Sunday, July 13, 2014
It is hard to believe another year is halfway over with. Depending on your fertility program, now is generally a good time to fertilize. It has been a while since the ever-popular spring fertilization and with the help of a few rainstorms, many lawns look washed out and hungry. Do not forget about your trees and shrubs, they are hungry too.
I often hear, “Bill, I do not want to fertilize my lawn because I don't want to mow it.” Or the popular, “Bill, no one feeds the trees in the forest, and they do fine.” And, “I don't want to fertilize my shrubs because they will grow and I will have to hedge them.”
You wouldn't stop eating just because you got to a certain height. If you have children, you would not stop feeding them. Plants, like people, need certain nutrients to remain healthy. In an urban environment, we need to supply our plants nutrients. In a forest where leaves, limbs and trees fall to the forest floor and are recycled into nutrients by micro-organisms, trees can fend for themselves.
If you want to reduce your mowing, consider using a growth regulator. With generic products available, these products have become very affordable. Although considering the time, fuel, and wear and tear of equipment that was saved, they were affordable before they went generic. Now there is much less “sticker shock.”
I mix up a weed killer, insecticide, fungicide, fertilizer, growth regulator and a few secret ingredients together and stop my St. Augustine from growing for a month. When it starts to grow, I spray it again. I still fertilize, but no mowing. Very nice!
I work with a football field that has an Elaeagnus hedge that covers the chain-linked fence that surrounds the stadium. The groundskeeper was trimming this hedge monthly during the growing season and hating it. He started using a growth regulator twice a year and barely does any pruning to it at all now. Elaeagnus are infamous for being a pain in the landscape with their wild growth habit. The groundskeeper went from standing on a ladder pruning a 6- to 8-foot hedge, and raking up the debris and disposing of it, to just walking by and spraying a product. He was happy, happy, happy.
Check out growth regulators for edging a sidewalk or along a fence, for a shrub, or a groundcover and save some time this year.
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.