Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
18 May 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: How to protect your yard from grub damage

This is the time of the year when we start getting a lot of calls and emails from customers worried about the grubs they are finding in their yards while doing spring planting.

The concern is valid because grub worms (which are the larvae of June beetles) can cause all kinds of problems in North Texas lawns.

It is important to know that grub worms have a three-year life cycle.  Which means In our area the beetle lay its eggs in late spring to early summer, with the grub emerging in a few weeks.  They start feeding pretty much instantly on the root system of your grass.  The biggest problem is that you often can’t see this damage until it is already done.   Another problem with grubs is that armadillos love to eat them, and if you have armadillos around, they’ll start digging up your lawn to feed on the grubs causing even more damage.

Now is the time to treat for grub worms.  If you want to do-it-yourself look for product using Imidacloprid.  I know that’s a tough name to remember (let alone say) but you need to make sure that is the active ingredient if you are treating for grubs.  Don’t make the mistake of picking up the first bag of Ortho or Bayer with an easier name that has a picture of a grub.  Take the time to read the labels and make sure you get a product that has Imidacloprid which will create a barrier that prevents the grub worm from damaging your lawn.

It is important to remember that Imidacloprid is a great preventative against grub worms, which means it is NOT effective once they are actively feeding.  You need to treat before they become active.

People often ask me what they should do when they see grubs in their lawn or landscape earlier in spring?  Does it mean they are already feasting on my lawn?  The answer is no.  You’d be hard pressed to find a lawn in our area that doesn’t have some grub worms.  They only become an issue when their numbers grow to the point where they can cause widespread destruction in late summer (it is impossible for them to grow their numbers to the point of damaging your lawn anytime but late summer in our area.)  That is why you need to treat for them in last spring in our area.

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.

11 May 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: New sod lawn care tips

Spring is the time of year when we get a lot of calls about new lawns and how to care for newly laid sod.

New lawns are a little like babies in the fact that they are much more sensitive than established lawns.  It is important that you don’t treat them like a well established lawn —-  you have to adjust to their needs and give them special care.

Below are my tips for how Village Green takes care of new lawns.

Weed Control in a New Lawn:  New lawns are sensitive to weed control products so we skip applying any pre-emergents the first six months and only spot treat the lawn.

That means for the first six months, instead of preventing weeds, we’re treating them as they pop-up. You’ll have a few more weeds that first six months than either of us will be happy with but your lawn will be much healthier.

Fertilizing a New Lawn:  We use an 18-46-0 fertilizer on our new lawns. The first number is nitrogen and that helps green up the lawn. The next number is phosphorous and it’s very high, making it the main ingredient of this fertilizer. With new lawns, we don’t really want the top to grow, we’re focused on establishing the root system and phosphorous helps with root growth.

Watering a New Lawn:  The roots of sod only are about a half-inch deep which means, instead of the deep but infrequent watering we’ve been taught, we need to water in short, frequent bursts. The frequency will depend on how warm it is but typically daily or every-other-day watering works during the spring. Gradually increase the days between watering and watch the lawn to see how it reacts.

It is also important to remember if you put in a new lawn, contact your city about any variance you can get on your water restrictions to help protect your investment.

Usually after about six months your lawn is fairly established and we can begin treating it just like a more established lawn.

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.

02 May 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: What should you be doing to keep your lawn healthy this time of year?  

The answer to this question boils down to what kind of lawn you have and how long you’ve been taking care of it. 

If you’ve been a Village Green fertilizer and weed-control customer for a while, we are currently applying a granular fertilizer and spot treating your lawn for weeds. 

Bermuda lawns are getting a high nitrogen fertilizer which will help them green up for the spring. 

This plan doesn’t work for our customers with St. Augustine and zoysia lawns because of nasty little fungus called brown patch that love spring weather and feeds on nitrogen.  For these lawns we apply a low nitrogen fertilizer.  That means our St. Augustine lawns might not green up quite as fast but when they do they will be much healthier the rest of the year.

If you are brand-new to our lawn care services and have St. Augustine grass it will get the low-nitrogen fertilizer mentioned above to keep it healthy. If you have bermuda it will receive a liquid, slow release nitrogen fertilizer, mixed with a spring weed preventative and a broad leaf weed control. That is the perfect start to green up the lawn, control even the small broad-leaf weeds that are just starting to grow, plus prevent spring and summer weeds, such as crab grass from even starting.

We’ve been bouncing between cool weather and warm weather. We’re sort of between seasons – we’re out of winter but we haven’t had quite enough warm weather for all of our lawns to realize we should be in spring. Most of the lawns have greened up but there are still some pockets that haven’t yet.  We’ll have our normal warm weather over the next few weeks (probably more than we want) and when we do, your lawn will have the right food to help it become green and healthy.
 
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.