Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
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.