Monday, October 14, 2019

It's Below 90 Degrees - Time To Winterize

Horticulture Hotline 10/14/19
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

I guess it was two weeks ago now that I got out of my truck and smelt the sweet smell of tea olive in the air. A true sign of fall. While walking the 17 year old pound hound, Ol’Boy, the fragrance of Osmanthus fragrans was a nice change from the garbage cans that were out a little longer than normal after Dorian.

Several years have gone by since we have had a major winter kill event in the low country. Many people have moved to this area that are not use to dealing with centipede and other warm-season grasses. Where you lived, you had cool-season grasses like Fescue, Rye, and Blue grass. If our temperatures are warm then drop below freezing very rapidly, our lawns, especially centipede (however can affect all lawns depending on the conditions) can suffer winter kill.

Yes, it is time to winterize your landscape especially this year with the drought and wind trauma. SeaHume should be used alone or with the 00-00-25 or Possum Minors, depending on the results from your soil test. 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 Possum Minors and the SeaHume, a wonderful combination of seaweed and humic acid. Possum’s Minors is also a great winterizer. Depending on a soil test 00-00-25 or Possum Minors along with SeaHume is your best option.

A light topdressing of Cotton Burr Compost on your lawn in combination with the products listed above will also help your turf. Maybe just pick out a few weak areas (if weak because of shade – might help what is shading the grass but grass needs sunlight) and one good area and check out the results for yourself. Cotton Burr Compost also works great around trees and shrubs as a mulch. Great nutrition for the plants and trees as well as for the microorganisms in the soil, helps manage thatch in turf and adds organic matter.

If you want to get the most out of your winterizer, apply it now while the grass is still green. These three products will help the plant produce chlorophyll, and the plants will be able to capture sunlight and produce carbohydrates. These carbohydrates will develop roots and make the plant come out of dormancy stronger in the spring as well as protect the plant from winter kill. Keeping the landscape fed and hydrated helps fend off the cold weather damage – just like if the landscape was a mountain climber climbing Everest. The sugars act as antifreeze.

SeaHume will help grass, trees, shrubs, and flowers throughout the winter. SeaHume will help mitigate salt damage. The seaweed part of SeaHume has over 60 minor nutrients, carbohydrates, amino acids, gibberellins, auxins, cytokynins, anti-oxidants and other 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.

Trees grow most of their feeder roots over the winter. With the movement of the root ball during the winds and the flooding, many of these roots were lost. SeaHume will help re-establish these feeder roots over the winter.

Beware of the national ad campaigns talking about winterizing fertilizers for turf. These products are usually formulated for cool season grasses (rye, fescue). Not exactly what we want to put on our yard in mid-October in the Lowcountry. Just ask Clemson University.

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