Monday, August 30, 2021

Goodbye Summer

Horticulture Hotline

  Bill Lamson-Scribner 08/30/21


Treat for mosquitoes in your yard! With the amount of rain and high tides we have had, try some Cyonara and kill the mosquito. Some products repel mosquitoes, we want to kill them. Slow them down with a growth regulator also. Scout around your yard for potential breeding sights. It is amazing how many places that collect water and a mosquito can lay an egg. Old tarps, tarps on boats, saucers under flower pots, a dent in a trash can lid, old fountain, bird bath, tires, refrigerators, old cars, magnolia leaves and even half - filled rain gauges all provide enough water to help mosquitoes breed. If you do not have time to do scout your yard, hire a professional, and they will help make your yard safe. World-wide mosquitoes are the number one killer of humans.


We are in the heart of hurricane season. Get a professional to inspect your trees. Watch out for what is known in the industry as “widow makers” – those dead limbs hanging from a tree. It is the perfect time to feed trees and shrubs also.


Large Patch fungus is about to raise its ugly head again in the Lowcountry. The night time temperatures are going to be in the high 60’s to low 70’s. You should apply fungicides before you get the disease and prevent the disease. The daylight hours are decreasing, making the grass more susceptible to the disease. Water only as needed and apply Strobe or T-Methyl fungicide. 


If you have any bushes or trees that need to be transplanted, you can begin to root prune them.  Ideally if you transplant a tree you would have a ball that is 12 inches for each inch in diameter of the tree (i.e. 3 inch tree would be 18 inches on either side of the tree).  Take a shovel and dig straight down without prying and just sever the roots of the tree.  Depending on the size of the tree, whether it was planted or a volunteer seedling, how long it has been in the ground, and whether it is in a group of other plants, will dictate how big of a root ball you will be able to dig. Add some SeaHume and Superthrive to the area to encourage new roots.  Root prune now and for the next few months for transplanting in November-January.


The change in weather will also bring on the winter annual weeds.  Hopefully by now, you have put out preemergents in your lawn as well as your beds. If you have had Florida Betony in the past, consider using a preemergent that contains Dimension. I have already seen Florida Betony emerging so act quickly if it is a weed you fight. Many of our customers have noticed a decrease in Florida Betony in lawns that they have used Dimension in late August and again in October. Over twenty years ago, I put out some test plots for Dow AgroSciences, and I saw about an 85% reduction in Florida Betony the first year! Dow AgroSciences did not add Florida Betony to the label because of the costs of dealing with the EPA; however, I say, “try it you‘ll like it!”


Watch out for mole crickets, fall army worms and sod web worms in your turf.  Mole crickets have just

developed their wings and are beginning their fall flights, which means they will be up near the surface tunneling (damaging) your grass. I have had several calls about severe mole cricket damage and observed major damage.  Sod web worms and fall army worms can eat a huge amount of grass in a short period of time.  Look for moths as you walk around your lawn in the evening.  These moths will come up from the ground, fly erratically for a few feet, then land almost like a quail.  Treat with Lebanon Insect Control or Cyonara and you will take care of both of these guys as well as fire ants and many other insects. 


Always read, follow and understand the product label before applying any products.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Asian Roaches

Horticulture Hotline 08/25/21

  Bill Lamson-Scribner


Although this is the Horticulture Hotline, I decided to write about entomology (insects) today. Instead of the Horticulture Hotline, I’ll call it the Entomology Swat Line. While attending a meeting of The Greater Charleston Pest Control Association, a great local organization whose profits benefit Camp Happy Days and other worthy causes, the topic turned to Asian cockroaches.


Asian cockroaches look a lot like German cockroaches; however, Asian cockroaches usually stay outside in pinestraw or mulch areas and German roaches usually stay inside in the kitchen area. These roaches are so similar that in laboratory conditions they have been known to mate. In nature, since the Asian is usually outside and the German is usually inside, mating would probably not occur.


If Asian roaches get inside, they do something very creepy. They like dull light. My theory – not proven by anyone as far as I know – is since they live outside with street lights and lights on homes, they are used to dull light. If they get in your house and you are in the den watching TV with the lights off, then you turn off the den TV and move into your bedroom and turn just the TV on, the Asian roach might follow you!  Many homeowners have reported feeling like they were being attacked by the cockroach! I’m just guessing that you don’t want your family to feel like they are being attacked by the Asian Cockroach…


Female Asian roaches mature in about 67 days. Each female produces about 80 offspring in her lifetime of about 100 days. You can see how the population can quickly increase. In areas of heavy leaf litter and dense, damp shrubbery, populations of 250,000 per acre of Asian cockroaches have been observed.


Contact your pest management company if you have a contract or consider getting on a contract if you do not like dealing with cockroaches.  If you are a diehard do-it-yourselfer, try InTice Perimeter Bait - a NOP (National Organics Program) organic product that is very effective against many pests.


I know it is still hot and time moves in a different way with the pandemic, but get out your preemergent product of choice or forever fight winter weeds. The grass is slowing down so watch out for large patch fungus. Those pesty mosquitoes are biting without any regard of how nice of a person you are!


RIP Charlie Watts!



Monday, August 16, 2021



Horticulture Hotline 08/16/21

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


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.  These lists are not designed to interfere with high school, college, or professional football games, sunset boating, shrimping, hunting, golfing, eating chicken wings at a local sports bar, oyster roasts, collecting oysters or clams from the local waters, or watching NASCAR on the couch with closed eyes! Shopping the sales (saving money), getting a foot massage, and going to the movies should not be interfered with.  This is not designed to be a “honey do” list.


Hurricane season is upon us. Now is the perfect time to look up into your trees (and your neighbors if their trees hang over into your yard) and look for broken off limbs that are hanging over your yard or any cavities that might become a problem (rotten wood) in a wind event. Tree limbs rubbing against a house are always an issue.


Many of you will be changing out annual color in the next few weeks. While the beds are empty, you have to chance to amend your soil for better flower production and address any drainage problems. If the bed stays wet, this is a good time to raise it with the addition of soil or amendments. You can also crown the bed so it drains off to the sides.


Back To Natures’ Nature’s Blend has proven to do a superb job in our Lowcountry soils. The special blend of composted cotton burrs, composted cattle manure, humate and alfalfa meal has the best of gardeners coming back for more. Alfalfa contains Triacantanol, a natural growth enhancer, and is high in organic Nitrogen to get your plants growing. Nature’s Blend may also aid in the suppression and control of certain fungal diseases.


Here is what Dr. Herman Daniell had to say about his experience with the product, “The Nature’s Blend has been a superior product for my rose garden. I have had healthier bushes with more blooms since I began using this product.”


Many of you will also be changing out containers, hanging baskets and potted plants. If your plants are in an exposed place requiring daily watering, consider adding soil moist or other water holding gels to your soil. These gels and the use of a wetting agent like Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants can make your life much easier. If you go away for the weekend, your plants will hardly miss you.


Now is the time to apply preemergent products for your winter weeds. The mosquitoes have really come out with all the rain and the Buck Moon. Protect yourself from Covid and mosquitoes. Lawn eating worms and lawn sucking bugs (the nasty rascal the chinch) are still an issue. Roaches and earwigs are coming in out of the rain. Moles and mole crickets are also damaging lawns. The rain has surfaced the hated fire ant as well. Hibiscus are looking good!


Always read and follow product label.