Monday, October 19, 2020

Preparing For Winter


Horticulture Hotline 10/19/20

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


This is a great time of year to work in your yard. First spray your shrubs with Cyonara (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 Possum’s Mosquito Swatter (Goat Island approved) is an organic option to spread.


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. Strobe G or T-Methyl are a couple of good 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.


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. Possum’s Minors will also put your grass to bed happy.


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. The worms are slowing down, but there are still some out there.


Fleas seem to be particularly bad this fall. Remember the 3-step approach – treat the yard, treat the house and treat the animal. Using a product that contains a growth regulator in the house and in the yard will greatly increase your success.


Rats that used to have plenty to eat at restaurants are now showing up at people’s homes.


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