Monday, August 31, 2020

In Europe, They Eat It. Any Guesses?

Horticulture Hotline 08/31/20

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


Although it is still 100 degrees in the Lowcountry, it is already time to begin to think about your fall / winter plans around the yard. In just a couple of weeks, football (?), volleyball (?), deer season, oyster eating, shrimp baiting will begin indicating another fall in the Lowcountry. As the daylight hours are getting shorter, those cooler temperatures we have been hoping for are right around the corner.  


The rainfall this year has been really crazy. It seems like it was no rain at all or 4 inches at once. These heavy rains tend to flush out the fertilizer that you might have spread on the yard. While driving around, I’m seeing a lot of hungry trees, shrubs and turf. Feed your landscape one last time, so the trees, turf and shrubs go into the winter with a full belly. Watch out for fire ants that the rains have flushed up and if you have a ditch, might have moved (floated) into your yard.


If you have had a history of Florida Betony in your beds or turf, this would be a great year to try using Dimension in your yard. Although not labeled for Florida Betony (and you know I’m a big believer in reading and following product label), many landscapers, homeowners, and myself have witnessed a huge reduction in the Florida Betony population when using this product.


If you have Florida Betony, it is definitely worth a try. I worked with the manufacturer of the product, Dow AgroSciences, over 20 years ago to get Florida Betony added to the label; however, with the costs testing a product and of adding a weed to a label with the EPA, I do not see them adding it in the near future. Some of the formulations of Dimension have already gone generic, so I doubt they will be investing much money into labeling of new weed species when they could spend that money on developing new products. In the test plots I did, the reduction of Florida Betony was significant. If these field trails were converted into a label, many people in the Lowcountry would have benefitted.


David Teas and I were just talking about Florida Betony after Hugo on the radio Saturday morning (The Garden Clinic / WTMA / noon to 1 pm). Don’t wait, now is the time to get that fall preemergent product out on the yard.


Since the trees, shrubs, and turf are all hungry, this would be a great time to try 15-00-15, or 23-00-08 with Dimension on your yard whether you have Florida Betony or not. This product is labeled to control many weeds including the popular weeds (annual bluegrass, henbit, bittercress, chickweed, Carolina geranium, and many more). Follow up with a 00-00-07 in 8 to 10 weeks.


If you are going to apply ryegrass to your turf, you can add a preemergent product now and wait until the label says you can apply the rye. Having a good level of preemerge in your beds should prevent the rye from taking over your shrubs.


Rates and timing are critical with these applications, so always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.


Late summer weeds, disease on turf, mushrooms, mosquitoes, transplanting, planning for fall planting (vegetable garden and trees, ornamentals, bulbs and flower beds), soil testing, army worms, sod web worms, chinch bugs, fall pruning, fall organics…