Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Matthew and More

Horticulture Hotline 10/18/16
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

This is a great time of year to work in your yard. First spray your shrubs with Bug Blaster (just connect to your hose and spray) and say cyonara to mosquitoes, so you will enjoy your time outside. EcoVia is an organic option to spray and mosquito beater is an organic option to spread.

If you had salt damage, you have a few options.

For Salt mitigation most people have heard of using gypsum. Gypsum will remove salt but it adds calcium to our soils that are generally high in calcium already. Our soils tend to be very high calcium People tend to use gypsum at high rates not thinking about their magnesium / potassium ratios. It will work but there are better options. If you use gypsum, consider adding promag or magnesium sulfate as well.

Excell - best granular choice. adds magnesium while adding calcium (actually made with gypsum). 10# - 20# /1000 sqft then test soil.

Salt Free - liquid. Easy to use and very effective and economical and no ratios to worry about. Use 1.5 oz/1000 sqft. Mix in 2-4 gallons of water or use hose end sprayer Apply weekly, 2 to 4 weeks in a row. Very easy to use without much burn potential. I have seen it used in very salty situations with great results.

SeaHume - also helps with salt and a good winterizer.  15#/m

Do a 1 & 7 soil test (not just a 7 alone) because you want the base saturation levels.

If you are straitening any trees or shrubs after the storm, use some DieHard Transplant, SeaHume, and SuperThrive to help the tree re-establish its root system.

Disease usually attacks the grass in the fall and spring so now is a great time to apply a systemic fungicide to prevent those attacks. Fame or Cleary’s are a couple of options.

The cooler Fall temperatures are perfect for controlling weeds. Weed Free Zone is great if you like to spray. Dollar Weed Control is a granular that works on some really tough weeds including Florida Betony, Virginia Button Weed and Dollar weed. I wiped out an area of Virginia Button Weed in my yard with one application.

Preemergent herbicides will keep you ahead of the weeds. Broadleaf Weed Control with Gallery will control a wide variety of broadleaf weeds and 00-00-07 Dimension is good for the grassy weeds.

Forever people have used Dormant oil or Horticultural oil on their shrubs and trees in the fall and spring for overwintering insects. Now is a great time for that. I have started to use Neem oil because it is an organic oil that gets some fungi too.

If you are planning on transplanting a tree or shrub this fall, now is the time to root prune.  For root pruning trees, a good rule of thumb is for every inch in diameter of tree, you want twelve inches of root ball.  Sometimes this is not practical because you are usually transplanting an over-crowded tree or a tree located too close to a house or sidewalk.  If this is the case, outline the biggest ball you can possibly move and just dig straight down severing the roots without actually removing the soil. Apply granular SeaHume and SuperThrive to the area for root growth.  Come back in a month and dig away from the area that you severed leaving your tree in a little moat.  Spray the tree with Transfilm (anti-transparent) and remove the tree. When you transplant the plant be sure to plant it at or above existing grade and use DieHard Transplant to help the tree get established in its new home.

Yes, it is time to winterize your turf. Look for a product with a 00 for the first number (nitrogen). A 00-00-25 with sulfate of potash and minors would be great. If you do not need the potash, consider SeaHume a wonderful combination of seaweed and humic acid. The seaweed has over 60 minor nutrients, amino acids, and bio stimulants. The humic acid is also full of bio stimulants that help make nutrients that are in the soil available to the plant, help with soil structure, grow roots, and feed the microorganisms in the soil. Both these products can be used together and will help your yard this winter and next spring.

Beware of the national ad campaigns talking about winterizing fertilizers. These products are usually formulated for cool season grasses (rye, fescue). I saw one over the weekend that was a 22-00-14. Not exactly what we want to put on our yard in mid-October in the Lowcountry.

When buying gas for your lawn mower, generator, or chain saw, be sure to include a gas stabilizer to help prevent your carburetor from getting varnished over the winter. Try to purchase gas from a gas station that has ethanol free gas for your mower as well as your two cycle hand held equipment.

Hold off putting out pine straw or mulching the beds until the leaves in the trees have dropped, so the leaves do not mess up your new straw or mulch. If you recycle the leaves that drop in your yard instead of bagging them and setting them by the curb, you will gain some free nutrients and organic matter.

Watch out for worms munching on your grass.

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