those ugly weeds your seeing in your yard, are in stark contrast to the gray/brownish dormant grass you've planted. Ugly green weeds classified as winter weeds germinating in the winter months, are common and easily controlled with a broad leaf herbicide, give Lawn Tech a call and we can usually get rid of most of the unsightly weeds so ugly this time of year. Call 972-346-2696 today for help with stubborn weeds.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thinking About Planting Red-tip Photinias?

Red-tips are great border plants, perfect privacy shrubs, they grow fast, flower in spring and can be beautiful when healthy. Planting them in the right spot can be an added dimension to your landscape. Red-tips however, can have negatives, technically classified as a tree, they can outgrow your existing landscape, without proper maintenance they can overwhelm your property, secondly they are extremely susceptible to leaf spot or entomosporium, a disease when left untreated can spread and kill your investment. So how do you overcome these negatives?
Several options are available to you to protect your investment. First, select a variety of red-tip which is known to be a healthier strain, the "Chinese Red-tip" has recently become widely available in nurseries, prized for it's ability to overcome disease, unlike it's cousin the "American Red" variety normally planted in this area. Secondly, plant your shrubs with distance between them and structure, don't plant so close to your house or fence. Leaving enough room for air to get behind them, helping them to dry out and prevent the build up of moisture. When planting, think about planting them away from your house or fence, planted in a open area to add scale and color will give them room to grow, dry out and be chemically sprayed effectively if needed.
Red-tips can be an excellent privacy shrub, large shade shrub or ornamental shrub to any landscaping design, however, keep in mind to choose a disease resistant variety, and be selective in your choice of planting area. If your heart is not set on Red-tips, be creative and choose a shrub less prone to disease and abandon Red-tips altogether.

Click on the title of this post for a pointed article about Red-tips,(Red-tip Photinia Almost Eliminated). Good Luck

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring Is Around The Corner

Ah yes, spring, the best time of the year in this region, mild temperatures and beautiful sunsets. Spring is my favorite time of the year, enjoying the mild weather is a luxury here in Texas. Spring signifies to most homeowners the lawn season has officially began, but, your lawn begins to change much earlier than spring. Dormancy transition can come at different times depending on rainfall, temperatures and mowing schedules.
Taking the right steps to insure a beautiful lawn for the season actually begins much earlier than spring. Controlling weeds and applying fertilizer as spring arrives, pre-emergents can be critical to a beautiful lawn. Now is the time to start with a lawn service, applying much needed pre-emergents to start spring off with a pop. Getting rid of early winter/spring weeds and fertilizing the lawn at the right time can help dormancy be a smooth transition.
Mow dates become critical, When to mow for the first time and how short is a practical solution to spring transition. Your first mowing should be after the last freeze and before top growth is in full transition. Scalping or "Mowing Shorter" is appropriate at the right stage and can help a yard transition from dormancy faster.
Call Lawn Tech if you have any questions and need a service to help apply the right chemicals at the right time, spring aeration can also be a big booster to spring transition, let the pros help you make this year a beautiful lawn season, visit our website today for great deals on lawn care, www.lawntech.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"The Big Freeze" How Does Winter Effect Ornamental Turf Grasses?

As you already know, winter has arrived, stout winter storms have taken a toll on the North Texas region, dumping record amounts of ice and snow. Not necessarily common to this region, winter storms do happen and when they do, ornamental turf grasses suffer. The biggest concern is "Winter Kill" a term often referred to by the experts as; areas of dead patchy grass, visible when the yard transitions out of dormancy, leaving dead areas, unable to green back up.
These areas can be very small or large blanket areas depending on many factors. Some factors associated with "winter kill" are as follows: Areas of constant shade, preventing dry out of moisture, low lying areas without proper drainage, poor soil, or rocky areas with shallow root systems and any area where large amounts of ice or snowfall cannot adequately evaporate.
Sometimes, small round areas are left dead, seemingly without explanation, only to discover a snowman was built and left to melt, leaving the turf underneath without the ability to recover. Areas left with large amounts of ice and snow can cause "Winter Kill" ultimately leaving stubborn areas which refuse to green up, leaving a dead or patchy appearance. Grasses left vulnerable after a hard winter, can be susceptible to diseases like "Spring Dead spot" a big problem with ornamental turf grasses.
Several methods can be used to try and circumvent the amount of area damaged by winter, follow some simple procedures to insure less area is effected.

1. Allow Lawn Tech to apply a high potassium/potash fertilizer in the fall before winter.
2. Allow Lawn Tech to perform an aeration, helping nutrients to absorb.
3. Make a final mowing before the first freeze, insuring an inch and 1/2 height, (higher is better)
4. Insure your yard drains properly, identifying problem areas.
5. Water your yard when winter dry times arrive.
6. Rake up leaves and debris, allowing your yard to dry properly.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lawn Tech Wishes You a Happy New Year

Lawn Tech wants to wish everyone a Happy New Year, as we face another year of lawncare, our focus needs to be on creating an ornamental lawn our customers can be proud of, with proper, timed chemical applications and proper homeowner maintenance, i.e., proper mowing, watering and weeding, creating a beautiful lawn is a snap! We appreciate your business this year and we look forward to a great 2011.