June 2019 Email Newsletter
Soil Service News- Rain, Japanese Beetles, Vine and Brush Control
This extremely wet spring can easily lead us into a false sense of security because our lawns and plants look great right now.
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.
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.
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.
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 Free Zone II applied Father’s Day weekend and available at your Soil Service Garden Center.
Have you ever cut brush or vines only to see the plants come back with more shoots after cutting? You can fix this problem.
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.
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