Friday, August 21, 2020

Fall Is Coming. Plus Disclaimer.

Horticulture Hotline 08/21/20

  Bill Lamson-Scribner


Football season is starting (in some form hopefully), so I guess it is time for the Horticulture Hotline disclaimer.


For the new readers of the Horticulture Hotline, my To Do Lists are designed to help you target a few activities in your yard and in your home, that will benefit you in the future, giving you more free time.  These lists are not designed to interfere with high school, college, or professional football games, volleyball, soccer, baseball, fishing, shrimping, hunting, golfing, eating chicken wings at a local sports bar, oyster roasts, or watching NASCAR on the couch with closed eyes!  This is not designed to be a “honey do” list. 


With all the rain we have had, many plants, trees and grass have grown like crazy. Are tree branches or shrubs rubbing against your house removing the paint that protects your house from rot? Can squirrels and rats now access your roof and find a way into your home? Is your view blocked while trying to pull in or out of your driveway? Is your sidewalk overgrown with shrubs? Remember that azaleas and camellias have already set their blooms for next year, so be aware that you are removing some flowers. Have you noticed the pecan trees? Many are so heavy with nuts the limbs are hanging down – way down – and even splitting.


Large Patch Fungus (Brown Patch Fungus) and Gray Leaf Spot are attacking lawns across the Lowcountry.  I rode through several neighborhoods this week and saw it everywhere.  These cooler, wet nights and shorter daylight hours make conditions right for this disease.  Fungi like moisture and it has been raining a lot recently.  If you can let your grass dry out between watering, you will have less fungus (I understand this is not easy to do with rainfall). According to our customers, there are organic products that will increase the bio-diversity in the soil and help control Large Patch Fungus and Gray Leaf Spot (Neptune Harvest Crab shell, SeaHume, and Back to Nature’s Cotton Burr based products).  If you have an active infestation, a combination of T-Methyl and Strobe G are good chemistries to rotate.


If you plan to plant bulbs this fall, purchase them now while the selection is good.  Look for bigger bulbs.  Bigger bulbs equal bigger plants.  When planting, try 04-04-04 Sustane in the hole.   


Worms are still chowing on lawns. They like to feed under the cover of rainfall when it is darker and birds are less apt to see them. There has been a lot of spotty attacks this year. If you travel during the fall, you might want to use something preventatively because worms can do a lot of damage quickly. Most people notice the moths in their lawn first. These moths lay the eggs that become the worms that eat your grass. This past Saturday on my 15-minute drive to the radio station, I got two phone calls about worms (and one about fungus).


The wet, cooler weather will also run roaches and rodents into your home.  If you are prone to be attacked by these two pests, be sure to prepare for their arrival. 


Moles always get more active in the fall.  Manage their food source with Lebanon Insect Control and use Repellex around the perimeter to keep them out of your yard.


Now is the time to put out your fall fertilizer for your trees, shrubs and turf. Fall fertilization is very important for the health of your plants, trees and lawns especially when it has rained like it has this year. A soil test will tell you a lot of valuable information.


Now that the weather has cooled down, it is a good time to redefine your bed lines, prune anything that has gone wild over the summer, sharpen your mower blade, and pull any vines that are strangling your plants.  


Have you put out a preemergent product for winter weeds yet? Mosquitoes?


If this sounds like too much work, hire a professional.


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