Monday, March 14, 2011

City Paper Award and Dominion

I would like to open this week’s column by thanking T. Ballard Lesemann and the folks at the Charleston City Paper giving me the “Best Landscaping Tips” award in their Best of Charleston 2011 edition.

In the column Mr. Lesemann writes about how accessible the landscape tips are to the public. Thank you to the editors that publish my column “Horticulture Hotline” and to the people I work with at the three Possum’s stores that email and handout copies of the column to customers. Thank you to WTMA (the winner of Best News / Talk Radio Station) for airing the Garden Clinic Saturdays at noon with Paul Mulkey (aka Super Garden Hero) and myself. Mr. Lesemann gave the Garden Clinic an award in 2010.

Last fall, while I was applying preemergent to my Mom’s grass, a pin in my spreader broke. I got busy and never fixed it to apply preemergent to my own yard. Boy, was that stupid. I have all the winter annual weeds flourishing in my yard. I was accused by one lawn care operator of having a weed seed nursery, and I was raising weed seeds to sell more herbicides. I’m sure my neighbors like this situation as well.

The purple flowers of the Henbit and Vetch add color to the yard, and the fine green leaves of the annual blue grass could almost double as ryegrass. It amazes me that in an area that regularly had preemergent products applied, how many weed seeds have blown in or been dropped in by birds in one year. The weeds have to go, so my St Augustine grass will not have to compete with them as it comes out of dormancy.

I have fixed my spreader and the preemergent for summer weeds has been applied, so I should not have an influx of summer annual weeds replace the winter annual weeds.

I have noticed some Crepe Myrtles leafing out with new leaves. With these cool nights watch out for powdery mildew on the new growth. Powdery mildew looks like powdered sugar attached to the leaves. Neem oil is an organic control for powdery mildew, and Neem oil will also help with overwintering insects.

If your Crepe Myrtle usually turns black over the summer, now is a good time to drench Dominion Tree and Shrub to control the aphids that excrete the sugary substance that the black sooty mold grows. Drenching is easier than trying to spray the top of a large tree. Dominion acts systemically, so beneficial insects are not harmed, since they do not suck tree sap. Gardenias, lantanas, azaleas, camellias, and other plants that are regularly attacked by scale, aphids, lace bugs, white flies and other sucking bugs should be drenched with Dominion now.

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