Posted by & filed under bulbs .

Late September through October is an excellent time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as crocus, tulips, and daffodils into your landscape beds for a colorful pop next spring. These plants need to develop roots in the fall and must meet a chilling requirement over the winter to bloom in the spring.

It is important to choose a planting site that has full sun to partial shade. Ideally, bulbs would be planted in a sandy loam soil, but even sandy or clay type soils can be used if organic materials such as peat moss, compost, or aged bark are mixed in.

There are several things you can do that will help improve your success rate with bulbs blooming next spring.

  • Plant bulbs two to three times deeper than the height of the bulb. For example, if the bulb is 3 inches tall you will have a hole that is 6 to 9 inches deep so that there is sufficient soil to cover the bulb.
  • Plant bulbs with the “pointy” side facing up.
  • Make sure your soil is in an area with good drainage as bulbs will rot in wet soil.
  • Once the bulbs are in the ground, fertilize with a 5-10-5 granular fertilizer to help the bulbs grow.

A few other things to keep in mind as well.

  • If we experience a dry winter, supplemental watering will be necessary. Even though there are no leaves above the ground surface, the bulb is active producing roots.
  • Be sure to protect the bulbs from pests as well. Squirrels, rabbits, and voles will tend to damage or dig them up if they are planted too close to the surface.
  • Keep bulbs inside flower beds. Planting bulbs in the middle of the lawn will cause problems when trying to apply spring pre-emergent applications, potentially damaging the flowers or leaving spots of the lawn vulnerable to weeds.

With a little planning and extra effort this fall, you will be well on your way to being the envy of your neighborhood next spring. Contact LawnAmerica today.

 

Posted by & filed under Armyworms, fescue .

It’s been very dry in Oklahoma for the past six weeks, making watering your lawn much more important. And if we’ve seeded fescue grass, proper watering is even more important.

We’ve prepared the soil with good aeration. We’ve applied a good starter fertilizer, organic soil amendment, and this year, an insecticide to help prevent armyworms. Now all you have to do is wait for the seed to come up and your lawn will look perfect, right?

WRONG! Without proper watering on a consistent basis, seed will not germinate properly and the new seedlings will not grow. Water is the key, for without it plants will die.

After seeding is complete, refer to the detailed watering instructions we left at your property, which explains how to properly water a newly seeded lawn. Basically, keep the seedbed moist for at least 10 days – watering several times daily if possible.

After the seed germinates, you can cut back on the watering frequency, but the soil must not be allowed to dry out. The seedlings are fragile, with a weak root system, so it will take months for that to effectively develop. Gradually, you can increase the duration of watering, while cutting back on the frequency.

Another key factor is using the best fescue seed possible. If you are doing your own seeding, don’t use what’s available from the big box stores. CLICK HERE for more information on that. At LawnAmerica, we use a blend of three top quality fescue varieties, plus a small amount of perennial ryegrass, with zero weed seed and almost zero crop seed.

We currently find ourselves in one of those warm and dry periods we often get during the fall in Oklahoma. Mother Nature is not helping us much at this point. So please help us out and do your part in watering your lawn and seeded fescue. And remember, it will take several months before seeded fescue will mature and thicken up to be a dense grass, so be patient.

 

 

Posted by & filed under azaleas .

Written by Evie Baltzer, LawnAmerica Horticulturist

Are your Azaleas bright green or yellow in color?

If so, you may have pH problems with the soil around your plants.

You can determine if it’s a pH problem by inspecting the leaves a little more closely. If portions, or in severe cases, all of the leaves on the plant are a bright green to yellowish color, but still have clearly visible green veins, then you have a pH problem.

Left untreated, it will eventually kill the plant. Thankfully, there is an easy remedy.

Azaleas require acidic soil within the pH range of 4.5-6.0. If the soil around the Azalea becomes more alkaline and goes above 6.0, which often happens in our area, then the plant and its subsequent blooms will suffer.

There are several things a homeowner can do to help remedy this problem. Applying Sphagnum Peat, Aluminum Sulfate or Ferrous Sulfate are among the easiest solutions.

Sphagnum Peat and Aluminum Sulfate can usually be found at your local nursery/garden center or at most big box home improvement stores. Two inches of Sphagnum Peat can be added around the root ball of the plant and then tilled into the top eight inches of soil.

Follow directions on the package for Aluminum Sulfate to ensure proper amounts are added. You can also add a thin layer of Sphagnum Peat to Azaleas every year to try to preserve optimum pH levels.

At LawnAmerica, we use Ferrous Sulfate, which is a powdered form of Sulfur. It’s easy to apply, works well, but unfortunately is harder for a homeowner to come by.

In most cases, once you’ve amended the soil with any of these products, you’ll see the leaves start to change back from bright yellowish to its regular green color in about two months or less.

And as always, if you have any questions regarding your property, contact LawnAmerica today.

Posted by & filed under lawn care .

I set out to write an inspiring blog today about the origins of Labor Day. After researching the start of Labor Day, I learned it was not all that inspiring. It is a holiday born out of strikes, clashes and even deaths in the late 1800’s. Many of the traditions associated with Labor Day came to be out of finally recognizing the efforts of the working man, who at that time earned low wages and averaged as many as seven 12-hour workdays each week while working in less than ideal conditions.


In many ways, the conversations that took place back then are the same conversations that take place now. We still have national discussions on work hours, pay, and overall working conditions. Regardless of your point of view though, I think we can all agree that without hardworking Americans, our country would not be the great place it is today.

Here at LawnAmerica, we strive to provide the highest pay possible for our staff, which averages anywhere from 20-40% higher than other lawn care companies. We also strive to provide a great place to come to work, great benefits, the best equipment, and opportunities to grow.

However, this post is not about LawnAmerica the business – it’s about the 68 people that make up LawnAmerica.

Our Route Managers and Technicians spend the year walking 10 miles or more each day while pulling a hose or pushing a spreader. Sometimes those miles are covered during 100 degree days while others are in the cold of winter. There are cloudy days and windy days and days where the storms sneak up on you. There are 50 pound bags of fertilizer to carry around. There are sore muscles and the ever persistent pollen allergies. There are hundreds of phone calls to make each year in addition to knowing about weeds, insects, and fertilizers.

Our office staff may not be subject to the same temperature extremes, but their jobs are equally as challenging. First of all, they have the task of keeping 50 Route Managers and Technicians (who are in their 20’s and 30’s) in line, which can be a full-time job of its own. But in addition to that, they talk to thousands of customers each year – helping to measure properties, set up services, take payments, and solve problems. They manage countless reports helping us not miss services and to make sure that we stay on time. Without them, we would never get anything done!

Our people have always been what makes LawnAmerica great.

To the men and women that make up LawnAmerica; we love and appreciate you!
Happy Labor Day!

 

Posted by & filed under Armyworms .

 

 

UPDATE:

It appears that we are well into our second generation of fall armyworms.

Typically, one generation of fall armyworms can develop in about 18-28 days – depending on weather conditions. The first generation of the 2017 season showed up in north east Oklahoma in late July/early August – leaving plenty of time for multiple generations to affect lawns.

Our recommendation is to continue applying a liquid insecticide to help control populations, especially if you have fescue. While the effected areas on bermudagrass can be significant and unsightly, generally bermudagrass will recover. Fescue, however, will not fare well from the damage of a severe infestation this late in the season.

Multiple insecticides are available at your local home improvement stores to control the fall armyworm, just be sure to read the label and follow the instructions for best results. We are also more than happy to help provide our professionally applied insecticide application. Just give us a call or request the service online here.

For more information on fall armyworms, check out:
1) https://www.lawnamerica.com/blog/what-happened-to-my-yard-armyworms/
2) http://entoweb.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/fallarmyworm.htm
3) http://turf.okstate.edu/pest-management/insects-1/fall-armyworms/
4) http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/Members/donald-stotts-40okstate.edu/fall-armyworms-infesting-some-oklahoma-lawns/


We have been seeing them again in Tulsa and surrounding areas.

In 2014 with the last big invasion, you may remember actually seeing the lawns move as thousands of caterpillars moved across the turf eating grass blades down to the dirt.  You could actually hear the chomping of the insects eating the turf. The key to controlling Armyworms is to treat them with an insecticide when they are smaller and before they do damage to the turf.

The first sign is a grey moth. She will fly in and lay nearly 2,000 eggs just for you. Tiny larvae hatch out and hide down in the thatch. You will need to get on your hands and knees to see them. Within a week or so, they will be mature and much larger. Mostly green with brown racing stripes on the sides of them. They have many generations from now until the first frost.

These devastating pests are rightly named, since they can destroy turf seemingly overnight, as they typically invade the lawns like an army and appear to be marching over the turf.

Fescue is the main concern since they eat it all the way down to the soil, especially when it is hot, it has little chance of survival. We never recommend scalping Fescue, and an Armyworm invasion is like a super scalp job. If your Fescue dies, then you will be re-seeding 100% of your lawn this fall. That will be much more expensive than an insecticide treatment. Armyworms also love to eat Bermudagrass, and can take it down to the stems and dirt too. However, Bermuda is pretty tough, and it will recover in most cases with good irrigation and fertilization. Your lawn will look awful for several weeks before it recovers. If you have a Zoysiagrass lawn, you’re in luck, as typically they won’t touch it.

Scout your lawn, if you see them, we recommend contacting us promptly. If we experience a major invasion of Armyworms in Tulsa, most lawn care companies will be hard pressed to treat everyone who calls that day.