The sweet smell of spring is in the air

  • Sunday, June 8, 2014

Time is flying by once again! School is getting out and it is already June. Of course, the heat brings many situations in the landscape.

Right now there is a great opportunity for those that love fragrance.

I know there are some manly men out there that would not admit this because it would compromise their manhood, but two of the Lowcountry gems are blooming now, and they smell great! The Magnolias and Gardenias will stop you in your tracks with their fragrance.

Many people like the smell of Ligustrum. I’m not one of those people; however, it does signal the spring to me and bees love it. I do believe there are closet lovers of Gardenias and Magnolias. These bearded, manly men dress up in camouflage, paint their faces and in the cover of darkness, go and smell these wonderful plants.

Japanese Beetles have emerged (pun intended) on the scene, tearing up Crepe Myrtles, Roses and many other plants. These heavy eaters are easy to kill with a little persistence. Bifen, Cyonara and many others will take care of the Japanese Beetle. Traps also work if placed away from the location of the preferred meal of the Japanese Beetle and are more of an organic approach. EcoVia EC is a botanical insecticide that is NOP (National Organic Program) compliant and works.

The baby mole crickets are hatching and the adults are dying off. Now is a good time to “flush” an area that you think might have mole crickets. Get two ounces of lemony dish soap in five gallons of water and slowly pour it over a 2-by-2 area where you have tunneling damage by mole crickets and see what comes out of the ground in the next three to five minutes.

Depending on your tolerance level, you can decide whether or not to treat. A golf green would have zero tolerance because the tunnels would affect the ball roll. EcoVia EC and Intice Perimeter are two NOP-compliant products that should work good for you. Aloft or Lebanon Sevin are conventional control products that will kill the baby mole crickets.

While I was talking to a commercial customer on the phone last week about a yard he was preparing for a wedding, he got all excited because a mole (the most hated fur-bearing animal per pound of body weight) was surfacing out of the ground where he had just put a Mole, Vole and Gopher Repellent we had sold him at Possum’s. Moles just had their babies in April and are very active. Moles are another pest that requires persistence to manage.

Chinch bugs are very active. If you have a sunny St. Augustine lawn, it is time to get some protection out there on your turf. EcoVia EC is an NOP-compliant product. Aloft is a long-term control product. Bug Blaster, Cyonara, Bifen and Lebanon Sevin will provide short-term control.

Speaking of sunny yards, remember to protect yourself from the sun. Since I mostly hang around people who spend time in the sun, I have witnessed and heard about many sun-related horror stories.

Drain flies are becoming an issue with all the good, local vegetables and fruits being consumed in our kitchens. Using the scum-eating microbes in InVade BioDrain will help eliminate the organic build-up in drains that harbor the drain flies and the citrus oil will help reduce odors as well. The EcoVia EC will help if they are already getting active.

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 Road in Mount Pleasant (843-971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (843-760-2600), or 606 Dupont Road, in Charleston (843-766-1511).

Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at www.possumsupply.com. You can also call in your questions to “The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m., on 1250 WTMA (The Big Talker). The Horticulture Hotline is available 24/7 at www.possumsupply.com.

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