09 Sep 2017

5 Common Problems with Bermuda Grass

Bermuda Grass is commonly used on golf courses, baseball fields, football fields, and soccer fields. It is a thin-bladed grass with much thinner blades than St. Augustine and Zoysis grass. It is great for areas prone to drought due to its resistance to such climate conditions. Furthermore, it is compatible with many types of soils. If the mowing is completed carefully and fertilization is well-taken care of, then it is a fairly good choice for establishing a reasonable turf. The common Bermuda is planted using seed or sprigs. However, there are new hybrid versions of the grass that are much superior in quality. The common Bermuda has a medium texture while the hybrid version is finer. The tolerance to cold temperatures and high traffic is considered to be good. While it is resistant to drought, it needs weekly watering for retaining its green color. While the Bermuda Grass is a well-chosen option for installing turfs, it does have a few problems.

Here are some of the problems you may face having Bermuda grass:

  1. Weeds – This grass gets both broad leaf weeds (these are weeds that grow in the fall, winter, and early spring). Your store bought weed and feed will kill these weeds.

Note: Remember broad leaf weeds will die on their own come spring when the temp goes up.

  1. Difficult to control weeds – You have two categories of difficult to control weeds.
  • The type that likes to grow during fall and winter months, which die off on their own come spring due to rising temp.
  • The type that likes to grow during the spring and summer and die off on their own come fall.

Both types flourish during certain times of the year. So it’s a revolving door; trading one for the other per season. These difficult to control weeds cannot be killed with your store bought weed and feed. You must buy a difficult to control weed controller labeled for that Pacific weed.

Note: I’ve heard this 2 million times. I bought a weed and feed, put it down, and I still have weeds everywhere. You have to buy a difficult to control weed controller and apply it according to the label. If you don’t treat for difficult to control weeds over time, they will take over the lawn.

  1. Sod webworms – This insect starts feeding around June and stops around December. Moths are commonly seen. Moths lay their eggs, babies hatch, and start to feed on the grass.
  2. Drought Stress – Needs consistent watering during summer. This grass doesn’t have to be watered as much as St. Augustine; making it more tolerant to summer heat and drought.
  3. Mower stress – Most common during summer months. Likes to be mowed 2+ 2 to 2 ½ inches high. During the summer, I recommend mowing 2+ 2 ½ due to heat. You may see where the mower has gone across the lawn and left a brown streak. This is common during summer months. Water shortly after the lawn has been mowed. Give 4 to 5 days, let grass grow up, and color will come back.

Bermuda Grass is a good choice for laying a quality turf. Despite a few drawbacks, it is fairly easy to establish; not to mention that it is less costly too. As far as the common problems discussed in this post, you can easily prevent or treat them using a bit of careful maintenance. Hope that the information and solutions I have provided will help you have a better experience with Bermuda Grass.

28 Aug 2017

5 Reasons to Seek Professional Help with Your Lawn

Often folks ask me why leverage a professional versus doing it themselves. I list a few of those reasons below.

1. Time – We all are busy and would prefer to spend our free time with friends and family. Proper treatment of a yard as well as the research to teach yourself how to do it can be time consuming.

2. Effort – Most people overlook the effort required to properly treat their yard. Buying products, putting those products down, trying to guess what problem to treat for. The list goes on and on. And that doesn’t account for having to fix any mistakes.

3. Money – Often the cost of a professional service is just a small amount of money more than the cost of the products you need to buy. These products are fertilizer, weed control, insect control and fungicides for your yard problems. Professionals buy in bulk much cheaper than consumers for the same products. I didn’t even mention aeration equipment.

4. Eliminate guess work – Professionals know exactly what to do eliminating rework. As well as the ability to properly diagnose problem to get them fixed quickly.

5. Guaranteed results – I guarantee if I kill your yard I will re-sod it. I’ve done it and replaced a yard before. If you apply too much fertilizer and kill your own yard you will have to pay for the new sod yourself.

If you have the time and are eager to learn by all means do it yourself. I have tons of content specifically to educate you on how to do it. However, if you prefer the easy button just reach out to me for a free evaluation and quote.

16 Aug 2017

Brown Patch Disease/Fungus

What is Brown Patch Disease?

This is a disease that shows up in St. Augustine/Zoysia grass from late August up until spring (give or take a week or two). It is a disease in the soil. In that area, it’s like cancer in the soil. It forms a brown circle or a ring, sometimes it looks like crop circles, can be disfigured also. Nothing can stop it from coming up, or get rid of it, or make it smaller, it is incurable. Yes, it will come up in your lawn every fall and run until spring. Eight to ten St. Augustine lawns, will have this disease (it is very common). Cooler soil temperatures in the fall and winter makes the disease come out of its dormant state, spreading and scarring the lawn in the mean time. In the spring the disease will go dormant and areas will recover 100 percent. As temperatures in the spring go up a long with temperatures outside this will cause the disease to go dormant, being it doesn’t like hot soil temperatures. Inside the brown patch areas the grass will turn brown and look like it’s dying but it’s not, it is temporarily bruising the lawn. The disease will weaken those areas, turning them brown, and you may get a little top growth but not to be alarmed, it will recover. You can rake areas if you choose, it will not hurt the lawn, but don’t take clippings out of area and transfer clippings to other parts of the lawn because you can be spreading the disease. The following spring, those area’s may be slower to recover than others due to the stress from the disease. At times you can see a golden yellow ring will be around the brown patch circle this means the disease is very active, and spreading.

How do I get Brown Patch Disease?

There a number of ways of getting Brown Patch Disease, soil moving from one lawn to another, mowing services, lawn care services, also walking over the disease and transferring it to another lawn. Brown Patch Disease being a soil disease it is fueled by cooler soil temperatures and a lot of moisture. These two combined, triggers the disease to come out of dormancy. The disease does not like hot soil temperatures or weather this is why it goes dormant during the spring and summer. It is a fall and winter disease, going dormant coming spring. The roots of the grass will stay intact, rooted into the soil if it is Brown Patch Disease. A little dead top growth will come out of spots if raked out, unlike Grub Worms roots are cut in half and grass will pull up with no root connection into the soil, very easily. I have heard of people taking dirt out of areas and putting new dirt and new sod, and brown patch not showing up again and I have also heard that it has shown up again after replacing the dirt and sod so there is a 50/50 chance that it will work for you.

What to do to treat Brown Patch?

Fungicide is a product that will slow brown patch disease from spreading and scarring the lawn so bad. It will not stop it from coming up, or get rid of it, or make the spot smaller, it just slows it down from growing. Watering your lawn properly during brown patch season, can help you also minimize the spreading and scarring of the disease. If you are over-watering this time of year, you’re making the disease worse (you are feeding the fire). You cannot help mother nature but you can control how you are watering.

How to water during Brown Patch season up until spring?

Water from late August to spring just when you feel it needs it (not saying stop watering all year and let the lawn die). Twenty minutes per zone or area when you do water, make sure to water deep so you don’t have to water so often. Water mornings only, especially during this time of year. As temperature’s get cooler/colder during the fall and winter, the soil temperature gets colder and the water doesn’t evaporate as quick as it does in the spring and summer because the temperatures are much higher.

Final Reminder:

Brown Patch Disease, Grub Worms and Sod Webworms can all three be active at the same time of year. Understanding Brown Patch Disease, knowing when it starts, recognizing the signs, and taking the proper actions can save your lawn a lot of stress and a quicker recovery.