Plant & Equipment Maintenance
By, Kevin Cutlip
We’re in the ground, hopefully brown side down, green side up. El Nino is still present for a couple of months more, and we have endured “Bonnie”, our first of several tropical waves this season. El Nino will quit by early August, and La Nina takes over, allowing the tropics to move in. Get ready. As we prepare for the coming chores, Ma nature is making us think, so let’s get some things right.
First, if you have been following our lawn feeding schedule, it’s time to look deep into your Fescue. I’ll get to Bermuda and Zoysia in a sec. If there is any yellowing in the base, use Ironite, or Milorganite. That’s it. It will need the 4 1/2 % Iron, not Nitrogen. Check your Fescue in the morning to see if there are any fine whitish patches on the tips. If you see some, that’s called Mycillium, and it’s a sure thing you have some fungus issues.This means it’s time to apply a fungus control.
Cut Fescue high, around 4″. Bag the clippings every 3rd cut if you are cutting more than once every 10 days. Browning out in circular patterns is NOT always fungus. Certain insects are emerging now. If you are unsure, bring us a picture. There are ways for you to check.
Zoysia and Bermuda folks, it’s time to feed your grasses because that are awake and hungry. You are opposite of Fescue Folks. Seed now, get plugs to fill in, and you have 3 months to feed them.
Within 3 days of cutting, look at the tips of the grass. If they are white with ragged edges, you need a new blade or to sharpen the one you have. Bad things are getting ready to happen.
Spot treat weeds with a “selective broadleaf herbicide” after 3 days of cutting for Summer weed sprouts, then apply another shot of Pre-Emergent without fertilizer to lessen the competition.
What can I say. The most common complaint in any wet weather season, is that the string pays out too fast, whether in gas, battery, or electricity. This is a simple thing to fix. When you cut wet grass, the “fines” collect in the string housing, causing it to be “eccentric”, thus paying out too much line. Clean out the inner cup where the line is, and try to always cut dry.
Pruners and loppers
Pruning more than usual, because of the weather? Mashed ends on your stalks take more time to heal than crisp precise cuts. Either clean, sharpen, or replace the tool. Bring them in, we’ll look at them, and provide guidance.
Clean out the tank and disassemble the tip to clean and unclog it for better performance. If the plunger is not holding or pressurizing right, apply a bit of Vaseline on the o-ring in the plunger and around the seal to the tank. Consult your manual for disassembly.
In this 65 year record holding El Nino, following 2 years of Polar Vortex, unusual things are happening in your landscape, like growths, blooms, unusual fruiting, insects, and fungus.
I can’t tell you how many hundreds of “zip loc” bags have entered this facility this season. We love zip locs.. Something is in it! We will converge on you, or call others on the radio, so don’t get antsy! Know that you are getting several hundred years of knowledge. Between the nursery folks, greenhouse growers, and front end specialists, we know someone who knows the answer. That said, relax and garden on. We got ya.
If you don’t get it, bring it in! Bring pics, or that “zip loc”. In 10 minutes, we’ll have you back in your landscape!