Monday, August 8, 2011

Believe it or not, Time to Prepare for Winter

Have you driven around and noticed all the damage from “The Nasty Rascal”, the chinch bug? Mixed yards are the best! The St. Augustine Grass is nailed and whatever grass or grasses it shares the lawn with are not affected.

One more application of Sevin, Bug Blaster, or Tirade should hopefully get you through this summer’s battle with chinch bugs, and also help you with sod webworms and armyworms. Any of these three products should help with fire ants, fleas, ticks, and mole crickets as a bonus. If you prefer an organic type product more EcoEXEMPT G or WP should work for you.

Any major pruning of azaleas should have already taken place. If you have a long branch that is out of place, you could still remove it. Just remember any pruning on azaleas you do now could result in a reduction of flowers for next spring. The Encore and other repeat blooming azaleas would be the exception.

Despite the heat, can you believe it is already time to put out a preemerge product for winter weeds? Doing a live call in radio show in the spring since 1989, Paul and I always get a tremendous amount of calls on controlling Poa annua (annual bluegrass). This is the green clumpy grass with the white seed head that you begin to see in March.

The best time to control this weed and many other winter weeds (henbit, chickweed, bittercress, parsly-piert, and many more) is right now before the ever become an issue. When your dormant yard is greening up and in a vulnerable state, this weed can provide much unwanted competition.

During the late winter / early spring it also takes time to “mow the weeds”. Spreading a granular now and again in 8 weeks is easy and will save you the time spent “mowing the weeds in the future”. With the fertilizer / preemerge combination products you can save more time by adding some food while you control the weeds.

Now is also the time to preemerge your landscape beds and provide them with a fall feeding of fertilizer. You can either use a combination fertilizer and preemergent product, or fertilize and preemerge separately. Feed your shrubs and trees, so they can sleep through the winter with a full belly.

If you have a bad problem with Florida betony in your turf or beds and missed last week’s article, you can check it out at under the Horticulture Hotline tab.


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