The latest lawn care & landscaping news from Fairway Green
Prevention is key to maintaining safe and comfortable outdoor areas season. Fairway Green will start administering mosquito control treatments in May. Applications will offer control for approximately 25 days. A treatment program may consist of up to eight total applications. A one-time application is also available and is great for special outdoor events.
We are all aware that mosquitoes may transmit diseases such as: West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Chikungunya, Zika and more. Not to mention uncomfortable bites! Let us help your family keep a peace of mind.
Request a no-obligation quote and enjoy the comfort of the outdoors at your home!
Reminder: You can reduce mosquito growth and reproduction by emptying areas that regularly collect water and residue build up. Areas include and are not limited to: pet dishes, bird baths, storm drains, children’s toys, swimming pool and hot tub covers, and excessive watering or leaking hose/irrigation systems.
We are starting to see some warm season turf lawns (Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede) with winter injury/damage, mainly in areas that held water this winter. As you know, this was one of the wettest winters on record. All warm season turf grasses cannot survive heavily saturated soils (especially while dormant) like we had this winter.
We will know more about the extent of the winter damage as we get closer to May and June. Warm season winter injury can be wide spread or only in micro-environments throughout the lawn.
Reminder: Most warm season turf will not completely start actively growing until May to June. They will go in and out of active growth through April most years. It can be difficult to determine if the lawn received winter damage/injury prior to mid to late May.
Fairway Green has been receiving many calls from customers and non-customers concerned that they have Crabgrass in their lawn. However, in most cases it is Poa annua they are seeing and not Crabgrass.
Poa annua (annual Bluegrass) has been the subject of the majority of customer and non-customer questions starting in mid-March. Poa annua appears to be worse this year due to our excessive rain this winter and spring. Fairway Green’s March newsletter contained an article about water-logged soil influencing turfgrass written by Dr. Grady Miller with NC State Ag Extension.
Poa annua (Annual Bluegrass) is an annual grass that you may begin to notice more this month due to the large amount of tan colored seed heads the plant is producing now. It usually stands out in April into May. Poa annua has been one of the most difficult-to-control grassy weeds since people started managing turf. There are research articles from over 60 years ago discussing the difficulty controlling this grassy weed in our landscapes.
Poa annua is a wild annual grass and can show up anywhere. However, it is a hardy plant and can grow in poor conditions where desirable turf will not. This is why you often see it in compact areas of the lawn. For example; along roadways, Devil Strips (strips between side walk and roadways), and oddly enough along the sides of driveways where you often walk on turf to get in and out of the vehicle. These areas are often heavily compacted making it difficult for desirable turf to flourish. However, being that it is a common grassy weed in our area, it can be found anywhere, even in the middle of the yard.
Poa annua actually germinates in the fall starting in late August through the winter; the same time you seed Fescue in this area. This is why pre-emergent applications for Crabgrass in January, February, and early spring do not control Poa annua. Poa annua was too mature when the pre-emergent applications were applied so has no impact on control. Poa annua will generally end its life cycle in late May and June. It is a prolific seeder and seed is generally viable the following year.
We control about seventy to eighty five percent (70% – 85%) of Poa annua in warm season (Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede) turf by applying a product in the fall. We utilize a split application of this product which provides acceptable levels of control. Again, this split application will control roughly seventy to eighty five percent (70% – 85%), not one hundred (100%).
We have a product that can be applied in November and again in December to control about seventy five percent (75%) of Poa annua in Fescue. Both applications are required to get roughly seventy percent (70%) control.
There is not an effective selective post-emergent (after the plant has matured through the winter) product available to control or eliminate Poa annua in Fescue. If there was a product available, Fairway Green would be using it.
Poa annua is an annual grass and will end its life cycle (disappear) in late May. That plant will not return. However, Poa annua is a prolific seeder placing viable seed in the soil for future years.
Giving Poa annua competition is the best means of control. This is achieved by maintaining a sound turf management program, reducing soil compaction on a regular basis, increasing sun exposure for desired turf, and improving drainage issues. However, climatic conditions favorable for Poa annua can out do the best laid plans like we have seen the past two years.
If you have healthy tall Fescue, you will get Brown Patch Fungus at some point during the season in the Transitional Zone of the United States.
Brown Patch Fungus on Fescue typically starts in late April/early May. Brown Patch will activate when the temperatures are above 75 degrees with high atmospheric moisture. This moisture can be in the form of rainfall, irrigation, or humidity. Brown Patch fungus can be devastating to the lawn.
Signs of Brown Patch will be an off-color similar to drought stress, lesions on the leaf blade, and browning of the turf in circles or areas. The easiest way to identify Brown Patch is to stand away from the lawn and look for a shadow appearance on the lawn. Once you identify the area of concern, look at the leaf blades of the plant for tan or brown lesions on the leaf blade. If you see these lesions, more than likely, you have Brown Patch. It’s important to note that drought stress can be mistaken for Brown Patch. The key difference is that drought stress will make the leaves fold at the center giving the leaf blade a straw appearance.
Applying fungicides preventively offers better control and less turf damage vs. curative fungicides. Please let us know if you would like to discuss our Fescue fungicide program.
Mowing season is underway (for cool season turf). Proper mowing height will help control weeds in the lawn.
Research has proven that maintaining a mowing height of 3½ “- 4” on fescue drastically reduces the amount of crabgrass in the lawn. Mowing at this height will also help promote healthy turf and hold back broadleaf weeds.
Many warm season turf lawns struggle to thrive due to improper mowing height. Mowing your type of warm season turf properly will drastically improve the overall quality and appearance of the lawn. Many people cut their Bermuda too high and not often enough. Bermuda in a home lawn requires mowing every few days at 1.0” to 1.5” to encourage denser turf and spreading. The lower setting is for hybrid Bermuda. The lawn will look thin and grow upward if mowed above this height. In addition, it lowers the quality of the grass increasing the possibility of damage.
Zoysia requires a mowing height between 1.5” and 2.5” based on your particular variety. A safe bet would be around 2.25”.
Centipede needs to be cut low, around 1” to 1.75”, to perform well. St Augustine requires a mowing height of 1.75” and 2.25”.
If you start seeing a tall weed growing in your Zoysia or Bermuda lawn this month, it could be American Burn Weed. This weed usually germinates around March/April and through the summer. American Burn Weed has a straight stem with varying sized and shaped leaves even on the same plant. However, most of the leaves will be lobed. The stem will have many translucent fine hairs on it. The plant can germinate in the thatch layer of warm season turf. This is why it is common to see in warm season turf after it has had a pre-emergent applied.
It is more noticeable in warm season turf at this time because the mowing season has not started yet for that turf type. In fact, one way to control Burn Weed is to run a mower over it when you mow the lawn. This broadleaf weed cannot tolerate regular mowing and will die.
Interesting fact: Wasps of all types are the dominant pollinator for American Burn Weed.
Scale is an insect that is present year round and, unfortunately, it is one of the most difficult insects to control on ornamental trees & shrubs. However, spring can be a good time to start controlling some Scale while they are in the nymphs (crawling) stage. Scale is most vulnerable to contact insecticides while in their crawling stage, before they produce their hard outer coating.