Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

The Landscape Thread - What to do this month


Sirhornsalot
 Share

Recommended Posts

It's mid-January, not one of the months that one would expect to have much landscaping to so since there's not much that's actively growing right now. However, some of the things we do in January will determine what type of growing season we will have in the coming months.

 

I'll take any questions you have and answer them all as thoroughly as I can. Fire away.

 

TOPDRESSING

For example, applying an annual topdressing to your lawn in late January, early February will go far in helping break down the lawn thatch, but more importantly, it puts minerals and nutrients back into the soil. My favorite is dairy cow manure compost but there are several compost mixes that will do just fine.

 

Why? Soil becomes depleted over time due to the weather conditions, erosion, chlorinated water, etc. It will show in the performance of your lawn through less grass, more weeds, and a less healthy looking turf in general. Applying a compost topdressing will go far in replenishing what's been lost.

 

How often? Depending on the condition of your turf/soil, I would recommend annually for 2-3 years, then from there apply two years in a row, skipping the third, then repeat.

 

How does it work? We buy the product and have it delivered to your address. We move and spread the compost all over the lawn. Some customers have us also apply to their beds as well. Once we're finished, you'll see a thin layer of compost on the lawn as much of it will sink right through to the soil surface. Dairy Cow Manure Compost is powder-like. Most of it is usually worked into the soil surface after a couple of weeks.

 

We're scheduling these topdressings for DFW, Waco, Temple, Austin to do at the end of the month. If you're interested in having your lawn done, shoot me an email at greenthumbtx@verizon.net.

 

 

LEAVES AND SPIDER MITES

 

In DFW and also Austin, we had a late season surge in Spider Mite infestations last year. This is significant as Spider Mites, IMO, are one of the toughest problems to solve in the landscape/insect world.

 

They love to attack Maples, any type of Maple, but will also go after some other varieties of trees such as Crape Myrtles. I had a Maple in my own landscape last year that I had two different infestations happen last summer.

 

The problem we have with them is that we can only treat them once with any given chemical. Whatever mites survive a treatment will develop immunities to the chemical and even transmit that immunity to their young.

 

So, the point of this is to remind those who observed spider mite activity on their property to destroy/dispose of the leaves from that tree(s). DO NOT leave them on the ground. DO NOT ATTEMPT to compost them.

 

The Spider Mites attach their eggs to the bottom sides of the leaves. They will survive ice, snow, blizzard, whatever and will hatch in spring and begin the whole issue all over again. Collect and bag the leaves and send them to the dump. If you're in the country, you can burn them right after a good soaking rain.

 

As a general rule, you don't want to allow leaves to collect anywhere near the house. They are a fire hazard aside from being unsightly.

 

 

PRE EMERGENT

Those in southern locations will need to apply a pre emergent during the first week of February or last week of January. Those in DFW or points north can wait a week later before applying. I recommend Barricade for this particular treatment as it works better than Dimension against the grassy weeds which we see more often in spring.

 

If you're one of our customers, we apply this immediately after the topdressing and lay it right on top so that weeds can't germinate in the compost itself.

 

Pre emergent does not kill weeds. It is used to sterilize the soil to prevent weed seed germination. I recommend this treatment three times a year, the other two coming in August and November. Weed seed normally begins germination around the 3rd week of February.

 

 

SPRINKLER CHECK UP

Make sure before the new growing season begins that you inspect your sprinkler system for any problems it might have developed over the winter. Soil moves and shifts during weather changes so it's possible that a line or head could have broken. Also, valve solenoids can sometimes go bad during freezes.

 

For the do-it-yourselfer, manually turn your system on one zone at a time. While the zone is running, go and observe each of the heads of the zone for proper function and spraying width/distance. Make necessary adjustments. If you have drip lines, allow more time for the water to circulate through the perfed piping.

 

If you suspect a problem you've found is over your head, call in the calvary.

 

I'll take any questions you have now. Don't be shy, this is your turn, your time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When is the best time to plant a tree? I'm in Austin if that makes a difference.

 

 

Right now. What you're wanting to do is have as much time as you can put between the planting of the new tree and the heat of summer. So the sooner, the better for planting a tree.

 

You will want to get yourself a "Gator Bag" or "Tree Gator" before June. It will help your new tree make it through the first season of hot weather. Tree Gators run about $30 each. We sell them.

 

Tree Gators like the one in the picture (different sizes are sold) holds 21 gallons of water. You fill it through a hole at the top using a water hose. There are two pin holes in the bottom which allow water dispersement, slowly, over 3-4 hours. No wasted water. Tree gets it all. Bag also helps slow evaporation over the root ball.

 

Tree_Gator_Lg.JPG

 

Speaking of which, we'll be planting a huge tree next week in Dallas. We'll be using a Sky Traker to lift and place the tree into it's new spot. It's a $4K Shumard Red Oak. I'll take pictures of how it's done and post them.

Edited by Sirhornsalot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question- can you recommend how and when to trim Live Oak tree

 

 

With a Live Oak, or any type of Oak for that matter, you DO NOT want to trim it between March and end of June. That is when Oak Wilt is more likely to transport and open wounds on Oaks allow the disease to spread.

 

You can trim your Live Oak between now and March, then anytime after the July 4th holiday.

 

As for how - that's a bit more scientific than a message board can allow. But, you want to look for redundant growth - multiple limbs going to the same location. Remove the redundant growth. Remove any growth pointing down. Remove "suckers" from the base of the tree and along the major limbs. We call them "suckers" because they suck away valuable minerals and nutrients. Removing them means the primary part of the tree will again receive those nutrients, making for a healthier tree. Remove any dead limbs, as the tree will continue to try to feed it as long as it's present.

 

Make all your cuts at the collar (see picture, item 3). Make a relief cut from the bottom going about a third into the limb (see picture, item 1) before making your major cut (see picture, item 2). If the limb you're cutting is heavy and could cause damage upon impact below, tie it off with a large, heavy rope from a limb above and slowly lower the limb to the ground. This will require more than one person.

 

No need for pruning seal. Latest science tells us that we only get in the tree's way and interfere with it's natural way of healing it's wounds when we apply seal to the cuts.

 

how-to-trim-large-tree-branches-3.jpg

Edited by Sirhornsalot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing!

 

I am in New Braunfels and my front yard needs help. I think I will be top dressing this year. Would you recommend an aeration before top dressing?

 

 

Absolutely, aeration will help not only help with getting that compost into your turf, but provides added oxygen into the root zone just before your lawn emerges from dormancy. I should have mentioned this in the original post.

 

Let me know if you need some help. I have a Longhorn in San Antonio who wouldn't take no for an answer, so we'll be coming through New Braunfels at the end of the month. Lived there in NB for about 3 years in the early 90s. Great place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you recommend for getting rid of grub worms? and when should I apply it? THANKS!

 

There are a couple of products we turn to for killing grub worms. One is called "Arena" and kills grubs effectively as well as 22 other insects for a period of roughly 5 months. Arena was developed by a guy from Coppell, Tx.

 

Another is called Lambda-Mallet which is also effective for about 3 months.

 

Retail-wise, you have products such as Grub-Ex and such but there are two basic products available at HD and Lowes. One is a 24 to 48 hour kill and the other is a 3 month kill. The 24 hr kill product is for instances of known infestation. The other would be used under normal circumstances.

 

The retail products are not a strong as the commercial types, so a re-application may be needed after a couple of weeks after the first one.

 

Grubs begin munching on the roots of your turf around April-May, then the main surge will happen in late June through September and sometimes into October. It's best to not wait for damage to occur before applying grub kill. Put it on the schedule and do it so you don't find yourself wishing you did.

 

The chart below shows what the grubs typically do and when they do it.

 

insect1.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cedar Park

 

Wait until April 1 before putting any type of fertlizer product on your lawn. While your lawn may green up by mid-March, that Bermuda won't start actively growing until April.

 

As for what to apply:

 

If you want to use a weed n feed product where the fertilizer is accompanied by a weed killer - Scott Turfbuilder is a nice product for Bermuda on the retail side. The only issue with this is the act of feeding and killing at the same time.

 

If you choose to use a straight fertilizer - on the commercial side, Triple 18 Hydromulch would work wonders and thicken that Bermuda up nice. We sell this product in the Austin area.

 

Also, if you're going to spray weeds in that Bermuda lawn this spring, use a product called SpeedZone (available on amazon) until temps are regularly above 85. Once temps are higher, you can change to Trimec (also available on amazon). Mix with water and add a dash of dishwashing soap to help the product stick to the leaves better.

 

 

 

greenthumbtx@verizon.net

Edited by Sirhornsalot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Live in San Antonio. I could use some recommendations for landscapers to plant St. Augustine in the backyard. It's a mess. I really need to start from scratch and start over. My front lawn looks awesome. No help needed there. Could you make a suggestion SHA? Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in Fort Worth. How in the world can I get rid of crab grass? It seems to spread every year and I've tried some sprays but nothing has worked.

 

 

Since the EPA banned the product we call MSMA, the options for retail products for killing crab grass has become almost disheartening. MSMA was a very effective crab grass and broadleaf weed killer for Bermuda lawns. MSMA kills St Augustine/Zoysia, so it was never used for those lawns.

 

MSMA was not only effective, it was affordable for the common homeowner. It's no longer on the market for sale.

 

A product we use called Celsius WG works very well on crab grass on ALL lawn types, which is a thing of beauty for landscapers. However, it is pricey and is not available on the retail market. I know it can be purchased on Amazon for around $125 per bottle. It's a powder that must be pre-mixed before use and comes with a handy measuring cup.

 

We add a product called "Octane" (a turbo charge for the Celsius) and a product called Surfac 820 which makes the weed killer stick onto the weeds where it can't be rubbed off or washed off.

 

The beauty of Celsius is that it won't burn the lawn grass, can be used on any grass, and can be used on a long list of other weeds as well.

 

A severe case of crab grass/broadleafs may require two treatments, two weeks apart. Once the crab is gone, a routine of three pre emergent applications per year will help keep that crab away.

 

Regardless, none of the products we have will kill crab grass during cool weather. Temperatures need to be at least 85 and above for a kill to take place. These chemicals are enhanced/activated by hot temperatures.

 

If you feel you need help with the problem, shoot me an email.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in Abilene. We bought a house a year and a half ago and completely gutted the interior. Moved load bearing walls, tore out walls, turned their old garage which they had converted to an art studio into a master bedroom. Tore out all the sheet rock and rewired and replumbed everything. Their old master, we turned into a laundry room/office. I did all the work myself and took me over a year.

All that to say the outside/lawn is a mess and this year all my time will be spent on building a workshop, an outdoor kitchen, and landscaping.

 

Your advice has been helpful and I will admit that I am very impressed.

 

I have two Live Oaks I want to thin out. I have three hideous looking fruitless Mulberry trees in the front yard with dead limbs that need to be trimmed. I don't like the trees but they are great shade on the West side of the house. There are two Pecan trees also and one of them is kind of sick looking.

 

All that to ask, I need grass in my front yard under the Mulberry trees. Obviously, it's a shady location and there is a small amount of sickly St Augustine. Would you recommend staying with St Augustine or is there some other type of grass that does well in shade these days?

 

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in Abilene. We bought a house a year and a half ago and completely gutted the interior. Moved load bearing walls' date=' tore out walls, turned their old garage which they had converted to an art studio into a master bedroom. Tore out all the sheet rock and rewired and replumbed everything. Their old master, we turned into a laundry room/office. I did all the work myself and took me over a year.

All that to say the outside/lawn is a mess and this year all my time will be spent on building a workshop, an outdoor kitchen, and landscaping.

 

Your advice has been helpful and I will admit that I am very impressed.

 

I have two Live Oaks I want to thin out. I have three hideous looking fruitless Mulberry trees in the front yard with dead limbs that need to be trimmed. I don't like the trees but they are great shade on the West side of the house. There are two Pecan trees also and one of them is kind of sick looking.

 

All that to ask, I need grass in my front yard under the Mulberry trees. Obviously, it's a shady location and there is a small amount of sickly St Augustine. Would you recommend staying with St Augustine or is there some other type of grass that does well in shade these days?

 

Thanks.[/quote']

 

 

St Augustine is going to be your best bet. You could also do Zoysia, but it will perform about the same as St Augustine. Zoysia is slightly more drought tolerant.

 

A lot of times, it's not the shade that makes St Augustine go thin under the canopies of trees. It's a gradual change in the soil pH caused by the constant droppings from the trees, be it sap, leaves, acorns, dead bark/limbs, etc., So before we start to remedy/replace anything, I'd want to take readings on your soil pH and see where it's at.

 

I probably wouldn't have gone to that issue without your detailed description of your landscape. Thanks for that.

 

I'll be in Abilene toward the end of the month if you'd like me to stop by. Just email me. I can take the readings with you and show you what I'm talking about in more detail.

 

There are some things we can do when you re-sod that will make the odds of long-term success much more in your favor. Putting down expanded shale and compost prior to laying the sod will cut down on your watering and give you a healthier lawn. There is also a great product we can apply in summer that will help your St Augustine and your water bill both. It's called Hydretain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to aerate my yard this year and put down a dressing, when should i do that, yard is 9 years old and compacted due to all the neighbor hood kids playing on it

 

Bless you for letting those kids play. A lot of neighbors probably wouldn't be ok with that.

 

Aeration and topdressing are best done before the growing season begins. I have found by experience that the end of January, beginning of February is best with the topdressing because it takes about a month to get where it needs to be which is about the same time the turf is coming out of dormancy. So the timing is perfect and the results show all season.

 

Don't forget to put down a pre emergent right over that compost. Weeds will try to germinate, even in a quarter-inch of compost. They are amazing that way.

 

On the aeration . . . your lawn is not the same from end to end. There are spots that receive more traffic and these spots will be more compacted. Make extra passes over these areas with the aerator. Make sure you're remembering where the sprinkler heads are or the aerator will tear them up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Sir, when is the best month to transplant some Red Oak saplings that grew from acorns (and I protected from deer) in my Cedar Park yard? I would like to put them in better locations this year, have about 12 saved, and would like to move 4 or 5.

Thanks in advance!

 

Good to hear from you Knighttrain,

 

I'd get those saplings out ASAP. Again, the more time between their planting and the heat of summer, the better. Doing it now gives them time to acclimate themselves and get some growth in the roots into the surrounding soil.

 

Remember, when you dig your hole for these babies, only make them as deep as the root ball of the sapling, but make the hole twice as wide.

 

Below is a diagram, just apply on a smaller scale.

 

plant-trees-san-antonio-diagram.jpg

Edited by Sirhornsalot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share


  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    W 38-18
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    L 21-40
    9/18
    Rice
    W 58-0
    9/25
    Texas Tech
    W 70-35
    10/2
    @TCU
    W 32-27
    10/9
    Oklahoma
    L 48-55
    10/16
    Oklahoma State
    L 24-32
    10/30
    @Baylor
    L 24-31
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    L 7-30
    11/13
    Kansas
    L 56-57 OT
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    L 23-31
    11/27
    Kansas State
    W 22-17

Our Affiliation

USATDP_Logo.png

Quick Links

×
×
  • Create New...