Monday, September 28, 2015

The Fall? Part 1

I do not know when fall officially starts, but for me when I pulled in my driveway the other day and I was met with the wonderful smell of the sweet tea olive, fall had started. Nothing is like the smell of the sweet tea olive in the Lowcountry in the fall, except maybe shrimp bait balls. Football is taking up most of the week, NASCAR is going full speed, the three Possum stores are filling up with ryegrass, deer season is underway, the Charleston Battery are in the playoffs, and the cool mornings. The cooler temperatures make yard work much easier; however, mosquitoes are trying to ruin the fun.

Your fall applications of preemergent weed control should be in the ground and protecting your lawn and beds against weeds. If you have not applied a preemergent product, go ahead and use one now. You might have missed a few weeds, but many more will germinate before the winter is over.

Thirty days after you have applied any fertilizer product is a good time to take soil test and prepare for 2016. Usually your beds are cared for differently than your turf grass areas, so consider taking a sample in both areas. If you call Possum’s (to find a store near you look at, they can walk you through the proper steps to take a proper soil test for your lawn and beds.

Okay, I waited until the fourth paragraph. I didn’t walk my dog for two days because of rain, and when I did, I noticed most of my neighbors either had army worms or Large patch / Brown patch. I then took some side streets through other areas throughout the Lowcountry and realized that these two pest – one a fungus and one an insect have us under siege.

Brown Patch  / Large patch fungus is very active right now. As your grass goes to sleep, this fungus attacks the crown of the plant. The crown of the plant is where the roots go one way and the leaf blades go the other way. Hold off on watering as much as you can.

Brown Patch  / Large Patch is a soil bourne fungus; therefore, usually shows up in the same areas in the spring and fall. These areas are usually wet, thatch, or poorly drained areas.

Using a fungicide is always best if you can apply it preventatively (before the disease is active). There are many good systemic fungicides available on the market today, just be sure to rotate chemistries. Disarm, Cleary’s 3336 and Prophesy are a few of the better ones to rotate. Plan on more than one application.

With army worms and sod webworms also plan on more than one application. Cyonara, Bug Blasters, and for a change of chemical class, Sevin are good products to rotate. I have had to treat my yard one time this year, and I have treated my mother’s yard three times and it looks like it needs a fourth treatment. I get about 10 to 14 days control at her house.

With Halloween approaching, remember to control fire ants in your yard. Fire ants can be deadly, and you would not want to ruin a little ghost or witches night. Do kids still dress up as ghosts and witches? Also clean up any other potential hazards and control the mosquitoes.

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