RDU Sees Massive Rainfall

on Jul 03 in Summer Lawn Care, Yard News

Black and White UmbrellasJune turned out to be an extraordinarily wet month this year.

From massive thunderstorms to short intense showers, the Triangle and surrounding areas of North Carolina received significantly more rainfall than normal.  According to wral.com the normal amount of rain for June is 3.52″ while this year we received 10.8″.  That’s 7.28″ more than usual in just one month!

WRAL.com illustrated the huge increase in average rainfall with a series of charts and graphs in the following article  http://www.wral.com/weather/page/1934052/.

Large Patch

on Jul 21 in Summer Lawn Care, Yard News

Large patch is a new name for an old disease of warm-season turfgrasses. This disease was formerly called brown patch, the same disease that affects cool-season grasses during hot weather. Other than the fact that they affect different grasses, there are several important differences between brown patch and large patch that necessitated a name change: they occur at different times of the year, produce distinct symptoms, are caused by different strains of the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, and require very different control strategies.

Large patch appears in roughly circular patches that are yellow, tan, or straw-brown. The patches are initially 2 to 3 feet in diameter, but can expand in size rapidly up to 10 feet or more in diameter, hence the name “large patch”. Multiple patches may coalesce to encompass even larger areas of turf. When the disease is actively developing, the outer edge of the patches are often red, orange, or bronze in color. Close examination of individual plants reveals the presence of reddish-brown or gray lesions on the leaf sheaths. It may be necessary to peel away the older, dead leaves in order to reveal the lesions on the younger leaf sheaths below.

Establishment of a disease-resistant turfgrass species is the most effective means for management of large patch. Bermudagrass rarely sustains significant damage from large patch, and grows of out the symptoms quickly when the disease does occur. In contrast, centipedegrass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass often sustain serious damage and recovery can take several weeks or months. Fescues and bluegrasses are immune to large patch and are also an option in areas where cool-season turfgrasses can be maintained.

Do not apply nitrogen to warm-season grasses in the fall and spring. These grasses are growing slowly during this time and do not require a significant amount of this nutrient. In general, nitrogen should not be applied to the warm-season grasses within 6 weeks before dormancy in the fall or within 3 weeks after green-up begins in the spring. Warm-season grasses vary in their fertility requirements, so refer to local University recommendations for more specific recommendations for timing and rates.

Avoid establishing warm-season grasses in low lying areas that remain saturated for extended periods of time from surface runoff. If this is unavoidable, install subsurface drainage to remove excess water from the soil. Irrigate only as needed to prevent severe drought stress in the fall and spring. Control traffic patterns to prevent severe compaction, and aerify as needed to maintain soil drainage and aeration. Mow at recommended heights, and power rake or vertical mow as needed to control thatch accumulations.

Dance Studio Owner Invented Weed Eater

on Jun 30 in Yard News

George Ballas got his big idea after a poisonous snake bit a worker who was trimming his lawn with shears. The idea turned an old popcorn can, some wires and an edger into the Weed Eater.

Mr. Ballas, who died Saturday at age 85, was a dance instructor, developer, inventor and marketer who built hotels, patented an adjustable table and marketed an early portable phone.

But it was the Weed Eater—of which he invented both the concept and the name—that made him a fortune while sparking a revolution in lawn care. Mr. Ballas introduced the device in the early 1970s and by 1976 was selling $40 million worth of them annually.

Read the Full Article at WSJ.com

Brown Patch

on Jun 16 in Summer Lawn Care, Yard News

As you know we have been experiencing very high temperatures with high humidity, these conditions are perfect for an outbreak of brown patch in the fescue turf. We are prepared to handle such and outbreak should it occur. Please contact our office should you notice small circles of brown growing larger over time, we will then visit your property and confirm that it is brown patch and then provide you with a quote (approx $140 per bag of chemical) should your yard require treatment. If you have any questions please contact us at 919-388-9878.

Japanese Beetles

on Jun 01 in Pest Control, Spring Agrinomics, Summer Lawn Care, Yard News

Summer is also a time when trees and shrubs are damaged by Japanese beetles. These insects feed aggressively on plants like roses, hydrangeas, crape myrtles, etc. We have applied a systemic insecticide deterrent in the late winter, early spring to protect against Japanese beetles. We are also applying a sprayable insecticide at the first signs of damage weekly you may also want to spray Sevin to supplement our regimen as rainfall diminishes the effectiveness of these products. Some neighbor- hoods still experienced severe Japanese beetle damage to their knock-out roses. Japanese beetles are migratory insects and it is impossible to control all Japanese beetle populations. The good news is Japanese beetle populations should be declin- ing in the coming weeks. The corrective measure we will be taking to repair the roses will be to first prune them back by 1/3. We will then fertilize them with a 14-14-14 nursery grade fertilizer. This will stimulate new growth and they should flush out within a few weeks.

Mulch Conversion

on May 25 in Spring Agrinomics, Yard News

Dyed MulchWith the recent awareness of pinestraw and its flammability we are recommending that you remove the straw and add mulch in its place. We are offering mulch conversion services to a dyed triple shredded mulch. The dyed product is a superior product that can hold its color for up to one year while the standard triple shredded mulch will loose its brilliance after a couple of months. The dyed product is not ground up pallets it is in fact triple shredded mulch that is dyed. Should anyone need assistance we are able to help. Please call or email for more information.

Fescue Maintenance Tips

on May 02 in Summer Lawn Care, Yard News

Fertilizer is not recommended during summer months for tall fescue. There are some products that can be provided by a landscape professional. Mow grass at 3.5”-4” to help protect the lawn from stress due to the high temperatures. Mowing the turf higher keeps the lawn from needing as much water as when it is cut at 3”-3.5”. Leave grass clippings on the lawn! Grass clippings are 75 to 85 percent water and are a good source of nutrients. When left on the lawn after mowing they quickly decompose and release nutrients. This process called, grasscycling can supply up to 25 percent of your lawn’s yearly fertilizer needs. NC state law prohibits disposal of yard wastes, including grass clippings, in landfills. Using grass clippings as a nutrient source saves time, money, and protects the environment. It will also promote greener color and a deeper, stronger root system.

Spring Maintenance

on Apr 18 in Spring Agrinomics, Yard News

Current Maintenance Projects

  • Applied fertilizer and deer off on winter annuals
  • Two Applications of Pre–emergence applied to all fescue and Bermuda turf.
  • Applied merit (Insecticide that prevents infestations of Japanese Beatles, Aphids, and other insects) to all plants and trees.
  • The welcome rain brought a down side which is an abundance of weeds and ant hills.
  • Applied a selective herbicide for weeds in the turf. • Applied insecticide to control ant hills.

Projects for May and June

  • Removing winter annuals and replacing with summer annuals
  • Watering & Fertilizing these newly planted annuals during our weekly visits
  • Begin our semi-annual pruning once the spring flush is complete
  • As we stated the rains this spring continue to challenge us as we have seen a major increase in weeds in turf & beds. We are working hard to ensure weed control is maintained in the turf and beds.
  • For the Bermuda properties we will apply an application of fertilizer with high nitrogen.
  • During our weekly visits we will monitor the sites for insect infestation.
  • For those properties that apply – turning on irrigation systems and monitoring according to municipalities requirements.