Ask a landscaper
Cody King, a horticulturist at Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery, provided information about maintaining landscaping during the Texas summers.
What should people do to keep their yards looking good despite the Texas heat?
Proper fertilization in the spring and fall is key, and so is good irrigation. They have to install certain irrigation lines that accommodate whatever turf they have—there’s Bermuda or zoysia or St. Augustine—and there’s shade and sun requirements for each of these grasses.
What kind of routine maintenance can people do on their irrigation system?
Here we have a lot of calcium in our water. So, once every year or two you actually want to take your sprinkler head out and clean out those calcium deposits. The issue is whenever the calcium dries, it solidifies and can end up blocking the irrigation heads.
What is the best time of year for people to plant landscaping in their flower beds or gardens?
For herbaceous plants, that would definitely be early to late spring. Herbaceous and woody plants are completely different. I wouldn’t plant anything herbaceous in the fall, but the fall is a great time to plant woody plants like redbuds, oaks and shrubs.
Sales team lead/horticulturist
Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery
1407 N. Bell Blvd., Cedar Park
Ask a plumber
Lloyd Peach, the responsible master plumber with GTX Plumbing & Drain, answered questions about common plumbing problems.
What are some of the most common plumbing issues homeowners come across?
Basically everything falls into two categories: Either water isn’t where it’s supposed to be or it is where it shouldn’t be. So, people either have a stoppage or a leak.
What preventive maintenance can homeowners take to keep their plumbing system working correctly?
One of the primary things that we’re coming across this year is that a lot of air conditioners drain under [a hall or guest bathroom] sink and, because it’s not chlorinated water, algae and fungi form. Homeowners need to pour a cup of chlorine down the sink to prevent this.
We also run across garbage disposals not being operated properly. You have to remember that with a garbage disposal you need a little bit of food and a lot of water. We recommend taking your ice tray out and dumping it into the sink with the disposal, filling the sink up and pulling the plug to let it clean out your pipes.
When do plumbing projects escalate from something a homeowner can take on themselves to needing to hire a professional?
A lot of that has to do with the comfort and skill level of the homeowner. It’s Texas, so there’s a lot of old farm hands who can do it. We also have an “ask a master plumber” service and can Facetime with people to walk them through problems and send them Amazon links to the parts they need. At least that way they know they really need a plumber.
Responsible master plumber
GTX Plumbing & Drain