Monday, April 8, 2013

Catching Up with Nice Weather

We finally made it to “Spring!” If you have a good handle on you weeds, it is April and you might not have had to mow your grass – crazy! Despite the late start to the 2013 season, there are many fun and beneficial things to do in the yard and around the house.

Aerating the lawn and landscape is always a topic of conversation this time of year.
Aerating does several good things for your lawn, shrubs, and trees. Try to use an aerator that pulls up a plug with a hollow tine instead of a spike type aerator that is just a solid tine going into the ground. By removing cores of soil from your lawn and laying them on top of the ground, all kinds of good things happen. This cultural practice is one of the best for your landscape as a whole. If you can aerate in beds and under trees, that will benefit plants as well.   

Aerating reduces compaction, reduces thatch, increases oxygen movement to the roots, brings beneficial microorganisms to the surface, cuts runners in turf, and allows better penetration of water, fertilizers, or control products into the soil.

You can aerate anytime the grass is actively growing. On our programs, I usually recommend in April before your second application of preemergent, just in case any weed seeds are surfaced and try to germinate.

When you aerate, be sure to mark all your irrigation heads, propane lines, cable lines, night lighting lines and any other wire or pipe you might have running through your lawn, so you do not accidentally add to you work load.

If you have been waiting for the weather to warm up, here is a brief checklist of things that should be done around the yard:
  • Test soil. I was looking at soil tests last night, and I had 2 tests for palm trees that 2 different people had put out way, way, way too much Magnesium. Just because people say that palms like Epsom Salt which is Magnesium sulfate, take a soil test first. You might be wasting your money. This could be true throughout your landscape. Soil test provide valuable information!
  • Apply SeaHume G to lawn and beds
  • Apply Preemergent to lawn and beds (this late use Dimension)
  • Drench Dominion around plants with a history of insect problems
  • Apply preventive fungicide to turf if you have a history of fungus (Cleary’s, Disarm)
  • Mole Crickets overwinter as adults and do their mating flights right now. Kill them now before they can make babies. Be sure your lawn and beds are free of fire ants, and if you have pets, fleas and ticks should be controlled. If you live near the woods, chiggers may be an issue. (Granular Sevin will work on these pest. If you prefer organic, check with a Possum’s near you to find a product or products that will work in your situation.)
  • Go through your irrigation system and be sure everything is operating correctly
Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.