Saturday, January 16, 2016

Got Moles?

We are testing a new machine used for gopher mole and vole control. It is called  GopherX. It uses carbon monixide combined with Castor oil to asphixiate the critters in their tunnels, and leave a castor oil coating in the tunnels, which moles do not like. Moles live on the least amount of oxygen compared to gophers and voles.  It only takes about 3 minutes to kill gophers, but may take 15-30 minutes to kill the moles. Moles are territorial, so it requires two treatments about 2 weeks apart to get total control. The first visit will kill all the moles on the property. Over the following two weeks it is likely that moles in bordering properties will investigate and move into the now vacant tunnels on your property. After 2nd treatment, we guarantee you will have no new mole activity for at least 30 days. If you have any new activity within 30 days of 2nd treatment, we will return to do one more treatment for no charge. Once the second treatment is complete and you haven't had activity for 30 days, there will be a charge for future treatments if needed. If you have excellent soil and irrigation, your lawn is a prime location for mole activity. Healthy soils are loaded with earthworms. Moles feed on grubs and/or earthworms. Our hope is this machine will be a more economical and faster method to control your mole issues than trapping or using poison worm baits.   Moles are like weeds in the sense that just because all the weeds or moles you currently have we can kill, doesn't mean new weeds won't germinate or that more moles won't come to your property in the future. Weed control and mole control are ongoing issues. However, by killing all the moles you currently have, you will break the cycle of mature moles having babies on your property. We are licensed to kill moles, and the gopherx will not harm your pets. Watch video at

  Since this is a new service and new machine we are testing, we are offering 2 treatments, 2 weeks apart, at no charge to the first three 2016 PREPAID customers that contact us by email. These 3 PREPAID properties must be under 1 acre to qualify as a  free "beta test" customer. This will help you get rid of any moles you currently have and help us figure out a pricing structure for this service based on the time it takes us to perform the service and how much castor oil is needed to complete the service. Please email if you are interested in being one of the 3 prepay customers to get this free service. Send email to

Sincerely, Robert Stroud The Turf Doctor

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yes, you got weeds!

Now that the soil surface temp has exceeded 90,fescue is basically in "life support" mode. However, Nutsedge, Johngrass, Dallisgrass, crabgrass, spurge, and every other summer weed and fungus is thriving! Pre-emergent is now totally spent through a combination of rainfall and soil temperature. I realize it is frustrating to have a lawn service and a nice lawn through July 4th,only to see weeds go crazy now and fescue suffer. It happens every year, some more than others, depending on heat and moisture.
The second problem is when air temperature above 90 degrees, if we spray nutsedge too heavy, it will fry your fescue! We are happy to do service calls, just call or email! Please know we can only spray weeds until about 11:00am each day during heat wave, but we will get to you, and it may require more than one service call to get them all! Thank you for your patience during this heat. Fall will be here soon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Slime mold coming!

Rain much? I saw this in my front lawn today. Slime mold appears after long periods of daily rain(NOW). They are not actually a turfgrass disease. The (grey, black, tan) spores just hang out on leaf blades until sun dries them. The leaves can yellow a slightly and temporarily slightly from shading of leaf blade, but no problem. Sorry, can't figure how to rotate first pic! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bye bye Poa Trivialis

The "good news" about this early heat wave is all the rough bluegrass that was high yellow in April and looked like nutsedge, its checking out this week! I hate that stuff. On the negative side, nutsedge already kicking! I hate nutsedge more! Its always something.

It ain't no fairway, YO!


I have enjoyed driving around looking at how green and "tight" the lawns have looked over the past month. However, that cool looking, low cut fescue has got to go!  I have noticed and contacted customers to let them know that their mowing height is too low when we see it. Though you can get away with a 2 inch cut on tall fescue through April, you WILL pay the price now, during heat stress and drought stress. YOUR ROOT DEPTH IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO HEIGHT OF CUT. So, if 2 inch roots seem like a good plan vs 3-3.5 inch roots, then don't listen. Fescue should be NO SHORTER THAN 3 INCHES AND NO HIGHER THAN 3.5. That extra 1-1.5 inches higher cut will also protect the plant crown by shading it. In simple terms, the plants crown is basically the "growing point" that allows grass to regenerate after mowing or other damage. If the crown dehydrates and bakes the party is over. If leaf blades dehydrate, the plant can regenerate with water and reduced heat. Think of higher cut as "umbrella" to protect your grass from "shake N bake! Though 3.5 inch grass technically uses more water, the benefits during heat and drought stress WAY outweigh water usage in my opinion.

Weeds such as nutsedge, Johnsongrass, dallisgrass, crabgrass, oxalis, spurge(basically ALL SUMMER WEEDS) proliferate much quicker when the sunlight reaches the soil due to low cut, and turf canopy thins. The saying of the best weed control is a dense stand of grass is true. If you cut lower than 3 inches, more sunlight reaches and heats soil, turf will thin and weeds will grow and thats on you. Bobby don't mow.

Guess what?  Just because your lawn mower setting says 3 inches it doesn't make it so! After you or your mowing service mows, stick a ruler in it. Make sure its 3-3.5,with 3.5 BEING OPTIMAL, especially during heat and drought stress. If we advise you that your mowing too low, please adjust it.

Why not mow at 4 or higher? Because as soon as rain comes, height above 3.5 will hold moisture in the turf canopy during day, when air temps rising. No bueno!

Brown Patch Fungus needs all these items to get busy in tall fescue = susceptible host:

1. Night time temps staying above 60
2. Moisture
3. Humidity

Reduce leaf moisture by reducing humidity in turf canopy by NOT mowing above 3.5 inches.

Thank you for helping me help you to keep grass healthy!


Like, Pay attention to drought stress before it gets critical

We are getting calls with people concerned about the "brown areas" in their lawns. The first areas to suffer drought stress are curbs and any areas near heated surfaces like sideways and driveways. Also, large hardwoods like oaks are in full "suction mode" now that the spring rains have ended and the soil profile is dry. They are beginning to use the water that turf needs closer to the soil surface, and large areas will dry. Also, areas with poor topsoil mixed with rock. The "I CAN'T BELIEVE LAWN IS DRY WITH ALL THE RAIN WE HAD THIS SPRING, is no longer valid. Air temps up but humidity is still lower than usual, so there is NO MORE spring rain water left in the root zone for your grass.

Symptoms: FULLY HYDRATED TALL FESCUE HAS GREEN COLOR WITH FLAT LEAF BLADE! Dehydration onset in FULL sun on tall fescue looks like someone drained the fertilizer and turf yellows as chlorophyll evacuates leaf blade! As fescue starts preparing for DROUGHT the leaf blades roll inward to conserve water and the GRASS LOOKS "skinny with rounded blades". THIS WOULD BE THE IDEAL TIME TO WATER, BEFORE GRASS TURNS BROWN. If grass has already browned, you cannot recover it with your "normal" irrigation schedule. The browning indicates the soil profile within the root zone is parched, and will repel water unless profile is soaked. Put a cup out and water until you catch a minimum of 1inch. Do it 2 consecutive days. Once you have rewet the soil profile, as you can assess by pushing Phillips head screwdriver into soil. Actually, try that in brown areas before you water, but don't break your wrist! Once profile rewet, please let surface dry for 24-48 hours. Turf will recover from drought stress if you rewet soil profile! What we DO NOT want to do is to keep surface wet by daily water, which will feed the nutsedge and encourage "brown patch" If you are  NOT on a slope, and can figure out how to keep your grass green by DEEP, INFREQUENT irrigation, it will reduce nutsedge and fungus development SIGNIFICANTLY this summer.

1. Stages of leaf moisture 

2.  Tree in full "suction mode" drought stressed turf

3. Example of how fescue looks in some sunny areas BEFORE leaf roll begins. Pre stress chlorophyll shutdown = Dark green fescue areas can yellow before leaf rolling begins. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Plant Health Care

I can honestly say I don't know what is wrong with your, shrubs, trees, or flowers! I am strictly a grass Doctor! If you need help with your landscape plants, the man to call is Gary Claiborne 6157997979. He  excels at plant health care and is a  licensed pesticide applicator. He has an arborist on staff as well. Give Gary a call if you want your plants to look as good as your turf!