Friday, September 1, 2023

After A Storm and Weak Crutch Angles

                                            Poor Structure
                                           Split - No Electricity

Horticulture Hotline 09/01/23

By Bill Lamson-Scribner       


Well, we got lucky once again for the most part. Whoever was in the airborne car in Goose Creek that was the lead story on most of the national (maybe international) news broadcasts might not feel that way. I guess in current terminology you would say the video went viral, and how many hits on YouTube it had. I lost three pine cones and had about an inch of rain, and I did lose electricity because a maple with a weak crutch angle split and knocked down an electric wire down the street from me. Dominion did a great job of getting the power back up and running.  The Lowcountry did get some flooding.


Salt has been the biggest issue with flooding this year. Unfortunately, we were in a very dry pattern of weather right before the storm hit, so the first drink many plants got was salty. I know some of my lantanas were showing signs of drought stress on Monday and I figured I would let them wait until the storm rains. We did not have much rain in the coastal areas during the storm or after the storm to leach the salt out of the soil profile and there is not much rain in the forecast. Rain or heavy watering are good ways to flush out salt; however, watering can get expensive and lead to fungus outbreaks this time of year when the grass is slowing down for the fall. A significant rain event is not in the forecast.


If you had salt intrusion, Gypsum, Salt Free, Excell, SeaHume G, ProMag and a soil test that test for Sodium provide the road map for the recovery of your landscape. You would want to take a soil test first so you know where your starting point is, then you could immediately apply products to mitigate the salt damage (keep track of what you use and at what rates so when your soil test results come back you will know what you have already applied). At Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply we can help you through this process and help you with directions on taking a soil test and using these products. Salt Free is probably our biggest seller for homeowners and it comes in a convenient Ready To Spray container that you hook up to a hose and spray.  


If a storm’s threat or the aftermath of the storm gets you to look up into your trees for broken limbs, diseased limbs, structural issues, limbs with cavities, or heavy overhanging limbs, then the storm has done some good. Inspect your trees closely for “widow makers”. Gravity will pull these limbs that are hanging in the trees down to the ground, and hopefully, you or your loved ones are not between the ground and the tree that they are hanging out of. Getting a tree care professional out to your house is always a good idea. Remember most injuries and deaths occur during cleanup. A reputable, local, insured tree care professional should come inspect your trees for dangerous situations.


The daylight hours are getting shorter. Some of the worms that eat grass in the Lowcountry overwinter and spend most of their time in Florida where they have huge numbers and multiple generations. With this current storm moving up from Florida, some worms might kite-surf the winds up to our area.


Worms eating the grass and chinch bugs sucking the grass are already in full force. The worms love the cloudy weather we have had because the birds and the wasps that feed on them cannot see them as easily. I noticed and the white flowers of Virginia Buttonweed are visible peeking through the foliage of the turf grass. Protect your grass from fungus by applying Strobe G or T-Methyl. Fungicides work best if used before you have a fungus (like the flu shot for us).  


Preemergent herbicides for the lawn and beds now will make your spring landscape much nicer. It is hard to believe, but winter weeds germinate and hide in the canopy of your green grass. Once your grass goes dormant (brown) you can see the green weeds. Treating your lawn and beds with Cyonora will keep mosquitoes, fleas, roaches, and other pests from bothering your pets, your lawn, your shrubs, or yourself.


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