Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why your Bermuda or Zoysia lawn looks like crap right now

We are getting a lot of calls about how terrible customers Bermuda or Zoysia lawns currently look. Here is the situation. We apply pre-emergent to prevent winter weeds. Unfortunately we did not have a winter this year so the pre-emergent ran out before it was time to apply the spring pre-emergent. Also we are normally able to apply low rates of Roundup to warm-season lawns in February to eliminate unsightly cool season grass clumps such as annual ryegrass, perennial ryegrass, fescue, wheat, and annual bluegrass(poa). Roundup only damages plants by entering green foliage it is not active in the soil. Although the leaves of the Bermuda in Zoysia turned brown, the lateral stems called stolons remained green because of the extremely warm winter and could not be treated without doing serious harm to your warm season lawn. If we did do the treatment we normally do, it would have taken your warm season lawn at least an extra month to fully green up. We have been able to control most of the broadleaf weeds such as Clover dandelion and chickweed by carefully applying low rates of broadleaf weed control. Bermuda in Zoysia are only partially green at the moment. This time is called the "transition period" applying herbicides for grass control during the transition period Is a unacceptable practice because of the damage it can do to your lawn. Here's my recommendation. Have the grass cut low at least twice a week to stress out the cool season grasses. In early May the Bermuda in Zoysia should
be fully green and Beyond the transition. When warm season grasses are completely green and actively
growing, they are very tolerant of herbicides applied to remove cool season grasses. One other factor to consider. There is a disease which is basically a cool season Brown patch which is currently attacking Bermuda in Zoysia Lawns. That disease occurs during  transition when we have wet weather and cool nights. Applying heavy amounts of nitrogen during this time of transition would definitely increase your chances of this disease doing damage to your lawn. So we will not fertilize warm season grasses with nitrogen until they are completely green and it is past the time frame where that particular fungus does the most damage. I'm basically asking you to give me three weeks before we can safely control all the weeds that are unsightly including grasses and before we can safely promote those grasses to Green up and start growing. Thank you for your patience. Please let me know that you received this message in your email box and understand it. Sincerely, Robert Stroud The Turf doctor


Thursday, April 13, 2017

This ain't no turfgrass!

What the heck is growing in my landscape beds and lawn. Looks like white sonora wheat? Anybody know what this is? It came from the straw bales we used as Halloween decorations, but I can't id pasture grasses. Is this wheat? Rolled in bud, insignificant liquile,abe 1 clasping auricle.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Time to irrigate!

Lawns are starting to really dry out now so make sure your irrigation is active and running. Please apply 1 inch per week if we are not getting an inch of rainfall the week...


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Got Frost Damage?




I received an inquiry from a customer today that included the above picture. From the picture, I thought this was possibly a herbicide injury. After reviewing our records, I noticed it had been a month since our 1st treatment of this lawn, but the injury appeared last week after a mowing. We assessed all 10 properties treated the same day with a granular polyon slow release fertilizer with preemergent incorporated on the granular. Weeds were only spot sprayed. Only 2 yards treated out of 10 had this damage. However, there was a 3rd yard beside the other 2 that had same symptoms. That yard was treated 45 days ago. The one common denominator was all 3 yards were mowed the same day, same height, by the same company. The damage is confined to the wheel tracks. These 3 lawns were mowed last week during cold snap, and the lush spring growth had frost on it when they were mowed, causing foliar damage by crushing plant cells with frozen moisture​ inside the leaf blades. The good news here is that it only crushes the foliage, so new growth will soon replace the damaged turf. It will probably take 2 mowings and more warm wet weather for all damage to heal.
1. Never mow or even walk on frozen green grass.
2. It is important to keep accurate pesticide records un to be able to determine if herbicide damage could be a cause of plant injuries.
Glad it was not herbicide related!


Monday, January 30, 2017

Duh moles!

Seeing some serious surface mole tunnels in January is strange. People ask, are they eating grubs??? Nope, because the ground has been thawed and we have had excellent soaking rains, that drives earthworms to the soil surface so birds and moles get a snack. Usually, the soil surface is frozen during January and moles are tunneling deeper, so you don't notice them. Its not like a "mole epidemic", its just a warm, weird, wet January. Having said that, the good news is you can easily push tunnels back down before grass dries and dies with a wheelbarrow or lawn mower wheel right after a soaking rain. Then, you need to trap the moles with scissor traps or call Keith Burgess 615-496-7004. His company us Affordable Wildlife control. He is a mole trapping guru! If you wait until warm temperatures come before getting rid of moles, you will very likely have dead runs of grass all summer. When its warm and soil is dry, the raised tunnels cause grass roots to dry and die pretty quickly. If you are a do-it-yourselfer type, https://www.amazon.com/Victor-OSight-Mole-Trap-0631/dp/B00004RAMY. Happy trapping! All other methods are a joke, trust me! I have tried them ALL.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Early Spring?

December and January have been so wet and warm that grass seed planted in the fall has actually germinated in January. This is the first time I have ever seen this in twenty years. Therefore, we will begin applying our pre-emergent herbicide in late January instead of early February. The granular fertilizer with pre-emergent is released based on soil temperature. Therefore, if it turns off cold and snows in February or March the material will not be diluted it will remain in the soil until the soil warms back up. Hopefully we will have a wet year and cool summer. Thank you for your business. Sincerely, Robert Stroud the Turf doctor


Thursday, December 15, 2016

What happens to ungerminated seed from fall 2016?

Since we basically had no rainfall from August through Thanksgiving, there was alot of seed that did not germinate. Irrigated lawns germinated very well, where coverage was good, if they followed our watering instructions. Unirrigated lawns that weren't manually watered daily, did not germinate. This is the 1st time I have seen this issue in 20 years of service. Research shows that if the seed wasn't watered and did not initiate germination, up to 90% of it will germinate in spring, once soil temps warm up (usually mid March). Some seed may wash away if on a slope, but I believe we will be pleasently suprised  by the amount of germination that will hopefully occur. I say hopefully, because I am basing this on information obtained from agronomists that have researched this situation. All agronomists I spoke to said there are many factors that effect how seed performs the following spring. We have put together a list of lawns that definitely need reseeding or at least need touch ups. Customers on that list will be fertilized only during 1st app 2016, to promote new seedling growth. Preemergent will not be applied during 1st app on lawns or spots that need reseeding. We guarantee our fall aeration and overseeding on irrigated lawns. On unirrigated lawns, we can reseed them as needed in spring. I believe the fairest way to handle this situation is to charge customers on unirrigated lawns, only the cost of seed applied. No labor charge will be added. If we need to reaerate, there will be no charge for that. If we aerated and reseeded your lawn in fall of 2016, please contact us by phone or email if you want to insure that you are on the list for spot touch up or reseeding. Thank you for your business. Look for our news letter with prepay option in early January, 2017.

Sincerely, Robert Stroud
The Turf Doctor