Welcome to Lawn Talk.

Designed to answer any questions you have regarding fertilization, weed control and ornamental turf diseases. Be sure and scroll to the bottom of the page for helpful articles and past entries.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rain Brings A Fimilar Grassy Weed Roaring Back

In North Texas, rain has fallen more in the last six months than in the last three years. We've all seen the images of flooded areas and some have witnessed the weathers devastation first hand. Having been in a drought the last four years, the rain was a welcome sight, but too much of good thing can backfire. We've seen erosion, flooding, turf disease and above all weeds.
When ornamental turf grasses get water logged, some weeds start growing faster, stronger and in numbers we rarely see. One of those problem weeds is classified as a grassy weed known by most as Nutsedge. Nutsedges are water grasses, often seen in abundance in wet years, it flourishes with a voraciousness when it rains. Nutsedge is differentiated from other weeds in several ways. First, it spreads below the surface with what's called "Tubers" small nodule seed pods that travel laterally just below the surface, and germinate quickly as water puddles or saturates the turf, this attribute makes hand pulling the weed with satisfactory results near impossible. Secondly, it has a triangular stem, with narrow small waxy leaf blades, making applying herbicides difficult as the leaf blade is small and rigid, making saturation of herbicides difficult.
The picture above is that of Purple and Yellow Nutsedge, the most common of the sedge grasses in ornamental turf, these two grassy weeds can produce many seed tubers just below the surface, and be dormant for years without germinating, only to pop up as the yard becomes saturated. Rarely do we see this weed in lawns not well irrigated, and usually the healthier the lawn, the more apt you are to see this problem weed and no other.
If a lawn has not been maintained for sometime, not mowed, nutsedge will produce a seed head once the weed has grown to some height, which in turn can fall to the ground and spread the weed out even more. This is rare as most ornamental lawns are mowed frequently preventing the weed from producing seed, regardless, the tuber just below the surface can germinate and the weed can spread no matter how often the lawns mowed. The other problematic aspect of controlling nutsedge is the narrow leaf blade. Lawn Technicians often find the yard they're treating well mowed, the nutsedge hiding in the grass with little to no leaf surface to apply chemicals to kill it. However, if the tech can treat the yard before the most recent mowing, the weed presents a bigger target of leaf surface for chemicals to adhere to it.
Weather plays a huge part in lawn care, some weeds enjoy wet rainy patterns, while others flourish in hot, dry weather. This year nutsedge is the weed we've seen taking over in most lawns, and its industry wide as company's like Lawn Tech, try and kill the weed with some consistency. The chemicals we have in our arsenal work effectively at killing nutsedges, but the conditions must be right to get a total kill. Usually nutsedge can be controlled with several applications and diligence in applying the chemical if the tech can treat the yard prior to the most recent mowing event, effectively killing the weed.
If you've noticed this problem weed, don't feel bad, everyone seems to have it, and when we've had record rainfall, this little weed is guaranteed to come roaring back in big numbers. Call us today @ 972-346-2696 and we can schedule a time to come out and kill nutsedge, or you can visit our website @ lawntech.com.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Impact Does Rainy Weather Have On My Lawn?

In the region we live in, North Texas, we've grown accustom to drought conditions, we've all learned what it means to be on water restrictions, have our lawns look dry, parched and craving water. But, this year, its a different situation from what we've been forced to adjust to in years past. This year, we have rain, and a lot of it. It seems in Texas it's either feast or famine, we either get very little of something or way too much, and this year its too much rainfall.
This year alone our region has received three times the annual rainfall by May 1st than the last three years combined. It's raining constantly it seems which carries mixed blessings, your lawn gets the water it needs, our area lakes fill up, and nature takes a long deep sighing breath. However in contrast, rainfall can have its drawbacks to maintaining a healthy lawn. When rain fall totals exceed a lawns ability to absorb it, you can get erosion problems, root rot, and disease.
The biggest problem currently with ornamental lawns, is fungus. Fungus starts breeding rapidly when inclement weather meets humid hot air, creating the ideal scenario for fungus to develop and spread on the leaf blade. The weather cycle were currently in now, rain falling every other day, the temperatures rising to the eighties, with little ability to dry out the lawn, this scenario creates an environment for diseases comparable to that of a laboratory setting, the conditions perfect for disease growth.
This weather pattern can be frustrating for the lawn application company as well as the customer. A customer thankful for the rainfall, happy their lawn is getting water, but disappointed as they look at the condition of the lawn and see browning spots or dying areas. So a customer is left scratching their heads, as to why the lawn looks bad, since we've had so much rainfall the lawn should look good right? it's a brain teaser for sure. On the other hand, lawn companies can struggle to meet timelines, scheduling lawn applications only to have them rescheduled due to rainfall. They also struggle with educating the customer as to why the lawn looks bad, having to explain disease and how conditions are ripe for fungus to spread.
The biggest problem with tackling rainy weather is finding time to get out to the lawn, diagnose the lawn, and then find time between rain to apply a much needed disease treatment. Large amounts of rainfall can cause all types of negative aspects when trying to maintain a lawn, its a double edged sword so to speak. We need the rainfall, but with that comes disease, erosion and frustration. The best way to tackle this problem is to keep the customer informed, try and stick to a rigid schedule around rainfall, and apply the best products to stop disease. Lawn Tech, tries very hard to keep the customer informed and make timely treatments available to try and rid the lawn of any diseases.
If you think you have a disease in your lawn currently, call Lawn Tech, we can come out, diagnose the problem and apply a fungicide to stop it in its tracks. Call us today @ 972-346-2696 and we can send someone out to put an end to what the rain has left behind, disease.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Preparing for the Fight, Pre-Emergent is Key

"Let's get ready to rumble" prepare ourselves for the fight, don our battle gear. Are we ready? When you take on any battle you've got to know your opponent, what equipment you'll need for battle and be trained to handle whatever the fight might bring. Well in this case our opponent is any pest you don't want in your yard, specifically weeds.
Are we going to battle with weeds? Sure we are. And experience is on our side. We've learned a few things over the years, I guess you can say we're "Battle Tested" we know as professionals that in order to rid an ornamental lawn of weeds, make it look as pretty as a picture, we have to use pre-emergent. Not only use them, apply them at the right time in order to make the biggest impact.
If your intentions are to have an ornamental lawn, that "Golf Course" look, then pre-emergent is key to obtaining that look. What are the crucial aspects of applying pre-emergent? First, and the most important, time of application. Pre-emergent must be applied certain times of the year, before weeds are allowed to germinate, if you wait too long, the weed can sprout from seed, break the surface and it's too late, post emergent (spraying the surface weed chemically after germination) is all you can apply after weeds germinate. Secondly, it must be watered in to the soil adequately, if not, the chemical cannot reach the weed seed to kill it, so timing, and making sure the homeowner waters the pre-emergent in heavy, is the answer to effective weed control.
So, effectively pre-emergent is crucial, to controlling weeds, it's 50% of the battle, when it comes to the beauty of your lawn. So, back to the analogy of battle, we must be prepared for the fight, how we do that is by being pro-active instead of re-active. We start the season out early, we do not procrastinate. So, if you're dragging your feet on deciding whether or not to hire us for lawn care, don't wait too long, the battle has already started, give us a leg up, by hiring a battle tested team early in the season so that pre-emergent can be applied in a timely manner, waiting only gives the enemy the advantage. Call Lawn Tech today and start the fight against weeds, @ 972-346-2696