Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
28 Mar 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: Why is that ugly brown patch from fall back in my lawn this spring?

Spring brings many great things, blooming flowers, bright-green leaves bursting from trees, warmer weather, and usually more rain for North Texas.  It can also bring out these ugly brown patches (or spots.)

When we have epic weather, it is almost always followed by an epidemic of insects or diseases.  I’m sure many long time residents remember the huge amounts of crickets we had a few years ago or the grasshoppers before that. 

Last fall the epidemic was a fungus called brown patch in St. Augustine.  It didn’t matter what preventative was used or how often it was applied, nearly every St. Augustine lawn had a lot of ugly brown patches.

It is my opinion that the four months of almost no moisture followed by the flooding rains we experienced last fall stressed St. Augustine to the breaking point.

So why am I talking about last fall now? After all it’s spring and that’s history.  Brown patch is also common in the spring and we usually see it in the same areas in which it occurred in the fall.  Since we had lots of it last fall, there’s a pretty good chance we may see more of it than usual this spring.  

How do we go about fighting this nasty little fungus that thrives on warm, damp conditions? 

Here are my Quick Tips on how to fight it in your lawn.
•  Sprinkle in the morning (to avoid water standing overnight.)
•  Avoid allowing water to puddle in the lawn.
•  Use a low nitrogen fertilizer in early spring (brown patch fungus feeds on nitrogen.)
•  Use a preventative such as PCNB before brown patch occurs.
•  If you see brown patches in your lawn, spot treat the areas to prevent them getting larger.

The good news is that brown patch generally only makes your lawn look bad.  It usually won’t kill it.  In fact, many people leave it untreated, taking steps to prevent it after it goes away.  Plus with enough direct sunlight, St. Augustine is incredibly aggressive and that means no matter what happens, it usually fills back in by late spring.

If you have any lawn or landscape questions give us a call at 972.495.6990 or email Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com. I love to answer your questions and often can share the information for our Quick Tip series that helps all Village Green customers.

22 Mar 2016

Village Green Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Angie's List Super Service Award
Angie’s List Super Service Award

Village Green has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, for the fifth time in as many years, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2015.

Village Green won the 2015 Super Service Award for the following categories:  Landscaping, Lawn & Yard Work, and Lawn Irrigation (Sprinkler Repair.)

In our Founder & President, Ken Hyatt’s own words:  “Only about 5% of the lawn and landscape companies in North Texas have performed consistently enough to earn Angie’s List Super Service Award.  The fact that we did it in three categories makes me very proud of our team.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

16 Mar 2016

Spring has Sprung: Time To Update Your Sprinkler Settings

I know it may seem odd to be thinking about fine tuning your sprinkler system considering the recent rains, but the single biggest mistake you can make is turning off your sprinklers.  In my professional opinion your lawn and landscape will be better served by installing a rain sensor than manually controlling your system by turning it on and off.  If we know anything about North Texas it is that the weather will be unpredictable.

Now is the time to update your sprinkler system to make sure you are getting adequate water coverage for your lawn and landscape in North Texas this spring.

So, how much watering is enough water in spring?  

Consider this, in the spring your soil loses about 1/2 the water it loses in the summer.  To help illustrate, imagine filling a gallon bucket with water and setting it out in your yard. When you check your bucket a week later, you’re going to find it still has water, but you’ve lost about 1/2 inch from evaporation.  That’s what happens to your lawn and landscape during the spring and if you skip watering your plants will be more susceptible to late season freeze damage as well as not have enough water for the important spring growing season.

Download our Free Village Green Spring Watering Guide

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.comWe 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. 

04 Mar 2016

Quick Tip: What is the proper way to prune a crepe myrtle?  

In late winter and early spring many of your neighbors will get out their tools and proceed to butcher their crepe myrtles.  They do this because they believe that cutting them back is the proper way to maintain the tree and that it will help produce extra blooms in the summer.  I wouldn’t judge your neighbors too harshly though, they aren’t killers, just misinformed.  And their punishment is an ugly tree.    

The proper way to maintain a crepe myrtle is to treat it like any other large tree and prune and trim as needed.  You wouldn’t top off an oak tree at 20 feet each year.  Yet many of your neighbors are hacking their crepe myrtles so they end up at about 6 feet tall.  A few years back, I even saw a guy use a circular saw to proudly cut through his crepe myrtle limbs that were 3 inches thick.

When you butcher your crepe myrtles in this way, all you are doing is creating big, ugly knots on the trunks of the tree (you can see a picture on our blog.)  And then come summer, the few extra blooms you get will droop on spindly limbs that are too weak to hold the flowers weight. 

The way to proper maintain a crepe myrtle:
>  Trim off any limbs rubbing against each other or rubbing on your roof or fence.
>  If you must trim more, try not to trim anything larger than a pencil. 

If you want to see good crepe myrtle pruning 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.