Ken’s Quick Tip: Fall Watering Guide

I know it may not feel like it with these 90 degree days, but the first day of fall is this Friday. Now is the time to to update your sprinkler’s settings to make sure you are getting adequate water coverage for your lawn and landscape in North Texas. this fall.

How much should you water in the fall?

During the fall your soil loses about ½ the water it loses in the summer so you can turn off one day of watering. The simplest thing to do is to set the controller to only water once per week for 10 minutes. You can download our free watering guide here.

If you have question or need additional help with your sprinkler system give us a call at 972.495.6990 or ken@villagegreen-inc.com. We are always happy to answer your questions. If you need additional help remember we offer an affordable sprinkler tune-up and would be happy to give you a free, no obligation estimate. 

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Ken’s Quick Tip: Do You Have Brown Patch?

How about this weather? It’s hard to complain about these cooler temperatures and rain, but it does bring Brown Patch, which we’ve been seeing a lot of in the past week.

We typically don’t see Brown Patch until later September in North Texas, but with these cooler temperatures at night we are seeing some brown rings and patches showing up in our customers with St. Augustine lawns.

Brown Patch is a fungus that attacks St. Augustine in the fall (and spring.) The reason we experience so much Brown Patch during these two seasons is because our warm days and cool evenings mean your lawn never fully dries and Brown Patch thrives on these damp conditions. 

To understand Brown Patch, you need to consider that St. Augustine is a tropical plant and our North Texas summers of blistering heat (although this year wasn’t as hot) coupled with cold winter days put far more stress on it than its more natural home in places like Houston or Florida.  

The stress of summer followed by our fall like conditions of warm days and cool nights create the perfect environment for Brown Patch.  

Brown Patch isn’t going to destroy your lawn. Its biggest crime is making your lawn look bad. It typically goes away after our first frost. The bigger risk is that if you let it get out of control it can weaken your grass which could then suffer freeze damage if we have a cold enough winter.

If you want to avoid or treat Brown Patch I recommend watering your lawn in the morning so it has the best chance to dry during the day. You can also cut back your watering in shady areas. Instead of 30 minutes per week, try 10 or 15 minutes in those areas. You can download our free fall watering guide here.

Another thing to note if you are doing your own fertilization is that Brown Patch feeds on nitrogen. You need to avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers in St. Augustine lawns during early spring and late summer through fall. At Village Green we use a 5-10-31 ratio fertilizer.

Finally, if you see signs of Brown Patch you should treat the areas with Propiconazole. This isn’t going to make the Brown Patch go away, but it will stop the spread into other areas of your lawn. 

As always, if you have a question regarding your lawn and landscape give us call at 972.495.6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com. I love to answer your questions and often turn them into Quick Tips to help teach our customers on all things lawn and landscape related!

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Landscape Project Spotlight: Burgers & Landscapes

Getting older, especially as a business, has many rewards!  Probably my favorite is that we have formed many long-term relationships in our community with our customers who have used us over the years for their lawn and landscape needs.  

This Landscape Spotlight is a perfect example of what I mean.  We first met Mr. and Mrs. T at Big O’ Dad’s in Richardson.  This was a local burger spot that served great food, and Mom, Dad, my brother Keith and I would often take a lunch break from mowing and chat with the owners and all the other regulars at this neighborhood hang-out.  Big O’ Dad’s was like a burger restaurant version of the bar in the TV show Cheers and where we met Mr. and Mrs. T who were regulars like us and used us to do work for them in the 80’s and 90’s when they lived in Dallas.  Sadly, years later Big O’ Dad’s closed, and Mr. and Mrs. T moved out of Dallas but in 2006 they needed help with their lawn they remembered the Hyatt Family and Village Green Lawn & Landscape.

A couple of years ago the couple asked us to create a long-range plan for landscaping their home.  Their main priority was the backyard which they wanted to work on first, but they also had the desire to do their front yard at a later time thus wanted a cohesive plan.

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A great feature in their backyard is a large, glass enclosed patio, that allows them to enjoy their outside space year-round.  The problem was they didn’t feel there was anything good to look at, and wanted to install something beautiful to enjoy from this patio.  We surrounded the area with plants, using taller Savanah hollies in the corners to screen the view of the neighboring roofs, and flowering, medium sized Edward Goucher abelias along the fence line to soften the look of the fence.  We added a flagstone patio large enough for a table and chairs and installed a large, stone water feature to create a relaxing feel.  We completed that work roughly two years ago. 

This is why long-range plans are great.  You can do them in phases which allow you to be less concerned with the cost in the planning stage since you are doing it over time.  It gives you the freedom to create your dream landscape on paper and then decide how quickly (or slowly) you want to work through the plan.  That’s what we did on this project.  We installed their backyard two years ago and then last year we worked on the front.  The front had a large tree that was shading out the grass underneath.  We used a red bud tree underneath the large oak tree.  Red buds add great color in the spring and also work well as an under-story tree, a tree that does fine underneath a taller tree.  We used plum yews, a medium, fern like plant to give to give texture in the shade and added a dwarf plant called kaleidoscope abelia because it changes colors from yellow to red plus has soft pink blooms.  We used some gulf stream nandinas to frame the entry and added some annuals to welcome guests to the front door.

I really enjoy stopping by and checking in on our landscape and visiting with Mr. and Mrs. T.  They are a great couple and I really appreciate them letting me single them out and share our story with this spotlight.  It’s so much fun to remember the days when I was putting my way through college with Mom and Dad’s help, stopping in at our shared favorite lunch spot, Big O’ Dad’s. That was a lot of years ago now, but life is funny, because that’s how I’m currently putting my own daughter through college pretty much the same way.

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