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Had it with the weeds?

This is the time of year when weeds, especially the weed known as nutsedge, really start creeping into our landscapes. Nutsedge is one of those turfgrass weeds that can drive a homeowner nuts. Also known as nutgrass or swampgrass, these weeds are extremely aggressive and frequently infest local lawns, vegetable and flower gardens.

Most nutsedges are perennials (meaning they come back year after year) whose leaves die back in the fall when temperatures begin to drop. Nutsedge prefers moist soil, although it can thrive in almost any kind of soil – even dry soil. These pesky weeds spread by either small tubers, by creeping rhizomes or by seed. New tubers begin forming four to six weeks after a new shoot emerges. Individual nutsedge plants can form patches up to 10 feet or more in diameter.

Nutsedge can be very tricky to get rid of and controlling it is likely to be a lengthy process. Long term control includes both cultural and chemical management methods. Once controlled, sanitation is required to prevent new infestations. Any new outbreak should be managed immediately to prevent the spread of additional weeds. The most effective way to control nutsedge is by employing a combination of several different methods.

Here are some ways to control nutsedge in your landscape:

  • Follow all recommended practices for your grass type including mowing at the ideal height, applying fertilizer at the proper rate and time, and maintaining the ideal soil PH.
  • Proper watering is key, since nutsedge thrives in excessively moist soil, so be aware of the amount and timing of irrigation. Poor drainage can also create the perfect environment for nutsedge.
  • Monitor and treat insect and disease infestations to prevent bare spots that may become infested by nutsedge.
  • Thoroughly clean tools and equipment such as tillers that have been used in an infested area to avoid spreading tubers and rhizome.
  • Eliminate very small patches of nutsedge by digging. Ensure removal of the spreading tubers by digging at least 10 inches deep and eight to ten inches beyond the diameter of the above-ground plant. This is best done early in the spring before more tubers are produced.
  • Control chemically with post-emergence herbicides. Because different herbicides are effective against different species, it is important to correctly identify the nutsedge species in your lawn. Herbicides also vary regarding the plants they can be safely used around without causing damage. Always check the label to make sure the pesticide you choose is safe for surrounding plants. Our experts recommend Hi-Yield Nutsedge Control. This selective post emergent herbicide can be used in landscaped areas or lawns. May be used on both cool and warm season turfgrass including: Bahia, Bermuda, Centipede, Creeping Bentgrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, St. Augustine, Tall and Fine Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia.

Learn to recognize Nutsedge to avoid accidentally bringing it in topsoil or plants. Here's a few tips on identifying nutsedge:

Yellow nutsedge is most easily identified by the triangular shape of the stem. If you roll the stem of the plant in your fingers, you should be able to feel the triangular shape. The leaves are light green to yellowish and are slick or waxy to the touch. It grows most actively during the hot summer months. Typically, the leaves will grow 2 to 4 inches above the turf canopy. Yellow nutsedge is not as easy to see in early spring and in fall, when temperatures are cooler and growth is slower.

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Summer in the 757! Gardening To-Dos

With the first official day of summer arriving this week, June 21st to be exact... we've listed a few sizzlin' summer tips for gardening in the 757. From watering to lawn care, here's what you should be doing now to keep your garden going through the summer. Remember if you need help, our three year-round locations are here to answer any questions.

  1. As your tomato plants grow, remember to secure them. You can bind them to a tomato cage or stake them. This way, your plants will be supported and not flop over. We recommend using a stretch tie. As the plant grows, the tie expands with it, therefore it does not hurt the plant stem and trunk. This also works well for other summer favorites, such as oriental lilies and dahlias.
  2. Water, Water, Water. As the days get warm and the hot hazy days of summer set in, remember your plants in pots need more water. The next time you finish watering with your hose, fill up your watering can. This way you give you plants a little drink between waterings.
  3. It's best to water your plants early in the day to ensure maximum growth and minimum disease problems.
  4. Now's the time to feed your warm season lawns such as Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia. We recommend using classic lawn food 16-0-8, a slow-release fertilizer that comes in a 20lb. bag that will cover up to 5,000 square feet. To keep your lawn looking great, mow weekly or twice a week. Position the mower blades to the warm season lawn at a height of 2 to 3 inches. Mow fescue lawns at a height of 4 to 5 inches.
  5. Remove faded flowers from annuals to encourage repeat blooms and keep it producing longer into the season.
  6. Feed your gardenias. These plants love nitrogen and iron. To encourage maximum growth and blooms, we recommend feeding them with McDonald Greenleaf Fertilizer 12-4-8, which is a great source of nutrients as well as iron.

Got Weeds? Say Goodbye with Killzall.

Killzall by Hi-Yield does what it says... it will kill any plant you spray it on. So be careful and make sure it is something you definitely want to kill. This is not a selective herbicide, meaning you can not spray it over your desirable lawn or plants and kill weeds. It will kill or seriously hurt any plant it touches. This is a traditional method of removing any vegetation. This product kills to the roots by absorption of the liquid through the leaf through the process of drying on the leaf of the vegetation by the sun.

Killzall is a great solution for those troublesome weeds around your home. We recommend using it to kill weeds in cracks, in concrete or between pavers. You can also use Killzall on weeds in flowerbeds ~ being careful not to spray on desirable plants. The best time to spray is when the sun is out and the vegetation being sprayed is in the sunlight, no wind at time of spraying, and no rain in the forecast for three hours. The warmer the weather the quicker the results.

Best of all, you can plant after seven days of spraying Killzall. So, that means you can kill an area of vegetation to form a new bed and plant the very next week. It is safe for pets and humans to have contact with the area sprayed after it has dried. This product does not harm root systems. It only works when sprayed on the leaves of plants and then it kills to the roots. You may spray around the base of trees to control weeds, as long as you don’t spray the tree it self.

Our three year-round locations carry the complete line of Killzall products including 8-32oz concentrates and Extended Control Killzall. Visit us today and find out all the weed control products available.

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