Yard and Garden

yom hoa.jpgYard of the Month awards
So far, we have recognized twelve homeowners with Yard of the Month sign in their yards for a month, presentation of award and news release for the papers. This has been very well received and the homeowners like the recognition.

We now are offering HOAs the opportunity to award their homeowners Yard of the Month with the purchase of their own sign for $81.19 (two sided aluminum, vinyl sign in realtor’s frame) from MSigns, 972.745.7366. A representative from the HOA can call directly but we would also like to know you are getting one – sharon@KeepCarrolltonBeautiful.org.

Check out our Links for more information.


Xeriscape (the x is pronounced like a z) is defined as the conservation of water and energy through creative landscaping. The term originated from the Greek work “xeros”, meaning ?dry?. eriscape works by using ?water-thrifty? plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, vines and groundcovers. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from and many are indigenous to Texas. Not only do they require less water than conventional plants, they also require less maintenance and need little, if any, chemicals or fertilizers.

Xeriscape landscapes need not be cactus and rock gardens. They can be green, cool landscapes full of beautiful plants maintained with water-efficient practices. The same green Texas-style landscape which we are accustomed to can be achieved and still conserve water. Xeriscape saves time, money, and water!

Xeriscape landscaping incorporates seven basic principles which lead to saving water:

Planning and design
Soil improvement
Appropriate plant selection
Practical turf areas
Efficient watering
Use of mulches
Appropriate maintenance
By incorporating these seven principles, you can help preserve our most precious natural resource-water.

Start With a Plan

Creating a water-efficient landscape begins with a well-thought-out landscape design. Sketch your yard with locations of existing structures, trees, shrubs and grass areas. Then consider the landscape budget, appearance, function, maintenance and water requirements.

Soil Analysis and Preparation

To increase plant health and conserve water, add organic matter to the soil of shrub and flower bed areas. This increases the soil?s ability to absorb and store water in a form available to the plant. As a rule-of-thumb, till in 4 inches of organic material such as shredded pine bark, peat and rice hulls.

Plant Selection

Select trees, shrubs and groundcovers based on their adaptability to your region?s soil and climate. Most have lower water demands, fewer pest problems and less fertilizer needs than many nonadapted, exotic plants brought into Texas landscapes.

Use of Mulches

Mulch reduces water loss from the soil, reduces weeds, moderates soil temperatures and prevents soil erosion. It prevents the hot sun and wind from causing rapid evaporation from the soil surface. This reduces soil cracking. Since most roots absorb water and nutrients close to the soil surface, cracking will tear roots and stress the plants.

Mulch will reduce weeds and cut down on weeding chores. It prevents germination of many wind blown seeds. The few that do sprout are easily plucked.

Soil erosion is reduced because mulch breaks the impact of raindrops and irrigation water on soil. Water also soaks into mulch instead of running off as it often does on uncovered soil.

Soil fertility is increased by direct leaching of nutrients from the mulch as well as from decomposition of the mulch. Soil compacting is reduced by the mulch surface dispersing the weight of people, pets, and wheelbarrows.

Mulch moderates the soil temperature by keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Diseases are reduced because the mulch reduces splashing of water from the soil to the leaves, which can spread some disease organisms. By keeping the soil moisture even, mulch eliminates plant stress that can make a plant susceptible to diseases.

Almost any organic matter makes good mulch. You can use yard wastes and plant debris as well as commercial products.

See all you neighbors raking their leaves?

Ask them if you can have theirs for your compost pile!

Starting Your Own Compost Bin

Choose a 3? x 3? area to place bin or pile, preferably in the shade. Add a layer of ?brown? organic materials rich in carbon, like straw, leaves or chopped twigs.

Add water as you add organic materials to the pile so the materials are damp like a sponge, not soggy.

Add green organic materials that are rich in nitrogen, like grass clippings. Continue to add equal amounts in weight of ?green? and ?brown? organic materials.

A properly made pile will reach temperatures up to 160 degrees F. in a day or two. The pile will settle during the process that may last from a few weeks to a few months. Turning the pile after the first week will speed up the process. Compost is ready for use when it appears dark, brown, crumbly and will have an earthy smell.

Compost added to the garden, landscape and lawn will provide benefits of plant growth, water retention, and protects plants from pests and diseases.

Yard Trimmings Program

Weekly collection of up to 12 cubic yards of brush (tree trimmings, limbs and branches) and bulk waste (items too large for your green roll-out container including bagged or boxed material) is provided on your regular collection day.

Limits do apply to these collections:

Brush or limbs will be collected if no more than 4 feet in length and in bundles weighing no more than 40 pounds.
Bulk waste includes items too large to fit inside your green roll-out container. Boxes or bags weighing up to 50 pounds will be collected.
Yard waste (grass clippings) can be bagged in plastic or paper bags and added to your green roll-out container for collection. Bags weighing up to 50 pounds will be collected if placed curbside. (Tip: Participate in the ?Don?t Bag It? program by leaving mulched leaves and clippings on your lawn to return nutrients to the soil.)
According to city ordinance, residential waste shall be placed at the location designated by the city no earlier than 6:00 p.m. of the evening before and no later than 6:30 a.m. of the collection day. Do not block or impede a street or alley right-of-way, water or gas meter, drainage ditch, sight triangle at an intersection or sidewalk. Improperly placed waste will not be collected.

For materials in excess of 12 cubic yards (for example, fencing) call 972-422-2341 for collection information. A minimal fee will be charged.

Composting Information

For more information please contact: Allied Waste Services 972-422-2341