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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Save lots of money on fall lawn feeding by doing it naturally

Yes, your lawn needs to be fed in the fall - just like that guy with the strange accent says on TV commercials.  There's no advantage, however, to feeding your lawn with the synthetic product he recommends (except to the retailer that sells it to you). The same results for your lawn can be achieved for far less of your money - probably even for free.

For many, many years I've not fed my lawn with stuff from a bag, and my grass is doing quite well.  I'm no chemist or botanist, but the results speak well for feeding your lawn naturally in the fall. The health of my lawn, and of my clients' lawns, attest to it.

For years I've mowed my lawn, leaves and all, a couple of times each winter.   Basically, this shreds the dead, fallen leaves into tiny pieces (about the size of a dime), which decompose more rapidly into organic matter and add a lot a carbon and other nutrients back into your soil.  An added advantage is that the decomposing matter will attract birds like crazy;  to pick through the leaf-bits in search of food.

In a very short time the tiny pieces of decomposing leaves will disappear from view, as they filter down between the blades of grass and become part of the soil. This replicates the process that happens naturally in a forest; but does it in a lot less time. This eliminates a lot of leaf-raking too.

(if you're worried about "thatch" - don't be.  Thatch, a very rare occurrence, is almost always a fable told by people who want to sell you something)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Listen for north Texas' most common owl.

Screech Owls
Listen carefully, and you may hear the call of north Texas' most common owl - the Eastern Screech Owl. If it's nightime, and you're in or near woods, listen for a tremulous horse whinney sound. Some call it a "screech", and others speculate it's the sound of heard by the rider in Washington Irving's tale, "Headless Horseman". Whatever it sounds like, it's not the "hoot-hoot" so often associated with owls. 

Eastern Screech Owl
Actually, the only owl in north Texas that "hoots" is the Great-horned Owl.  An adult Great-horned Owl may be 2-feet tall. On the other hand the Screech Owl is about 9 or 10 inches long, relying largely on excellent camoflage during the day, when it sleeps.

Other owls common here in north Texas are the Barn Owl and the Barred Owl.

You and your kids can look for bats when they're flying around - in the dark of night hunting bugs (The tiny animals are harmless to humans). Simply fasten a
piece of tracing paper over a normal flashlight lens. The light will then be dim enough to not be seen as troublesome to bats. Bats will still be able to detect tiny objects, very accurately, in the dark. And you'll be able to see them.