Monday, August 31, 2015

Cooling Down

I ran into a Horticulture Hotline reader the other day and he mentioned that his wife always put the article where he sits for breakfast to be sure he read it each week. So I guess it is time for the Horticulture Hotline disclaimer.

For the new readers of the Horticulture Hotline, my To Do Lists are designed to help you target a few activities in your yard and in your home that will benefit you in the future, giving you more free time.  These lists are not designed to interfere with high school, college, or professional football games, soccer, baseball, fishing, shrimping, hunting, golfing, eating chicken wings at a local sports bar, oyster roasts, or watching NASCAR on the couch with closed eyes!  This is not designed to be a “honey do” list. 

Large Patch Fungus (Brown Patch Fungus) is attacking lawns across the Lowcountry.  I rode through several neighborhoods this week and saw it everywhere.  These cooler nights make conditions right for this disease.  Fungi like moisture and it has been raining a lot recently.  If you can let your grass dry out between watering, you will have less fungus (I understand this is not easy to do with rainfall).  There are organic products that will increase the bio-diversity in the soil and help control Large Patch Fungus (Neptune Harvest Crab shell, SeaHume, and Back to Nature’s Cotton Burr based products).  If you have an active infestation, a combination of Cleary’s and Disarm are good chemistries to rotate.

If you plan to plant bulbs this fall, purchase them now while the selection is good.  Look for bigger bulbs.  Bigger bulbs equal bigger plants.  When planting, try 04-04-04 Sustane in the hole.  Use Mighty Plant on the foliage to help create a bigger bulb next year. 

Worms are still chowing on lawns. They like to feed under the cover of rainfall when it is darker and birds are less apt to see them. There has been a lot of spotty attacks this year. If you travel during the fall, you might want to use something preventatively because worms can do a lot of damage quickly.

The wet, cooler weather will also run roaches and rodents into your home.  If you are prone to be attacked by these two pests be sure to prepare for their arrival. 

Moles always get more active in the fall.  Manage their food source with Lebanon Insect Control and use Repellex around the perimeter to keep them out of your yard.

Now is the time to put out your fall fertilizer for your trees, shrubs and turf. Fall fertilization is very important for the health of your plants, trees and lawns. 

Now that the weather has cooled down, it is a good time to redefine your bed lines, prune anything that has gone wild over the summer, sharpen your mower blade, and pull any vines that are strangling your plants.  

Have you put out a preemergent product for winter weeds yet? Mosquitoes?

If this sounds like too much work, hire a professional.

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

Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations 481 Long Point Rd in Mt. Pleasant (971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd, in Charleston (766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at You can also call in your questions to “ The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1:00, on 1250 WTMA  (The Big Talker). The Horticulture Hotline is available 24 / 7 at