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

No, it’s not an April Fools, that’s solid green bermudagrass in your lawn, and it’s only April 3rd. In over 32 years of caring for lawns in Tulsa, and now Oklahoma City, I’ve never experienced the turf to be this far along so soon in coming out of dormancy. As long as we don’t have one of those mid-Spring freezes during the next few weeks, that’ll be great. But it is Oklahoma remember, and the weather can turn on a dime.

With the warm soil temperatures, crabgrass is up and running, although the weeds are very small now. We are still applying a pre-emergent at LawnAmerica, switching to a product named Dimension. It will still control young crabgrass that has germinated and still in the 1-2 seed leaf stage. So Dimension will still work well in preventing crabgrass, as long as it’s applied over the next few weeks.

With a pre-emergent down earlier, our existing customers are seeing their first application of a granular fertilizer applied. We use a much higher quality product than anyone around, a 36-1-3, with 70% slow-release Nitrogen. The slow and timed release of the Nitrogen is key, as it gradually provides nutrients over a 12 week period, rather than hitting the turf all at once. So our fertilizer will do a nice job of greening up the turf, sustaining that color for up to 12 weeks, without the surge of topgrowth that other fertilizers will cause.

Posted by & filed under General, lawn care .

 

Doughrooms

Don’t be fooled…..these are dangerous!

The effects of global warming are being demonstrated right before our eyes now in Tulsa and Oklahoma City lawns, of all places.  We’ve been receiving strange reports at LawnAmerica of doughnuts appearing overnight in area lawns. That’s weird enough, but our concern is that people have been eating those, only to experience some sort of hallucinogenic effect and acting goofy and such after consuming these. Brian Jervis, O.S.U Turfgrass extension agent and Master Gardener Director has stated his office has been receiving these same calls this past week, saying, “From the calls that have been coming in to the Extension Office in Tulsa County, it seems that these doughrooms are really attracted to well-manicured, weed-free hybrid turfgrasses. But it is hard to gauge as the callers were really slurring their words.”

What has happened is with the extremely warm winter and now spring, a rare mushroom has moved up from Mexico, that historically grows only in hot, dry climates. And in Mexico, they are known for their hallucinogenic effects on people, not harming them, but causing them to act goofy, almost like they are drunk or high on something. Well, as the species has moved north into Texas and now Oklahoma, it’s actually evolved into what’s called a doughroom. Seems that it looks more like a doughnut than a mushroom, and it appears very suddenly only after a hot spell, when temperatures cool just a little at night to below 48 degrees and the humidity increases to be above 60. So a homeowner wakes up to discover what looks like doughnuts all over their lawn!

These are actually doughooms, not doughnuts, but tell that to a lady leaving for the office without breakfast or a hungry kid on his way to school. Many have been gobbling these up, only to be a little loopy a few hours later. Reports from Owasso are that a most of a 4th grade class had gone crazy and tied up their teacher with masking tape while going out for recess all day running around on the playground. And homeowners have been thinking they were like Moses and the Israelites receiving “doughnuts from heaven” or something. And after consuming these doughrooms, they’ve been reported to be doing crazy, illogical things, like calling Trugreen to care for their lawn rather than locally-owned LawnAmerica.

So if doughrooms appear in your lawn, don’t pick them, and for sure don’t eat them! Only LawnAmerica has the control for these. Contact us now, and we’ll have one of our friendly, experienced Route Mangers come out to spray these and rid your lawn of this invasive species. Or we can safely gather those up, and take them to our sales guy, Darrell. Some people are immune to the goofy effects of Doughrooms, and he is one of the lucky few. He can consume mass quantities of these, and not show any of the hallucinogenic effects of these.

And…….Happy April Fools Day from LawnAmerica!

Posted by & filed under lawn care, mowing, weather, Weed-Control .

Weeds can be tough to control, especially in spring. And that’s why many homeowners in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City area call LawnAmerica and depend upon us to help control weeds. Weeds that our up and growing now are mainly winter annual weeds, which germinate way back in fall and into early spring. They are hard to control now since they are going to flower and at the end of their normal life cycle. Post-emergent weed sprays are effective, but they are not perfect. There are things a homeowner can do to help with controlling existing weeds.

  1. Mow the weeds and lawn about 5 days after a treatment.
  2. Make sure to water in the pre-emergent applied to prevent summer weeds.
  3. Be patient, as it takes time for weeds to die, especially in cool weather.
  4. Call LawnAmerica for free service calls if needed to spot-treat persisting weeds.

For more information on weed-control in spring, VISIT HERE.

 

Posted by & filed under Flowers, General, Landscaping .

Annual FlowersWith all the warm spring weather, it’s tempting to pick up some flats of those brightly colored flowers at the nursery and plant them into your flower bed. Annual flowers are true to their name, meaning they survive just one season and do not come back year after year as perennials do. I like perennials, for this very reason, that you don’t have to be continually planting new stuff every year. However, annuals do have their place in the home gardens of Oklahoma, so here are some recommendations for those.

You’ll pay more for purchasing annual flowers in packs that are growing rather than trying to establish from seed. It’s much easier and faster though, so I usually go this route. There are some popular flowers such as Pansies that can be planted in fall or early spring, and they are really nice. With the summer heat though, they’ll be gone by June. So at this point in the spring, I’d recommend going with more of a summer annual that grows and produces flowers up until the first frost of fall. Proven and new varieties of Marigolds, Periwinkle, Petunia, Snapdragon, and Begonias are hard to beat. Lantana and Melampodium will thrive in our Oklahoma heat. And consider Ornamental Sweet Potato for an easy, fast-growing vine that fills in gardens with green foliage, just no flowers.

We are still two weeks away from the frost date, so I’d wait until after April 15th and allow the soil to warm up a little more before planting annuals. And don’t forget that some old varieties such as Zinnia and Marigold can easily be established from seed, which is much cheaper than planting small plants rooted in cell packs. For more information, CLICK HERE for an OSU Factsheet on Ornamental Flowers.

Posted by & filed under bermudagrass, lawn care, mowing, Uncategorized, weather .

ScalpingWhat a “winter” we’ve had! In 32 years of caring for lawns in Oklahoma, I”ve never seen as much green bermudagrass in mid to late March as I’m seeing now. Seems that with all the global warming talk, it’s being verified here right before our eyes with pushing the lawncare season up by weeks. With the warm spring weather, many folks are firing up their mowers and out scalping their lawns. We always discourage this due to the higher likelihood of winterkill on bermudagrass.

It’s Oklahoma, so if it’s 90 degrees today, it could be freezing a few days later. That’s our concern. Typically, we can still have a hard freeze before April 15th, and we are still over 3 weeks away from being there. So don’t let this warm spring fool you, we could still be in for cold weather. And if the bermudagrass is too green and growing then, an April freeze even in the high 20’s could severely damage or even kill bermudagrass.

Bermudagrass is a warm-season turf, and goes dormant in late fall through winter to protect the crown and topgrowth from cold damage. As the weather warms the soil, new growth will grow from the crown at the base of the plant, sending new green stems and leaves up from the ground. The root system is also re-generating at this time, sending new roots into the soil. By scalping the turf down with mowing at a very short level, the soil is exposed more and warms up quicker, leading to more shoot growth. And scalping also removes that thick insulating layer of brown grass, which protects the crown and root system from sudden temperature drops.

Therefore, we strongly advocate waiting until after the freeze date of April 15th before scalping your lawn in Oklahoma. It’s fine to mow at a 2″ level or so just to clean it up or remove any weeds. Just don’t take it down the ground. Leave that “blanket” of turf on until the chance of a freeze is over. I’ve experienced a few years when the bermudagrass greened up early like now, only to have a hard freeze during early April whack it back so much that the turf really did not fill in until late May. So if you’re anxious to get out and enjoy the warm weather, go ride a bike, plant a tree, plant your garden, anything other than scalping your bermudagrass now. And never scalp fescue, or you may just kill it!