Monday, January 19, 2015

Turf Disease, Camellias and Moles

Wow, the start to 2015 has either been cold, rainy, or just plain nasty. The sun has hardly peaked out at all (must have been quite the New Year’s celebration for the sun or it is a Buckeye)!

Fungus loves this weather. The grass is pretty much wet all day long, giving the fungal spores an opportunity to germinate and spread. While going through neighborhoods, I see the large circles of brown (large) patch in St. Augustine and centipede. On ball fields that never get fungus (I mean haven’t had fungus in the 24 years that I have worked with them), fungus is popping up. On one ball field after identifying the disease, I said, “what fungicide do you have in your shed?” (It is always good to use a product you have if it effective against the target pest you are after – in this case a fungus.) The grounds superintendent said, “we do not have any fungicides. We haven’t had a fungus since the complex was built.” I guess that complex was built 15 years ago.

Brown patch usually occurs in irregular circles. The good thing is that you do not need to treat your whole lawn, just the areas you see the discoloration. The areas will be bigger than this, but if the area you see is the size of a penny, you would want to treat an area the size of a quarter. In reality the area might be 3 feet across and you would want to treat an area 5 feet across.

Camellia blooms also took a hit during the cold. Pull the damaged ones off your plant and pick up the dead ones from the ground (helps with petal blight and looks cleaner). There should be plenty of buds ready to explode and give you more color. The old damaged blooms will take away from the beauty of the new blooms.

The perennial furry friend in the landscape is certainly making his presence known. Yes, I writing about the dreaded mole. I still recommend a 3 prong approach when controlling moles.  These 3 steps are:
  1. Kill the mole (trap or poison)
  2. Manage its food source (Sevin)
  3. Repel other moles from your yard (Repellex).
The three prong approach usually controls moles for the longest period of time.

We are rapidly approaching the time for preemergent herbicides to be applied once again!