Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
20 Feb 2017

Ken’s Quick Tip: Signs Your Sprinkler System Needs Repair

I don’t want to jinx us with only four weeks left until the first day of spring, but this winter has been one of our warmest in recent years.  It’s been so warm in fact that many of our customers are calling us and asking if they should be following our winter watering schedule.

The answer is yes.  It may not seem like it, but it is still winter, and you won’t need to update your sprinkler system for another month.

I do recommend paying attention to your sprinkler system in these last weeks of winter, that way if you spot a problem, you can have it resolved before the important spring watering season beings.

Here are some signs you may have a sprinkler problem.

Loss of pressure. If a certain zone or head isn’t watering with as much pressure as it should, this typically indicates a malfunction with your system that needs some attention.

Uneven watering.  Keep an eye out for pools of water in areas of your lawn, or worse, a drenched sidewalk, driveway, or street.  The same is true of dry sections in your lawn after watering.  These are signs that your lawn is not being consistently watered, and more than likely you have some sprinkler heads that need some adjusting.

Irregular water flow. If one of your heads is sputtering or dribbling in a way that is anything less than a steady stream, you may have a cracked head or clogged valve you need to repair.

Your lawn has changed.  If you’ve had any changes in your lawn, whether it be new a new landscape, flower bed, or hardscape, chances are you need to tweak your system to best water your lawn.Your water bill is high!  If your water bill seems higher than normal for this time of year, and you’ve not increased water consumption elsewhere, you could have a leak.  Best to fix it during later winter before your water consumption increases this spring and summer.

All the above are issues are easy to spot if you pay attention for a week or so and note anything out of the ordinary.  If you do have issues, most of these are relatively easy to fix with supplies from your local hardware store.

If you have any questions or need additional help give us a call at 972.495.6990 or email me at Ken@VillageGreen-inc.com.

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 Jan 2016

What Does a Rain and Freeze Sensor Do and Do I Really Need One?

The short answer is yes.  You need one.  Think of the times you’ve seen someone’s sprinklers running during a downpour or sidewalks turned to a sheet of ice (even though we haven’t had any precipitation in days.)  Every sprinkler system should have a functioning rain and freeze sensor in my professional option. 

The reasons why are pretty straightforward. 

The rain sensor is literally a no-brainer!  You no longer have to keep up with local rainfall and remember to turn your sprinkler off during a rain.  Even more important you don’t have to remember to turn it back on afterwards. 

The freeze sensor is much more important.  Because most cities in our area require them, but most important is the liability factor for you as a home owner.   

It is your responsibility as a home owner to keep your property safe.  The last thing you want to happen is for your sprinklers to run during freezing temps, only to have one of your neighbors take a nasty fall on the sidewalk in front of your home while walking their dog.  Having a functioning freeze sensor means you have gone a long way towards keeping you and your neighbors safe.

If you have a newer sprinkler controller, the wireless rain and freeze sensors are fairly easy to install.  The toughest part is finding a spot on your home that you can reach with your ladder that doesn’t have trees overhanging it (they block the rain).

If climbing a ladder isn’t your thing, or your sprinkler system is older and you’re not sure what to do, give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  Our certified sprinkler technicians can install a sensor as well as do affordable sprinkler system inspections and tune-ups that will guarantee appropriate and adequate water coverage for your lawn.  

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.

21 Jan 2014

Winter Watering Guide

Irrigation - ServiceIf you want to protect your landscape from freeze damage, don’t turn off your sprinkler system in the winter.  Granted you don’t need to water as much as you would in the summer, but watering a small amount during winter will make sure your lawn and landscape are ready for the spring growing season and protected against freeze damage.

In the winter your soil will lose on average, 1/4″ of water per week.  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 1/4″ from evaporation.  That’s what happens to your lawn and landscape during the winter and if you skip watering for weeks (or months) you’re going to make the roots of your plants more susceptible to freeze damage.  Another reason to water regularly is that any pre-emergent treatments that are applied to your lawn need water to spread and push them into the soil.  This process is what creates the barrier in the soil to prevent the weed seeds from sprouting in late winter and early spring.  A pre-emergent can survive a couple of weeks without water, but after that it will disappear and not be effective.

Most plants in our area like water all winter long.  Take St. Augustine as an example.  It is a tropical plant so it hates the cold.  In fact, watering your St. Augustine lawn in the winter may be more important than your summer watering since the biggest killer of it is freezing.  Unless you have chosen a very sensitive plant, I rarely see any winter damage of any plants if they have been watered correctly over the winter months.  

Be sure and visit the Village Green Resource Center for helpful links to your city watering guidelines as well as our downloadable Village Green Watering Guide.  If you need more help please don’t hesitate to contact us at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form.  We’d be happy to help walk you through the process to make sure you are getting the most out of your winter watering schedule.  For those who want more advanced help, we offer affordable sprinkler system inspections, tune-ups, and sprinkler control replacement that will guarantee appropriate and adequate water coverage for your lawn.  If you contact us by February 15, 2014, you can get our early bird sprinkler tune-up special for only $59 (a savings of $45!.)

30 Aug 2013

Green Talks Video Blog: Drought Stress

 

Ken Hyatt, President and Founder of Village Green shows how you can tell if your lawn is showing the classic signs of drought stress.  During late summer many yards in our area experience drought stress, which is usually sprinkler related.  For more information on tuning up your sprinkler system visit:  http://www.villagegreen-inc.com/sprinkler-repair-dallas-plano-allen-frisco/  For information on watering, including the Village Green Watering Guide:  http://www.villagegreen-inc.com/resource-center/

19 Jun 2013

Summer Water Schedule


Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TXAs the temperature gets closer and closer to the century mark, I get more and more questions about how to keep your lawn and landscape looking good in this Texas heat.  Not to mention during Stage 3 water restrictions. 

First, you need to water for about sixty minutes in the summer. That can vary based on a few variables (has it rained? Do you have a lot of shade?) But sixty minutes is a good basic guideline for our area.

The challenge though is this, the infamous clay soil in our area can only absorb about ten minutes of watering.  Anything beyond that is going to run off which is bad for your water bill and our environment.

Which is why Village Green usually recommends you schedule two mornings per week in three ten minute bursts (run your system with three starts times, 2am, 4am and 6am on each of the days.)  That will give you a total of sixty minutes.  

I said usually because since June 1st, many of us are under Stage 3 water restrictions which only allows us to water once per week.  

irrigation1If this is your predicament, then you need to quite literally change to Plan B, and water of 2am, 4am, and 6am.  Then add (Program B on most sprinkler controllers) water times of  6pm, 8pm and 10pm.   Most plants, including your lawn, will be fine on this once per week summer watering schedule. 

Customers with a larger property may not be able to achieve all of the desired minutes in the one day you are allowed under Stage 3 water restrictions.  If that is the case contact the city to see if it you can get a waiver.  Most cities will grant waivers for residents with large properties.  

One final point, if your sprinkler system has rotary heads (that turn out slowly and send out long streams of water) you will need to water those zones twice as long.  The reason being they are covering twice the area with the same number of gallons and need to run twice as long to put out an inch of water (which amounts to about two hours per zone in the summer.)

Visit the Village Green Resource Center for helpful links for your city watering guidelines as well as the downloadable Village Green Watering Guide.  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. 

31 May 2013

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) begins Stage 3 on June 1, 2013

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) released a statement about Stage 3 water restrictions that go in effect on Saturday, June 1, 2013 for all Village Green customers.  

Restrictions on outdoor watering go into effect Saturday
for customers of the North Texas Muncipal Water District
Stage 3 drought plan limits landscape watering to once per week, if necessary.  Other restrictions apply.

irrigation1-e1298595437543The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) begins Stage 3 on June 1, 2013.   Under Stage 2 of the NTMWD Water Conservation and Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan, residential and business customers will be limited to landscape watering with sprinkler or irrigation systems once every seven days, if necessary.  Other restrictions apply.  Check with your city for specific details.

A drier than normal winter and spring resulted in below normal reservoir levels for two key NTMWD water supplies.  Despite recent rains, Lavon Lake is still over 7 feet below the normal conservation level and Lake Jim Chapman is over 8 feet low normal elevation.


“We’ve been fortune to receive several inches of rain over the past few weeks but that was not enough to reverse the declining reservoir levels we are facing in North Texas,”  said Jim Parks executive director Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TXof the North Texas Municipal Water District.  “The experts predict another dry summer, so every gallon we save now will help extend our water supplies.  The ongoing drought and the loss of the Lake Texoma supply is why we need to implement Stage 3 of the Plan, “Parks added.

The goal of Stage 3 is a 10% reduction in water use and increased awareness in ongoing water conservation efforts.

You can read, download, or print the rest of their release by clicking here.

If you need specific details regarding your city visit the Village Green Resource Center.  You’ll find helpful links to all the cities of our customers as well as the Village Green Watering Guide.  

If you need more help give us a call at 972-495-6990, email us at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. A sprinkler system inspection 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. For more information visit our Sprinkler Repair page.

07 May 2013

QuickTip: Spring Watering Schedule

irrigation1In the spring your lawn requires around a half an inch of water per week on average.  That equals roughly 30 minutes for most sprinkler systems.  The problem we have in our area is our infamous clay soil can only absorb about 10 minutes worth of water.  After that it will run off which is not good for your water bill or our local water supply. 

Our QuickTip?  Don’t water all 30 minutes at once.  Instead program your sprinkler’s controller to water one day per week with a start time of 2am, 4am, and 6am, having each zone run for 10 minutes.

If you have rotors (the type of sprinkler that turns slowly while spraying a long thin stream) you need to water twice as long (at least 20 minutes per zone at 2am, 4am, and 6am.)  Depending on the rotor speed and stream, you may need to water even longer to give your lawn what it needs.

Do you need help optimizing your sprinkler?  The Village Green sprinkler gurus can tune up your system and have you ready for summer in no time.  Contact us today (972-495-6990 or email) and we’ll take $25 off the first hour of sprinkler work (normally $15 per hour plus materials) through May 31, 2013.    

02 Nov 2012

Fall North Dallas Landscape Check List

Here is your fall landscape to-do list…

Apply Pre-Emergent – In bermuda lawns you’ll want to apply a pre-emergent to your lawn to prevent the winter weed seeds from germinating.  Check your local nursery for a pre-emergent with an active ingredient of Simazine or Pendimethalin.  St. Augustine doesn’t like herbicides – pre-emergents tend to stunt its growth.  Instead use a low nitrogen fertilizer (we use 5-10-31) and spot treat weeds as they show.

Install Trees and Shrubs – Fall is the best season to install trees and shrubs, followed by winter.  Believe it or not, spring is the third best season to install a landscape.  Just like people, the closer plants get to a Dallas summer the unhappier they get which makes fall the best season for planting.   Installing trees and shrubs in the fall or winter allows them to set their roots, so by the time summer rolls around they’re better prepared.  Want so design ideas?  Go to our gallery and review our landscape architect’s plans.  You’ll find lots of great ideas and plants suggestions there.

Mulch Landscape Beds – You’ll want 3″ or so of mulch in your beds.  This provides insulation for the plants during our cold weather and blocks most of the weed seeds from germinating.  A good mulch, as it decomposes throughout the year, will also give organic material to the roots of your plants.  Be sure to use shredded hardwood mulch.  Other, cheaper mulch is frequently made from old, shredded pallets and doesn’t break down nearly as well.

Fertilize Trees and Shrubs – As trees and shrubs go dormant over the winter they move nutrients into their root system to store.  When you add a balanced fertilizer such as 14-14-14 in the fall, the tree moves the fertilizer into the roots, giving the tree a great boost in the spring.

Install Fall Flowers – Your summer annuals may look nice now but they won’t survive the first couple of frosts.  It’s time to change to pansies, kale or cabbage.  Follow this link for more information on fall color.

Set Fall Watering Schedule – Did you know your sprinkler system is your first line of defense against winter weeds?  Watering spreads your pre-emergent, creating a barrier just below the surface of the soil to prevent weed seeds from germinating.  Watering in the fall roughly 30 minutes per week (twice that for rotors) also reduces chance of winter damage.  Why do I talk about watering so much?  Most of the issues I see in lawns and landscape either start or are made worse by poor watering methods.  Follow this link for in-depth fall watering tips.