Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
31 Aug 2015

Does Your Lawn Have Drought Stress?

It may seem like summer is over.  The kids are back in school and it is almost Labor Day weekend.  The truth is summer isn’t officially over until September 23rd and for us in North Texas summer like temperatures can last well into October!

That is why I wanted to send out today’s quick tip on drought stress, because we’re seeing a lot of yards effected by it.

Drought stress is almost always caused by under watering.  In our experience the two likely culprits are not watering long enough and/or unknown sprinkler system issue that cause under watering.

If you are unsure if you have drought stress check out my short drought stress video here.  It will show you the telltale signs.

If you do see signs of drought stress in your lawn here is what you can do
to reduce possible damage to your lawn and landscape.

1.  Make sure your sprinkler is programmed properly and that you are watering long enough.  You can find a link to our watering guide here.

2. Test your sprinkler system to make sure you don’t have any nozzle or valve issues and that you are getting good coverage in all areas of you lawn and landscape.  Learn more about sprinkler troubleshooting here.

If you have questions or need help from one of certified sprinkler technicians, give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  Our experts can make sure your system is working at its optimal level and that your sprinkler is programmed correctly which will save you time and money.

17 Aug 2015

Quick Tip: Troubleshooting Your Sprinkler System

A common call at this time of year is from people who are attempting to turn on their sprinklers and realizing they won’t work.

Ideally you won’t wait until summer to turn your sprinklers on and discover they aren’t working but if that’s what has happened to you, here are three things you can check before calling Village Green.

First, do you have water going to your sprinkler system? All sprinkler systems are required to have a backflow prevention device to prevent water from the sprinkler pipes running backwards into the water for your home. These devices have handles that allow you to turn off the water going to your sprinklers but leave the water on to your house. For most homes that will be inside a rectangular box with a big, green lid on it. If you open the lid, you’ll find two handles. Some older homes will have a device that sticks up out of the ground like a horseshoe. It will have a handle at the base of it. Sometimes those handles have been turned off and the water has been shut off to your sprinklers.

Second, check to see if your sprinkler controller has power to it. It’s not unusual for the outlet it’s plugged into to be on a GFI circuit and that circuit has gotten tripped. Try plugging something into the outlet like a hairdryer or a light to see if it has power.

Last, all sprinkler systems are supposed to have a rain and freeze sensor. Sometimes when those go bad they trigger and they won’t let the sprinklers run. Most of the time your controller will have an over-ride button on it for you to press and bypass the sensor.

If you check all of those things and still can’t turn your system on, it’s time to call a professional.

If you have questions or need help, give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com. You can also download our free watering guide that gives you our recommendation for year-round watering.

12 Aug 2015

Important Changes at Village Green

I wanted to let all our valued customers know of some important changes at Village Green. Daryl Harris last day will be August 31st.

As many of you know Daryl is not only a part of the Village Green family, he is part of my family. Many people would advise against hiring your brother-in-law, but I can honestly say it was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made as the Founder and President of Village Green.

In his time here Daryl has been our lead sprinkler technician, foreman of our landscape crew, handy-man for improvements to our shop and pretty much anything else we could throw at him.

Daryl’s work-ethic and leadership have played a large part in the improvements we’ve made around Village Green the past few years and he will definitely be missed (and not just because of the work he’s done, but because of the person he is.)

A few years ago, Daryl and his family moved to West Virginia (they stayed a few years but came back to the Dallas area.) Daryl has always loved the mountains and white-water rafting and has decided to move back. In fact, Daryl has already purchased a home there and his wife, granddaughter and mother have already moved into their new home.

Over the next few weeks Daryl will be finishing up a few projects at Village Green before he joins his family (and his old job of remodeling homes.)

I’d like to thank Daryl for everything he has done for Village Green. He’s been a big part of our success and the reason so many of our customers are so loyal and happy I hope you all will join me in wishing Daryl nothing but success in his future endeavors!

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us at 972-495-6990 or ken@villagegreen-inc.com. I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

05 Aug 2015

Can Good Summer Watering Make for a Healthy Lawn Next Spring?

Nearly all the winter damage I see in our customer’s lawns actually starts the summer before.  The reason why is that the root system of the grass is damaged from under-watering which weakens the lawn.  This creates problems in the winter (especially like this year when we had a snow late in the season.)

So how do you prevent winter damage to your lawn and landscape in the summer?  It may sound obvious, but the first thing you should do is look at it.  I mean really look at it.  Most customers assume their sprinklers are working fine.  But the problem is Mother Nature has stopped helping.  It’s been weeks since we’ve had rain, and we should have 100 plus temperatures for the next month or more which means our lawns and landscapes are completely dependent on how well our sprinkler system is working.

The nice thing is you don’t really even have to turn your sprinkler on to know if they’re working well.  Simply take a five minute walk around your home and look at your lawn and landscape.  Look for droopy leaves on your shrubs or trees, and watch for brown areas in your bermuda.  St. Augustine leaf blades will fold in half with they get get stressed and will become stunted.  If you can stand back and see areas in your lawn that aren’t as tall or green as the rest of the lawn you probably have watering issues.

Often the fix is as simple as replacing or unclogging a head or adding more time to your controller.  You can click here for our free watering guide but the short version for the summer is…

>  Two days per week
>  Three starts times of 2am, 4am, 6am
>  10 minutes per zone for normal spray heads (20 minutes for rotary heads)

If you have questions or need help programming your sprinkler system or making sure your system is in top condition give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We offer affordable sprinkler system inspections and tune-ups that will guarantee 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

 

05 Aug 2015

Meet the Team: Introducing Mike Crissey

Many of you have had the opportunity to talk with our newest Village Green team member, Mike Crissey.  Mike is our office manager and started back in April.  He has been doing a fantastic job for Village Green and I’d like to take this opportunity for all of you to get to know him a little better with our fun Meet the Team questionnaire.

What do I do at Village Green?
I am the office manager – which means I know more about pushing paper than pushing a mower, more about spreadsheets than sprinklers, and more about filing than fertilization. Don’t let me put on any airs.

How long have I worked at Village Green?
I have been with Village Green since April Fools’ Day, 2015 — about four months.

What would someone be surprised to know about me?
I am a fraternal twin. I am younger by eight and a half minutes, and she looks nothing like me.

Where did you grow up?
Although I would claim to be an expatriate Yankee from New Jersey, I moved here with my family when I was 13 and have spent the majority of my life in Texas – with roughly equal time in Plano and Austin.

What is my favorite movie?
It is difficult to pick a favorite movie. My short list would be I Heart Huckabees, Raising Arizona, and Seven Samurai.

What are your favorite TV shows?
I don’t watch much television, but I like cartoons and anime. Some of my favorites include Space Battleship Yamato; Cowboy Bebop; Sealab 2021; Home Movies; and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. I like old game shows too, such as Match Game, The Price is Right (with Bob Barker), and Press Your Luck.

What are your favorite books?
Among my favorite books are The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck and Up in the Old Hotel, a collection of Joseph Mitchell’s stories from The New Yorker. A couple books I seem to keep re-reading are The Earth Is Room Enough, an Issac Asimov short story anthology, and The Continental Op, a collection of short stories by Dashiell Hammett.

Fill in the blanks:
I can’t live without coffee, good food, or good friends.

If I could have a dinner party and could invite any four people, dead or alive, the guest list would be:
Classical Athenian philosopher Socrates; Transcendental American philosopher Henry David Thoreau; astronomer Carl Sagan; and comedian George Carlin.

If you were a superhero who would you be?
I would be Spiderman.