Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
10 Jun 2014

Summer Watering Guide

Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TX As 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 per week 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 the infamous clay soil in North Texas can only absorb so much watering at one time.  Often, anything beyond 10 minutes (the number is actually 7 or 8 minutes, but it’s simpler to explain and program 10 minutes to our customers,) is going to run off which is bad for your water bill and our environment. This is further complicated by the fact that about 2/3rds of our customers can only water every two weeks. Below are a few scenarios based on various water restrictions in our area.

  1. The ideal watering plan is twice per week, with 3 ten-minute bursts each morning.
  2. The second best is once per week, with 3 ten-minute bursts in the morning and 3 at night.
  3. The third best (and what 2/3rds of our customers are having to do under current restrictions) is every two weeks, with 3 twenty-minute bursts in the morning and 3 at night.

You may have to pull out a calculator to make sure the sprinklers will stop before the cut-off times and those with larger properties may not have enough minutes in the day to do what we recommend (especially those with every two weeks.) The programming has become so complicated for many of our customers that we’re installing a lot of new controllers that support the every two-week scheduling.  Two models that do this are the Rainbird ESP Controller and Weathermatic Smartline Controller.  They start at about $350 and go up from there based on the number of zones you have. 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. 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.

Village Green Downloadable Resource Guides

Water Resources

Water Schedules

26 Mar 2014

How To Properly Prune Your Crepe Myrtle

In late winter and early spring you will often see many of your neighbors pruning their crepe myrtles.  That’s actually an understatement. Most of your neighbors butcher their crepe myrtles, believing, wrongly, that cutting them back is the proper way to main this beautiful tree and promote extra blooms in the summer.  Unfortunately this misinformation, what we refer to as crepe murder, is rampant in North Texas, and the punishment is an ugly tree. 

You want to know how to prune your crepe myrtle?  Don’t do it!  

The best way to trim your crepe myrtles is to treat them like your large trees and prune and trim as needed.  You wouldn’t consider topping an oak tree at 20′ each year.  Yet if you look around your neighborhood, I’d wager that many of your neighbors are hacking their crepe myrtles so they end up at about 6′ tall believing that this will lead to better flower blooms in the summer.  A few years back, I even saw a guy use a circular saw to proudly cut through his crepe myrtle limbs that were 3″ thick.

Crepe Myrtle Murder
When people butcher their crepe myrtles in this way, all they are doing is creating big, ugly knots on the trunks of their trees (see the pic above.)  And then come summer, the few extra blooms they get will droop on spindly limbs that are too weak to hold the flowers weight.  

So, how do we recommend you trim a crepe myrtle?

  • Trim off any limbs rubbing against each other or rubbing on your roof. 
  • If you want to trim more, try not to trim anything larger than a pencil.

Crepe Myrtle TreeIf you want to see what good crepe myrtle pruning looks like I recommend a trip to the beautiful Dallas Arboretum.  Their crepe myrtles are used during their tour for the blind because of the beautiful sculpted feel of their untrimmed trunks.

If you have more questions regarding your lawn and landscape give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We’d be happy to answer any of your your questions.

 

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:  https://www.villagegreen-inc.com/sprinkler-repair-dallas-plano-allen-frisco/  For information on watering, including the Village Green Watering Guide:  https://www.villagegreen-inc.com/resource-center/

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.)

02 Jul 2013

Village Green Family Picnic

IMG_4886Nearly 50 people enjoyed the annual Village Green family picnic on Saturday, June 29th.  It was fun to meet all the families and to experience how many people Village Green touches.  We’ve been doing Village Green since 1980, and it is more than a little humbling to realize how it all began and what an amazing extended family we have.  Thanks to all the guys and their families for coming out to our picnic.  We can’t wait until next year!  View picnic photos on our Facebook page (and like us while you’re at it!)

 

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