Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring is Upon Us

Well, I got called out over the weekend for mentioning the dreaded mole in my last article, and I did not go into the details on how to control them in the article. For the long version, go to under the Horticulture Hotline tab and look in the archives, or go by your local Possum’s Landscape & Pest Control Supply near you for a handout we have for mole management.

The quick and dirty method involves three steps. Be sure to do these steps in order.
  1. Kill the mole. Traps, proven baits (Mole Patrol, Talpirid, etc), smoke bombs.
  2. Manage the food source. Sevin or Aloft granular are very effective for managing the food source of the mole. Many products do not kill sub surface insects, so be sure to use an insecticide that does.
  3. Repel new moles from your yard. Holy Moley (granular) or one of the liquid mole repellent products will help deter new moles from entering your yard and occupying the old tunnels.

If you have liriope, holly fern, cast iron plant, pampas grass or other ornamental grasses, this is the time to cut them back.  A sharp pair of hedge shears will do a nice job on the larger stuff, and a lawn mower with a sharp blade will take care of the liriope.  Mexican heather and other burnt back perennials could also be sheared at this time. 

Using Neem Oil now will help kill over-wintering insects as well as adults.  This product also controls certain diseases.  Insects and disease love the new foliage that your plants are getting ready to put out, so kill them before they munch on or damage your new foliage.  This product is organic and very safe for the environment.

Your trees and shrubs are going to do most of the growing for the season during the next month.  Put out fertilizer so they will have plenty of food to put out new foliage and grow.  17-00-09 a 100% slow release fertilizer, or many of the organic products in combination with SeaHume will be a sure way to get your plants off to a good start in 2013. 

If you have any perennial insect problem plants (white flies-gardenias, scale-magnolias, scale-camellias, scale-hollies, lace bugs-lantana, aphids-crepe myrtles…), try Dominion Tree and Shrub.  This product is a drench that lasts a long time in the plant, so you don’t have to worry about spraying weekly. 

If you have not put out your preemergent product for your turf and beds, consider one that contains Dimension for its long reach back potential. Be sure to you use the proper amount of Dimension for this area. There is some low active ingredient Dimension in the area (ai amount 0.1%, 0.13%, or 0.15%) which is fine if you spread the proper amount of product; however, not everyone realizes this (ex. If a 50 pound bag of a 0.20% Dimension covers 10,000 square feet, then a 50 pound bag of a 0.10% Dimension only covers 5000 square feet). Do not be fooled by the low bag price.

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