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Important Notices

Preparing your lawn for winter

by Bob Dailey

October is one of the best months to prepare your yard for winter. It’s also one of the best times to prevent diseases.

Compacted Soils

Most of the lawns in The Woodlands are sodded over compacted soil. St. Augustine and other warm season grasses thrive in soil that is alive – full of active organisms that create a soil food web, which is necessary for deep root systems and healthy, disease-resistant plants. A good way to discover whether or not soil is compacted is to drive a six-inch screwdriver into the soil. If it cannot penetrate more than a few inches, the soil is compacted.  If it goes up to the hilt, the soil is healthier.

Installing drip irrigation

By Bob Dailey

Most of the landscapes in The Woodlands are irrigated by sprinkler systems. A significant amount of this water evaporates before it gets to the roots of the plants, or it stays on leaves, making them susceptible to fungal infections. Because of varying heights of landscape plants, the water from some sprinklers is blocked from reaching all the plants. Misdirected water often ends up running down the street.  Sprinklers for landscape plants are inefficient, wasteful and costly to homeowners and businesses. During hot days, evaporation lost from irrigation sprinklers can be as much as 30% of the water used.

Simple, low-cost ways to win the battle against lawn fungal diseases

By Bob Dailey

Fungal problems are a fact of life in Southeast Texas, where fungus is the main disease vector in plants. Actually, most soils here are full of fungal spores. Some are beneficial. Some, harmless. And some, like the fungi that cause take-all patch, brown spot or dollar spot, are problematic. Given the right circumstances, unwanted fungus can explode into a serious situation.

Soil quality and quantity are important when sodding a lawn

By Bob Dailey

The adage “it’s better to put a $1 plant into a $10 hole than it is to put a $10 plant into a $1 hole” also holds true for lawns.

The amount of soil that lies beneath many lawns in the area is woefully inadequate. Sample plugs taken show that some sod has less than a half inch of soil beneath them. Beneath that, more often than not, lies an impermeable layer of clay. Grass roots have a difficult time penetrating that clay barrier. It also causes irrigation water and rain to sheet off into the streets, making watering more expensive and wasteful. In some places, sod was laid directly over clay or even gravel, with no soil added. Be wary of contractors who leave behind a thin layer of soil under the sod.

Top 10 Mistakes Gardeners Make

by Bob Dailey

There is a saying that one cannot be a good gardener if she (or he) has not killed at least a thousand plants. That said, there must be a large number of great gardeners in Montgomery County.

Gardening mistakes can be time consuming and ultimately costly. Correcting some of these mistakes may sound counterintuitive, but understanding and avoiding very common errors helps create healthier and more attractive lawns and gardens.

Watering lawns in fall and winter

By Bob Dailey

When grass begins to turn yellow or brown in fall and winter, it’s not a sign that it’s dying. Turning color is a sign that the grass is going dormant.

Yes, the roots are still alive. In good soil, those roots will be digging their way deep into the soil to get water and nutrients. But good soil is another story.

In late spring and summer months, local grasses need no more than an inch of water a week. Not so in the fall and winter.

The basics of Water-Wise landscaping

By Bob Dailey

Water-wise gardening simply means using good common sense. It reduces irrigation needs, lowers water bills, lowers maintenance and provides a much higher quality and worry-free landscape.