Dealing with wet weather, preparing for winter

  • Sunday, August 17, 2014

Treat for mosquitoes in your yard! Usually, I recommend the organic repellents; however, with the amount of rain we have had, try some Cyonara and kill the mosquito. Scout around your yard for potential breeding sites.

It is amazing how many places that collect water and a mosquito can lay an egg. Old tarps, tarps on boats, saucers under flower pots, a dent in a trash can lid, old fountain, bird bath, tires, refrigerators, old cars and even half-filled rain gauges all provide enough water to help mosquitoes breed.

If you do not have time to scout your yard, hire a professional, and they will help make your yard safe.

Large Patch fungus has raised its ugly head again in the Lowcountry. The decrease in daylight hours and rain have been great for Large Patch disease to kick in. Water only as needed and apply Cleary’s 3336 or Disarm.

If you have any bushes or trees that need to be transplanted, you can begin to root prune them. Ideally, if you transplant a tree, you would have a root ball that is 12 inches for each inch in diameter of the tree (i.e. 3-inch tree would be 18 inches on either side of the tree). Take a shovel and dig straight down without prying and just sever the roots of the tree. Depending on the size of the tree, whether it was planted or a volunteer seedling, how long it has been in the ground, and whether it is in a group of other plants, will dictate how big of a root ball you will be able to dig.

Add some SeaHume and other rooting biostimulants to the area to encourage new roots. Root prune now and for the next few months for transplanting in November through January.

It is getting close to the time to switch over from summer annuals to winter annuals. When amending your annual beds this year, try Back to Nature’s Flower Bed Conditioner. Its balanced blend of cotton burrs and cattle manure along with feather meal, cotton seed meal, alfalfa meal and sulfur will surely make your winter annuals a hit. The alfalfa contains Triacantanol, a natural root-growth enhancer and may aid in the control and suppression of certain fungal diseases.

Unlike wood and wood byproducts, cotton burr and cattle manure do not tie up valuable nutrients in the soil and help neutralize the soil’s pH. Cotton seed and feather meal provide added nutrients for the plant. If you are planting bulbs for next spring, consider using Back to Nature’s Flower Bed Amendments as well. I know at Possum’s we are already taking orders for fall/winter bulbs.

If you have had Florida Betony in the past, consider using a pre-emergent that contains Dimension. Many of our customers have noticed a decrease in Florida Betony in lawns in which they have used Dimension in late August and again in October.

Over 10 years ago, I put out some test plots for Dow AgroSciences, and I saw about an 85 percent reduction in Florida Betony the first year. Dow AgroSciences did not add Florida Betony to the label because of the costs of dealing with the EPA; however, I say, “Try it. You‘ll like it!”

Watch out for mole crickets, grubs and sod web worms in your turf. Mole crickets have just developed their wings and are beginning their fall flights, which means they will be up near the surface tunneling (damaging) your grass.

Grubs are near the surface and easy to kill before they become a food source for moles or damage your root system themselves. Sod web worms can eat a huge amount of grass in a short period of time.

Look for moths as you walk around your lawn in the evening. These moths will come up from the ground, fly erratically for a few feet, then land, almost like a quail. Treat with Lebanon Insect Control or Aloft and you will take care of both of these guys as well as fire ants and many other insects.

Always read, follow and understand the product labels before applying any products.

Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations: 481 Longpoint 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.

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