Monday, October 26, 2015

Getting Trees and Shrubs Ready For Winter

I’m not going to mention s$d w*bw@rm or Bro%n P@tch. Here are a few things to do while enjoying the beautiful Lowcountry weather.

Did you put out a preemergent product to your lawn and beds for winter annual weed control in August? If yes, depending on the product and the rate you used, it is time to reapply. If no, now is the time to get it spread onto your lawn and beds. Preemergent products control weeds as they germinate making your life and your plants’ (including grass) life easier.

Winterizing trees and shrubs with either a few products individually or as a multi prone approach will help insure the health of your landscape investment.

05-30-30 Root Pusher by Dogget is a fertilizer for trees and shrubs this time of year. A fertilizer that mainly arborists use with special equipment to inject into the ground can also be used by the avid “Do It Yourselfer”. The DIY can apply Root Pusher to the top of the ground and water it in, or make it into a slurry in a bucket and pour the fertilizer around the plant or tree. If you go with the slurry in a bucket method, you can always add SuperThrive, BioRush, SeaHume, Fish / Seaweed blend, Dominion … Root Pusher has special penetrants incorporated in the product to improve distribution in the soil and humates. Root Pusher will promote good wintering and fast spring starts without stimulating soft growth that is susceptible to damage. Just writing about this product makes me want to get a bag out in my yard!

Root Excellerator, SeaHume (granular is best this time of year, liquid still very good),
00-00-25, Cotton Burr Compost, Flowerbed Amendment, SuperThrive, Fish / Seaweed Blend, 04-00-10, Possum’s Minors are a few products that will benefit your trees and shrubs this winter. Trees and shrubs, like people, like to have some nutrition, so they do not go to bed hungry.

For trees and shrubs you can get ahead of the insect battle by using Neem oil or Horticulture oil. Neem oil has some fungicide benefits also which is a bonus. If you have a tree or shrub with a history of scale, twig borer, aphids, white flies …, apply a drench of Dominion now to protect the new growth next spring.

Leaf spot diseases have been a big issue this summer with all the rain. As the leaves fall, rake them up to remove overwintering fungus. If you had any major problems, you might want to remove your old mulch, spray with lime / sulfur, and replace the mulch with Cotton Burr Compost or Flowerbed amendment.

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rain - Last Article on this, Hopefully

I don’t know if it is because we (Possum’s) sell to Pest Management Professional companies and I have heard the horror stories about termites, bedbugs, rats, fleas, mosquitoes, spiders and roaches from the technicians that battle them, or it is all the seminars I have attended and trade magazine articles I have read about these insects, but I feel like I need to repeat this paragraph from last week’s “Horticulture Hotline” for the safety of what is probably your biggest investment besides your kids – your home.

Check around the foundation of your house, especially around downspouts, for erosion that could affect your termite protection for your home. Look for water underneath your house as well. Check with your Pest Management Professional to be sure your home is protected from termites and moisture issues.

Not all homes will need to be re-treated; however, some might. If your hot water heater or HVAC unit is outside and needed to be replaced, the termite treatment zone may have been affected. Instead of areas being washed away, debris and soil could have pile up over the treatment area, giving the ever crafty termite a bridge to access your home.

If your house was treated with Bora-Care, another borate product, or bait stations, you have some other things to consider.

Again, get your Pest Management Professional to take a look, and be nice because they have been very busy. The Pest Management Professional will have your best interest in mind because their company (or insurance company) probably has a bond on your house.
Your contract will determine who is responsible for payment of any work with such a strange occurrence.

The worms are still going crazy. Under the cover of darkness and rain, they eat your lawn when the birds don’t see them. We have had our share of rain recently. In two days of last week alone, I saw an Episcopal Church, a Priest’s home (Greek), about 6,000 square feet of new zoysia sod, a meadow in a park where kids and adults play, and a large sports complex where kids and adults play chowed upon. Let’s send these worms to get their 72 virgins or meet their maker. They obviously have no discretion. If you have moths flying around your turf or beds in the evening, beware. Worms generally require multiple applications of control products.

The rain has stripped your soil of most of its nutrients. Do you like to go to sleep at 11:00 pm after only eating breakfast at 5:00 am? Please feed your trees, shrubs, and lawn, so they have some protection from cold, insects, and disease this winter. SeaHume, 00-00-25, Excell, and / or Cotton Burr Compost are a few good healthy choices to send your landscape to dormancy with a full belly.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Rain II

The time is now. Walking into my house over the weekend, I saw mosquitoes on the side door, where I enter the house. Getting in my car for the radio show on Saturday morning, there were three more flying around the windshield.

 Now it is time to wage war against the mosquito.

First, I’m going to give you a shopping list. Pick up these items then wage war on the mosquitoes and their breeding places in your yard. Liquid Net (the Ultimate Insect Repellent by The Liquid Fence Company), Cyonara Lawn and Garden, Nyguard, Mosquito Repelling Granules, Mosquito Dunks, and Altosid Pro G are some of the basic weapons that you will need to wage war against these blood suckers.

Apply the Liquid Net to yourself. This product is organic and does an unbelievable job against mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, ticks and other biting insects. Liquid Net is non-greasy, DEET-free, and safe for the whole family. It also has a 100% guarantee from the manufacturer. One year I had one of my customers from Possum’s wanting to travel around to the various ball field complexes and sell this stuff because it worked so good, was organic and would not harm her small children. Now you are ready for the yard.

Scout around the yard for anything that holds water. Old tires, saucers under potted plants, bird baths, old flower containers or pots stacked in a corner, dog toys, kids toys, a container by the grill you use to soak wood chips in, a cooler, an old fountain, a hole in a tree and a dogs water bowl all make great places for mosquitoes to breed. Empty the water out these areas (refill the dog bowl and the bird bath daily). A tarp covering a boat or woodpile can hold a lot of water.  A few empty bottles or cans can end up being thousands of mosquitoes!  Many mosquitoes can breed in just an ounce of water.

If you have bigger areas of water like a ditch or a low area of the yard that holds water, apply the Mosquito Dunks or the Altosid Pro G. The Mosquito Dunks are an organic Bt product that kill larvae and the Altosid Pro G is a growth regulator product that contains the same active ingredient that is used in the Precor products for controlling fleas. Although Altosid is not organic, it is considered to be very safe and labeled to be used in very sensitive areas like marshes. Turn off your irrigation when you can and correct any drainage problems.

Any pruning you can do to increase air movement and sunlight penetration will also help. Mosquitoes like moist stagnant areas. Mosquitoes are very weak fliers, so they do not like wind or air movement (big fans for parties help). Mosquitoes are a public health issue, so  you might be able to get some help from a government agency.

Next, you want to mow your lawn then spray the lawn, shrubs, trees, and mulched areas with Cyonara Lawn and Garden and Nyguard. Cyonara Lawn and Garden not only kills mosquitoes but also kills chiggers, fleas, ants, ticks, spittlebugs and roaches just to name a few other problem insects out right now. Nyguard is a growth regulator that will extend your period of control by about two-fold (4 weeks control turns to 8 weeks depending on your insect pressure).

If you would like to stay organic apply Mosquito Repelling Granules. Check the weather (I know it is hard to do around here) because this product likes to be dry for 48 hours after application. This organic product really does a great job. It is university tested and has also proven itself in the Lowcountry. Many of our customers at Possum’s have reported control for over three weeks! We sell it to people putting on large fundraisers, other outdoor festivals, sporting events, and individuals and we always get positive feedback. If you would rather spray, try EcoVia EC. A natural product that works!

Fire ants have also come up to the surface in a big way. Treating the whole yard will always give you much better results than treating individual mounds. Cyonara Lawn and Garden will work on ants. If you prefer a granular, Bug Blaster or Sevin will do the trick.

Check around the foundation of your house, especially around downspouts, for erosion that could affect your termite protection for your home. Look for water underneath your house as well. Check with your Pest Management Professional to be sure your home is protected from termites and moisture issues.  

To answer one question that keeps popping up, “no, the army worms, sod webworms and mole crickets did not drowned and are not eradicated”.

If this sounds like too much work, hire a professional. Always read and follow product label.