Posted by & filed under pre-emergent .

Comparing lawn care programs and pricing can be a lot like trying to understand the difference between the colors lime green and chartreuse.  So let’s see if we can shed some light on a common question; are two pre-emergent applications better than one?

First of all, weed control products in their most basic forms break down into two major categories

  • Pre-emergent Herbicides – These are products applied before (pre-) weeds begin to germinate. The timing of application depends on the product and the type of weeds to be prevented.
  • Post-emergent Herbicides – These are products applied after a weed has germinated to kill the weed through various modes of action.

Post-emergent herbicides can also be broken down further into Selective Herbicides and Non-Selective Herbicides.  Roundup is probably one of the most recognized non-selective products, meaning that it is supposed to kill everything it is sprayed on, weed or grass.   Selective Herbicides, on the other hand, are usually labeled for specific types of weeds and are only effective on those types of weeds.

Lawn care companies all have access to the same chemicals, though it seems that everyone has their own model of success.  Some companies apply a single pre-emergent to prevent weeds like crabgrass while others split it up and apply two rounds of pre-emergent.  The question is, does one method outperform the other?

To answer that question, we have to establish that regardless of how many times a company applies a pre-emergent, there is a maximum amount of product that can be applied over the course of the year.  Programs that apply a single application of pre-emergent usually apply at the higher rate, giving as much as eight months of control.   Programs that apply two rounds of pre-emergent will decrease the rate of the product by half for each application.  So in reality, you are getting the same amount of pre-emergent, just spaced out by a month or two.

At LawnAmerica, we choose to apply at the high-end of pre-emergent rates and complete the process in a single application.  We feel like this provides the most value to the homeowner and allows us to invest in better fertilizers and post-emergent products for the second application of the season, rather than selling you the same service twice.

 

So back to the question; one or two applications?

 

The answer is both are effective options when applied according to the manufacturer’s label.  The biggest difference comes down to cost.  Do you want to pay twice for something that can be accomplished once?

If you haven’t had a pre-emergent application yet this year or if you aren’t sure if you got a full rate of pre-emergent from a previous application, give us a call, we can make sure you are covered.

Posted by & filed under Barricade, blue lawns, pre-emergent .

It’s not uncommon this time of year to see lawns scattered throughout neighborhoods that have been sprayed blue or in some cases a neon green.  What’s up with that?

Basically, it is just a dye that some companies add to their weed control applications.  The color adds nothing to the effectiveness of products being sprayed.  The added dye doesn’t help the weeds die faster or disappear sooner.  It doesn’t make the pre-emergent last longer, and it doesn’t cause the grass to come out of dormancy quicker.

It does, however, make a mess on concrete and fences.  Generally, the color breaks down quickly in sunlight, but until that happens, you are stuck with it.

So if there is no real value to the turf, why do some companies use it?

Some companies use it a training tool for new, untrained employees to learn how to cover the entire lawn adequately.  Others use it as an advertising method, hoping that if you see your neighbors yard all of sudden turn blue, that you will call and want yours turned blue too.

Here at LawnAmerica, we don’t make a practice of using a blue dye in our Round 1 applications.  Rather than investing in dyes, we use that money to invest in the best pre-emergent, Barricade, along with top of the line post-emergent and liquid fertilizers, and the best employees in the industry to make sure your lawn performs at its best.

There is one exception where we utilize a little bit of blue dye in our backpacks. When we are spraying for fescue clumps in warm season grasses, we will incorporate a dye to make sure we got to all of the clumps.  Spraying fescue clumps is just one of the extra steps that LawnAmerica provides to our customers.  Many companies charge extra for spraying these clumps, but here it is just part of your program.

If you haven’t scheduled your Round 1 Pre-Emergent application to prevent crabgrass this year, now is the time to get it done.  Soil temperatures are warming up, and Spring will be here before you know it.  Give us a call at 1-866-567-5296 or head over to our website to sign up today!

Posted by & filed under lawn care, pre-emergent .

Every year it seems that Oklahoma weather does its best to throw some curveballs our way.  2018 has been no exception thus far.  We have seen everything from drought conditions, to record high temps, followed by record low temps, and just this past week a deluge of rain.

All of these changing conditions can be tough on your lawn and landscape.

There are a few things you can do though that will help your lawn and landscape perform well this spring.

  • Turn your sprinkler off and allow the landscape to dry out a bit. Too much water can be more detrimental than not enough water.  When soils remain too moist, roots tend to stay close to the ground.  As soils dry out, roots tend to go deeper, which in turn creates a plant that is better able to survive changing conditions.
  • Don’t scalp your lawn yet. While we may be enjoying warmer temps this week, it is Oklahoma, so the odds of another cold snap (or even dare I say snow) are fairly  Scalping this early in the season puts your lawn at a greater risk of being damaged or stunted before the growing season gets into full swing.
  • Don’t aerate your lawn. One of the national companies has spent years confusing homeowners with their recommendation of aerating in the spring.  It really is a terrible idea.  Warm season turf isn’t actively growing, so all you are doing is poking holes in the ground and injuring the turf at a point when the plant is focused on coming out of dormancy.  Late spring into summer is the ideal time for aerating in OK.

For cool season grasses, such as tall fescue, aeration should only occur in conjunction with seeding.  Aerating now just tears up existing turf and since tall fescue doesn’t spread it won’t recover from the damage until more seed is planted in the fall.

  • Apply a pre-emergent. Weeds will germinate.  It is a fact of life, much like the changing seasons and the rising sun each morning.  Applying a pre-emergent at the right times will help to keep many of those weeds in check.  No pre-emergent will prevent all   Spring pre-emergent applications are usually applied to stop crabgrass.  Timing is essential for the application to be effective.
  • Prune ornamental grasses. Cut back the brown, dormant vegetation to make room for new spring growth for the base of the plants.  Make sure you have some gloves, and a pair of sharp shears as some varieties can be difficult to work with.

With a little bit of extra effort this time of year, you can get a jump start on a great looking landscape.

Of course, you can always call LawnAmerica.  With more than 19 years of pleasing customers, we are ready to help, especially with your weed-control and fertilization needs.   Give us a call to learn more about our Spring Specials!

Posted by & filed under crepe myrtles .

By Evie Baltzer, Staff Horticulturist

Crape Murder

I’m sure many of you have heard the term, “Crepe murder,” so today I wanted to talk about how to trim Crepe Myrtles properly and how to avoid, “murdering,” them.

The best time to trim back Crepe Myrtles is in February or March, when they are just coming out of dormancy. While Crepe Myrtles do not have to be trimmed to leaf out and have blooms in the summertime, trimming will most effectively spur on leaves and blooms for the coming season.

Crepe Myrtles can endure a drastic amount of trimming and will even thank you for it. Here are some rules of thumb:

  • Remove half of the branch length. For example, if the Crepe Myrtle is 6 ft. tall, cut it back to 3 ft. While this is optimum, it isn’t a requirement; cutting off any amount will help.
  • If you pruned your Crepe Myrtle back the previous year, make your new cut about 2 inches above last year’s cut to avoid the gnarly claw like growth pattern that we refer to as, “Crepe murder.”
  • Even Dwarf Crepe Myrtles will benefit from being pruned.

Be mindful of winter kill on Crepe Myrtles this spring. The extreme cold temperatures this winter may have killed parts or all of a Crepe Myrtle. Since they are Southern plants, they suffer severely when temperatures fall below 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also only see new growth on your Crepe Myrtles coming up from the base of the plant and consequently no new growth on any of the existing branches.

As always, when you are out trimming your Crepes, inspect the branches for scale. This insect will look like tiny round white dots stuck randomly on each branch. Scale is running rampant through our area right now, so it’s very possible your landscape is already affected. If it is, don’t worry! LawnAmerica has treatments available and suggestions you can do as a homeowner.

Happy pruning!

Posted by & filed under drought, Landscaping .

By Chris Segraves, Operations Manager of the Tulsa Markets

 

Pop Quiz – What is the process that combines severe dryness with super cooled air? If you answered, “freeze drying,” then give yourself a pat on the back! While freeze drying is great for preserving food, it is not helpful for the landscape. We are once again facing severe drought in Oklahoma this winter. Combined with the stretches of intense artic blasts we’ve received, our landscapes are in quite the silent struggle right now. According to the drought maps, nearly 100% of our state is currently experiencing drought; that’s over eight million people! Drought not only affects people, but also plants and animals of all kind as well.

So what does this mean for your landscape? The trees, plants and turf alike are experiencing stress on their root systems which affect their ability to come out of dormancy. If they have been able to hold on this long, any landscape plants that were installed in the fall, or fescue that was over seeded, are surely at a standstill. Even your drought tolerant species such as Crepe Myrtle, Juniper, Zoysia, and Bermuda are likely to have a tough time this spring. Bermuda and Zoysia may take quite a long time to recover. Juniper may be turning a pale off green color and Crepe Myrtles may come out of dormancy with nothing more than tufts of sprouts at the base. Just as we saw last year, winter kill, as it is known in the industry, is highly likely again this year. In some cases, it could be even worse because this is a consecutive year. The cumulative affects have everyone guessing and waiting to see what is in store in the coming months.

What can a person do to give their landscape its best chances of surviving winter kill? It is a good practice to leave warm season grasses, “tall in fall,” for some increased protection against cold winters. It also helps to reduce evaporation of its life sustaining water. The best defense is to water on some of the days that have temperatures above freezing to lessen their burden during dry spells. However, with this year’s drought combined with the severe cold temperature snaps, its protection can only extend so far. As frustrating as it is, the main ingredients for getting through this season are time and patience. As always, you can rest assured that LawnAmerica will be at the ready to give your landscape everything it needs to recover as we move into spring. Thank you for letting us serve you. We will see you soon!