Monday, June 15, 2020

From Spring to Summer

Horticulture Hotline 06/15/20
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

Time is flying by once again! It is already mid-June. The heat brings many situations in the landscape.

Right now, there is a great opportunity for those that love fragrance. I know I have mentioned this several times this spring, but usually the weather goes from cold to hot and these flowers don’t last as long. Magnolias and Gardenias will stop you in their tracks with their fragrance! Either flower is great to pick and throw in your truck, car or in a room of your house for good smells all day long.

If you haven’t feed your trees, shrubs or turf since early spring, it is probably about time to do it again. We have had some heavy downpours!

I put out some organic liquid fertilizer yesterday morning thinking it was going to rain by 11 am and wash the fertilizer into the ground. Well it didn’t rain until 5 pm. Let’s just put it this way the walkers didn’t think it smelt like Magnolias or Gardenias!

If you have a sunny St. Augustine lawn, it is time to get some protection out there on your turf for chinch bugs. I don’t know how much any of us will be travelling, but you don’t want to leave town without protection. Chinch bugs do a lot of damage – FAST! Your nice lawn then gets invaded by bermuda grass and other weeds where the chinch bugs attacked. EcoVia EC is a NOP (National Organic Program) compliant product. Allectus is a long-term control product. Bug Blaster, Cyonara, Bifen, and Lebanon Sevin will provide short term control.

Speaking of sunny yards, remember to protect yourself from the sun. Since I hang around mostly people that spend time in the sun, I have witnessed and heard about many sun related horror stories. These stories revolve around getting areas cut out and tested for sun cancer.

Drain flies are becoming an issue with all the good local vegetables and fruits being consumed in our kitchens. Using the scum eating microbes in InVade BioDrain will help eliminate the organic build up in drains that harbor the drain flies and the citrus oil will help reduce odors as well. The EcoVia EC (National Organic Program compliant) will help if they are already getting active.

Mosquitoes are out and about looking for a blood meal. The high tides and the heavy - rains we had, have ditches and other areas with enough water for mosquitoes to breed. Scout your yard for potential breeding sites. EcoVia EC (National Organic Program compliant) is great on mosquitoes for an organic approach. LambaStar, Bifen, and Proflex for conventional control. Proflex has a built in growth regulator which is nice.

Moles just have had their spring babies, so expect a surge in their population – wonderful!

Japanese Beetles have emerged (pun intended) on the scene, tearing up Crepe Myrtles, Roses, and many other plants. These heavy eaters are easy to kill with a little persistence. Bifen, Cyonara, and many others will take care of the Japanese Beetle. Traps also work if placed away from where the preferred meal of the Japanese Beetle and are more of an organic approach. EcoVia EC is a Botanical Insecticide that is NOP (National Organic Program) compliant and works.

The baby mole crickets are hatching and the adults are dying off. Now is a good time to ‘flush’ an area that you think you might have mole crickets. Get two ounces of lemony dish soap in five gallons of water and slowly pour it over a 2 x 2 area where you have tunneling damage by mole crickets and see what comes out of the ground in the next 3 to 5 minutes. Depending on your tolerance level, you can decide whether or not to treat. A golf green would have zero tolerance because the tunnels would affect the ball roll. EcoVia EC and Intice Perimeter are two NOP compliant products that should work good for you. Allectus and Lebanon Sevin are conventional control products that will ‘kill the baby’ mole crickets.

These wet cool nights are keeping brown patch / large patch / zoysia patch around. Strobe G, T-Methyl, and Fame are good systemic fungicides for this disease.

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

Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations 481 Long Point Rd in Mt. Pleasant (971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd, in Charleston (766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at You can also call in your questions to “ The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1:00, on 1250 WTMA (The Big Talker). Saturday's show is replayed Sunday from 11:00 - Noon.