Brush Country Backyard

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If you're in a rural area where there is no garbage service--throw the garbage in your pickup and haul it to the nearest landfill or transfer station. It doesn't make sense to pile up brush unless, that is, you're piling it to provide wildlife habitat; see our third tip below. In fact, it only becomes noticeable when trees fall during major storms. To take care of excess brush from fallen trees, follow some simple steps:. If that's unsightly, clip the limbs down into smaller pieces using a lopper.

Or, if you're equipped, chip the limbs into brush. Leaves, garden debris, and yard debris can all be converted into mulch, either deliberately or slowly left to rot on its own. First, separate the debris into sticks and limbs in one pile and smaller organic materials in the other. Chip the sticks and limbs into smaller pieces and scatter them to make them less noticeable.

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Small-diameter woody growth begins steady decomposition from the moment it's cut, and the more it's cut into smaller lengths, the more rapid its decomposition. Then toss the leaves, vines and other debris into a rotating compost bin , which will speed up the process of decomposition.

Ecoregion 6 – South Texas Brush Country

Creating a pile of leaves, dirt and other yard debris is another effective way to compost, but the piles requires weekly turnover to aid decomposition. A brush pile can provide habitat for small wildlife and draw birds more effectively to a bird feeder by providing them a place to escape to. Build a brush pile around the base of a large tree by piling sticks and branches in a circle around the tree, or construct one in open spaces with a log or cinder block at the base with sticks, leaves and other brush piled on top. Type keyword s to search.

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Today's Top Stories. Foliar applications are most effective when the shrub's leaves are fully open at the end of summer or early in fall. If you're applying a herbicide to cut stems, cut the stems when the shrubs are actively growing and don't delay painting on the herbicide.

You may have to wait several weeks to see results because the chemicals take time to move through the plant and into the roots. Don't cut down woody weeds while you're waiting for a herbicide to take effect.

TPWD: Plant Guidance by Ecoregions -- Ecoregion 6 – South Texas Brush Country

Always wipe the blades of your pruning shears or pruning saw with rubbing alcohol before and after pruning shrubs to help prevent the spread of pests and diseases. If your yard contains ornamental shrubs that have become overgrown and unmanageable, try cutting them down to 3 or 4 inches above the ground in early spring and wait several years for them to regrow.

Shrubs often regrow into a healthy, natural form. When your yard is overrun with weeds, often the best solution is to clear the lot and start again.

The Dangers Of Burning A Brush Pile

Trimming or mowing the weeds is ineffective against grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds that can spread out across the soil surface. Perennial weeds are also a challenge to destroy. Any piece of their roots that's left in the soil can grow into a new plant. To destroy all types of weeds in your yard, spray with a nonselective systemic herbicide like glyphosate.


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Wear protective clothing and spray on a dry, still day. After the herbicide has taken effect and the weeds are dead through to their roots, remove them.


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  4. Nonselective herbicides are harmful to desirable plants. Protect any plants you wish to keep by covering them with cardboard or newspapers before spraying weedy plants with a herbicide. Clearing an overgrown yard without resorting to herbicides involves covering up the weeds and brush with mulches. A layer of mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the weeds and suppresses their growth.

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    Some examples of organic mulches are bark chips, sawdust, grass clippings, dead leaves and wood chips. Inorganic mulches include pebbles, sand and gravel, whereas synthetic mulches comprise materials like landscape fabric and other geotextiles. After cutting down brush and weeds to ground level, covering them with a layer of landscape fabric is one of the most effective nonchemical approaches to preventing the plants from sprouting again.

    Organic mulches can also be effective when spread thickly. Spread a thick-textured organic mulch such as wood chips to a depth of 4 inches and a fine-textured organic mulch like sawdust to a depth of 2 inches. Inorganic mulches give the best weed control when spread over landscape fabric.


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