Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
05 Feb 2014

Aeration: The Secret to Health Lawn

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I’ve changed my opinion on lawn aeration in my blog post, Aeration 101.  Since then many of our customers have been wanting to learn more about aeration.  Going so far as to ask how it actually works, which is why I shot a quick video of Sam (another valued Village Green Team Member) aerating a customer’s lawn.  As you can see from the video, aeration is a pretty simple process.  We use a lawn machine that looks like a cross between a lawn mower and mini-tank that literally punches thousands of holes into your lawn.   After seeing Sam in action I think most of our customers will get how it works, but the bigger question is why should you consider aerating your lawn?

The answer is pretty simple.  You need to aerate your lawn annually (it is best to do it in the winter or early spring) because you live in North Texas. 

Our infamous clay soils are made up of tiny particles that compact over time, getting tighter and tighter.  Eventually your soil will become so compacted that it has a hard time taking in water, oxygen, and fertilizer.  The more traffic on your lawn, whether people or pets increases the problem which is why golf courses aerate their greens and fairways a several times per year.

As a homeowner, you don’t need to go that far, but it is a wise investment to aerate your lawn once a year.  The benefits are pretty simple.  Once you poke thousands of holes in your lawn, you are creating little cups that will collect water, oxygen and fertilizer.  These components to a healthy lawn will be able to penetrate deep into your soil down to the root system of your grass, which will lead to a healthier lawn.  

Possibly the most important benefit of aeration, considering we live in North Texas where many of our cities are under Stage 3 Water Restrictions, is that aeration increases your water retention and will lower your water bill.  

In the end aeration just makes good sense.  Financially and environmentally, and better yet, the end result will be a much healthier and more beautiful lawn when you combine aeration with your ongoing lawn maintenance program.   

If you have any questions regarding aeration, 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 answer any of your lawn aeration questions.

21 Nov 2013

Meet the Team: Shelby Hyatt

Founded in 1980 by Ken Hyatt, Village Green is a family owned business that specializes in lawn care, landscaping, fertilization and weed control, sprinkler repair, and mosquito control. During the Holiday Season we also professionally install lights for both business and residential customers.  

Ken has always felt that the people behind Village Green are as important as the company itself.  With that in mind he asked the team to answer a few questions in order for our customers to get to know more about the Village Green employees who serve them. 




Shelby HyattQ&A WITH SHELBY HYATT, Doer of Whatever is Needed Done as Daughter of the Owner


Please describe what you do at Village Green.  

I do a lot of in and out jobs between doing bills and putting up Xmas lights at Dallas Baptist University.

How long have you worked at Village Green?  
Since I was born! [Which isn’t exactly true, but when you are the owner’s daughter you start helping with the family business at an early age!)

What would people be surprised to learn about you?  
I volunteered at the Dallas Zoo and got to feed and pet a rhino.
What some of your favorite things?  
My favorite past time is camping and hiking. 

 
Where did you grow up?  
Texas.
 
What is your favorite TV show?  
My favorite TV show is between Once Upon a Time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fringe.
 
Fill in the blanks.  I can’t live without laptoppets, and family
  
If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, dead or alive, the guest list would be?  
Teddy Roosevelt, J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, and Walt Disney.
  
If you were a superhero would you be?  
Black Widow
13 Feb 2013

Mid-Winter Crepe Myrtle Pruning – Don’t Believe Your Neighbors

It’s late winter and all your neighbors are trimming their crepe myrtles so I thought I’d share a quick tip on how to trim yours.  Here it is…Don’t do it.  Or if you really feel the need, do it gently.  The best way to trim your crepe myrtles is to treat them like your large trees by trimming them very little.  You wouldn’t consider topping your oak tree at 20’, yet this time of year when you look down your block, most of your neighbors are whacking off their crepe myrtles at about 6’ tall and telling you they’re going to bloom better.   A few years ago I watched someone using a circular saw proudly cutting through limbs 3” thick.  

 Your neighbors are creating big, ugly knots on the trunks of their crepe myrtles and the few extra blooms your neighbors are getting will be on the end of thin, spindly limbs too weak to support the weight of the blooms, making the limbs droop. 

 How should you trim a crepe myrtle?  Trim off limbs rubbing against each other or rubbing your roof.  If you really feel the need to prune more, don’t trim off anything larger than a pencil.  Want to see what good pruning looks like?  Go to the Dallas Arboretum and check out their crepe myrtles.  The crepe myrtles are used during their tour for the blind because of the beautiful sculpted feel of their untrimmed trunks.    

In our business the yearly sawing that your neighbors are doing isn’t called “pruning”, it’s called “crepe murder” and the punishment is a really ugly tree.

 
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. 

 

07 Aug 2012

Why do Tree Services Leave the Grindings?

Why do tree services leave a mound of debris after they grind your stump?  I asked our tree service, Advanced Tree Care, that question and what they told me is this:  The mound of grindings will naturally heat up, just like a compost pile (which it essentially is) and that heat will help kill out the stump so it won’t grow back.  Eventually the mound will collapse and you can remove the left-overs but you want to leave it there for a while.

01 Aug 2012

Landscaping in the Summer in Dallas

Can landscapes be installed in the summer in the Dallas area?  The answer is yes, as long as your sprinkler coverage is good and you water the new plants correctly.  We installed this landscape a few weeks ago.  Since then we’ve had 100 plus degree weather and no rain.  Not a single plant is stressed – even with Plano’s twice per week watering.

16 Apr 2012

Dallas Area Sun Loving Summer Annuals – Portulaca

Portulaca, otherwise known as moss rose, is makes a carpet of bright
colors – yellow, red, orange and white.
They reach about 6″ in height.  These love the heat so much they are
almost desert plants.  You have to make sure they’re in full sun most
of the day because as the sun goes down the blooms close.  Again,
you’re better off under watering these a little because the foliage
will turn yellow and you’ll lose the blooms.

14 Apr 2012

Dallas Area Sun Loving Summer Annuals – Penta

Pentas are another good choice for an annual in a sunny location
in the north Dallas area.  They reach about 12″ in height and have
red, pink and purple blooms. They are very hardy and, since they’re
not quite as popular as some annuals, they stand out as a little
different from the rest.