Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
11 Oct 2015

How to introduce fall color into your North Texas lawn

Early fall is the time when most of our flower beds and borders are starting to look worn out and tired. This makes it the perfect time in North Texas to introduce fall color into your lawn and landscape.

If you are looking to refresh your lawn I’d recommend these hardy, late-blooming plants. The best part about planting at this time of year is that the plants will have ideal conditions to grow strong roots over winter, so they’ll be ready to sprint into bloom next spring.

Some of our favorites are…

Pansies: If you want colorful blooms over the winter your go-to flower for sunny areas in North Texas are pansies. Pansies are hardy with the ability to weather single digit temperatures and wintry precipitation. In fact, they often bounce back and bloom after a wintry patch of weather after a few sunny days. To maximize their blooms, use a high phosphorous fertilizer (5-30-5 ratio.) Like most flowers, they prefer a loose well-drained soil so they don’t stay wet after watering. An easy way to accomplish that is to add potting soil to the bed. Pansies are like candy to rabbits, so if you have a large population in your area, it may be challenge to grow them.

Violas: They have pansy-like blooms except the blooms are tiny. You can plant these in similar conditions to pansies.

Kale and/or Cabbage: Oddly enough, if you have rabbit problems, you are safe planting kale and/or cabbage. Rabbits would rather eat your pansies versus eating your vegetables! These aren’t as colorful as pansies but they’re easy to grow. To make them look nice later in the spring, trim off the blooms.

Mums: These are wonderful fall plants. Like azaleas, they only bloom a few weeks out of the year, but when they bloom they look great, especially with pumpkins.

Cyclamen: These are beautiful but delicate flowers. I recommend planting a few of them for a nice change of color in your lawn or landscape. Don’t get carried away, as you cold lose them to harsh wintry weather.

Another tip to introduce a burst of color is to get some pumpkins and/or gourds to place in your lawn and landscape. Click here for a list of area pumpkin patches.

If you want more ideas or have any questions give me a call at 972-495-6990 or ken@villagegreen-inc.com. Village Green offers full landscaping design and installation for our customers. If you are thinking of adding some fall color, or doing any landscape work give us the opportunity to earn your business. We’re happy to do a free quote and answer any questions you may have.

05 Oct 2015

What are these light brown rings in my lawn?

There’s a surefire way I can tell fall has arrived in North Texas beyond looking at my calendar and the cooler temperatures.  We start getting phone calls from our customers about these funny brown rings in their lawn.

Brown patch is a fungus that attacks St. Augustine in the fall (and spring.)  It happens in North Texas in the fall and spring because that is when we typically have warm days and cool evenings.

This pattern can make it so your lawn never fully dries which leads to the nasty little fungus called Brown Patch.  To understand Brown Patch you need to consider that St. Augustine is a tropical plant and our North Texas summers of blistering heat coupled with cold winter days put far more stress on it than its more natural home in places like Houston or Orlando, Florida.

The stress of summer (in this instance) followed by the perfect condition of warm days and cool nights create the perfect condition for Brown Patch.

Most of the time Brown Patch is just unsightly for a while (it will go away after our first frost,) but if we have a cold enough winter, these weakened areas might suffer freeze damage.

If you want to avoid or treat Brown Patch I recommend watering your lawn in the morning so it has the best chance to dry during the day.  You can also cut back your watering in shady areas.  Instead of 30 minutes per week, try 10 or 15 minutes in those areas.
 
Another thing to note if you are doing your own fertilization is that Brown Patch feeds on nitrogen.  You need to avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers in St. Augustine lawns during early spring and fall.  At Village Green we use a 5-10-31 ratio fertilizer.Finally, if you see signs of Brown Patch you should treat the areas with Propiconazole.  This isn’t going to make the Brown Patch go away, but it will stop the spread into other areas of your lawn.
 
If you have questions or need help give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We have been offering preventative programs for Brown Patch in North Texas for over 30 years and would love to earn your fertilization business.