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Worksite Wednesday: Mulching for Water Conservation

by Heather Day / August 23, 2023

Welcome to Worksite Wednesday, where we walk through the particulars of a project or project feature! Today, we are back at Meadow Modern discussing how mulch aids in plant health and water conservation. We’re also looking at the importance of using local materials whenever possible to conserve transportation resources.#NativeEdge #NativeEdgeLandscape #landscapedesign #waterconservation #austindrought #mulch #mulching #lawncare #xeriscape #xeriscapingRoyalty Free Music: License code: WAUQFQJBG33Q5W13

Maintaining Your Wildflower Prairie & Setting Yourself Up for Success

by Heather Day / June 3, 2023

In a blog post last month, we talked all about the benefits of planting native wildflowers in place of traditional lawns. Transforming your front lawn into a vibrant wildflower prairie can bring beauty, ecological benefits, and a love of native aesthetic to your landscape. However, maintaining a wildflower prairie yard requires a different approach compared to traditional lawn care. In this blog post, we'll explore some essential care and maintenance practices to help you nurture and sustain a thriving wildflower prairie.

Year One
Year Three: Here you see a diversification of species, and a fresh planting incorporating more native grasses.

Diversify with Native Grasses

While wildflowers are often the main focus when seeding a prairie yard, incorporating native grasses is equally important. Native grasses provide structure, enhance the overall aesthetic, and contribute to a more natural appearance. When choosing your seed mix, consider including a variety of native grasses that will complement the wildflowers. These grasses typically take longer to mature, so combining grass planting with wildflower seeding ensures a balanced timing of growth and a more visually appealing landscape.

Allow for Seed Production

A crucial aspect of wildflower management is allowing the plants to go to seed. This process ensures the self-sustainability of your prairie and encourages the natural dispersal of seeds for future growth. By letting the flowers fully mature and scatter their seeds, you're supporting the long-term success and expansion of your wildflower population.

Manage Aggressive Species & Combat Weeds

While diversity is key in a wildflower prairie, it's essential to manage more aggressive species within your seed mix. Some wildflowers might dominate the landscape, inhibiting the growth of other species. Regular observation and manual removal of these dominant plants prior to them going to seed can help maintain a balanced and harmonious mix of wildflowers.

Weeds can occasionally find their way into a wildflower prairie yard, competing with the desired plants for resources. Regular weeding is essential, particularly during the establishment phase of your prairie. Identifying and removing weeds promptly will minimize their impact on the overall health and appearance of your wildflower ecosystem.

Supplemental Watering

While wildflowers are generally resilient and adapted to native rainfall patterns, providing supplemental water during the early spring can give them a boost. This extra hydration helps them establish strong root systems and encourages more robust growth and blooming throughout the season. Aim for deep, infrequent watering rather than frequent shallow watering to promote healthier plant development.

Creating and maintaining a wildflower prairie yard requires a different approach to traditional lawn care. By diversifying with native grasses, allowing for seed production, managing aggressive species, combating weeds, and providing supplemental water during the early stages, you can ensure a thriving and sustainable wildflower prairie. Embracing these practices will not only enhance the beauty of your landscape but also contribute to the ecological well-being of your surroundings. Enjoy the natural splendor and the multitude of benefits that a wildflower prairie yard brings to your sustainable future.

Don’t Fear the Frost

by Erin Spencer / January 3, 2018

In Austin, when someone says they're worried about how the weather will affect their plants, that usually means  heat or drought. However, every winter there always seems to be that one cold snap that takes out half your garden bed without you realizing it, and you're left feeling  completely confused. 

That's why we're here to help! Here are our tips for how to combat the cold, so you can continue to enjoy your landscape all year long. H

1. Stick with Styrofoam: The tips of the cactus are the most sensitive to frost damage, because that's where they put out new growth. A styrofoam cup is heavy enough to where it won't fly off, and the warm air trapped inside helps the cactus get through those chilly nights.

2. Take out a Towel: For some plants it's best to cover them completely with a towel, burlap sack, or blanket. This traps in heat and also helps prevent frost crystals from forming on your plant. Remember to take off your sheet when it starts to warm up again, otherwise moisture can condense inside and freeze in the next frost.

3. Water them Well: I know it seems counterintuitive to water your plants right before a frost, but that's actually one of the best things you can do for them. Water acts as a insulator, trapping in more heat than dry aerated soil. Plump, water filled leaves will be more protected against cold damage, which can quickly dry out a plant.

DON'T DO THIS WITH SUCCULENTS! Succulents prefer dry soil, and their specialized leaves can burst in the cold if they have been given too much water.

4. Pause, don't Panic: Even if your plant does experience some frost damage that doesn't mean it's dead. Sometimes, all it needs is a good pruning to get right back to its old self. Wait until spring  to see the difference between healthy stems and dead before you prune. Pruning too early will expose the plant to further frost damage, which could result in the entire plant's eventual end.

Native Edge Irrigation Tip

by Rodney Stoutenger / May 1, 2017

This time of year, every drop of water is important! With summer quickly approaching, it is a good idea to test your irrigation system for any leaks, wear and tear, over-spraying, or lack of coverage. You can easily do a quick test of your own irrigation to be sure there is no water being wasted, and that your system is not causing run-off.

To perform your own test, run through each zone for at least 2-4 minutes and keep a look out for pooling water, over-spraying onto concrete areas, and breaks or leaks throughout the system. Since the water is high pressure, you can typically see an area of erosion or a hole in soils, mulches or top dresses where water may be leaking.

Another great way to prevent wasted water in the landscape is by keeping all parts and pieces of your irrigation system, including nozzles, up to date! We learn more every day, and more efficient systems are now available on the market. If your system is 8+ years old, it is a great idea to have this thoroughly checked out by a professional.

During our Maintenance Programs, these are areas of concern that we commonly check and repair as quickly as possible. However, you can also schedule a one-time service visit with Native Edge to have your system checked with a quick run through!

The City of Austin also offers wonderful service checks and rebates to keep your irrigation up to date.

Native Edge Deck Re-Staining Tip

by Rodney Stoutenger / April 10, 2017

You should re-stain your deck before the weather gets too hot and your wood too dry! The best way to accomplish this is by wetting down your deck and scrubbing it with a biodegradable wood cleaner and a stiff-bristel brush. This will remove all of the dirt and grime, and prepare the wood for staining. Rinse this, and allow the deck to thoroughly dry before applying your stain. There are lots of stain colors and styles available on the market, so be sure to speak with a professional about which is best for you and your space!

Native Edge Oak Wilt Tip

by Rodney Stoutenger / March 6, 2017

Oak wilt is a fungal disease that spreads from sap-feeding beetles attracted to fresh wounds on oak trees. These wounds can be caused by broken limbs, root systems, or from pruning.You can protect your trees by avoiding damage caused by lawn equipment such as weed-eaters, lawn mowers, and shovels. Prune your oaks only at the coldest times of the year when the activity of the disease carrying beetle is at its lowest. You should also paint all cuts or damaged areas with pruning sealer paint as soon as any cuts are made, and sterilize all pruning equipment between trees. It is important to note that even firewood is susceptible and will create a breeding ground the beetles can spread from, so make sure to cover your oak firewood with plastic and seal the edges.

Weed Control Tip

by Jake / February 6, 2017

Now is the time to focus on weed control! Once weeds sprout and seed they are much harder to maintain.

Just Mowing on This Lovely Thursday

by Rodney Stoutenger / September 22, 2016

[igp-video src="" poster="" size="large"][igp-likes] Instagram LikesJust mowing on this lovely Thursday! Hopefully we get some great rains this weekend! #mowing #lawn #grass #rain #fingerscrossed #atx #scag #scagtigercat #nativeedge #nativeedgelandscape

Completed Renovations at OutYouth

by Rodney Stoutenger / September 9, 2016

What an awesome day of caring with @homeaway at @outyouth to spruce up the safe space for the LGBT+ teen community! What an great organization for a great cause![igp-likes] Instagram LikesWhat an awesome day of caring with HomeAway at Out Youth to spruce up the safe space for the LGBT+ teen community! What an great organization for a great cause! #lgbt #homeaway #outyouth #landscapedesign #giantjenga #jenga #landscapeconstruction #atx #atxlife

A day of caring with Out Youth and HomeAway

by Rodney Stoutenger / September 9, 2016

A day of caring with Out Youth and @HomeAway[igp-likes] Instagram LikesA day of caring with Out Youth and HomeAway #dayofcaring #outyouth #nativeedgelandscape #atx