Downspouts that dump into the middle of your landscape beds are a real problem. They can flood the bed, hauling mulch out of it and drowning the plants inside. The problem can be solved with a few pieces of PVC and some digging. In this photo of our Garland landscape installation you’ll see what’s called a downspout adapter. Just like the name implies, these attach to the downspout and convert the rectangular shape of the pipe into the round shape of the 4″ PVC. I don’t use the corrugated black pipe because the ribs catch dirt and, since it’s flexible, it will follow the dips and valleys of your trench trapping leaves and dirt in the middle of the pipe. I prefer 4″ sewer and drain pipe (S&D pipe is a thin walled pipe just for drains) because it runs straight and doesn’t trap as much debris inside. At the other end, in the middle of the lawn, is a pop-up emitter. This has a plastic cap with a light spring on it. The force of the water from the roof causes the cap to pop up, letting the water flow out into the middle of the lawn instead of flooding the beds. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.
This is Virginia Buttonweed. What makes it tough to control is its viney roots underground. Most weed killers that are labeled for dandelions such as 2-4-D products will control it but you’ll need to make several applications to kill out all of the roots that it has. It’s this kind of weed that sends most homeowners to the pros.
Grub worms can cause serious damage to lawns in late summer. Until recently we had to wait for the damage before we treated for them but a few years ago a product came out that prevents them before they cause damage. If you’re going to treat this yourself, don’t just buy the first bag with a grub worm picture. Look at the label and find one with Imidicloprid as its active ingredient. The best time to apply is from May through late June. Doing yourself is fine but if you don’t have time or want to leave it to the lawn care pros go to our website at www.VillageGreen-inc.com or call us.
Setting plants is the part I enjoy the most because we get to be creative. We usually start on the left and work to the right, quickly placing all of the plants the drawing calls for in the general area it shows without trying to really position them. Once they’re close to their spots we work backwards, arranging and spacing them where they look best. Sometimes it’s exactly where the drawing shows, sometimes it’s a different spot if they look too close to one another. We’ll usually make at least one more pass perfecting the distances between each plant. It’s important to know what size each eventually will be and what shape it grow into. I’ll usually stand above a plant and stretch my arms to its eventual size to make sure we’re not crowding them. If you rush this part of the job and make a mistake, two years down the road you’re going to be pulling perfectly good plants out because they have grown into each other. A good rule of thumb is when you’re done, if you feel like you need one more plant in each spot, you’ve done your job right.
We just finished setting plants at this landscape job in Sachse.
We’re starting a landscape installation in Sachse today. The home has a beautiful stone border but it is too close to the house to allow us to create depth so we’re extending the beds out in front of the stone by eight feet. The builder also used lots of dwarf burfords which are great plants but not great placed as a hedge in front of the house. We’ll be moving them to the sides of the house were they can reach their natural height of 8′ tall. Our first step is to mark the rough outline of the bed with blue paint.
You never know what you’re going to find at our shop. Even though we’re located in downtown Plano we’ve had opossums, coyotes, a momma raccoon with several babies following her and now a momma fox with her babies. For some reason she’s not afraid of us and comes within a few feet.
After spending 30 years repairing sprinklers and installing landscape in North Dallas, what I have noticed is there are very few drainage problems. What I find most of the time when I’m called to fix a drainage issue is we have an over-watering issue instead. When there is a real drainage issue most people want to solve it with pipes. French drains that are filled with gravel are not very effective in the heavy, clay soils we have in Dallas, Richardson, Plano and the surrounding areas so where possible, we want to use surface drainage instead. The area in the photo below used to run across bare dirt, over a retaining wall and straight into the neighbor’s pool. We added river rock along the path of the water to slow it down and added ivy where the was likely to spill out to further break up the water. Yesterday we had two inches of rain starting at 2am and continuing into the afternoon. There is no sign of run off on the other side of the retaining wall and the neighbor is delighted with us. His problem was solved and our client has a beautiful addition to his landscape – much nicer looking than gravel and pipes.
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