Monday, September 9, 2019

Hurricane Dorian

Horticulture Hotline 09/07/19
By Bill Lamson-Scribner          

“Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away”                       
Gimme Shelter  -  The Rolling Stones
Song writers: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger

I have family in Florida just above Ft Lauderdale, so that slow moving Dorian almost drove me crazy. I was checking that weather off and on (drives me crazy to watch especially since I always have work to do) since about 8/26/19 when there were 180 mph 70 miles East of Ft Lauderdale until my power went out 9/5/19 around 2:00 am. With the track and the slow speed I think that is the longest I was aware of a single hurricane. The weirdest thing about a hurricane is you almost have to wish it on your neighbor to the north of you or to the south of you. What a crazy slow moving storm. I was surprised with so much of it over the land that it didn’t weaken more. I guess the warm Gulf Stream kept it fueled.

If the storm’s threat or the aftermath of the storm got you to look up into your trees for broken limbs, diseased limbs, limbs with cavities, or heavy overhanging limbs, then the storm did some good. Inspect your trees closely for “widow makers”. Gravity will pull these limbs that are hanging in the trees down to the ground, and hopefully, you or your loved ones are not between the ground and the tree that they are hanging out of. Getting a tree care professional out to your house is always a good idea. Remember most injuries and deaths occur during cleanup.

Use local tree people to work on your trees. After Hugo, I saw many safe trees that were removed that could have been left to grow. Some could have been straightened and braced. Trees take a long time to grow, so you do not necessarily have to remove them if they have a little lean. The topping of trees after Hugo was also ridiculous. Again a reputable, local, insured tree care professional should come inspect your trees for dangerous situations.

Be sure to listen to “The Garden Clinic” every Saturday and especially this Saturday from noon until 1:00 pm on 1250 WTMA. Paul Mulkey (AKA Super Garden Hero) the owner of The Tree Clinic will be glad to take questions about your trees and share his over 30 years of experience (he is getting old!)! If you are not available Saturday, “The Garden Clinic” is replayed on WTMA Sunday from 11:00 am until noon.

Salt was the biggest issue with flooding the last few years, and it appears that for many of you, salt is going to be a main issue again. Gypsum, Salt Free, Excell, SeaHume G, ProMag and a soil test that test for Sodium provide the road map for the recovery of your landscape. You would want to take a soil test first so you know where your starting point is, then you could immediately apply products to mitigate the salt damage (keep track of what you use and at what rates so when your soil test results come back you will know what you have already applied). At Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply we can help you through this process and help you with directions on taking a soil test and using these products.     

Although it is still 90 degrees, the daylight hours are getting shorter and the start of football are making the weather feel like fall is not too far away. Worms eating the grass and chinch bugs sucking the grass are still in full force. The worms love the cloudy weather we have had because the birds and the wasps that feed on them cannot see them as easily. I noticed and the white flowers of Virginia Buttonweed are visible peeking through the foliage of the turf grass. Protect your grass from fungus by applying Fame or T-Methyl. Fungicides work best if used before you have a fungus (like the flu shot for us).

Preemergent herbicides for the lawn and beds now will make your spring landscape much nicer. Treating your lawn and beds with Cyonora will keep mosquitoes, fleas, roaches, and other pests from bothering your pets, your lawn, your shrubs, or yourself.

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