Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
04 Dec 2013

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.
21 Nov 2013

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.

24 Jul 2013

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.

 

22 Jul 2013

El Salvador Trip

The Hyatt family enjoying ice cream in El Salvador.
The Hyatt family enjoying ice cream in El Salvador.

Our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt and his family are in El Salvador with Arapaho United Methodist Church July 20th through July 28th.  Part of the AUMC in El Salvador Adult Mission Trip Team, Ken and his family will help build a home in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador.  The team has created a special BLOG to chronicle their trip.  You can find it here.  You can also follow their adventures on the Village Green Facebook page.

 

08 Dec 2011

Late Fall/Early Winter Essentials For Better Dallas lawn Care

If you’ve taken care of your fall cleanup and removed all leaves and debris, your lawn is almost ready for maximum absorption of nutrients. Thanks to the seasonal weather changes, nutrients are well on their way via rainfall and other debris like leaves and grass clippings that may have temporarily composted before your fall cleanup. Insects will also pose less threat as they head into hibernation; leaving any last standing weeds from a final post emergent treatment your lawn’s only competition for nutrients.
The next logical step would be to apply a final fertilization treatment to winterize your turf, but wait! Be sure to read ahead before you feed your lawn for maximum absorption of nutrients.
Soil naturally becomes compacted from rain and general use all season which closes pathways for nutrients to be absorbed by the roots of your lawn. A core aeration treatment allows maximum ventilation of your soil and opens up more pathways for nutrients to be effectively and efficiently absorbed by the roots of your lawn. While spike shoes and other do-it-yourself techniques can produce some positive results, often times they don’t penetrate deep enough or pull enough plugs of soil out to naturally fertilize your lawn.  An aerator will evenly ventilate and penetrate your lawn for maximum absorption of nutrients in less time. The plugs of soil will also act as a natural fertilizer for the surface of your lawn. Is your lawn in a little rougher shape than most? Are there section of turf missing only to leave spots of soil? Once your lawn has had a core aeration treatment, it is now ready for a seeding treatment to renovate sections of your lawn that are in less than top form.
After you’ve checked these items of your lawn’s to-do list you’re now ready to winterize your lawn with a late fall feeding fertilizer application.
Not sure which type of winter fertilizer to use? Check back next week to learn how to determine the best winter fertilizer for your turf type.

Lawn Care Blog

10 Nov 2011

Using Vinegar as Weed Killer in your Dallas lawn Care Routine

It’s not just an old wives tale; vinegar really does get rid of weeds, if you know how to properly use it.
Vinegar is a popular choice among homeowners who are in favor of a more organic method to get rid of pesky weeds. Dallas lawn care specialists offer organic weed control products, but when weeds sprout in between applications, you may have to take weed control into your own hands.
So what kind of vinegar is effective against weeds? If you’ve tried this method before, you may have been disappointed when the only result you got was a very vinegary garden. The reason your previous attempt may have been ineffectual was because you didn’t use the right kind of vinegar. Dallas lawn care studies have shown that in order to be effective against weeds, the vinegar must possess a 20 percent concentration of acetic acid. Now that you know what kind of vinegar to use, how should it be applied?
Most people spray organic weed control products directly on the plants, thinking it won’t do any harm. In most cases, this is probably true. However, when using vinegar, you’re using an acidic liquid that can remove the waxy layer of defense plant leaves have, leaving the plant susceptible to dehydration. The second application alternative is to drench the soil directly below the plant. However, this also presents complications as the pH level of the soil is lowered to a level that plants cannot survive. The plants won’t immediately die, because the acidifying effects will last for up to a year. The plant may have one last period of bloom, which is when you should apply lime to neutralize the soil.
Vinegar might take a little more planning than some other organic weed control products, but it is still an inexpensive method to eliminate weeds without posing harm to the environment. Dallas lawn care experts suggest applying the vinegar on warm, dry days. If it happens to rain immediately after you apply the vinegar application, you’ll need to re-apply because the original application will have been washed away.
If you aren’t sure if this is the right solution, consult your local Dallas lawn care company for the best organic weed control solution.

Lawn Care Blog

13 Oct 2011

Lawn Care Tip: Using Drop Spreaders to Fertilize your Lawn

When your Dallas lawn needs fertilized, the best solution is to contact your local Dallas lawn care company and have the professionals attend to the task. However, if you’re one of those do-it-yourselfers, then there is some research to be done on the subject. Not all fertilizers are the same, so you should decide which fertilizer is right for your Dallas lawn, how much should be applied, when it should be applied, as well as what to do to ensure the application is successful. If you’re using granule fertilizer, you will want to look into purchasing a spreader to disseminate the fertilizer evenly.

There are generally two types of spreaders: drop spreaders and broadcast spreaders. Broadcast spreaders are particularly advantageous for those who have a large Dallas lawn to cover. However, if the area you’re fertilizing is small, a drop spreader might be more ideal.

Whereas broadcast spreaders fling the fertilizer in every direction, drop spreaders are more focused, releasing the fertilizer directly underneath the device through the hopper. This means you have to make certain you have covered that area thoroughly, or else you could have some areas of your Dallas lawn growing wildly while other sections barely look alive. Another downfall to using a drop spreader is the risk of over-fertilizing your Dallas lawn; applying fertilizer is a very delicate balance and if you apply too much fertilizer, you run the risk of frying your Dallas lawn.

If this sounds like too much of a hassle or you’re not particularly good at staying within the lines, your best option is to contact your local professional Dallas lawn care company and leave the fertilizing to them. Sometimes having a beautiful, successful Dallas lawn means leaving it up to the pros!

Lawn Care Blog

29 Sep 2011

Lawn Care Tip: Grasses Perfect for the Sun

If you have a landscape that is in the sun for the majority of the day, lawn care specialists will tell you that not just any type of grass will do. In order to have a successful landscape, you need to have a groundcover that can withstand the constant sunlight and the heat that accompanies long periods of sunlight.

Your lawn does not have to be the typical kind of groundcover most people have. Part of having a beautiful landscape is employing creative ideas that will give your property a distinctive appearance. Interspersed with your lawn should be groundcover that will thrive in the beating sun, such as thyme, anemone and stonecrop.

Thyme is a dense groundcover that will successfully survive in sunny or partially sunny areas of your landscape. This lawn care option offers a variety of colors when it comes to foliage, from bright green and bluish to a greyer green. Unlike your typical lawn, thyme yields a beautiful pink or lavender flowering carpet. Perhaps you won’t want to step foot on this beautiful landscape canvass, but if you do, thyme holds up exceptionally well under occasional foot traffic.

Anemone is perfect for soils that are finicky and have a hard time producing healthy lawns of the typical variety, according to lawn care professionals. Blooming in the late spring, anemone produces tall and exquisite flowers that are certain to add to your sophisticated landscape. What makes anemone even more ideal is its high tolerance for dry soil.

Stonecrop also offers beautiful foliage and is also a flowering groundcover. This ideal turf mat is tolerant of hot, dry weather, but also can withstand cold, harsh winter weather. Depending on the variety, some stonecrop grows close to the ground and is not impeded by foot traffic; however other species are more delicate and would require an area not frequented by feet.

If you aren’t sure what kind of groundcover would be best suited for your landscape, call your local lawn care company and have an expert help you decide what would be best to withstand the unvarying blazing and unforgiving heat of the sun.

Lawn Care Blog

01 Sep 2011

Dallas lawn care for dog owners

Not much is more American than having a beautiful, well-kept lawn and a hyper dog running around in it while the family watches on in bliss. That’s the dream, but the reality is that dogs can wreak havoc on a lawn by wearing down the grass or causing discoloration from urine and fecal matter. Here are some lawn care tips to keep your turf protected from dog damages.

Plant a grass that is conducive to extreme wear. Some lawn care experts will suggest installing a hardscape to give your dog a place to roam, but if having a beautiful, vibrant lawn is your only option, opt for a type of grass that is known for its durability. Lawn care specialists suggest using Bermuda, a warm-season grass or Kentucky bluegrass, a cool-season grass. Both these types will have a better chance of withstanding the constant pounding of paws throughout your lawn.

Drench “dog spots.” If your dog stays out for most of the day, this might be a tougher option to follow through with, but if your dog goes out a certain number of times a day to do his business, this should be a great solution to eliminating urine spots from your lawn. Once the dog has finished urinating, follow up with a thorough spray of water from the garden hose. Don’t be afraid of overwatering; soak the area until the urine is completely diluted.

Establish a “potty area.” Training your dog to do his business in only one specific area will help you keep your lawn free from urine spots and ensure you only have one area that will be affected. When your dog goes outside, only take him to this spot and keep him there until he goes. With time, the dog will be trained to only go to that specific area, leaving the rest of your lawn untouched!

If your lawn already has extensive trampling damage or urine spots, contact your Dallas lawn care company for restorative services.

Lawn Care Blog

17 Aug 2011

Does my Dallas lawn have to look bad during water restrictions?

Most cities in the Dallas area are implementing water restrictions this month. While everyone assumes their lawns and landscapes will suffer, for most people that’s simply not true. The number of days you water per week has very little to do with the health of your lawn. The number of minutes you are watering is far more important.

Sprinkler repair specialists say during 100 degree days your soil loses roughly an inch of water per week in full sun and it takes roughly 60 minutes for spray heads to put out an inch of water (double that for rotors). It doesn’t matter very much whether you spread that out over several days or just one as long as you get to that magic 60 minutes.

A few years ago the city of Plano instituted a one day per week water restriction. I heard more people talking about how much damage their lawn and landscape suffered that year yet my customer’s lawns had very few problems. What was the secret? We set their controllers to water three times in the morning and three times in the evening for ten minutes for a total of 60 minutes (watering more than 10 minutes at a time causes runoff). The water restrictions were honored and the lawn and landscapes looked fine. Most cities this year have gone to a two day per week watering schedule which is even easier – three start times, 10 minutes each on the two days you’re allowed to water. With smart watering you don’t need to stress over water restrictions and neither does your landscape.

As always, if you need help figuring out how to set your controller or repairing your sprinkler system, don’t hesitate to give us a call.