Archive for August, 2010

It’s great to be alive!

The weatherman says the high temperature for tomorrow will be eighty degrees. hallelujah! It’s amazing what a difference it makes when it’s below one hundred degrees. The days are getting shorter, the Sasanqua Camellias are full of flower buds, life is good. With the decrease in temperature we will see an increase in late summer insects. Whitefly and lacebug are hatching, scales have been around all summer. If these insects are reaching damaging levels, this is a good time to control them. My pick is Horticultural oil. Be thorough in your application. What else can you be doing these fine late summer evenings? De thatch your perennials, cultivate your annuals. Both could use a little bump of low nitrogen fertilizer. Take your soil samples. if you need lime , the earlier you can apply it, the sooner you will see the results. Continue to water at one inch per week. The soil temperature will start falling in late September so any landscape projects should be planned now. please contact me anytime with your questions.

Historical Summer Weather brutilize Horticulturists and Gardeners

On June 6th the Summer of 2010 began to show her true colors.  Now, 70 days later, most plants, lawns and people who work outside are showing the effects of the hottest summer in more than thirty years. From a horticulturists perspective, I have seen symptoms of plant stress of which have been long forgotten. Pest infestations have been very atypical. I will venture out into my home landscape today to evaluate plant roots. The tops of most plants are either burnt or off-color. If the roots look good,  then we can revive almost all plants in the next 30-45 days. I would suggest early morning watering totalling one inch of moisture per week. A light fertilization with a quick release, low nitrogen fertilizer should help. Watch out for Fall Army Worms on Bermuda grass and occasionally Zoysia.  Off color, generally thinning of the turf is a good indicator. Two tablespoons of dishwater detergent in a gallon of water as a drench will quickly bring the worms into view. Treat with a general Turf insecticide which is labeled for Fall Army Worms at the recommended rate. Turf weeds have been epic this year. Unfortunately, with the daytime temperatures over 90 degrees, chemical control has not been available. Frequent mowings to thicken up turf should help crowd out some weeds. When daytime high temperature do not exceed 90 degrees, chemical weed control can resume. Thankfully, the extreme heat has not allowed the Whitefly and Lacebug populations to become a problem. As the weather cools, the species may make a comeback in a hurry. I will control with Horticultural Oil. This should help control not only the whiteflies and lacebugs, but also the Scale insect populations which are EVERYWHERE. Containerized plants have really taken a beating. With the soil above ground, the temperature of the soil surrounding the plant roots is very high. Root damage is high. Root stimulation by repotting and proper watering should help. Days are getting shorter. Fall and Spring plants are setting flower buds. Be carefull when trimming to not cut to hard. You will be cutting off these flower buds. Take you soil tests in September. If you require lime, Apply in November. It takes between three and six months to adjust the soil ph. I,m sorry for the lapse in blog intervals. Most days , after be assaulted all day by the heat, I was not up to blogging. Keep you questions coming in on our website. Yours in planthood, SMS.