Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
31 Mar 2014

Tips for a Healthy Lawn Under Stage 3 Water Restrictions

Sprinkler Repair in Plano TXOn March 28th the North Texas Municipal Water District Board of Directors approved continuation of Stage 3 landscape watering of once every two weeks for the month of April. The limitation of landscape watering to once every two weeks will continue with subsequent monthly extensions considered by the Board.  You can read the full release here.  

We all know that Stage 3 restrictions are a pain in the neck.  Trying to calculate how long you can water so you don’t get a ticket from the water police is hard.  And once you figure that out there’s the little matter of programming your sprinkler system controller so it so it does what you want without getting you in hot water by running too long.  

Here are our tips to make sure you are getting the most  out of your watering efforts under Stage 3 restrictions.  

  • Determine how much you need to be watering your lawn (our downloadable water guide is an easy way to learn.)
  • Tune up your sprinkler system to make sure it is in top working order.  
  • Aerate your lawn.
  • Consider investing in a drip irrigation system.  Currently many North Texas cities don’t restrict watering with this type of system which will help you maximize your watering schedule.  You can learn more about this type of system and its many benefits here .  
  • Invest in a new controller for your sprinkler system.  A new, good quality controller will have more flexible watering schedules, allowing you to program multiple starts times and every-two-week schedules.
  • Plant a sustainable landscape (which means more drought tolerant plants such as sages and yuccas, along with few plants with more mulch or decomposed granite.)  

It appears the North Texas drought is here to stay, and any investment will pay huge dividends.  If you have questions on any of these tips, give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We’d be happy to answer your questions if you want to do it yourself.  Or if you want to save time and have us do it, we’d be happy to give you an estimate on what it would cost.

Below is information from the Village Green Resource Center, helpful links we’ve compiled to benefit our customers.  If you have more questions regarding your sprinkler and irrigation system 

Village Green Downloadable Resource Guides

Water Resources

Water Schedules

26 Mar 2014

How To Properly Prune Your Crepe Myrtle

In late winter and early spring you will often see many of your neighbors pruning their crepe myrtles.  That’s actually an understatement. Most of your neighbors butcher their crepe myrtles, believing, wrongly, that cutting them back is the proper way to main this beautiful tree and promote extra blooms in the summer.  Unfortunately this misinformation, what we refer to as crepe murder, is rampant in North Texas, and the punishment is an ugly tree. 

You want to know how to prune your crepe myrtle?  Don’t do it!  

The best way to trim your crepe myrtles is to treat them like your large trees and prune and trim as needed.  You wouldn’t consider topping an oak tree at 20′ each year.  Yet if you look around your neighborhood, I’d wager that many of your neighbors are hacking their crepe myrtles so they end up at about 6′ tall believing that this will lead to better flower blooms in the summer.  A few years back, I even saw a guy use a circular saw to proudly cut through his crepe myrtle limbs that were 3″ thick.

Crepe Myrtle Murder
When people butcher their crepe myrtles in this way, all they are doing is creating big, ugly knots on the trunks of their trees (see the pic above.)  And then come summer, the few extra blooms they get will droop on spindly limbs that are too weak to hold the flowers weight.  

So, how do we recommend you trim a crepe myrtle?

  • Trim off any limbs rubbing against each other or rubbing on your roof. 
  • If you want to trim more, try not to trim anything larger than a pencil.

Crepe Myrtle TreeIf you want to see what good crepe myrtle pruning looks like I recommend a trip to the beautiful Dallas Arboretum.  Their crepe myrtles are used during their tour for the blind because of the beautiful sculpted feel of their untrimmed trunks.

If you have more questions regarding your lawn and landscape give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We’d be happy to answer any of your your questions.

 

19 Mar 2014

Drip Irrigation Systems on the Rise in North Texas

Village Green Installing a Drip Irrigation System
Sam Installing a Drip Irrigation System

Say drip and water in the same sentence and most people will think of something negative, like a leaky faucet.  But when you are talking about a drip irrigation system, a drip is a great thing that can help expand your Stage 3 watering window.  We’ll talk more about that in a moment, for now let’s list the many benefits of a drip irrigation system.  

  • Saves water with less runoff and evaporation.  
  • Delivers water evenly around foundations which can help prevent foundation problems.
  • Puts the water exactly were you want it by targetting the exact area where you want the water (for example, the roots) and allows you to deliver it at the exact time you wish (using a timer.)
  • Delivers water without creating an overly moist environment that promotes fungal diseases.
  • Adapts easily to changes in landscape. Systems can be used for containers, raised beds, vegetable rows or balconies. Drip irrigation can circle a tree or shrub at the dripline.
  • Reduces erosion on slopes (remember to place the emitter upslope, above the plant.)
  • Improves water-holding capacity in clay soils.

All of that sounds great, but when you factor in that most cities exempt drip irrigation systems from their water restriction guidelines it becomes huge!  Our North Texas drought has no signs of easing up in the near future (click here to read the Dallas Morning News article.)  And those with large lawns and landscape usually have a sprinkler system that has 8 or 9 zones.  That translates to not enough minutes in the day to water all of your lawn and landscape correctly.  If you invest in a drip irrigation system for your landscape and beds, you can skip those areas on your watering day, and focus all of your minutes on your lawn.  This allows you to have a healthy lawn and landscape.  You’ll want to make sure that your city allows the exemption.  You can visit the Village Green Resource Center for helpful links for the cities we serve. 

If you have more questions regarding your sprinkler and irrigation system give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We’d be happy to answer all your questions and help you have a healthy and happy lawn during our extended North Texas drought.

11 Mar 2014

Village Green Featured on Angie’s List Experts Podcast

I have to admit that I was shocked when I got the call from the Angie’s List Experts podcast asking me to be the guest expert on their popular series.  If you aren’t familiar, the Angie’s List Experts podcast brings highly-rated service providers from Angie’s List together to answer questions and provide home owners with the best tips and advice for their next home improvement project.
 
My interview was for Episode 008, where I talked about spring lawn and landscaping tips for a beautiful yard.  Personally I think I sound funny, but my friends and family tell me that’s how I actually sound!  You can judge for yourself by listening to the episode on the Angie’s List website by clicking here.  Or listen to it on iTunes by clicking here. Regardless of how I sound, there is a lot of great information from my 30+ years of lawn and landscaping in this 15 minute podcast.
 Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 12.47.27 PM

If you have any questions regarding your lawn or 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.  If you do listen to the podcast I’d love to hear what you think.

Thanks,

Ken Hyatt, Founder and President of Village Green