Monday, September 29, 2014

Under Attack

Wow, we are getting weather that is making it really hard to deal with some of our perennial worst situations this time of year.

Rain and night time temperatures in the 60’s is perfect weather for Large Patch (Brown Patch) disease in turf. Unless you tarp your grass like a baseball diamond, it is hard to turn off the rain. Hopefully, you have your irrigation turned off for now.

All fungus diseases must have three factors line up for there to be an active problem. This is referred to as the disease triangle. There must be a susceptible host (your grass), a favorable environment (in this case cool nights, water, grass is going into dormancy….), and the disease must be present (in the soil in this case). When all of these conditions are met, the disease strikes your grass.

The quick fix would be to apply Cleary’s 3336 or Disarm throughout the yard. Cleary’s or Disarm are systemic fungicides that get into the plant (grass) and protect the grass plant from the disease. Getting a flu shot would be a human equivalent. With weather like this, plan on multiple applications of a fungicide, rotating chemistries. Applying the product before you get the disease when you notice conditions are right, will save you money and time applying the product. You wouldn’t get a flu shot after you had the flu. Unlike the flu shot, Cleary’s and Disarm do have curative rates.

Sod webworms love to eat grass under the cover of cloudy, rainy days so birds cannot see them. I have been getting calls from homeowners to thirty plus year veterans in the industry trying to control these ever hungry larvae. Using Bug Blaster, Bifen or Sevin multiple times seems to give the best control. Like the fungus control, multiple applications are required. If you are seeing a lot of moths in your yard in the evening, be prepared for an attack of the worms.

Rats, mice and roaches like to move inside for the winter and the rain just seems to accelerate that migration. The Lowcountry is such a hospitable place, I guess we welcome rats, mice and roaches too. I was looking over some figures the other day preparing for our 2015 season at Possum’s and I was amazed at the amount of products we sell to control these pest. Granted many of them are sold to professionals; however, they are still used in this area.

Do irrigate you yard in the winter because the dry, cold low humidity air can desiccate your lawn, trees and shrubs, similar to the way your lips get chapped. The grass loses water through the runners even though it is dormant and the trees and shrubs lose water through the bark and leaves (if it is an evergreen).

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