Q: Why don’t you apply chemicals to control weeds in flower beds and groundcover?
A: Lawns only have one plant species to deal with, whereas in a flower bed, there are a multitude of different plant species, which may not be tolerant to the herbicides we use. Some bedding plants may be very sensitive. Flower beds with Marigolds, Alyssum, or Petunias which can germinate from seed, could be have disrupted germination.
Q: How do I control weeds in my flower beds and groundcover?
A: I suggest “working-in” a soil builder such as Back-to-Earth, which will keep the soil from becoming compact. After this is done, create a layer of cypress bark mulch about 1-1/2 inches deep. This will stop almost all weeds that germinate from seed and keep the soil from drying out. Any weed that escapes can be hand-pulled. If you want to put chemicals in your flower beds yourself, try Portrait for spurge control and Surflan, Balan, or Betasan for grass control. If grassy-type weeds including Bermuda grass escape control, try Grass-B-Gon, which can be sprayed over the top of most flowers without fear of injury. These chemicals can be harmful, so read label directions carefully.
Q: How important is mowing-height?
A: Very important! Mowing too low defeats our chemical control efforts. We tell all our customers what mowing height is best for their lawn, and that height should be consistently maintained.
Q: How soon does the blue dye tracer disappear and will it damage my concrete?
A: The color will fade rapidly after treatment, usually within 3 – 10 days, depending on temperature. It is difficult for us to avoid getting the blue dye on your concrete simply because we want the chemicals to penetrate the crack in order to kill weed-seed that might germinate between the lawn and the concrete.
Q: Will I need to spend much on watering my lawn?
A: Probably more than average. We strongly recommend applying 1.5″ of water per week (measured accurately by a strategically placed rain gauge.) This is alot of water, but the combined efforts of chemical and fertilizer treatments cannot work effectively without it. It’s like a doctor treating a patient…if the patient won’t take enough medicine, his condition might not improve. You won’t like the stressed-look of a thirsty lawn, and neither do I.
Q: Should I plant more trees…won’t they keep my grass cooler?
A: We don’t recommend “creating your own forest ” if you are looking to show-off a beautiful, green lawn! In the first place, Bermuda requires 10 – 12 hours of full sunlight. In fact, 10 to 15 year-old homes have less than 6 hours of sunlight due to heavy shade by large trees. Fescue only needs 4 hours of full sunlight, but can tolerate 12 hours of full sun. Our best lawns have limited shade.
Q: How often do you apply chemicals and fertilizer?
A: Our customers will receive a postcard notifying them of an upcoming treatment. If you have a dog and/or are unable to open your gates at the prescribed time of our arrival, you will need to call us to make an appointment.
Q: Is there a special time to kill grubworms?
A: Yes. If you have grubworms living in your lawn, they could be nine to ten months old and are very difficult to control. Our grubworm treatment program will control the new generation of grubworms in May and June. The old grubworms will stop feeding in April and May. You may want to allow them to complete their life-cycle before we eradicate the newest generation.
Q: Are there any weeds you cannot kill?
A: Yes, the two prime candidates that cannot be controlled are, Purple Clover (Red Woodsorrel) and Fescue grass in a Bermuda lawn. There is nothing on the market that can control these two weeds, but we remain hopeful. Nutsedge is another “difficult” weed, however we now have a chemical called Manage which we use to treat Nutsedge after it first comes up. We are able to acheive a moderate level of control, though total eradication is still not possible.
© 2017 Dana Palmer