June 2020 Newsletter
Soil Service News- Rain, Japanese Beetles, Vine and Brush Control
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?
This wet spring can easily lead us into a false sense of security because our lawns and plants look great right now.
THE DOWNSIDE TO TOO MUCH RAIN
This extremely wet spring gives us a false sense of security because our lawns and plants look fantastic right now. But there are potential problems lurking once summer temperatures kick in. Here’s the issue; all plant roots need oxygen to thrive. Our native soils are high in clay that easily compacts, and compaction limits oxygen in the soil pore space. This is why we aerate our lawns in the fall and add soil amendments to our garden beds. Constant rain also displaces oxygen, and this means our lawns and plants have less roots. So, if we have periods of dry weather this summer, plants my need to be watered more frequently because of what happened this spring. It’s counter intuitive and no need to panic but something to be aware of.
TIPS FROM THE TURF PROS
With all this rain, Brown Patch fungus in fescue lawns could be a big problem when summer hits. Here’s a way to predict when this disease is active.
PREDICTING BROWN PATCH IN FESCUE
An updated way to predict when Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani) becomes active is by using the “flip-flop” rule when nighttime temperatures of at least 68 d F and daytime temperatures of 86 d F or more are present for several days in a row. Kansas City’s infamous hot, muggy days with high dew points (in the 70’s) also gives us a heads up that the disease may be active. Control is difficult, especially with this year’s heavy disease pressure, but your Soil Service Garden Center will do our best to help with your situation.
Here are a few other ways to manage this disease:
- Do not mow fescue lower than 3 inches nor let it get too tall between mowing.
- Do not mow when wet or when dew is present, especially in hot weather.
- If needed, only water early in the morning and never in late afternoon or evening.
JAPANESE BEETLE CHANGES LAWN GRUB CONTROL STRATEGY
Now that the Japanese beetle is a permanent resident in Kansas City, preventative lawn grub control may become a routine practice. The adults prefer to lay eggs in grass, and once the eggs hatch, the larvae (grubs) can really do a number on grass roots so we end up seeding dead areas in the fall. Not much fun. We will soon send a separate email about this important insect, but in the meantime we urge you to consider a preventative lawn grub treatment with Grub Out applied Father’s Day weekend and available at your Soil Service Garden Center.
VINE AND BRUSH CONTROL
Have you ever cut brush or vines only to see the plants come back with more shoots after cutting? You can fix this problem.
CUT AND TREAT THE SAME DAY
We see this all the time. A customer comes in to get a control product for a stump, vine, or brush that was cut a week or two before seeing us. Unfortunately we have to tell them the train left the station because the plant heals the wounded area within a day of cutting. This quick healing blocks a control product from moving to roots where it kills the plant. Your Soil Service Garden Center stocks Ferti-lome Stump and Brush Control to keep plants from coming back. Mix with water and Ferti-lome Spreader Sticker for foliar applications or apply undiluted, without spreader sticker, to a freshly cut vine or stump. This is the time of year to get rid of these problem plants once and for all.
Thank you for your business,
Come see us and,
Let’s Keep Growing!
May 2020 Newsletter
SOIL SERVICE NEWS – Rose Issues, Tomatoes, Nutsedge, Fungus and Much More!
Rose Blackspot is a serious fungus with symptoms that show up around mid- late May. Warm, wet weather or overhead watering really sets it off.
ABOUT ROSE BLACKSPOT
Blackspot is a common fungus on roses:
- Spores survive winter in fall leaf debris and mulches. Mulch that overwintered in rose beds should be removed, discarded and replaced with fresh mulch every spring.
- The disease begins on lower leaves and moves up the plant.
- Heavily infected canes have raised red-purplish spots that eventually blacken, and it may be necessary to remove them to prevent spores from infecting the following year.
- Control products should be applied beginning at the first sign of disease and follow up treatments will be needed. Soil Service Garden Center has several products available. Treat sooner rather than later.
LOOK FOR ROSE SAWFLY FEEDING
Over the past 4-5 years we’ve seen a ton of sawfly damage on rose leaves so we suggest you start looking for damage now.
ABOUT ROSE SAWFLY
The rose sawfly is not a fly but is related to bees and wasps. The larvae, also called rose slugs, begin feeding in mid-late spring and, depending on species, can have multiple generations per year. This means several insect control applications may be needed during the summer. Sawfly feed on green leaf tissue but not the leaf veins, causing a netted appearance on the leaves that may be confused with Japanese beetle feeding but shows up in May vs. mid-late June for Japanese beetle damage. Inspect both the upper and undersides of leaves to look for light green sawfly worms. Several control options are available at Soil Service.
GROWING GREAT TOMATOES
Anyone growing tomatoes knows they can be a bit of a challenge. Here are some helpful hints for growing better tomatoes.
Yellow nutsedge usually shows up around the end of this month, and if we have a lot of rain, we know it can really take off.
STAY ON TOP OF YELLOW NUTSEDGE
- If ignored it WILL take over your lawn or garden.
- Do not try to dig it up because root fragments left behind will cause even more plants to come up.
- The only way to control it is with a post-emerge product; Hi-Yield Nutsedge Control or products with
- Begin treating in late spring or early summer, and multiple applications may be needed.
- The only choice for gardens is glyphosate (Hi-Yield Killz-all) or Roundup.
YELLOW NUTSEDGE IN LAWN
IS IT TOO LATE TO FERTILIZE FESCUE OR BLUEGRASS?
We’re rapidly approaching the end of fertilizing fescue or bluegrass this spring. If you choose to make one final application before next fall.
FERTILIZING IN MAY
If you regularly water your cool season (fescue and/or bluegrass) lawn during the summer OR you have not applied fertilizer this spring, this is your last chance to feed your lawn until September. This application has a couple of rules:
- Timing- fertilize no later than mid-May
- Use less nitrogen than fall applications and
- Use a higher percentage of slow release nitrogen than fall applications. The Garden Center likes organic Milorganite. It works and has a very reasonable cost.
FEED ZOYSIA/BERMUDAGRASS IN SUMMER
Fertility strategies for zoysia and bermudagrass are considerably different than fescue/bluegrass.
FERTILIZE ZOYSIA AND BERMUDAGRASS AT FULL GREENUP
Unlike cool season grasses, zoysia and bermuda are fertilized in summer and prefer more of the quickly available nitrogen. For either grass:
- Apply Ferti-lome Lawn Food + Iron about June 1.
- Make a second application of the same product July 15.
While it’s too early to predict this summer’s disease problems, we can keep a few things in mind.
BROWN PATCH FUNGUS IN FESCUE LAWNS
This soil borne fungus typically infects the grass in mid-late May.
- Avoid afternoon/evening watering that increases disease problems.
- Avoid fertilizing in late spring or summer.
- Do not let grass get too high between mowings, and cutting height should be 3-4 inches.
- Do not mow wet grass, and keep that blade sharp!
- We have Ferti-lome F-STOP (liquid or granular) or Ferti-lome Systemic Fungus Control (liquid only) to help with control. Then we hope the weather cooperates!
ALL MULCH IS THE SAME, RIGHT?
Now is a great time to refresh your mulch with Soil Pep.
CHOOSE THE BEST MULCH FOR YOUR NEEDS
Mulch helps soils hold moisture for less plant stress and lower water costs. It also keeps down weeds. That’s the easy part. Our most popular mulch is Soil Pep, a partly decomposed small pine bark mulch. Soil Pep keeps its rich dark brown color without fading like dyed mulches. It also doesn’t crust over like the least expensive mulches. Those are two strong points right there. Like all mulches, Soil Pep eventually breaks down and makes an excellent soil amendment, especially when you prepare new beds with our heavy clay soils. You and your plants will be glad you used “Pep” this year!
LAST CALL TO TREAT EMERALD ASH BORER
We’re about out of time to treat Emerald Ash Borer. We have Ferti-lome Tree and Shrub Drench on hand, and it needs to be used no later than mid-May.
CABBAGE WORM ALERT
If you grow cabbage, collards, mustard, kale or broccoli, be on the lookout for a white butterfly.
GET READY FOR CABBAGE WORMS
This seemingly innocent insect flutters around the plants and lands for 10-15 seconds to lay eggs. The real fun begins when the eggs hatch.
These worms are well camouflaged and have voracious appetites. They love to make holes in leaves. The good news is that the worms are controlled with several products, so keep your guard up on this food robber!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS!
COME SEE US AND LET’S KEEP GROWING