Covington Nursery and Landscape Company - Rowlett, Texas
Monthly Gardening Tips for North Texas
Keys to Gardening Success

Butterflies, Hummingbirds & Other Critters


Flowers and Succulents

General Gardening Tips


Lawns, Ornamental Grasses & Vines

Shrubs & Trees

Mulch, Soil, Stone & Water

Covington's Articles and Advertisements in Local Media

Ornamental and Shade Tree Information Sheets with Colorful Pictures (PDFs)
What You Should Know

Our What You Should Know series of articles is useful, need to know information for anyone wishing to garden in North Texas. Most of the regular readers of our webletter may already know this information, but the series is written so our customers can share it with their friends, neighbors, and family who need to know about these topics, but didn't know to ask! Feel free to send any of our What You Should Know articles to anyone who could use a bit of gardening help. It's OK...we don't mind! Just download the PDF, attach it to an email, and send to a friend.

Planting Articles

Covington's Recipe for New Beds

  1. First, remove the grass (if any exists) from the new bed area with a sod cutter or with a spray of 20% vinegar or Hi-Yield Kill-Zall.
  2. Roto-till the area thoroughly.
  3. Add no less than a 2" layer of expanded shale and a 2" layer of our Back to Earth cotton burr compost! The shale improves drainage more or less permanently (as it is stone, it doesn't decompose!), and the porous nature of the shale holds moisture in drought conditions, as well as air when the soil would otherwise be waterlogged! The compost provides further initial drainage and feeds the soil.
  4. Roto-till it again! Think of this step like blending a cake batter, working the shale and compost throughout the existing broken clay.
  5. Top dress with another 2" layer of your favorite mulch! Hardwood mulch, cedar mulch, and cypress mulch are all good choices for top dress. A thick layer of mulch cuts dramatically down on weed problems and keeps your soil cooler during the summer.

This bed preparation will make it much easier to succeed with your new plantings, across the board.

Helpful Articles

How to Eliminate Brown Patch and Take-All Root Rot in St. Augustine Lawns

Brown patch, a fungal disease of St. Augustine grass, is common when the temperatures start dipping into the sixties  at night and we have moist weather. Brown patch and the more serious turf disease of Take-All Root Rot both grow quickly in this kind of weather. Take-All rot will kill your turf, runners, roots, and all - the roots of dying runners pulled up from the ground will be weak, browned/blackened, and snap easily, with black spots on the grass runners.

Solutions for both diseases:

  • First, don't fertilize St. Augustine that's diseased if you haven't already - it only encourages the disease to spread quickly.
  • Spray affected areas, and a good wide area around the damaged area, with our Ferti-lome Systemic Fungicide. Apply this fungicide at label rate once a week for three applications.
  • Spread Canadian peat moss over those sections of the lawn at the rate of a bale per 500 sq. ft. - the Extension Service's research shows it to be a great help in treating Take-All infections - it's acidic (neither disease likes an acid environment), moisture-absorbent, and inherently anti-microbial.

Do all of the above for the best results. Continue to mow regularly, never letting the turf get too tall between mowing.  Long cut grass blades don't break down as quickly and build an unhealthy amount of thatch that provides an environment for turf disease to thrive.

Brown patch areas will usually fill back in without a lot of work. Take-All areas will have to grow in from the healthy sides or even require re-sodding. Make that judgment based on how well the areas fill in this coming spring.

Covington’s now provides a service to treat these diseases and get your lawn healthy again. Contact our Landscape Services Team today at (972) 475-5888 Ext. 5 for more information and to schedule your service.

Water Conservation in North Texas

  • Mulch Everything - This is the #1 priority: when drought conditions threaten, it's time to mulch. Put a generous two-to-three inch layer on top of your flowerbeds, around your trees, and in your gardens. A good thick layer of mulch is the first line of defense.
  • Texas SmartscapePrepare New Beds Properly - Expanded Shale and Compost, a two inch layer of each tilled into your soils of new plantings, adds proper drainage and also holds enough moisture around your plants' roots to help prevent undue summer stress.
  • Water Correctly - Water applied through your sprinkler system should be applied heavily, but less often; follow your home city's rules for sprinkler usage. Water in the early morning to avoid unnecessary evaporation, and when you do water, soak your plants hard. This heavier, less frequent watering encourages a strong, deep root system that is less prone to drought stress.
  • Do Not Over Fertilize Turf - Heavily fertilized lawns need heavier watering. In drought conditions - with water restrictions active - go easy on the feedings. The turf won't be a lush, brilliant green, but it won't burn up either.

Expanded Shale and Why You Should Use It

Expanded Shale for our heavy clay soil does the following:

  • Shale Opens Clay Soils - Using a good two-to-three inch layer of Expanded Shale, tilled in to the soil, opens clay soils and keeps them open for years. One tilled-in application of this shale will last for at least 10 years or more. This provides a soil condition most of us here in North Texas never see - soil soft enough to easily dig without "stomping" on your shovel.
  • Shale Adds Air to Your Soil - Even when your soil would otherwise be waterlogged, through rain or simple over-watering, Expanded Shale will still maintain thousands of tiny pockets of air, helpful for the root system of your plants.
  • Shale Holds Water in Drought Conditions - Shale also has thousands more larger pockets within a typical pebble, large enough for water to come in and make itself home. Expanded Shale will hold up to 38% of its' weight in water, but won't let it go until the soil around it is dry and in need of the moisture.

Planting Advice

How-To Videos

What You Should Know


Water Conservation Products


Soil MoistSoil Moist has been developed to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain vigorous plants and other green goods. When mixed in the soil, the crystals will soften and swell as water is added and absorbed.


© Covington's Nursery
All Rights Reserved 2015
Covington's Nursery  •  5518 President George Bush Hwy.  •  Rowlett, Texas 75089  •  972-475-5888 Web Site:
Landscape Services Retail Nursery Wholesale Nursery Current Specials About Covington's Nursery Hours & Location Covington's Nursery Home Discounts & Savings