Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
24 Jul 2014

How To Get Rid of Bare Patches in a Shady Lawn

Landscaping in PlanoJust the other day I got this email from a customer:  “I am unable to grow grass on the heavily-shaded west side of my house. I have tried seeding and St. Augustine sod. Nothing has worked and now I have mostly dirt. Any suggestions?”

I wish I had a quarter for every time I’ve been asked this question. In fact, It is one of the most frequently asked questions I get regarding lawn care.

Over the years, I have heard countless people tell me they have spent thousands of dollars replacing the grass in the shady areas of their lawns. Then time after time, they end up watching it disappear a year later.

If the conditions are right to grow grass, it will fill into an area by itself. But if not, installing sod or seeding is only going to cause you to waste money and become frustrated.*

I believe in education first and foremost, so let me share the rules of thumb for turf sun requirements.

  • Bermuda needs about 8 hours of sunlight to survive.
  • St. Augustine needs about 6 to establish, once established you can plant a tree and as the tree casts more shade the St. Augustine will gradually acclimate to less light (which explains why your neighbor may have thick St. Augustine under his trees and you don’t).
  • Zoysia is starting to become popular and has similar light requirements as St. Augustine.
  • Fescue doesn’t mind the shade, but it’s a cheap short-term solution because you have to replant it each year.

Right about now you are probably thinking, what if I prune my tree limbs. If I cut them back, I’ll get more sun and it will fix my problem.

It’s a logical thought, but please do not prune you trees in order to grow grass in your bare spots. It is a bad idea. Thinning trees is like removing an arm or two of an umbrella. At the end of the day you are still going to have an umbrella, albeit, an ugly one! Studies have shown there is virtually no difference in the light hitting the ground under a thinned tree versus one that has been thinned. Pruning a tree can be great for a tree, but don’t do it with the hope it will help the grass underneath it.

So what’s the solution? Surely something can be done to make those dirt patch area look better.

The best solution is acceptance. If you have a shady area you need to accept it, and adapt to it by installing plants that like the shade. There are plenty of ground covers and shrubs that do well in little to no light. Most of the landscapes we install are in very heavy shade. If you can accept the shade, and find plants that thrive in the shade, you can easily change an eyesore to a pleasant spot where you can escape the brutal Texas summer heat.

If you need help finding solutions for your lawn, give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.org or fill out our contact form. I’d be happy to answer any questions. For those that don’t’ want to invest the time and energy into transforming their yards, Village Green offers affordable landscaping design and installation which can transform your lawn in no time! Many of our projects include transforming shady lawns filled with dirt patches into an oasis for our customers. You can see some of our work in our landscape portfolio here.

*More Resources and Information

  1. Secrets to a Health Lawn:  Water
  2. Secrets to a Healthy Lawn:  Sun
  3. Secrets to a Healthy Lawn:  Food

 

11 Dec 2013

Christmas Light After Winter Storm Cleon

Holiday-lights-on-iceOver the past few days we have received a large number of calls from customers who are having trouble with their Christmas lights.  Village Green is in the Christmas light business at this time of the year, so our customers (both business and commercial) are calling to tell us that large sections of their lights are not working.  The culprit is Cleon (the recent winter storm that dumped all the ice in our area.)  The issue is that Christmas lights have slight nicks or weak spots that allow moisture to seep into them.  Your roof lights will usually be ok, but on trees and shrubs water from the melting ice will wick in from the limbs and can trip the GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter.)  This is also true of any Christmas lights on the ground (like staked lights.)  In fact, any long soaking rain can seep into the wire and trip the GFI outlet.  Keep in mind that GFIs can be located in strange places.  It’s not unusual for a bathroom outlet to trip and turn off the holiday lights plugged in on the front porch.  If you are having issues look for GFIs on all outlets near water (think kitchens or bathroom and out in the garage.) Some newer homes will have the GFI built into the breaker switch in the breaker panel.  Once you find the GFI, press the button until it clicks and your holiday lights are once again shining brightly.  If that doesn’t resolve the problem, we tell our customers to wait a few hours (to allow the lights to dry out) and try the GFI again.  

08 Nov 2013

Dallas Baptist University Christmas Light Installation

It’s time for installing lights at Dallas Baptist University. The regular crew installs lights on trees but it’s become a tradition that the Hyatt family installs lights on the roofs. Shelby spent last Sunday helping her Dad. http://www.villagegreen-inc.com/christmas-light-installation-dallas-plano/ 

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