Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Transition Time

                                           Aphids on Milk Weed Seed Pod

     The Nerve of those Aphids! Knowing I won't spray them and hurt the Monarch Butterfly

                                           "Nasty Rascal, The Chinch Bug"

By Bill Lamson-Scribner

Horticulture Hotline 09/12/23


Aphids, lace bugs, chinch bugs, mosquitoes, and fire ants are just a few of the insects that are either sucking on your plants or biting you. It is the time for sod webworms to munch on your turf. Right now, you can put out a preemergent herbicide that will control many of the weeds that compete with your grass in the early spring. Mums for the fall? Rye grass seed for the lawn? Are you planning to do some transplanting this fall of a tree or shrub. Are you adding some pots to your landscape? With the daylight hours shrinking and the grass slowing down, have you notice you are mowing less? Unfortunately, when the grass slows down, fungus can become an issue. Like the flu shot, put out fungicides preventatively, before you have an issue (you get the flu shot before you have the flu). Did you fertilize your grass, shrubs, and trees so they are ready for the fall? So many situations, so few column inches (newspaper lingo)! I will probably take a few weeks to cover all these topics.


Now is the time to put out preemergent products in the lawn and beds to prevent those small seeded annual weeds. Henbit, chickweed, Poa annua (annual bluegrass), cudweed and lawn burweed are a few of the winter weeds that would like to occupy your lawn and flower beds. Poa annua (the green grass that is very visible in February and March) and lawn burweed (the prostrate growing weed that develops a sticker) are usually the most hated of the winter weeds. Some people use profanity while describing them at the counter of Possum’s! 


For those of you with St. Augustine, zoysia, bermuda, bahia or centipede, keep your eye out for the sod web worm. Watch for moths in your yard around dusk. If you begin to see a moth that gets out of the grass, flies for 6-10 feet then lands again (like a bobwhite quail for you bird hunters) you may want to consider using one of the above-mentioned products. Usually sod web worms would not come out until September / October; however, with the crazy weather we are having, scouting for them could not hurt.


We just had a wind event that came up from the south. The moths of these worms will often catch a ride on wind currents from areas that they are active year-round (Florida). Watering first to bring the worms to the surface and applying control products in the evening when the larvae are about to feed, will often help your success depending on the product.


The “nasty rascal the chinch bug” is still sucking the life out of many St. Augustine lawns. I call the chinch bug the “nasty rascal” for many reasons. Chinch bug damage is often missed diagnosed as dry areas or fungus. Chinch bugs can also severely damage a yard very quickly. The weaken lawn is then susceptible to hard to control weeds (common Bermuda to name one).


Aphids attacking my milk weed? The nerve! 


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


Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations 481 Long Point Rd in Mt. Pleasant (971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd, in Charleston (766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at http://www.possumsupply.com. You can also call in your questions to “ The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1:00, on 1250 WTMA (The Big Talker). Saturday's show is replayed Sunday from 11:00 - Noon.