Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
30 Oct 2014

Important Water News: Every Two Week Watering is Back!

The North Texas Municipal Water District have initiated Stage 3 seasonal watering of the NTMWD Water Conservation and Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan, which goes into effect November 1, 2014. You can read their full release here.

You should verify your specific watering day schedule with your city or appropriate water provider. You can find links to this info on the Village Green Resource Center.

Please bookmark the page and use it as a resource (and share with your friends and family.) Our resource center is the perfect place to arm yourself with all the information you need to keep your lawn and landscape healthy and looking great.

We’d also like to remind you to make sure you’ve adjusted your automatic sprinkler system for the fall. You shouldn’t be watering as much as you did during the summer. You can learn more about fall watering in North Texas here.

If you have any questions regarding your sprinkler system please don’t hesitate to contact us at 972-495-6990.  We’d be happy to answer any of your questions or give you a free quote on what it would cost for us to come out and give your sprinkler system a tune-up (including programming your system) to make sure you’re watering as efficiently as possible.

01 Jul 2014

Important Information About Chinch Bug Damage in North Texas Lawns

Chinch Bug DamageYour North Texas lawn needs three things to thrive:  sun, water, and food.  If you are doing everything right, yet your lawn looks like it has drought damage, fungal disease or iron deficiency, you may have chinch bugs.  These guys are bad news.  In fact, I’ve seen chinch bugs cause more lawn damage than any other insect.  What makes matters even worse is when the first signs pop up in the form of small yellowing spots, people assume they have drought damage, fungal disease or iron deficiency, and waste time and money trying to fix the wrong problem.

In North Texas chinch bugs only attack St. Augustine lawns.  They love hot, dry soil and will almost always start eating the grass near concrete.  They like to start by a sidewalk or driveway and work their way out into your lawn.

How can you tell if you have chinch bugs?  To be honest, it can be tough.  The lawn gurus will tell you to search for them at the outside edge of the damage.   They say you can spot them there, but I’ve personally spent a long time staring at a spot and only rarely have I actually seen the chinch bugs.  If you can’t get a visual on them, an easier way is to check your soil by jamming a big screw diver into the ground, and stick you finger into the hole.  If your soil feels damp and you don’t see any obvious sprinkler issues you probably have chinch bugs and should treat for them. Another way is to shove a coffee can into the soil and fill it with water.  If you see flea-like insects floating to the top, you’ve got chinch bugs.

Unlike grubworms, there is no preventative for chinch bugs.  The only way to control them is to treat them while they are actively feeding.  At Village Green we apply Bifenthrin which has proven to be very effective in killing them.

Even though there is no preventative for chinch bugs, the Village Green surface insect program can significantly reduce the risk of wide scale chinch bug damage.  Our surface insect program uses Bifenthrin, which controls  fleas, ticks, and ants in addition to reducing your chance of large areas chinch bug damage.  We apply it every month or so during the peak insect season and it usually kills off any active chinch bugs too.  The surface insect program is an added cost to our 8 visit lawn care program. If you’d like more information on it or questions regarding your lawn call at 972-495-6990 or email our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We’d be happy to answer your questions if you want to do it yourself.  Or if you want to save time and have us do it, we’d be happy to give you an estimate on what it would cost for our .

19 Mar 2014

Drip Irrigation Systems on the Rise in North Texas

Village Green Installing a Drip Irrigation System
Sam Installing a Drip Irrigation System

Say drip and water in the same sentence and most people will think of something negative, like a leaky faucet.  But when you are talking about a drip irrigation system, a drip is a great thing that can help expand your Stage 3 watering window.  We’ll talk more about that in a moment, for now let’s list the many benefits of a drip irrigation system.  

  • Saves water with less runoff and evaporation.  
  • Delivers water evenly around foundations which can help prevent foundation problems.
  • Puts the water exactly were you want it by targetting the exact area where you want the water (for example, the roots) and allows you to deliver it at the exact time you wish (using a timer.)
  • Delivers water without creating an overly moist environment that promotes fungal diseases.
  • Adapts easily to changes in landscape. Systems can be used for containers, raised beds, vegetable rows or balconies. Drip irrigation can circle a tree or shrub at the dripline.
  • Reduces erosion on slopes (remember to place the emitter upslope, above the plant.)
  • Improves water-holding capacity in clay soils.

All of that sounds great, but when you factor in that most cities exempt drip irrigation systems from their water restriction guidelines it becomes huge!  Our North Texas drought has no signs of easing up in the near future (click here to read the Dallas Morning News article.)  And those with large lawns and landscape usually have a sprinkler system that has 8 or 9 zones.  That translates to not enough minutes in the day to water all of your lawn and landscape correctly.  If you invest in a drip irrigation system for your landscape and beds, you can skip those areas on your watering day, and focus all of your minutes on your lawn.  This allows you to have a healthy lawn and landscape.  You’ll want to make sure that your city allows the exemption.  You can visit the Village Green Resource Center for helpful links for the cities we serve. 

If you have more questions regarding your sprinkler and irrigation system 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 all your questions and help you have a healthy and happy lawn during our extended North Texas drought.

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 Jan 2014

Lawn Aeration 101

USA Today Water Cost Map
Does your lawn really need to be aerated?  

That’s a question we are asked a lot at Village Green, and to be honest, our answer has changed over the past few years for reasons that may surprise many people.

Believe it or not we, a company that does aeration professionally, actually told our customers that while aeration was helpful, it would not radically improve their lawn.  It was a service we performed for those customers who wanted to do everything in their power to make sure they had the most beautiful and healthy lawn on the block.

Today though, with rising water costs and restrictions by many of the cities in North Texas, we tell our customers they should seriously consider aeration for their lawn.  Take a look at the USA Today map and you’ll quickly see where the cost of water has doubled in the past twelve years (or read the entire story yourself here.)  Aeration will help your lawn because it allows your soil to hold more water.  Holding more water means you have to water less.  This is not only environmentally smart, it is fiscally smart as it will save you money on your water bill.

In North Texas, our clay soil is composed of very tiny particles.  These particles, as time passes, compact, and make it hard for water, fertilizer, and oxygen to get into your soil.  There simply isn’t room as the clay (made up of those tiny particles) gets tighter and tighter.  When we aerate your lawn, we poke a hole (actually a LOT of holes) in the ground and pull out a plug which creates space.  Each of these holes act like a tiny cup of water in your lawn, allowing easy entry for water, fertilizer, and oxygen.  This in turn, reduces the amount of water your lawn will need, saving you a lot of money in the long run, not to mention improving the overall health of your soil. 

If you have you more 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 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/

07 May 2013

QuickTip: Spring Watering Schedule

irrigation1In the spring your lawn requires around a half an inch of water per week on average.  That equals roughly 30 minutes for most sprinkler systems.  The problem we have in our area is our infamous clay soil can only absorb about 10 minutes worth of water.  After that it will run off which is not good for your water bill or our local water supply. 

Our QuickTip?  Don’t water all 30 minutes at once.  Instead program your sprinkler’s controller to water one day per week with a start time of 2am, 4am, and 6am, having each zone run for 10 minutes.

If you have rotors (the type of sprinkler that turns slowly while spraying a long thin stream) you need to water twice as long (at least 20 minutes per zone at 2am, 4am, and 6am.)  Depending on the rotor speed and stream, you may need to water even longer to give your lawn what it needs.

Do you need help optimizing your sprinkler?  The Village Green sprinkler gurus can tune up your system and have you ready for summer in no time.  Contact us today (972-495-6990 or email) and we’ll take $25 off the first hour of sprinkler work (normally $15 per hour plus materials) through May 31, 2013.    

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