Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
23 Dec 2014

Season’s Greetings from Village Green


As the Holiday Season is upon us, we reflect on the past year and on those who have helped us shape our business.

I want to personally thank you, our fantastic customers, for your continued support. Village Green would not be where it is today without you.  In addition I want to say a special thanks to all of our staff for their hard work and loyalty.

Please note that we will be closed December 22 through January 2 (except for emergency Christmas light calls) so our staff can enjoy the holidays with family and friends!

As 2015 approaches, our 35th year in business, we look forward to a new year filled with peace and prosperity for us all.

May the spirit of the Holiday Season warm your heart and home.

Sincerely,
Ken Hyatt
Founder & President of Village Green

P.S.  The photo above is from this past Saturday night.  I went caroling with my in our neighborhood. We decorated one of the Village Green trailers with lights and garland plus added hay bales for a hay ride. Our daughter, Shelby, rang doorbells ahead of the trailer. I don’t know who had more fun, the Carolers or the neighbors.

03 Dec 2014

Office Administrator Wanted

Please answer the following question and include it in your cover letter when you send your resume: “How would you describe your relationship to mobile and cloud technology?”

Village Green Landscape & Irrigation, a stable, family owned lawn & landscape business serving the North Dallas area of the DFW Metroplex in business since 1980, is looking for an Office Administrator to oversee the day-to-day administrative functions of our office.

Major responsibilities:

  • As our company continues to grow, we need this position to continuously explore and investigate our current software and look for additional technological products that will allow us to innovate and stay ahead of our competition while continuing to improve efficiencies.
  • This position will be entering data on the computer for all functions of the company (no paper here!). Data must be accurate and entered in a timely fashion every day in several different software packages.
  • Our company’s goal is to educate each of our customers; therefore, we need this position to learn about our industry and be able to educate our customers during the course of excellent customer service.
  • Duties of the position include family-oriented customer service, scheduling, detailed data entry, payment processing, and accounts receivable. There will be an opportunity to learn and add accounting functions over time.

This position requires the Office Administrator to be the hub of a communication wheel that proactively communicates through email or by phone with customers, vendors, and company employees. Also required is the ability to use computers and mobile devices every day to provide customer service, invoicing, scheduling and internal tech support to company employees.

This position requires the need to control your schedule to ensure that work is completed as promised, while solving problems as they arise in a timely fashion. Successful candidates will be capable of learning quickly and adapting with an emphasis on long term planning and short term re-prioritizing. Candidates need to be very tech savvy and value a flexible, family oriented environment.

Skills and Experience:

  • Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Experience with QuickBooks and/or Service Assistant by Real Green a plus
  • 2-5 year’s industry or relevant experience required
  • Excellent computer skills and the ability to learn and troubleshoot technology
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Associates degree or Bachelors degree a plus
  • Ability to speak Spanish a plus
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Ability to type 35+ wpm

How to Apply:

If you feel Village Green and this position are right for you, please email you resume and salary history to VillageGreenHire@gmail.com.

Please answer the following question and include it in your cover letter when you send your resume: “How would you describe your relationship to mobile and cloud technology?”

10 Nov 2014

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.

30 Oct 2014

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.

22 Oct 2014

Ask Ken: Answers To Your Lawn and Landscape Questions

Do you have a question for Ken Hyatt, our Founder and President. Want to know more about lawn related issues in North Texas, or how you might fix a particular lawn or landscape issue on your own property? Ken will be happy to apply his 30+ years of experience and answer any of your questions.

Please note that Village Green may use your question to help others by featuring it in a future Village Green Quick Tip (we will omit your name for privacy.) It may also take Ken more time to answer questions during busier times of the year.

You can always reach us at 972-495-6990 if you need a quick answer to a problem. To ask your question fill out our Ask Ken form.

13 Oct 2014

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.

30 Sep 2014

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.

22 Sep 2014

How Much Should You Water in the Fall?

Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TXAt the end of August the North Texas Municipal Water District announced that it is recommending its member cities and customers to allow landscape watering once a week with sprinkler or irrigation systems through the end of October.  This is great news for most of our customers who are asking about how much they should be watering in the fall.

From mid-September through November you water you lawn roughly 50% less than you did in the summer months.  Thus, if you have a typical sprinkler head system, and are allowed to water once a week, Village Green recommends you run your sprinklers three times in the morning, for 10 minutes each time.  Setting your controller for start times of 2am, 4am and 6am should allow enough time in between for the water to soak into our infamous clay soil.  If you have rotor sprinklers (the type of sprinkler that sprays in a long thin stream and slowly turns) you will want to water twice as long (possibly longer.)  These recommendations and times are for areas with full sun.  In shady areas you can water about half or a quarter of the length of time suggested for sunny areas.  

If you have a seasonal adjust spot on your sprinkler controller you can leave the minutes and days alone and just set the seasonal adjust percentage to 50%.

Not sure what your city’s water restrictions are?  Visit our Resource Center for a a city by city list of links to their watering information website pages.  You also find our free watering guide on our Resource Center Page.

If you need more help programming your sprinkler, or making sure your system is in top condition give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. We offer affordable sprinkler system inspections and tune-ups that will guarantee appropriate and adequate water coverage for your lawn. Our certified irrigation technicians can also install water-conserving nozzles and applicators so that water usage is as efficient as possible.

 

10 Sep 2014

When is the best time to plant landscapes?


This has to be one of the top questions we’re asked by our customers, friends and family.  When you’ve been in the lawn and landscape business as long as we have, people assume you’ve gained a certain amount of wisdom!  We do have our opinions though and it is Village Green’s opinion that the best time to plant landscapes is (from best to worst.)landscape-portfolio

  1. fall
  2. winter
  3. spring
  4. summer
I bet this answer surprises many of you.  Most people assume spring is the best time to plant (the phones at Village Green go crazy during spring with people wanting landscape design and installation quotes.)The reason fall is best is the watering schedule is easier.  If you under water in the fall your plants won’t die, they’ll just become unhappy (if you underwater in summer, they’ll often die.)  Plants also grow their roots over the winter so when you install your landscape in the fall the plants have a chance to establish a root system which will allow them to survive the following summer with less watering (which will save you money.)  I’m sure many are asking, ‘What if we plant in the fall and then we have a winter like we did this past year!  Won’t all my plants die?’  The truth is Village Green rarely loses plants to the cold.  This past winter was one of the worst on record, and we did lose more plants than usual, but % wise it wasn’t that much greater.The reason we don’t lose many plants over the winter is because North Texas doesn’t stay cold for long (when we have a cold snap.)  Rarely does Dallas have a bitter cold snap that lasts more than a week or two.  Village Green has been designing and installing landscapes over thirty years, and we’ve seen a lot of weather.  I won’t say we’ve seen every possible kind of weather Texas can have – it’s Texas, but we have seen enough to know which plants do well in the cold, heat, and droughts.  We’ve learned to avoid the plants that have struggled over the years and recommend to our customers of North Texas the ones that can can flourish in North Texas.  We have to have plants that will survive in single digit winters and triple digit summers.  As I once heard, ‘plants in Texas don’t have to be heat-tolerant, they have to flame proof.’  It’s a funny line, but with our extreme weather it can ring true.  And at Village Green we design and install landscapes year round so we are vigilant about our plant choices.  That being said, if you can pick any time of the year to plant for your landscape…now is the time!

Village Green offers full landscaping design and installation for our customers. We’ve completed many beautiful projects, from small to large.  I invite you to view our portfolio and if you are thinking of landscape work give us the opportunity to give you a free quote.If you have any questions regarding your lawn and landscape, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 972-495-6990 or ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  I’d be happy to answer any of your questions. 

 

02 Sep 2014

Once a Week Watering is Back!

At the end of last week the North Texas Municipal Water District announced that it is recommending its member cities and customers to allow landscape watering once a week with sprinkler or irrigation systems through the end of October.

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.