Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
24 Jul 2013

El Salvador Trip – Hard Work on Day 1

A note via email from Village Green Founder and President, Ken Hyatt. who is in El Salvador helping Arapaho United Methodist Church (in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity) build a home.

Yesterday was the hardest physical work I’ve done in a long time.  Our Mission Trip team dug the foundation of the home – probably 30′ by 20, about 2′ down, using picks, shovels and hoes, hauling the dirt using wheel barrows about 50′ away to a mound that became so tall they had to lay down wooden ramps to get to the top.  

We got about two thirds of the trenches dug yesterday.  It was exhausting work but what made it fun was when we took breaks, we could play with the village children.  

IMG_5296-1There were four at our site ranging from about 9 to 13 months.  They were coloring pictures with crayons and later, made cutouts to create puppets from paper lunch bags.  After lunch Shelby (Ken’s daughter) spent a couple of hours playing with them and their mother would laugh and laugh at Shelby’s Spanish.  The children had shy smiles that were beautiful.  

Toward the end of the day the oldest asked me if we were coming back tomorrow and was delighted to hear we were.  Right before we left one of them asked Shelby to play ball with them and, of course she did.  The struck up a tiny game of baseball using a 6″ inflatable ball.  I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids, Shelby or the adults who gathered to watch.  

IMG_5278Debbie (Ken’s wife) worked at another site which was supposed to be easier but really wasn’t.  They ended up moving a big mound of dirt left over from construction of another home to another, out of the way, area.  She talked about an 8 year old neighborhood boy who stopped by after school and began helping them.  He worked rings around all of them, even complaining when Debbie tried to give him a lighter load of dirt to carry.  

We went back to the hotel exhausted, Shelby and Debbie jumped in a very cold hotel pool, went to eat, played a few rounds of Apples to Apples and went to bed and I imagine we all got the best night of sleep so far.

 

22 Jul 2013

El Salvador Trip

The Hyatt family enjoying ice cream in El Salvador.
The Hyatt family enjoying ice cream in El Salvador.

Our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt and his family are in El Salvador with Arapaho United Methodist Church July 20th through July 28th.  Part of the AUMC in El Salvador Adult Mission Trip Team, Ken and his family will help build a home in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador.  The team has created a special BLOG to chronicle their trip.  You can find it here.  You can also follow their adventures on the Village Green Facebook page.

 

04 Jul 2013

Grubs are coming…is your lawn ready?


grubGrub worms, which are the larvae of June beetles, can wreak havoc to North Texas lawns as we move into late summer.  
They destroy your lawn by feeding on grass roots, leaving a carpet of grass that will stay green for a short time after the damage is already done, but will soon die (or get sucked up in the lawnmower the next time your grass is cut which happens more than most people realize.)  The good news is that NOW is the time to treat for grub worms and today’s blog entry will give you all the information you need to win the battle.

Grub worms have a three year life cycle.  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, as we’ve said, on the root system of your grass.  The problem is you often can’t see the damage until it already done because the carpet of grass that no longer has a good root system will stay green a short time after the roots are gone.  Another problem with grubs is that armadillos love to eat them, and if you have them around, they’ll start digging up your lawn to feed on the grubs causing even more damage.

That is why you need Imidacloprid.  We 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 pick up the first bag of Ortho or Bayer with an easier name that has a picture of grub.  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.

Grubs_in_Lawns1568It is important to remember that Imidacloprid is a great preventative against grub worms, which means it is NOT effective once they are actively feeding, so the time to apply is NOW.  If you are going to do it yourself you should apply a preventative treatment within the next couple of weeks.  If you are busy and don’t want to mess with it yourself contact Village Green today for a FREE estimate on treating your lawn.

People often ask us what they should do when they see grubs in their lawn in spring?  Does it mean they are feasting on my lawn early?  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 with 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 in anytime but late summer in our area.)

13 May 2013

Village Green Mosquito Assassin Program

Cooking on the grill, playing with the kids or dogs in the backyard, sitting on the porch enjoying a quiet cup  of coffee? The problem is mosquitoes are just waiting  for you and your family and they’re not just painful, they can be dangerous.  Our Mosquito Assassin Program is…

• Safe around people, pets and plants. 
• Kills up to 90% of your mosquitoes.
• Keeps killing them for months after we leave.
• Only 5 visits can keep them gone all season long.
• We have our own on staff Entomologist.

Is it safe? This is the question we are asked most. How can it be safe to my family, pets and plants if it is so effective at killing mosquitoes. The product we use is a pyrethroid, which is based on chrysanthemum blooms. This is the same product that is used in most flea and tick products for your pets. In fact, we bet many of our customers have stronger chemicals under their sink for cleaning.

How does it work? Pyrethroid works by entering the shell of insects. Since people and pets have skin instead of an exoskeleton, the chemical is not able to absorb in the same way making it completely safe around people and pets. We (and our on staff Entomologist, Dr. Ray Thompson) believe the risk caused by mosquitoes to be much greater than the risk from the pyrethroid. 

Will it harm beneficial insects? My plants? No. The main reason is that bees and butterflies do not spend time on the plant’s leaves only the blooms. The program also will not harm any plants in your yard since the chemical we use is plant based. 

Why is the Mosquito Assassin Program so effective? Adult mosquitoes don’t like to be active during the heat of the day. They prefer to hide in shady areas, such as trees, shrubs, tall ground cover and underneath decks. We do our treatments during the day, which means we find most of the mosquitoes while they are hiding. Our technicians often see clouds of mosquitoes billowing out of shady areas when the blower hits it (see video above.) Nearly all of those mosquitoes will be dead within an hour or so. There will be a residue left over in those areas which means any new mosquitoes that fly in to hang out will be dead in an hour or so too.

Do you want to take back your backyard from mosquitoes? Contact us today. Mosquito season has begun with several cities in our area already spraying to combat the dreaded West Nile Virus.  If you would like to get a head start on treating mosquitoes at your home, give Village Green a call.  Through May 31, 2013 we’re offering 50% Off our first visit on our Mosquito Assassin Program

16 Apr 2013

Tuesday Tip

LawnVillage Green’s Tuesday Tip: We’re often asked, can a lawn be so far gone that you need to start over?  The short answer is usually not.  The lawn in this photo suffered what appears to be freeze and chinch bug damage.  Back in February, when we got the call from the customer, this lawn was covered in broad-leaf weeds.  It was so bad you had to look hard to find any good grass.  Now in April, you can see the lawn has some bald spots, but it has very few weeds.  As our days get warmer, these bald places will quickly fill in from the edges.  If you look closely at the photo you’ll see runners are already starting.  What’s our secret?  Our good fertilizer program and instructing our customer on the proper watering schedule for their lawn.