Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 - A Little Wet

Wow, the start to 2016 has either been cold, rainy, or just plain nasty. Another multiple inches of rain since last Friday. I was driving on the interstate (I 26) and there were cars spraying out walls of water that would have made any professional water skier proud. Our landscapes are saturated!

The wet weather gives us a chance to figure out where the wettest areas of our yard are located and try to figure out how to increase the drainage in that area and not just create a new problem somewhere else.

Adding gutters to direct water away from the house is usually a good idea. Moisture underneath your house can certainly cause trouble. Mold and wood decaying fungus like high moisture areas.

Depending on how wet an area is, I like using Mule Mix (or Turface). You just spread these products over your yard with a fertilizer spreader. No digging or trenching needed. No disrupting the landscape or settling soil in the trenches. Another advantage is you do not have to have a lower area to direct the water. You can also be very creative on how you use this product. In areas where water collects you can use a posthole digger or auger and make columns of Mule Mix to manage the water. If you are lucky, you might penetrate through the clay layer, so the water can drain easier. In drier areas (higher) still put some Mule Mix so the water will penetrate the ground before all the water ends up in the low areas. Another benefit is the product lasts for 20 years.

Fungus loves this weather. The grass is pretty much wet all day long, giving the fungal spores an opportunity to germinate and spread. While going through neighborhoods, I see the large circles of brown (large) patch in St. Augustine and centipede.

Brown patch usually occurs in irregular circles. The good thing is that you do not need to treat your whole lawn, just the areas you see the discoloration. The areas under attack will be bigger than this, but if the area you see is the size of a penny, you would want to treat an area the size of a quarter. In reality the area might be 3 feet across and you would want to treat an area 5 feet across.

Camellia blooms also took a hit during the cold. Pull the damaged ones off your plant and pick up the dead ones from the ground (helps with petal blight and looks cleaner). There should be plenty of buds ready to explode and give you more color. The old damaged blooms will take away from the beauty of the new blooms.

The perennial furry friend in the landscape is certainly making his presence known. Yes, I writing about the dreaded mole. I still recommend a 3 prong approach when controlling moles.  These 3 steps are:
  1. Kill the mole (trap or poison)
  2. Manage its food source (Sevin)
  3. Repel other moles from your yard with monthly applications of a repellent (check the label of the product you choose).
The three prong approach usually controls moles for the longest period of time.

We are rapidly approaching the time for preemergent herbicides to be applied once again!