How To Get Healthy Pansies in North Texas

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve never understood why the name pansy got associated with wimpy when they’re the toughest flower we’ve ever seen. Pansies can weather single digit temperatures and wintry precipitation one day and bounce back and start blooming a few sunny days later. They are truly a hardy little flower and should be your go-to flower in North Texas if you want colorful blooms during the colder months of the year. A few tips on how to get the most out of your pansies…

  • They prefer a loose well-drained soil so they don’t stay wet after watering. An easy way to accomplish that is to add potting soil to the bed.
  • Pansies are like candy to rabbits, so if you have a large population in your area, it may be challenge to grown them. I haven’t found anything that is 100% effective to keep rabbits away, but many recommend using fox or wolf urine as a deterrent. You can buy discount urine here: ThePeeMart.com (only on the internet, right?). The downside to using this is you have to apply it every few weeks. • Mix blood meal into your soil. Not only is a great organic fertilizer for pansies, it also acts as a rabbit deterrent.
  • The key to nice blooming pansies is to fertilize them a little but mostly, don’t over water them. That’s the fastest way to kill them.
  • If pansies are planted too early and are exposed to warm weather, the plant will get tall and leggy and won’t really recover – the recommended soil temperature is below 65 degrees.
  • Finally, you can cover pansies when the temperatures drop below freezing. That keeps the blooms from being burned off. If you don’t cover them you’ll lose the blooms and they have to re-set again, but they will look nice again a couple of weeks later. 

When it comes to pansies your choice is often between these two varieties: Majestic and Crown.

Majestic has a larger bloom and is two-tone, with an eye in the middle. Because these have large blooms, you can’t get the mass of blooms you would from the smaller ones but the two-tone color lets you blend a mix of colors. They are also good if we have a wet winter (they seem to survive better.)

The Crown has smaller blooms, and fill in becoming a mass of solid color.

Lately growers have introduced quite a few other varieties, with a lot of different names, but tat the end of the day the same rules apply. You either like two-tone larger blooms or a solid mass. It really is a personal preference.

As far as color, pastels seem to be the weakest of all pansies, especially if we have a wet winter. They always struggle more than other colors.

Village Green offers full landscaping design and installation for our customers. I invite you to view our online portfolio and if you are thinking of adding some fall color, or doing any landscape work to give us the opportunity to earn your business. We’re happy to do a free quote and answer any questions you may have. Simply call 972-495-6990 or email ken@villagegreen-inc.com.

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Important Water News: Every Two Week Watering is Back!

The North Texas Municipal Water District have initiated Stage 3 seasonal watering of the NTMWD Water Conservation and Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan, which goes into effect November 1, 2014. You can read their full release here.

You should verify your specific watering day schedule with your city or appropriate water provider. You can find links to this info on the Village Green Resource Center.

Please bookmark the page and use it as a resource (and share with your friends and family.) Our resource center is the perfect place to arm yourself with all the information you need to keep your lawn and landscape healthy and looking great.

We’d also like to remind you to make sure you’ve adjusted your automatic sprinkler system for the fall. You shouldn’t be watering as much as you did during the summer. You can learn more about fall watering in North Texas here.

If you have any questions regarding your sprinkler system please don’t hesitate to contact us at 972-495-6990.  We’d be happy to answer any of your questions or give you a free quote on what it would cost for us to come out and give your sprinkler system a tune-up (including programming your system) to make sure you’re watering as efficiently as possible.

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How Do I Keep Armadillos From Destroying My Lawn and Landscape?

armadilloOver the past couple of weeks we’ve seen an increase in calls regarding lawn and landscape damage caused by armadillos.  Namely how can our customers stop armadillos from digging up their lawns?

The armadillo is an unusual creature. They’ve been around forever, and are in a family that is similar to anteaters.  They thrive in warm climates with soft soil, such as Texas.   They have an excellent sense of smell. When startled, they often jump straight up, and then run surprisingly fast. They are usually about two feet long and about 12 pounds as adults. They are primarily nocturnal, but sometimes emerge after a rain or in cool weather.    The problem with armadillos in urban areas is that they dig for all of their food, which consists primarily of grubs and earthworms.  Armadillos are expert diggers and they can cause serious damage to a lawn or a nicely landscaped area.  They often dig holes in undesirable places, such as underneath a concrete porch, the foundation of a house, or near gas/water lines. If they remove too much dirt from under a concrete foundation, the foundation faces the danger of cracking.

Village Green’s first line of defense against armadillos is grub prevention (click to learn more.)  Be sure and treat your lawn in late spring/early summer with a grub preventative to reduce the amount of food in the lawn.  This doesn’t always prevent the armadillos but it seems to cut down on them.

If they still decide to dig in your lawn (armadillos aren’t the smartest animals around) we have seen some success with applying sulfur.   We have also been using it to chase rabbits out of lawns because of the damage they do to the yard.  It’s sort of voodoo when you use it to chase off animals and it’s certainly not a guaranteed cure but more often than not it improves things.  For those worried about applying sulfur, rest easy; many people apply sulfur to their legs when they are hiking to prevent chiggers.  It is also safe on lawns (in fact up north it is used to change the PH of their soil.)

If you still need help or have questions please give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. We offer a full range of affordable services for your lawn and landscape and would be happy to give you a free quote on any of our services.

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