February 2021 Newsletter
FEBRUARY 2021 EMAIL NEWSLETTER
NEWS FROM SOIL SERVICE– Birds, Lawn Programs, Landscape Services, Dormant Seeding, Magnolia/Tulip Scale, and more!
FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL BIRD FEEDING MONTH
Natural bird food supplies start to run out in late winter, which is why February is National Bird Feeding Month. A shepherd’s hook and feeder are all you need to get started but you can always attach the feeder to something else. Just be sure to place it near a window you regularly look out of so you don’t miss the action! Suet cages hook to a feeder and attract really cool woodpeckers, nuthatches (they feed upside down!) and flickers. Younger kids have an especially wonderful entertainment and learning experience seeing birds up close. But let’s be honest- adults get a huge kick watching them too! We have the shepherd’s hooks, seed, feeders, suet and suet cages to get you started for some of the best bang-for-your-buck enjoyment you can have during the winter doldrums.
HAVE FUN STARTING SEEDS INDOORS
Starting seeds indoors before transplanting outside is a sure way to get the spring fever itch and a whole bunch of fun! February is the time to start scratching that itch.
WEED CONTROL OPTIONS
Customers who have been on our program for several years may need to only spot spray for particularly troublesome broadleaf weeds that granules do not control. Examples are wild violet, ground ivy and clover. If you just need to spot spray or simply want to use less overall weed control material, we will work with you to exchange the granules in the lawn program for a liquid spot treatment product at a Lawn Care Program Member discount.
Landscaped areas around our homes do change over time and perhaps you feel it’s time to renovate older areas or create new landscaping. If so, we have landscaping designers and crews who would love to work with you! If you would like to set up a design consult please call Colleen ASAP to answer your questions and get on the schedule that fills quickly. You can reach her 9 AM-4PM Monday-Friday, PH: 816-444-3404 or firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICK REMINDER TO WINTERIZE YOUR MOWER
Have you ever had your mower conk out during mowing season? Not fun. Let’s be sure to get your mower ready for spring. The most important things to do are clean or replace the air filter, change the oil if it’s a 4-cycle engine, and sharpen the blade. If you don’t sharpen it yourself, we highly recommend having 2 blades. That way, if one gets dull, you can swap them out and not worry about how long it takes for a blade to come back from being sharpened (which could be weeks in spring).
TIME TO DORMANT SEED
February is the best month to dormant seed if you need to touch up small areas this spring
Dormant Seeding is the process of putting down grass seed when soil temperatures are consistently below 40 d F, normally in February. Since the soil is cold, the seed lies “dormant” until soil temperatures favor early spring germination. Furthermore, temperature fluctuations help crack the hard seed hull which gives grass a head start on germination and root growth- important for grass to survive summer heat stress.
Bluegrass and fescue blends or mixes such as Soil Service Garden Center’s KC Marathon or KC Endurance may be dormant seeded. Warm season grasses i.e., zoysia, bermuda and buffalo grass are seeded in late May/early June.
Seed to soil contact is critical just like in fall seeding. Seed put down in February can fall into soil cracks created by normal winter freeze/thaw cycles. You can also seed after a light snow, but the best seed to soil contact for small areas is with the Garden Weasel. Use the Weasel to rough up the ground, put down seed, and then lightly go back over the area with the Weasel to incorporate the seed. Weasel/Seed/Weasel.
Dormant seeding can be successful, but it isn’t without risk. For this reason, this practice is usually limited to smaller areas or when laying sod is impractical.
FOLLOW UP FERTILIZATION
Fertilizing with Ferti-lome New Lawn Starter can be made at the first sign of germination, and then a follow up fertilization in April- early May should be made with a slow release nitrogen such as Milorganite, both available at Soil Service Garden Center.
WEED CONTROL ISSUES
Dormant Seeding may conflict with spring weed control and careful attention should be paid to all grassy and broadleaf weed herbicide labels regarding seeding restrictions. Soil Service Garden Center can help you pick the best weed control options for these tricky situations.
SEEDING ON SLOPES
Grass seed mulch materials reduce soil moisture losses to increase germination. But slopes present a problem when heavy rain washes away seed. SEED AIDE solves both of these issues. SEED AIDE has been used for decades in the professional turf grass industry and is unique because it has a “tackifier” that helps hold seed and mulch in place. Best of all, the cost per 1000 sq. ft. is the same as other seed mulches. You can also use Straw Guard (covers 200 sq. ft.) or Curlex (covers 450 sq. ft.). These are erosion control blankets that you roll out after seeding. Any of these products are a win/win for you and your lawn!
MAGNOLIA AND TULIP TREE SCALE
Magnolia and Tulip tree scale insects can be a major problem for these trees in Kansas City. These pests won’t go away on their own and in large numbers can cause serious damage. Plus, their honeydew (poop) is really nasty. Controlling them is tricky and includes spraying the tree with Ferti-lome Horticultural Oil in late winter.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS!
COME SEE US AND,
LET’S KEEP GROWING!
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