Monday, October 5, 2015

The Rain

Wow, what a difference a week makes! Last week I was smelling my sweet tea olive, this week my feet are wet as I type this because of flooding in my home office.

Because of damage potential, really inspect your trees closely. With these saturated soils, wind can blow over trees. Leland Cypress and other evergreens are very susceptible because of the big sail their foliage provides. Young trees that haven’t developed an extensive root system are also susceptible. Just ride through a new neighborhood and you will witness these young trees lodged over.

Look at your trees and see if they have developed a new “lean”. Inspect near the roots of your tree and look for any heaving or raised areas. Not all trees become instantly dangerous because they are leaning. If the tree fell, what would it hit is always one consideration. Having a tree care professional inspect your trees is a very good idea at this time.

John Quincy, WTMA producer (he produces “The Garden Clinic” which is on Saturday from noon until one and replayed on Sunday from eleven until noon), discovered a new use for Cotton Burr Compost during this weather. He placed a bag at his back door, like a sand bag, to keep the water out of his house. What a great product! Sand bag during flood then spread on your yard to replenish nutrients that were leached out during the rain.

Your soil nutrients took a big hit over the weekend. A soil test now would help you out tremendously in 2016. Bring your soil to a Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control and we will get you back on the right track.

Potassium like nitrogen moves in the soil – leaches. Phosphorous does not move so readily. If you do not have a soil test, 00-00-25 + minors is a very good fertilizer to consider for your lawn and shrubs. Cotton Burr Compost is a super organic product for your yard at this time. Not only will it provide needed nutrients, but many people have noticed a reduction of fungus as well. Excell and Possum’s minors are two good minor nutrient products.

SeaHume G should be used with any of the above or, if you were going to use only one product, this would be the one to use. The host of minor and major nutrients as well as biostimulants will be a big help to your lawn, shrubs, and trees. SeaHume would combined well with any of the above products, especially Cotton Burr Compost.

If you know that you have had fungus in the past, consider putting out a preventative fungicide as the label recommends. Cleary’s 3336 and Disarm are two good systemic fungicides that are good to rotate.

While you are in your yard, look for any standing water and get rid of it. The mosquitoes are coming!

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Fall? Part 1

I do not know when fall officially starts, but for me when I pulled in my driveway the other day and I was met with the wonderful smell of the sweet tea olive, fall had started. Nothing is like the smell of the sweet tea olive in the Lowcountry in the fall, except maybe shrimp bait balls. Football is taking up most of the week, NASCAR is going full speed, the three Possum stores are filling up with ryegrass, deer season is underway, the Charleston Battery are in the playoffs, and the cool mornings. The cooler temperatures make yard work much easier; however, mosquitoes are trying to ruin the fun.

Your fall applications of preemergent weed control should be in the ground and protecting your lawn and beds against weeds. If you have not applied a preemergent product, go ahead and use one now. You might have missed a few weeds, but many more will germinate before the winter is over.

Thirty days after you have applied any fertilizer product is a good time to take soil test and prepare for 2016. Usually your beds are cared for differently than your turf grass areas, so consider taking a sample in both areas. If you call Possum’s (to find a store near you look at, they can walk you through the proper steps to take a proper soil test for your lawn and beds.

Okay, I waited until the fourth paragraph. I didn’t walk my dog for two days because of rain, and when I did, I noticed most of my neighbors either had army worms or Large patch / Brown patch. I then took some side streets through other areas throughout the Lowcountry and realized that these two pest – one a fungus and one an insect have us under siege.

Brown Patch  / Large patch fungus is very active right now. As your grass goes to sleep, this fungus attacks the crown of the plant. The crown of the plant is where the roots go one way and the leaf blades go the other way. Hold off on watering as much as you can.

Brown Patch  / Large Patch is a soil bourne fungus; therefore, usually shows up in the same areas in the spring and fall. These areas are usually wet, thatch, or poorly drained areas.

Using a fungicide is always best if you can apply it preventatively (before the disease is active). There are many good systemic fungicides available on the market today, just be sure to rotate chemistries. Disarm, Cleary’s 3336 and Prophesy are a few of the better ones to rotate. Plan on more than one application.

With army worms and sod webworms also plan on more than one application. Cyonara, Bug Blasters, and for a change of chemical class, Sevin are good products to rotate. I have had to treat my yard one time this year, and I have treated my mother’s yard three times and it looks like it needs a fourth treatment. I get about 10 to 14 days control at her house.

With Halloween approaching, remember to control fire ants in your yard. Fire ants can be deadly, and you would not want to ruin a little ghost or witches night. Do kids still dress up as ghosts and witches? Also clean up any other potential hazards and control the mosquitoes.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fall Transition

Brown Patch Fungus is in the attack mode. The shorter days, moisture and finally the cooler weather has given this fungus all the conditions it likes to destroy the yard you worked hard on all summer. Disarm the fungus with Disarm fungicide!

Scout your yard for sod webworms and army worms. It is amazing with 3 stores (Possum’s) the stories you hear from lawn care people and homeowners about these worms. They can eat so much so fast it is amazing. Whether it is the professional or the DIY homeowner that has worked hard all summer to grow a uniform stand of turf, the sod webworm just doesn’t seem to care.

To scout for this varmint, look for scalped grass that has bite marks on the leaf blade. Moths flying around in a zigzag pattern in and out of the turf at dust is also a dead giveaway.

Scale, aphids, and lace bugs are still out there sucking the life out of you plants. Evergreens you could use a drench product like Dominion. If your plant or tree is losing leaves for the winter, horticultural oil might be a better choice, depending on the infestation.

Winterizing your turf and shrubs should also be considered. No one likes to go to sleep hungry! Possum Minors, 00-00-25 Sulfate of Potash + minors, SeaHume, Cotton Burr Compost and / or Excell are a few excellent options. Watch out for the national marketing campaigns that promote products that were not designed to be used in this area.

I’m sure you have put out one round of preemergent herbicide by now for winter weed control in your beds and turf. If not, better late than never. Weed seeds germinate pretty much year round here.

If you are changing out flowers in containers or hanging baskets, consider incorporating HydroStretch or Hort-a-Sorb. These products help manage water and your plants will not dry out so fast.

Fire Ants are out in big numbers after all the rain we had earlier this year. One bait product that works very good and is very reasonably price is Extinguish Plus. This product has a growth regulator in it and usually keeps ants out of an area for 6 months. Bait products or contact killers usually work best if spread over the whole yard.

I was working on an order of rat and mice control products last week and I mean to tell you, people of the Lowcountry, we have rodents! Rodents like to come inside this time of year.

Roaches, moles, fleas?

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.

Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations 481 Long Point Rd in Mt. Pleasant (971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd, in Charleston (766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at You can also call in your questions to “ The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1:00, on 1250 WTMA  (The Big Talker). The Horticulture Hotline is available 24 / 7 at