Winter Weather Lawn & Landscape Care

coldweatherIt looks like we’ll finally have our first real blast of winter.  Starting Thursday night we have predicted lows of 20 degrees possibly with ice followed by 12 degrees predicted for Monday.  Here are some helpful steps for protecting your lawn and landscape…
 
If your city will allow it (you can find helpful links to check water restrictions here), water your lawn and landscape before the cold weather arrives.  Watering traps heat in the ground which will sustain nearly all Dallas area plants through a cold snap.  
 
If you can’t water, most of your plants should be fine since it appears we’ll have enough precipitation to help prevent damage.  You should cover sensitive plants with a cloth sheet (old sheets make a great cover.)  Don’t use plastic.  Again the idea is to trap heat against the ground so plastic doesn’t help, in fact when the sun comes out it can make things worse by scorching the plant leaves.  If you have pansies, they don’t have to be covered to survive, but covering will prevent their blooms from being damaged.  

Finally, all cities in our area require a freeze sensor on sprinkler systems.  If you aren’t sure about yours, the simple solution to preventing dangerous icing is to turn off your system.

 If you need more help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form.  We’d be happy to answer any of your questions about cold weather lawn and landscape care.
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Cold Weather Plant Care

Cold WeatherAn artic cold front pushing into our area later tonight promises to bring much colder temperatures and the possibility of sleet to parts of North Texas.  Fortunately for us in the Metroplex, the temperature should remain above freezing.  While these temps may be uncomfortable to us humans (and our pets,) they should not be a problem for most plants.  

What harms the majority of plants is extremely cold and DRY weather that is well below freezing.  When temperatures are predicted to plummet, the best protection you can provide for your plants is to water your landscape.  If the soil is wet, even if the temperatures plunge into the single digits (which, can happen in North Texas), the soil temperature won’t drop below 32 degrees which protects the roots of your plants.

While your plants will survive the cold if you’ve watered, we recommend covering your blooming plants, such as pansies, or your more sensitive plants.  An old sheet or cloth towel is what we recommend to our customers.  Never cover your plants with a plastic sheet or tarp.  The plastic works like a magnifying glass, and will scald the plants underneath.

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El Salvador Trip – Hard Work on Day 1

A note via email from Village Green Founder and President, Ken Hyatt. who is in El Salvador helping Arapaho United Methodist Church (in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity) build a home.

Yesterday was the hardest physical work I’ve done in a long time.  Our Mission Trip team dug the foundation of the home – probably 30′ by 20, about 2′ down, using picks, shovels and hoes, hauling the dirt using wheel barrows about 50′ away to a mound that became so tall they had to lay down wooden ramps to get to the top.  

We got about two thirds of the trenches dug yesterday.  It was exhausting work but what made it fun was when we took breaks, we could play with the village children.  

IMG_5296-1There were four at our site ranging from about 9 to 13 months.  They were coloring pictures with crayons and later, made cutouts to create puppets from paper lunch bags.  After lunch Shelby (Ken’s daughter) spent a couple of hours playing with them and their mother would laugh and laugh at Shelby’s Spanish.  The children had shy smiles that were beautiful.  

Toward the end of the day the oldest asked me if we were coming back tomorrow and was delighted to hear we were.  Right before we left one of them asked Shelby to play ball with them and, of course she did.  The struck up a tiny game of baseball using a 6″ inflatable ball.  I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids, Shelby or the adults who gathered to watch.  

IMG_5278Debbie (Ken’s wife) worked at another site which was supposed to be easier but really wasn’t.  They ended up moving a big mound of dirt left over from construction of another home to another, out of the way, area.  She talked about an 8 year old neighborhood boy who stopped by after school and began helping them.  He worked rings around all of them, even complaining when Debbie tried to give him a lighter load of dirt to carry.  

We went back to the hotel exhausted, Shelby and Debbie jumped in a very cold hotel pool, went to eat, played a few rounds of Apples to Apples and went to bed and I imagine we all got the best night of sleep so far.

 

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