Monday, November 23, 2015

Labels and Winter Projects

Thanksgiving dinner gives us the fuel to work on winter projects. I have lots of winter projects!  Hopefully, most of you don’t do like I do and try to eat like a mole – eating 125% of my body weight!
I was using a product the other day that the manufacturer went to some trouble and expense to include a tag around the neck of the bottle where you open the top to pour out the product. I’m going to leave the product nameless since this same tag could be used on all products.
This tag is very red and states:
This product is only
 effective if you read the
 instructions thoroughly.
Failure to do so will result in
 you moaning and groaning
that the product doesn’t
work and generally being
a pain in the bottom. Make a
positive change in your life
will you, and read the
This tag makes my, “Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law,” seem pretty tame. Your success with most things in life depend upon your ability to follow instructions.

You should be able to mow your grass for the last time if you do not have rye grass or if you do not use your mower for picking up the leaves.  Since the leaf blades of the grass can act as an insulator, it is good to mow your grass a little lower than normal (St. Augustine grass – 2 ½”, Centipede grass-1 ½”).  In the event of very cold weather, this will keep your grass from dying from winter kill.  The lower grass will allow more air movement.  More air movement will keep cold air from settling near the crown of the plant preventing winter injury to your lawn. 
If you are not mowing to mulch or pick up leaves, be sure to use a fuel additive like Sta-bil.   With the new Ethanol gas many people are experiencing difficulty with their small engines.  Ethanol is an alcohol that attracts moisture from the air.  This moisture can give you engine trouble with your lawn mower , string trimmers, chain saws, edger’s, blowers….any small engine. 
This is a great time to edge your bed lines, enlarging areas in the beds if plants have grown and need more room.  If you edge now, you should maintain a good crisp edge for five months until your grass begins to grow again.  
As leaves and pine straw fall, be sure to keep them off your lawn areas.  Excessive amounts of leaves or straw build up can damage your turf over a period of time.  Leaves or straw can act like tall blades of grass and cause winterkill if it gets cold enough.  Leaves and straw also hold in moisture around the plant that can lead to disease.
If you water with a well, be sure to drain your pump or monitor your pump to avoid it freezing in cold weather if your well is not in a climate controlled location.   Nothing is worse than having to buy a new pump in the spring because it froze in the winter. 
There seems to be an outbreak of uninvited guests.  We have been selling a lot of Viper and Invict Gold to control roaches as well as traps and baits to control rodents.  Talk to your local pest management professional if these guests are ruining your holidays. 
Now is the time to enjoy the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park.  The light show, gift shop, displays of gingerbread houses, decorated jumbo Christmas cards, the train ride, sand castle, marshmallow roasting, hot chocolate and inter-active Christmas trees are a treat for all!  Go early and go often!
Remember there are many local garden centers with great gardening gifts for the weekend gardener.  From stocking stuffers like a pair of hand pruners or gloves, to more elaborate gifts like fountains, bird feeders, gardening books, soil tests and gift certificates.  Your local garden center will have plenty of free parking and are always happy to help you! 
Now is a great time to take a soil test to Possum’s and get on a Custom Program for 2016.
Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.