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 To Get Fall Color in Your Lawn and Landscape

View More: http://ingridhunsickerphotography.pass.us/nallswebWe are officially in the fall season. The temperatures have come down to a more pleasant level and that means that your lawn no longer needs as heavy a watering schedule as it did through the summer (don’t forget to adjust your automatic sprinklers.) You shouldn’t be watering the same amount as you did during the summer.

Typically at this time of year most flower beds and borders look worn out. But though it may feel counterintuitive, fall is the best time to plant in North Texas for a few good reasons.

  • Your soil is still warm in fall in North Texas.
  • The air is cooling down which means plants will lose less moisture through their leaves.
  • And most importantly, these conditions lead to stronger root growth than any other season of the year. 

I went into much greater detail on this subject on our blog a few weeks back. You can read that entry here if you like.

At this time of the year nurseries are well stocked with hardy, late-blooming plants to refresh your bed. And the best part about planting at this time of year is that the plants will have ideal conditions to grow strong roots over winter, so they’ll be ready to sprint into bloom next spring.

If you want to introduce some fall color some of our favorites are…

  • Pansies:   In North Texas Dallas if you want colorful blooms over the winter your go-to flower are pansies.  I’ve never understood why the name pansy got associated with wimpy when they’re the toughest flower I’ve seen.  They can weather single digit temperatures and wintry precipitation.  Then, a few sunny days later, will bounce back and start blooming again.  They will bloom better with a high phosphorous fertilizer (5-30-5 ratio.)  Like most flowers 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 grow them.
  • Violas:  They have pansy-like blooms except the blooms are tiny.  You can plant these in similar conditions to pansies.
  • Kale and/or Cabbage:  Oddly enough, if you have rabbit problems, you are safe planting kale and/or cable.  Rabbits would rather eat your pansies versus eating your vegetables!  These aren’t as colorful as pansies but they’re easy to grow.  To make them look nice later in the spring, trim off the blooms.
  • Mums:  These are wonderful fall plants.  Like azaleas, they only bloom a few weeks out of the year, but when they bloom they look great, especially with pumpkins.
  • Cyclamen:  These are beautiful, delicate flowers but a our North Texas winters can be too harsh for them.  I recommend planting a few of them for a nice change of color in your lawn or landscape, but don’t get carried away.

You can also introduce a burst of color by purchasing some pumpkins and gourds at a local pumpkin patch. As a long time member of Arapaho United Methodist Church I’d like to put in a plug for you to visit our patch at the NE corner of Arapaho and Coit if you live in the area.  For customers living farther east, check out Cornerstone United Methodist Church (this is my parent’s church) in Garland.

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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