FAQs: Mowing and Landscaping

Homeowner Lawn Care Quick Reference

Use the Homeowner Lawn Care Quick Reference for guidance on which fertilizers to use when. This reference also helps homeowners identify lawn-grasses and weeds to best care for their lawns.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: What is my general obligation to maintain the exterior of my home, lawn and landscaping?
    A: Under the Master Declaration of the Association, all owners, at their own expense, are obligated to keep their Lot in good condition and repair and in a well-maintained, clean and attractive condition at all times. Failure to comply with the association’s restrictive covenants can result in fines levied under the association’s fine policy. As a reminder, penalties can begin accruing after only one courtesy notice.
  2. Q: What can I do to make sure I meet or exceed the mowing and landscaping expectations for Canyon Creek?
    A: Many things go into meeting these expectations:
    • An Owner’s Lot must be kept neat and tidy in appearance. Lawns must be kept mowed, edged and free of weeds and trash. Planters and beds must be kept free of weeds, leaves and other debris. Some latitude is permitted for seasonal leaf shedding. Shrubs and trees must be kept trimmed and attractive. Any dead foliage or limbs must be removed promptly. Nothing on an Owner’s Lot must be allowed to become overgrown or unmaintained. Owners with xeriscaping are reminded that “low-maintenance” does not mean “no-maintenance.” Xeriscaped beds must be equally maintained, edged and kept free of weeds, leaves and other debris.
    • Sufficient water must be applied to the landscaping, in accordance with any mandatory watering schedule in effect, to maintain the sod and plantings on the Lot. Landscape irrigation systems must be kept in good working order. Sod must not be allowed to die due to lack of water. Bare spots are not allowed although some latitude is permitted in heavily shaded yards where sod is difficult to grow. In this case, it may be more attractive to create a bed and to mulch or use shade tolerant plants. Be aware that construction of new beds requires an application to and review by the Architectural Review Committee.
    • Driveways, sidewalks and curbs must be kept edged and free of clippings and leaves. All hardscape including driveways, sidewalks, curbs, planters, retaining walls, etc. must be kept free of weeds, grasses or other plants within expansion joints, seams, etc. Sidewalks must be kept clear of shrubbery overgrowth and overhanging limbs so as not to obstruct the walkway.
    • Residents are also prohibited from discarding yard waste, brush, compost, trash or any other item on any Greenbelt or Amenity Area. This applies equally to Owners of Lots bordering the Greenbelt. The City of Austin provides weekly yard waste collection and twice annual large brush collection for this purpose.
  3. Q: What is the difference between a turf-grass versus weeds?
    A: By definition, “the upper stratum of soil bound by grass and plant roots into a thick mat”. Implied in this definition is that is this grass is of a single variety that may be mowed to ensure a uniform appearance. Conversely, a weed is any “… wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants“. Weeds present themselves in boundless varieties in boundless variety of growth characteristics that do not have a uniform appearance.
  4. Q: What turf-grasses are generally acceptable in Canyon Creek?
    A: St. Augustinegrass is very popular and typically does well in mixed sun and shade. Bermudagrass typically does well in full sun. Palisades Zoysia Grass typically does well in low light conditions. Consult the Canyon Creek Architecture Review Committee changes to your landscaping. Consult your lawn care professional for guidance on tolerance issues, year around care and water use.
  5. Q: What is required to ensure my fence complies with the guidelines?
    A: Fences must be kept attractive and in good repair. Each owner must promptly repair and replace any missing, broken or rotted fence pickets, posts and gates. Fencing must not be allowed to lean or sag excessively. Gates must be kept closed except when entering or exiting. Wooden fencing may be stained upon prior approval by the Architectural Review Committee. If a fence is already stained, repairs must be similarly stained. Stain must be maintained from time to time due to the effects of natural weathering and sprinkler spray. See the Fence FAQ for more information.
  6. Q: What about trash, recycling, and lawn-trash bags.
    A: Trash bins, recycling bins and 34-gallon plastic lawn-trash bins may not be placed at the curb any earlier than 8pm the evening before the designated collection day and returned to their storage area no later than 8pm on the day of collection. At all other times, carts must be screened from view and not visible from the street. Use of privacy screens for carts is permitted but requires prior approval by the Architectural Review Committee. Lawn-trash bags (those made from kraft paper) may be not be placed earlier than 6am the Saturday before collection. See the Trash, Recycling, and Lawn-trash FAQ and the Dumping FAQ for more information.
  7. Q: What if I need more time to resolve a compliance issue with my lawn?
    A: As soon as possible work with your Community Manager (manager@spectrumAM.com). Depending on your circumstances, your Community Manager can provide for additional time for remediation or consideration. The earlier you reach out to your Community Manager, the more options you have for a workable resolution.
  8. Q: May I turn part of my lawn into a vegetable garden?
    A: Generally no. Any consideration for such a change would need to be formally reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee. You MUST submit an application for consideration. It is safe to assume that such a change to the front yard would be inconsistent with the appearance of neighborhood and not be allowed under article 3.15 and article 3.20 of the Canyon Creek DCCRs. Such considerations for side and back yards will need to be reviewed with the Architecture Review Committee.

Mowing and Landscaping Guidelines

While the examples shown below (not from Canyon Creek) may appear to be extreme, they clearly demonstrate the impact of mowing and landscaping on the curb appeal and property value of your home. 

Page Edit History

  • 2020-05-06 (jmw): Minor edits for clarity.
  • 2020-04-28 (jmw): Page migrated to WordPress platform.
  • 2018-07-20 (jmw): Initial page posted based on content from BF.
  • 2018-10-24 (jmw): Added Q&A in weeds and turf-grasses.
  • 2018-11-16 (jmw): Added Q&A #8 concerning vegetable gardens.