Monday, July 25, 2022

Back To School?


Horticulture Hotline 07/25/22

By Bill Lamson-Scribner



I have been writing this column since around 1989. Right after Hurricane Hugo, I started this column (with the help of many others from the Post and Courier family) to try to help people out with their landscape situations after “The Storm”.


The crazy, hot, dry, windy spring had my hibiscus doing something I have never seen them do in a very long time of growing this plant. They were dropping the buds off of the plant because of the heat. At first, I thought the little devil the thrip was doing damage, but it was not thrips, it was the heat. Although a tropical plant, they don’t like those high ninety days any more than we do.


With over 33 years of articles in the archives (over 1700 articles), it is easy to spot trends. I see (in my article’s crystal ball) that during the next two weeks’ army worms will be looking to add a little fiber to their diet in the form of your turf grass.


While mowing the grass during the heat of the day, I noticed a few moths in my grass. I have also noticed several moths flying around in my yard in the evening, and I have been told by many of my fellow moth watching friends that they are starting to see them as well. Moths fly around, lay eggs (an adult female can lay over 1000 eggs in groups as small as 50 and as large as several hundred), then the hungry worm emerges and eats your grass. They eat a lot of grass very quickly. The spineless insects do not care that you worked all spring and summer on your lawn. They munch down on it quickly and weeds move in.  The worm then becomes a moth and the cycle begins again.


Many people will be taking vacation before school starts or dropping off that loved one to college. I’m going to get something out on my yard (08-00-08 + Acelepryn) in the next few days, so I don’t come home to a munched-on lawn. These worms do a lot of damage fast.


07-00-14 + Allectus (if you need a little fertilizer to get you through the summer), Wisdom, 08-00-08 + Acelepryn (long term control) or Sevin G would help prevent the grass munchers from eating the grass you have tried so hard to cultivate over the summer. If you prefer to use organic products, EcoVia is an NOP (National Organics Program) compliant product that works great.


While driving around and looking at my own yard, the grass is looking a little “washed out” from the high temperatures, rain and the lack of fertilizer. Most people’s spring fertilizer has been consumed by the plant and turned into clippings. 07-00-14 + Allectus, 08-00-08 Acelepryn or Perk are two good fertilizers with a control product impregnated or a good fertilizer to get you through until it is preemerge time again. If you are working from information derived from a soil test or custom program, stick with those recommendations, and get something out for worms.


While you are out there working in the yard, remember the sunscreen (sun cancer seems to be another way our reckless youth catches up with us), sun protection clothing, and water (rotate in a sport’s drink as well). Mosquitoes?