Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
25 Feb 2014

Secrets to a Healthy Lawn: Water

One of my constants is a lawn needs three things: water, food, and sun.  If it has all three it will grow on concrete (not forever, but if it didn’t we wouldn’t need edgers).  If you’re missing one of those three things the lawn won’t get any better no matter what you do.  Today I want to discuss water, or more importantly how you can tell if your lawn problem is water related.

If your lawn developed brown spots last summer, I’d venture to guess that your problem is water related.  Most of the lawn issues we see in July and August aren’t insect related which often get the blame for brown spots.  They are almost always water related.  These brown spots are generally caused by one of three things:  not enough water, poor coverage or, less frequently, a rock a few inches below the surface of the soil.

If most of your lawn looked good until June, got worse as summer progressed, and then started looking better into fall, you’re probably not watering long enough (I’ll include a link to our free watering guide at the end of this post.)

If your brown spots are limited to a few smaller spots that appear every year in the same area, you more than likely have sprinkler system coverage issues.  Keep in mind that just because the brown spot is getting wet when the sprinkler is running doesn’t necessarily mean it is getting adequate coverage.  All sprinkler systems have weak spots in them, with reasons ranging from the heads being spaced a little too far apart, to a head that isn’t working 100% right.  The thing is that Mother Nature will cover most of these issues until June, and then it’s up to your sprinkler system.  If it’s not performing right, that’s when you are going to see the proof in a less than perfect lawn with unsightly brown spots that won’t perk up until fall (for North Texas it usually happens around State Fair time.)

The reason I’m talking about watering problems, which is a summertime issue, in early spring is simple.  Like Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  If you take the steps to make sure your sprinkler is working properly now, you’ll never have the problem when summer rolls around.  If you wait until you see the symptoms, you will be able to fix it, but you’ll have to be patient and more than likely wait until fall to see the results because of our summer heat and ongoing water restrictions.

If you’d like to make sure your sprinkler is performing at optimum levels take advantage of our Village Green Spring Sprinkler Tune-Up Special for $59.  This offer is valid for up to 10 zones and includes setting your controller, checking for line leaks, dry areas, and broken sprinkler heads; cleaning and adjusting clogged nozzles and is valid thru March 31st.   Call 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form for more information.

Resources (click the links below.)
Village Green Watering Guide
Village Green Resource Center (has helpful links to water resource and schedules for the cities Village Green serve)

19 Feb 2014

Secrets to a Healthy Lawn: Sun

The secret to a healthy lawn in North Texas is comprised of three things:  water, food, and sun.  Today I want to focus on the last one, sun which, depending on how much your lawn gets in a typical day, can be a blessing or a curse.

Trees.  Nearly everyone loves and wants them on their lot.  A big, beautiful, well established tree can not only add beauty to your property, they can also provide shade which in turn keeps your home cooler and will save you on your energy bill.  What is good for your wallet however, isn’t good for your lawn and landscape, and too much shade is often the culprit for an unsightly dirt patch in a lawn.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone tell me they think all they need to do is install a pallet of sod and their lawn will be fine.  What actually happens is the sod looks great for a few months, but over time begins to fade and, six months later, their unsightly dirt patch is back.  

The bottom line is that bermuda needs eight hours of sunlight on average and St. Augustine and zosia need about six.  

If your lawn isn’t getting that much sun then you need a solid plan b which is why roughly two-thirds of the landscape projects Village Green installs are for customers with heavy shade in their yard.  

The funny thing is that once these customers accept that these areas will never be able to support a lush green lawn, they soon realize that these areas can be the prettiest and most welcoming places of their lawn.  

A shady area can be a great place for a bench on a flagstone patio, maybe with a water fountain nearby to enjoy during a beautiful day.   And for large areas, ground cover, such as lirope or asian jasmine can be added and then be broken up with shrubs of different sizes and textures such as variegated pittosporum or plum yew.  If water restrictions are a concern, you can use river rock and mulch areas to break up large areas while reducing the watering requirements.

If you’re searching for ideas on how to fix an unsightly brown patch in your lawn, or just looking for some landscaping ideas, I invite you to visit our landscape portfolio.  The page contains a tour of landscapes from our recent projects designed by our on-staff landscape architect, David Daigle.  You can also watch a couple of my landscape eTours which showcase some customers with a lot of shade on their property and our landscape solutions for those yards.  Click here to watch the Dallas 2012 Landscape eTour.  Click here to watch the Dallas 2013 Landscape eTour.  

If you have any questions regarding your lawn and landscape 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.   

15 Feb 2014

Is it too early to start treating my lawn?

Lawn-care-service-image
That has to be one of the most asked questions during this time of the year.  Perhaps it begins with Punxsutawney Phil in early February, but by President’s Day people have started thinking about spring and the upcoming growning season and want to get their lawns and landscape ready.  

The answer is no, it is not too early to start treating your lawn.  In fact, February and early March are the perfect time of the year to apply pre-emergents and post-emergents to our customer’s lawns.  These applications will set your lawn up to have less weeds in the spring.

If you want a nice looking lawn in the spring you can’t wait until then to control your weeds.  You have to prevent them from appearing in the first place.  When you invest in pre-emergents and post-emergents you are not only getting a nicer looking lawn, you will have to put in less effort and use less chemicals.

For our customers with bermudagrass we mix a liquid pre-emergent called Simatrol which contains a broad leaf weed killer.  With that one application we can  prevent winter weeds from germinating and get rid of most of the existing broad leaf weeds (even if they were too small for us to even see.)

One of the things that makes Village Green different is that we’re one of the few fertilization companies in the area that treat St. Augustine differently.  The reason is that any time a weed killer is applied to St. Augustine it damages the grass.  We recommend never applying a broad leaf weed killer over all the lawn like we do with bermuda.  Instead we treat it with a gentle pre-emergent called Dimension and spot treat any weeds we see.  This method allows us good control of the weeds without risking damage to your lawn.

If you have any questions regarding lawn fertilization and weed control, 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.   If you want to invest in a healthy lawn give us a call before March 15, 2014 to take advantage of  our winter weed killer promotion which is $29 for the first visit, when you sign up for our recommended 8 visit program.*  The price per visit varies based on your lawn size, but we can give you a quick quote on the cost when you call to take advantage of this special offer.  

*The fine print:  $29 first visit offer is for new fertilization customers and for lawns up to 5,000 sq. ft.  

 

 

 

05 Feb 2014

Aeration: The Secret to Health Lawn

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I’ve changed my opinion on lawn aeration in my blog post, Aeration 101.  Since then many of our customers have been wanting to learn more about aeration.  Going so far as to ask how it actually works, which is why I shot a quick video of Sam (another valued Village Green Team Member) aerating a customer’s lawn.  As you can see from the video, aeration is a pretty simple process.  We use a lawn machine that looks like a cross between a lawn mower and mini-tank that literally punches thousands of holes into your lawn.   After seeing Sam in action I think most of our customers will get how it works, but the bigger question is why should you consider aerating your lawn?

The answer is pretty simple.  You need to aerate your lawn annually (it is best to do it in the winter or early spring) because you live in North Texas. 

Our infamous clay soils are made up of tiny particles that compact over time, getting tighter and tighter.  Eventually your soil will become so compacted that it has a hard time taking in water, oxygen, and fertilizer.  The more traffic on your lawn, whether people or pets increases the problem which is why golf courses aerate their greens and fairways a several times per year.

As a homeowner, you don’t need to go that far, but it is a wise investment to aerate your lawn once a year.  The benefits are pretty simple.  Once you poke thousands of holes in your lawn, you are creating little cups that will collect water, oxygen and fertilizer.  These components to a healthy lawn will be able to penetrate deep into your soil down to the root system of your grass, which will lead to a healthier lawn.  

Possibly the most important benefit of aeration, considering we live in North Texas where many of our cities are under Stage 3 Water Restrictions, is that aeration increases your water retention and will lower your water bill.  

In the end aeration just makes good sense.  Financially and environmentally, and better yet, the end result will be a much healthier and more beautiful lawn when you combine aeration with your ongoing lawn maintenance program.   

If you have any questions regarding aeration, 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 lawn aeration questions.

05 Feb 2014

Meet the Team: Ruth LeGrow

Ruth LeGrowFounded in 1980 by Ken Hyatt, Village Green is a family owned business that specializes in lawn care, landscaping, fertilization and weed control, sprinkler repair, and mosquito control. During the Holiday Season we also professionally install lights for both business and residential customers.  

Ken has always felt that the people behind Village Green are as important as the company itself.  With that in mind he asked the team to answer a few questions in order for our customers to get to know more about the Village Green employees who serve them. 

Q&A with Ruth LeGrow, Service Assistant

Please describe what you do at Village Green.  

I work as a Service Assistant for Village Green.

How long have you worked at Village Green?  
I started in the Fall of 2013.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?  I always wanted to play the part of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific.

What is your favorite food?  Lobster.

Where did you grow up?  Boston, Massachusetts.

What is your favorite book?  John Adams.

Do you have any children or grandchildren?  We are blessed to have four grown children and one grandson.

Fill in the blanks: I can’t live without my church, family, and my friends.