Monday, May 19, 2014

A Few Things to Look Out For This May

1.      Mole Crickets seem to be back with a vengeance! For years there was some chemistry available to homeowners that kept mole crickets in check. That chemistry is now not available to homeowners and the mole crickets are back to their old tricks. Tunneling in the turf, separating the roots of the grass from the soil, then the grass dries out and thins out your stand of turf. Aloft will provide the best long term control this time of year. There are many other products labeled for mole crickets that you could choose from as well. Intice 10% is an  effective organic bait.
2.       I have already seen the nasty rascal chinch bug in St. Augustine grass, and in our stores, we are already selling a lot of flea killing products.  If you have St. Augustine grass, be sure to put out a product labeled for chinch bugs such as Aloft, Bifen or Lebanon Insect Control.  For fleas be sure to use a growth regulator and treat the animal, the house, and the yard. Also vacuum, vacuum, and vacuum some more.
3.      The cool, dry nights make powdery mildew on plants and large patch on lawns a problem.  Roses, Crepe Myrtles, Dogwoods, Verbena and Gerber Daisies are a few plants that I would check for powdery mildew.  Powdery mildew is a white substance that grows on the tops of the leaves.  As the lawn tries to figure out whether it is still winter (nighttime temperature still in the 60’s), or summer (daytime temperature in the high 80’s), Large Patch (Brown Patch) is prevalent.  For powdery mildew, Honor Guard, Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Neem PY (organic) will do a good job.  For Large Patch consider Cleary’s 3336, Disarm or Serenade (organic) in active areas. 
4.      While driving through neighborhoods localized dry spots are very evident.  These are areas in the yard that turn that bluish gray color from lack of water.  New neighborhoods with young grass and poor soils seem to be most susceptible to these dry areas.  Exposed areas with lots of wind and areas at the beaches also are good candidates for these localized dry spots.  Adding organic matter to the soil (Cotton Burr Composts or SeaHume), wetting agents, or adjusting sprinkler heads will help with these dry areas.  Remember to water in the early a.m. before the wind picks up, so the grass will dry by nightfall.
5.      Moles seem to be particularly active this spring.  They just had their young in April and now they are tunneling up a storm.  The young moles are hungry!  Manage the food source in your yard (grubs, mole crickets) with Lebanon Insect Control or Aloft and go after the mole with Mole Patrol. 
6.      As with all products, you should read and follow product labels.  More is not better when dealing with control products.  Know your square footage and watch overlapping when applying your products.  You also need to watch the weather forecast to ensure the products have a proper amount of time on your lawn prior to any rain.  If the product needs to be watered into the ground, a slow watering by a sprinkler is better than a gully washer from the sky.  A very hard rain can wash products into the storm water drains which are bad for the environment and you have wasted a lot of money.
      Also sweep or blow fertilizers or control products off of hard surfaces when you
      are finished applying them. In the case of fertilizer this may prevent staining, and             most importantly it will keep products from washing through storm drains to the   marshes.