Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
25 Feb 2021

Important Lawn & Plant Freeze Damage Update

Last week we experienced some of the most extreme winter weather I have ever seen in North Texas.

With temperatures that went from 0 to 70 in a matter of days, coupled with heavy snow for our area, our plants and lawns had to withstand some brutal conditions. Now that we’re warming back up and heading into March, we are getting many inquiries about short-term and long-term freeze damage.

Below are two videos that I hope you find helpful. The first one covers what we’re seeing with local plants and landscapes. The second covers what we see in lawns with varying types of grass in our area.

Thank you for trusting Village Green with the care of your lawn. If you have any questions or need help to diagnose an issue, you can send us your photos via email or, better yet, give us a call at 972-495-6990. We also welcome you sharing this with family and friends who may find this information helpful.

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13 Feb 2021

Important Tips To Weather The Arctic Blast

With extreme cold and wintry precipitation in the forecast for North Texas, we wanted to share some some essential lawn and landscape tips and info to make sure you are ready to weather the arctic blast.

Below are two videos that we hope you find helpful. One is all about what you can do to protect your plants from the extreme cold temperatures. The second video is one I hope you won’t need but valuable information regarding what tools to have on hand if you experience a pipe bursting from the extreme cold.

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Below are a few tips to help you prepare.
Water
It seems counter-intuitive, but plants with moisture do better in extreme cold than those that are under-watered.

Cover Sensitive Plants
We recommend you use a cloth sheet (old sheets make a great cover.) Don’t use plastic. The idea is to trap heat against the ground, so plastic doesn’t help. When the sun comes out, it can make things worse by scorching your plants. If you have pansies, you don’t have to worry about covering them to keep them alive (although covering will prevent their blooms from being damaged.)

Turn Off Your Sprinkler
All cities in our area require a freeze sensor on sprinkler systems. If you aren’t sure about yours, the simple solution to preventing dangerous icing is to turn off your sprinkler system (remember to turn it back on once the cold snap has left our area.)

Thank you for trusting Village Green with the care of your lawn. If you have any questions, give us a call at 972-495-6990.

01 Feb 2021

Do This If You Want To Prevent Winter and Spring Weeds in your Lawn.

Assuming you are on a good fertilization and weed control plan, you will apply pre-emergent during the winter months in North Texas. For this preventative to work, it is vital that you properly water your lawn within two weeks of the application. At Village Green, we typically spray a liquid pre-emergent, which comes out in big droplets. When you water within two weeks of our application, it will spread the pre-emergent out and down into your soil, which creates that barrier we are looking for to prevent those weeds. Winter and spring weeds are hard to control once they have come up, so the pre-emergent must be appropriately applied, including this vital watering within two weeks.
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If you need help controlling weeds in your lawn, Village Green would love to earn your business. Founded in 1980, we are a family-owned and operated lawn and landscape company. Call 972-495-6990 or email me at Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com for more information. You can also learn more about our fertilization and weed control programs here.

16 Jan 2021

Our Top 5 Quick & Easy Landscape Improvements

If you want to improve your lawn and landscape and don’t know where to start, consider these five quick and easy tips. We think you’ll find that dollar for dollar, they are the easiest, more cost-effective ways to improve the look of your lawn and landscape quickly.

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REPLACE RUSTED STEEL EDGING AROUND LANDSCAPE BORDER
We like to put in a stone border using the dry stack method, which is where we lightly trim the stone and put them on decomposed granite. This method will hold the stone securely in place, allowing you to easily and quickly reposition the stone if needed in the future. This quick update isn’t costly and makes an excellent addition to the old, rusted steel edging many people have in their landscape. The cost of this type of update depends on a few things, but a general price range is $2,000 to $2,400.

ADD RIVER ROCK IN UNDER THE TREE(S) IN YOUR LAWN
These areas often won’t grow grass because of an abundance of shade, and river rock with a stone border make the area look very nice. And better yet, the stone grows well in the shade! The cost of this type of update depends on a few things, but a general price range is $2,400 to $2,800.

CONNECT YOUR DOWNSPOUTS
One of the biggest problems we see with landscapes is not under-watering, it’s overwatering. Connecting your downspouts to a drainage system and running the water out through the curb is a great solution and will resolve over watering in your beds. The cost of this type of update depends on a few things, but a general price range is $2,500 to $3,000.

ADD DECOMPOSED GRANITE TO YOUR SIDE YARD
Often, grass has a hard time growing between the home and fence, and these areas are nothing but mud pits. If you added decomposed granite pea gravel and nestled in flagstone, your side yard will be more usable and drain properly. The cost of this type of update is generally $3,000 to $3,700.

ADD MULCH TO YOUR BEDS
The recommendation is always to have 2 to 3 inches of mulch in your beds. Village Green does Seasonal Bed Maintenance where we install the mulch, lightly weed, and trim any shrubs that need it. We also will add weed preventative and fertilizer. The crucial part of this, though, is adding the mulch. Two to three inches of mulch will insulate your plants’ roots from the heat and cold and hold in moisture. Having a couple of inches of mulch also will help cut down on the weeds in the bed. The cost of our Seasonal Bed Maintenance program depends on a few things, but a general price range is $1,100 to $1,300 a year.

These are the top 5 small landscape jobs we do that can significantly improve your lawn and landscape.

If you have a landscape project in mind, Village Green would love to earn your business. Founded in 1980, we are a family-owned and operated lawn and landscape company specializing in landscapes that start at $2,500. Call us at 972-495-6990 or email us at Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com for more information.

16 Dec 2020

Do You Know How Much You Should Be Watering This Winter?

In winter, even though your lawn and plants are dormant, your soil still needs consistent watering to keep it healthy. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your lawn health is to turn your sprinkler system off during our winter months.

This means in winter, we recommend you water one ten-minute burst one day per week.

Also, keep in mind that many of the newer sprinkler controllers have a seasonal adjustment (set to 20% during winter,) which is easy to use with your watering guidelines. Finally, if your lawn has a lot of shade, you can cut your watering about half of what we recommend and be fine. Shady lawns always need less water than those that get a lot of sun during the day.

Important Note for Rotary Head Sprinklers and Drip Systems.

If you have rotary head sprinklers (they slowly turn and send out long streams of water), we recommend running twice as long as you would regular sprinklers since it takes them longer to put out the same amount of water. Drip Zones (drip systems work by maintaining a level of moisture in the soil.) We recommend that in the winter they run one day per week for 10 minutes. Since different drip lines water slightly differently, it is important to pay attention to your beds to make sure they are getting the proper amount of water. If you have questions or need help with your sprinkler system, give us a call. Proper watering is vital for a healthy lawn, and we are always happy to help.

Proper watering is vital for a healthy lawn, and we are always happy to help. You can also find a how-to video on programming your watering guide on our website or YouTube channel. You can download a copy of our Winter Watering Guide here (be sure and share with your friends and family!)

As always, if you have any questions or need help with your sprinkler system, give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

12 Sep 2020

Everything You Need To Know About Fall in North Texas

It is hard to believe but fall officially arrives in North Texas in less than a week.

As we wrap up the busy summer season and head into autumn Village Green starts shifting our lawn care focus away from top growth and towards root growth.

Bermuda lawns get a nitrogen fertilizer and our St. Augustine and zoysia lawns have switched to a root feeding fertilizer.

We treat St. Augustine and zoysia differently for two reasons. One is the lawns have been stressed from the summer heat and we want to help the roots become stronger as we head into fall.

The second reason is St. Augustine and zoysia are both prone to a fungus called brown patch that occurs in the moderate, usually wetter weather we have in the fall. Applying a high nitrogen fertilizer to St. Augustine and zoysia lawns is bad, because brown patch thrives on nitrogen.

Later this fall we will begin the transition to a fall pre-emergent to reduce fall and winter weeds.

Ask Ken: Our Top Fall Related Questions

As the weather cools our phones heat up. In the past week I’ve had time in the office to answer many fall related questions that I think would benefit all our customers. I hope you find the answers to these common fall questions helpful!

How much should I water in the fall?
Download our Fall Green Talk Newsletter for our fall watering guidelines.

What should I do with the leaves on my lawn and landscape?
Short answer is that leaves left on your lawn are bad (they can lead to fungal problems in your lawn.) Leaves in your beds are good (think free mulch!)

Should I plant or install a landscape in the fall in North Texas?
I know it sounds backwards, but fall and even in the winter are actually better seasons to plant landscapes in than spring. If you choose the right plants, the weather in North Texas doesn’t stay cold long enough to damage new plants, plus planting at this time of year lets the plants develop roots deep enough to be mostly established before summer which is the most stressful time of the year for plants in North Texas. Deeper and stronger roots is vital because it makes the plant much hardier in extreme heat and they require less water to thrive.

What are the best plants to get fall color into your lawn?
If you are looking to refresh your lawn we 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.

Pumpkins: Another tip to introduce a pop or color is to get some pumpkins and/or gourds to place in your lawn and landscape. Our area has many pumpkin patches during the fall season a few well placed add a festive fall element to your yard.

If you are looking for some extra help with your lawn or landscape this fall give us a call. Founded in 1980, Village Green is a family-owned and operated lawn and landscape company celebrating 40 years in North Texas.

Call us at 972-495-6990 or email me at Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com to learn more.

01 Aug 2020

Here’s How you Program a Rachio Smart Smart System Controller

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More and more of our customers are using the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. In this in-depth video Ken takes you through the steps to program your Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller for North Texas. If you have a lawn or landscape problem you need help with give Village Green a call at 972-495-6990 or email us at Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com. We have been helping our North Texas neighbors have healthier lawns since 1980.

08 Jun 2020

Summer Watering Guide

Now is the time to program your sprinkler controller for summer watering to make sure your lawn and landscape are getting adequate water coverage.

How much should you water in the summer?

The starting point for our watering plan is summer because that is the season your soil loses the most water. During summer we recommend watering roughly an hour per week per zone in full sun. We also recommend watering in 10-minute bursts, so your lawn has time to absorb the water. If you water more than that, you run the risk of the water running down your street or alley because of our infamous clay soil in North Texas.

This means in summer we recommend that you water in ten minutes bursts two days per week at 2 am, 4 am, and 6 am.

The reason we recommend watering at these times is that it is cooler, which means less evaporation. There is also less wind that can blow your water onto your driveway, sidewalk or street. If you water as recommended, you will have more water that ends up in your lawn, which is both environmentally and financially smart.

Some of the newer controllers have what is called a seasonal adjust section. Those are really easy to use with this system. If you have shady areas in your lawn, you typically need to water about half the recommended time you would in a sunny area.

Important Note for Rotary Head Sprinklers and Drip Systems.

Rotary Head Sprinklers (they slowly turn and send out long streams of water.) We recommend running them twice as long because it takes them longer to put out the same amount of water.

Drip Zones (drip systems work by maintaining a level of moisture in the soil.) They can be tricky because they put out water at different rates, and the water going into the ground can vary based on how the drip hoses are installed. We recommend that they run daily or close to it (roughly 10 minutes per day in the summer.) It is important to pay attention to your beds to make sure they are getting the proper amount of water.

Download Summer Watering Guide

If you need help with programming your sprinkler or have any other issues give us a call at 972-495-6990 or Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com. We offer affordable sprinkler repair by our certified irrigation technicians. You can also watch this quick video where Ken shows you how to properly program your sprinkler controller.

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06 Apr 2020
Ken Hyatt

Quick Tip: Crane Flies, Mayflies, or Mosquito Hawks?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions this spring about these mega-mosquitoes, which are crane flies. I’ve heard them called mayflies, mosquito hawks, skeeter eaters, and my favorite, mosquito on steroids!
Everyone can rest easy; these aren’t some dangerously huge mosquitoes that have descended on North Texas.

These inch-long, gangly-legged insects that are sneaking into your home and bouncing off the walls and ceilings are crane flies, and despite rumors to the contrary, they are neither predators of mosquitoes nor a colossal mosquito. And they are harmless (even though you may see reports on the internet that they can bite or sting.)

Adult crane flies eat very little, if at all, according to the experts. Some of them can sponge up liquids, such as dew and honey water. Sometimes they’ll visit flowers to take up nectar.

The reason they don’t eat a lot is because adult crane flies typically only live a few days. Crane flies spend most of their time as larvae living underwater in streams, the edges of ponds, within wet logs, or in other damp places, and then emerge as adults for a quick mating spree before dying.

In our area, we typically see crane flies in spring, and we are seeing a lot currently in North Texas. Rest assured, most of these crane flies will be gone soon.

If you have any questions about your lawn or landscape give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

01 Apr 2020

The Secret to a Great Landscape

Examples of what you don’t want to do. These landscapes don’t frame the house or have anything interesting near the entrance. There are also far too many rectangles and mushrooms in this landscape design.

Today I am going to share a secret about how to create a great landscape design. Whether you do it yourself or use Village Green, the key to a great landscape is to follow the great painter’s lead and create a frame around your home.

How do you do that? You start with the foundation planting at the bottom of your frame. You want the foundation plants to be dwarf type plants and ground cover. The reason this is important, so the plants do not obstruct the view of your home and hurt your drive-up appeal. You mustn’t cover up any interesting architectural details like columns, windows, and doors (see examples.)

Examples of what you don’t want to do. These landscapes don’t frame the house or have anything interesting near the entrance. There are also far too many rectangles and mushrooms in this landscape design.

You want your foundation planting designed to guide your eye to the entry of your home. Use a variety of shapes, forms, and textures to achieve this, and the style of the landscape will dictate your arrangement. Nearly always simple is best, and less is more. Keep the variety of plants to a minimum and mass them, so your eye is drawn toward the entry. The area around the door should have a vertical accent (3′-5’ tall) with seasonal color and more variety to draw your eye to this area.

The corner of your home should consist of larger shrubs and ornamental trees, usually 6′ or so, that make up the sides of the frame. This planting serves as a backdrop for the layering of plants that will help guide your eye to the entry. Tall plants at the corners and progressively smaller plants draw the eye to your entry.

The top of the frame generally consists of shade trees in your front yard; however, a grouping of ornamental trees along the foundation or shade trees in the back that is visible from the front can achieve the same effect.

If you have any questions about your landscape or want more information give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.