Sunday, September 14, 2014

Earwigs



Q) I have these insects in my bathroom that have little pinchers, and when you crush them, they smell really bad. How can I get rid of this pest?

A) When you mentioned the pinchers, I was thinking earwigs.  When you mentioned the foul odor when you crushed them, I knew for sure you were talking about earwigs! 

Earwigs like dead organic matter and moist areas.  If you have recently mulched your beds, sometimes you will see earwigs.  They are considered mainly an outdoor pest.  Earwigs feed on plant material; however, they rarely eat enough to damage plants.   

If you have a pest control company under contract, give them a call and they can get rid of this problem very quickly.  If you would rather do it yourself, the first place to start is to check and be sure you have a 12-24 inch barrier around your house that is free of vegetation and mulch.   Caulk any gaps around pipes, wires, windows, doors or any other area that might be an entry point for the earwig or any other pest (roaches, ants, etc.).  Using yellow bug lights on the outside of your house will attract fewer earwigs and other insects to your house.  Any wood piles, deep pile of leaves, or other areas that stay moist should be removed.  If you have wood for your fire place, you can stack it above ground on metal wood holders, cinder blocks or pallets.  These are all good practices to help prevent insects and to protect your house.

If these cultural practices do not take care of the problem, you may consider using a control product around the perimeter of your house and any moisture harboring areas (wood pile).  At Possum’s we probably have over 20 different products that would help you control earwigs as well as other insects.

Have you put out your preemergent herbicide for small seeded winter annual weeds?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Possum's Wetting Agent with Biostimulants



Over the past few weeks, I have talked to two different customers that have had great success with one of our money saving products. The product is Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants (PWAB for short).

Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants is a water management product also called a wetting agent. Imagine a bunch of tiny little balloons that penetrate into your soil through the tiny cracks, absorb water, expand, relieve compaction , and then release the water slowly back to the plant. After about a month, these balloons begin to break down in the soil, like a helium balloon does in the atmosphere.

The first customer that thanked me for introducing her to Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants lived in a clay type soil. The first benefit she noticed was areas that stayed wet in the past seemed to dry out quicker. Aqueduct let the water go into the ground instead of sitting on the surface. She also noticed that the water that flowed over the curb after a rain now stayed on her lawn. For hours or even days after a rain, her neighbors curb was wet while hers was dry. The rainwater was penetrating her soil and benefiting her yard instead of flowing down the road to the storm water drain.

Once the rains began to slow down, she began to notice the big savings in her pocket book. She went from watering Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for thirty minutes a zone down to Monday and Friday for 20 minutes a zone. In other words she went from watering a total of 90 minutes down to 40 minutes. She cut her watering in more than half!

In periods of long dry spells, the area along her sidewalk that does not get watered from her sprinklers because she does not like to water the sidewalk, now stays green. Other areas in her lawn that did not have perfect head to head coverage with irrigation, now stay green longer between periods of no rain. These dry areas were always thin and now they are thicker and greener with less weed issues.

Because of the clay soil she had lots of containers and hanging baskets for color plants and a small herb garden. These plants also needed far less water. In our brutal heat some of her hanging baskets needed watering twice a day. Not anymore.

The other customer lives in a sandy soil area of the Lowcountry. He suffered from a large dry area on a hill and an annual bed that always dried out; however, the annuals were on a zone with turf so the turf was getting over watered to keep the annuals alive.

Through the monthly use of Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants, he was able to solve both problems without having to rework his irrigation system. He had been watering everyday for 30 minutes and has cut his watering to 3 times a week. On last report he was going to try to lower the minutes per watering. Another lowered water bill and another better looking yard!

Less watering also means less disease and less expensive fungicides. This slow release watering can save you money on your water bill, help fertilizer work better, lessen compaction, prevent runoff into storm water drains that go to our marshes, grow deeper roots, develop healthier plants that can withstand stress better, and let me mention again save you money!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Aeration in the Fall



I was asked about aerating a yard this time of year the other day, and I replied go for it as long as your grass is actively growing and not under any stress. Aerating should be considered for the health of your whole landscape and it is not a spring only activity.  While you have the holes open in your yard, there are many products that you can add to that root zone area that will benefit your turf, trees, and shrubs.

Aerating reduces compaction, reduces thatch, increases oxygen movement to the roots, brings beneficial microorganisms to the surface, cuts runners, and allows better penetration of water, fertilizers, or control products into the soil. As a bonus you may cut up an army worm!

If you were too busy in the spring, aerate now before the grass slows down too much. I imagine there are a lot of landscape professionals that have aerators sitting in their shop that would love to aerate your yard now or get a few neighbors and rent one.

Right after aerating, while the holes are open, is a good time to add SeaHume G, BGK 7500, products containing mycorrhiza, Crab Shell, Mule Mix and/or Cotton Burr Compost.  Even if you are not aerating, these products are great to add to your lawn and beds.
·       SeaHume G is a bio-stimulant humic acid product that will help your roots grow, soften up the soil, feed beneficial micro-organisms in the soil, make nutrients that are in the soil more available to the plants, and keep fertilizer from leaching.
·       SeaHume G also contains 10% cold water seaweed. The seaweed also acts as a bio-stimulant and is a source of over 60 minor elements, amino acids, and natural chelating agents.
·       BGK 7500 is a granular organic product that has thatch eating bacteria mix in with a 03-03-03 fertilizer. BGK 7500 is also fortified with 6% humic acid.
·       04-04-04 Bolster and other products that contain mycorrhiza. By applying these products while the roots are exposed, the mycorrhiza can attach to the roots quickly. These friendly fungi will help the plant absorb water and nutrients from the soil while competing with bad fungus in the soil.
·       Crab Shell by Neptune’s Harvest will increase the chitin eating bacteria in the soil. These bacteria will help control nematodes and fungus. I would definitely use this product in areas that I have problems with large / brown patch.
·       Mule Mix can last about 20 years in the soil and help manage moisture.  This is a clay product that has been super-heated until it pops!  This makes this product sterile as well as turns it into a little capillary.  This capillary holds water and then releases it as the plant needs it.  This product is used on baseball infields to manage the moisture levels in clay; otherwise the clay would be rock hard or moist and slimy. Mule Mix will also keep fertilizer and water from leaching in sandy soils. Mule Mix is great for wet or dry areas.
·       Cotton Burr Compost will add water holding capabilities to the soil by adding organic matter to the soil.  Cotton Burr Compost will soften up clay as well as giving sandy soil nutrient holding capacity.  Cotton Burr Compost is very high in nutrition and will also help increase populations of beneficial organisms in the soil.

All the above products will help conserve moisture as well.