April 2021 Newsletter
SOIL SERVICE NEWS- Emerald Ash Borer, Organic Products, Billbug in Zoysia, Weeds, and Much More!
MOTHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA- BUG AND POLLINATOR HOUSES
For something fun for the gardening Mom, how about a bug house that attracts beneficial insects and other pollinators? We have several sizes available from, in bug speak, cute little bungalows to palatial estates. Check-em out next time you’re at the Garden Center!
DEALING WITH EMERALD ASH BORER (EAB)
Anyone with ash trees knows the sad truth is you will eventually lose the tree. But if it’s healthy now and you want to keep it as long as possible, you can either call a tree care company or treat it yourself with Ferti-lome Tree and Shrub Insect Control soil drench. Your spring window to treat is early April to early May when trees actively move control products and nutrients from roots to leaves. PS- you need to know either the circumference or diameter of the tree trunk when measured at breast height (about 4.5 feet from the ground) to know how much product to use.
WATCH OUT FOR HOSTA LOVING CRITTERS
Unfortunately there are a couple of critters that love hostas; slugs and rabbits.
SLUGS AND BUNNIES WREAK HOSTA HAVOC
About this time every year we have a boatload of customers come in with chewed up hostas. Holes in the middle of the leaf are probably from slugs. They party hard at night (when you should be sleeping) then hide under mulch during the day, which means you probably won’t see them. Rabbits take out big chunks along the leaf edges. Bunnies can take hostas down to the nub with one feeding and newly emerging plants are especially attractive to the furry little darlings. So, be on full critter alert as soon as you see the plants emerge.
Soil Service Garden Center has Sluggo, Hi-Yield Slug and Snail Bait and Rabbit Scram to keep these creatures away from your hostas, and other plants too!
Soil Service has a full line of organics including fertilizers, potting mixes, mycorrhizae and control products. Here’s a short but by no means complete list of our organic product line.
ORGANICS FOR YOUR GROWING NEEDS
Garden Soil Amendments– Happy Frog is a soil amendment with organic plant food and mycorrhizae. This is excellent for new garden beds or to freshen up raised beds.
- Mykes mycorrhizae + organic fertilizer for transplants
- Lawn Food- Milorganite
- Weed Control– potassium salts of fatty acids for non-selective annual weed control
- Fungus and Bacteria Control–copper soap- best when applied as preventative
- Insect Control– neem oil, pyrethroids (derivatives of natural insect control in chrysanthemums), Ferti-lome Spinosad and Natural Guard Spinosad with Insecticidal Soap.
Your Soil Service Garden Center came up with a simple way to tell the difference between organic and traditional fertilizer and control products. Organic products have bright green shelf tags.
BILLBUGS KILL ZOYSIA LAWNS
Right around mid-July our customers with zoysia lawns bring in samples of dead grass. More than likely the problem is Hunting billbug and the latest university research suggests this month is the best time to control them.
BROADLEAF WEED CONTROL
April is the best month in spring to control broadleaf weeds. Different weeds need different control strategies. Feel free to bring in your weeds and we will help you with the best control options. Two of the meanest broadleaf weeds in KC are Wild Violet and Creeping Charlie (also called Ground Ivy). It isn’t unusual for these troublemakers to hang out together.
ABOUT WILD VIOLETS AND CREEPING CHARLIE
They look like harmless cute little plants at first, but trust us; ignore them long enough and they will take over your lawn. Violets are more difficult to control and unfortunately many products list them on their labels, but the reality is that Triclopyr is the best product- and it also controls Creeping Charlie, clover, and other perennial broadleaves. This only comes in a concentrate, so you’ll need to break out the pump-up sprayer. If you don’t have a sprayer, see us at the Soil Service Garden Center and we’ll fix you up. Ferti-lome Spreader-Sticker should always be used with Triclopyr. Be ready to treat several times during the year because new ones will pop up, but now is the time to start!
Tips from the Turf Pros- Mowing Fescue Lawns
Anyone who has a fescue lawn knows this is the time of year when it grows fast- as in REALLY FAST between now and around mid-May in normal years. This means we should mow more often than the typical once a week on Saturday morning. Mowing every 4-5 days is better for this grass until growth slows as we move into summer. Remember to keep the blade sharp, don’t mow when the grass is wet, and keep the cutting height no lower than 3 inches.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY– You may be inclined to take your houseplants outside for some much needed sun. Do this with caution because our nights may be too chilly to leave them out overnight. If it’s too cold to wear shorts outside at night, it’s too cold to take houseplants outside.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS!
COME SEE US AND,
LET’S KEEP GROWING!
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