Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
20 Apr 2014

Secrets to a Healthy Lawn: Food

LawnDifference

What better day, than Earth Day, to publish our final installment on our three part series on the secrets to a healthy lawn? As we’ve said, a North Texas lawn needs three things to thrive: sun, water, and food. If you want to read our first two installments follow these links.

Secrets to a Healthy Lawn: Sun
Secrets to a Healthy Lawn: Water

Today I want to talk about food for your lawn. Typically in North Texas we start fertilizing our lawns as the weather warms up in late February or early March. The exception is when we’re having a particularly cold winter (like this year!) When we have a cold winter we’ll postpone our treatment for a few weeks.  When we fertilize is the same for all lawns, but the what is dependent on your individual lawn…your type of grass.

Bermuda grass likes a kick start to help it green up quickly so we apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer. If you’re a DYI person, be sure and find a ratio of 28-3-10 (all fertilizer bags will have three numbers separated by a dash (-) usually located across the top. The three fertilizer numbers represent the percentage of Nitrogen (N)- Phosphorus (P)- Potassium (K), in that order. These numbers will always be listed on the bag in bold writing.)

St. Augustine and zoysia are different than bermuda. During our warm, wet spring weather they are prone to a fungus called brown patch. Just like the name suggests, this causes patches of brown to creep into the grass. These brown patches feed off of nitrogen which is why we use a different ration, 5-10-31 (The last number (31) promotes better root growth, a good thing right after winter since both St. Augustine and zoysia are cold sensitive.) Once we’re past brown patch season we’ll switch over to the higher nitrogen fertilizer (usually in late May.)

So what does all of this mean for us today? We’re coming off the the 6th coldest winter on record in North Texas with 40 days below 20 degrees. Many are looking at their brown lawn and wondering if they will ever have a nice looking lawn again (I’ve even had a few customers mention they are considering replacing their lawns because they look so bad.) My advice. Patience. If you have the three keys to a healthy lawn (sun, water, and food,) your lawn will recover.

Still not convinced? As always, if you have questions give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com. I’m always happy to chat about ways to improve your lawn and landscape.

06 Apr 2014

Tips for Getting Rid of Mosquitoes in North Texas

Aedes_Albopictus Many customers are asking me if I think this year’s mosquito season will be easier since we had such a hard winter. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a hard freeze doesnt’ kill mosquitoes…at least enough of them to make a difference. Which is why the Dallas County Health and Human Services kicked off its West Nile virus awareness campaign before county commissioners earlier than ever for the 2014 season. This year, county health officials are anticipating more West Nile cases (because the rules for diagnosing the disease have changed.) 

You can protect your yard, and the community at large, with these  5 tips to help control mosquitoes.

  1. Get rid of any standing water on your property. Check your gutters, drains and flowerpots.  Anywhere water stands is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Drain it!
  2. Use insect repellent when you are going to be outside (especially true from dusk until dawn when mosquitoes are most active.)  Repellents that include DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are the most effective.
  3. Wear light, long sleeve shirts and pants when you are going to be outside for an extended amount of time (especially from dusk until dawn.)  Mosquitoes are drawn to heat and carbon dioxide (which is why it is important to wear lighter clothing so your heat signature isn’t too great.) 
  4. Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows (and they are in good repair) to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
  5. If there are any green-water pools nearby, report them to the local health department.

It is important for everyone to do their part, because mosquito control truly is a community effort.  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 for our Mosquito Assassin Program.  Our program is safe, yet effective.  It kills up to 90% of your mosquitoes and keeps killing them for a month after we leave (which is great if your neighbor isn’t doing their part.)  It only takes a five-visit program to keep them gone all season long.  

Good luck fighting the bite!

Below is information from the Village Green Resource Center, helpful links we’ve compiled to benefit our customers. 

Mosquito Resources

West Nile Virus