Seasonal Tips

 

Lawn Fungus:

Helmihisporium Blight is the most common turf fungus in our area.  Initial symptoms are a blue to grey color and later the turf will turn straw colored.  At that point the leaf blades have died.  Many factors are involved with the causes of lawn fungus, most are preventable.

The number one cause of lawn fungus is lack of water.  If a turf grass is receiving sufficient water it is far less likely to develop lawn fungus.  One way to check if your turf is receiving enough water is by performing a water audit.  Most common turf species in our area need between 2-3 inches of water per week.  Often watering problems can be corrected simply by adjusting or replacing sprinkler heads, increasing the amount of time the turf grass is watered, and attention to proper mowing.

 

How to Perform a Water Audit:

 

  • To perform a water audit you will need a few items, a ruler, and several disposable pie tins.
  •   Place the pie tins around your turf.
  • Run your irrigation system for its normal cycle. 
  • When the cycle has concluded, retrieve the pie plates, place them on a level surface, and measure the water inside. This will help to determine the precipitation rate for each individual zone. 
  • After you have measured the amount of water in a pie tin, divide that number by the time in which the system was active. 
  • Example:  ¼ of an inch collected over a 15 minute period of time means that in 1 hour that particular zone puts out 1 inch per hour.  Do this for all zones to establish precipitation rates for each zone. 
  • Adjust the zones accordingly to reach a unified 1 inch per hour precipitation rate in all zones.  You may need to repeat the water collection procedure to insure uniformity.

 

Once you have established a uniform precipitation rate, it is now time to calibrate the automated timers or sprinkler clock.  Using the example above, you have a precipitation rate of 1 inch of water for every hour of run time. 

Cultural Procedures:  Before all lawn feedings it is important for your turf to be at least 70% green and mowed at least twice.  Bermuda grass lawns should be “scalped” and raked to stimulate new growth.  Scalping is the process of mowing the turf to the lowest level to remove dead grass.  Children and pets should be kept off treated areas until they have been watered in, and the turf is dry to the touch.  Lawn fertilizer can stain clothes and pets fur.  If you own a white dog, you may want to bring it inside when watering over the next few days to prevent staining its fur.  Foliar applications sometimes pool under trees and shrubs, if pooling occurs, just dilute it with water or wait until it dries up before letting pets out in the yard.

 

Mowing Height:  We are often asked, what is the proper height for mowing turf grasses?  We follow standard guidelines for mowing height.  For common Bermuda 1.5-2 inches is recommended.  For tiff Bermuda 1-1.5 inches mowed with a reel mower is best.  Fescue should be mowed at 2.5-3 inches.  People often make the mistake of mowing their turf too low.  When turf is cut too short it often looks burned and is at risk of a turf fungus. Mowing frequency is also important; turf should be mowed regularly at the same height to avoid burning it.  Not less than once every 10 days, however every 5-7 days is best.

White Grubs: are the larval stage of several different beetle species.  They can cause significant damage to turf grass areas if left untreated.  The most common damaging beetle larvae are the June beetle.  Adult  beetles take flight particularly after a heavy rain at the end of May or beginning of June.  They fly around mate and lay eggs in turf  for the first few weeks of June and into July.  In this area grub damage is usually most notable in late July through September. The larvae feed off of the roots of turf grasses causing affected turf to dry up or lose vigor due to a lack of established roots.  Significant damage can be noted when turf can be readily pulled by hand with a lack of roots or sometimes even rolled like carpet.  Early indicators of a grub infestation include a large influx of birds pecking through your turf and skunk damage.  The birds and skunks eat the grubs so they cause damage to the turf as they search for them to feed off of.  Insecticide applications must be applied at the correct time when grubs are small and feeding actively, this is July- October.  Our monthly customers will be receiving grub control applications in July and then again in September as needed.

 

SERVICES

 MAY: Foliar feeding and insect control for trees and shrubs.  The foliar application of balanced fertilizer with added micro nutrients feeds through the leaves.  The insecticide is for soft bodied insects like aphids and mites.  No watering necessary after this application.

 

JUNE: Second lawn feeding.  High iron fertilizer to promote lasting green color to turf.  Water asap after application.  This is especially important when the temps are in the 90’s and above.  The iron can sometimes oxidize on the grass blades and give your turf a greyish color.  If this happens it will be gone after first mowing, and it does not damage the turf.  Keep kids and pets off till it is watered in and dry to the touch. 

 

July:  In July we apply our first grub control application to turf areas.  Application requires watering within a 24-hour period, however if you have pets or kids we recommend that you water as soon as possible.  This service is an insecticide application,  so pets and kids should be kept off turf until it has been watered in and is dry to the touch.

Note that all of our fertilizer applications are available without insecticide or herbicides.  You just have to ask several days in advance so we can schedule you properly.

 

Thank you for having confidence in our company.  We appreciate your business.