The debate of global warming is still one between many people if it`s a true thing or not. We have seen some wild weather patterns over the last couple of years. Rain has been around a lot in the summer months and the fall has been tending to be on the drier side. This is usually the opposite as rain is hard to find sometimes in the summer months. Fall is an ideal time to re-seed parts of the yard with the cooler weather and more abundant wet weather. Temperature swings in the atmosphere also tends to confuse some plants on when to go into dormancy and when to perk up for the spring.
We had a late fall color transition this year in the immediate St. Louis area with the warmer months. This is the latest I can remember for doing leaf clean-ups in January since starting my business 6 years ago. Some plants that shut down for the winter, were starting to bud up early with temperatures being in the 80`s in November. This is very bad as it will open the plant up to winter injury since it hasn`t sealed itself up for the season. Newly installed plants like to have warm weather and good watering’s in the spring. Heavy amounts of rain and early mild weather can make it hard for the plant to develop a good root system before the hot summer months arrive. Try and water newly installed plants daily for the first 2 weeks to help them establish this root system.
Pests have also been very bad the season as the warmer months allow them to live longer and feed more. Spider mites could feed late into the season and cause a lot of damage on evergreens and ewes. Usually this bug is finding a place to bed down for the winter months. We were treating plants late into November to help control the problem. Summer annual weeds and grasses took over early as the ground did dry out early in June. Even with the treatment of putting down a pre-emergent crab grass was running a mock in yards around St. Louis. This is due to the ground cracking early in the season breaking the barrier created by the pre-emergent. Along with a lot of rain that will help it dissipate the chemicals in the pesticide. I believe that the climate is changing and this may have a big impact on the green industry as a whole. Try and plan and follow a good regimen for keeping your lawns and gardens happy this spring. Following watering recommendations and applying a good fertilizer to feed them. Always remember to follow the label on the fertilizer for best results.
Spring is starting to pop it`s head in finally after the long, cold winter that we endured here in St. Louis in many years. It`s time to get back out and make our neighbor`s jealous of your yard. Our long waited vacation from lawn care is over. It only takes a few things to get started this year.
First and foremost is to make sure your mower is ready for the mowing season. If it was properly winterized this shouldn`t be a problem. A cloggy carburetor can make starting the mower a real headache. A tune-up at the start of every year is a good thing to do. It is a matter of changing the spark plug, a fresh oil change, and don`t forget your mower likes to breath too and would love a clean air filter. Sharpening the blade too at this time will give your yard the clean cut it loves.
Let`s get into getting the yard cleaned up next by removing what the winter left behind like the leaves and twigs in the lawn. Lawn bags can help with this project but keep in mind these things aren`t the sturdiest and will rip easily if loaded down. Take a walk around the yard and look for any bare spots are area that need to be addressed. Some of us may have to wait on this task as warm season grasses like zoysia won`t be turning green until May as the temperature warms up.
A good pre-emergent can help to keep the pesky crab grass from taking over your yard this year. Try to have your application down before April 15th as this is when the temperatures stay around 55 Deg. and allows crab grass to germinate. A lot of fertilizers come with pre-emergent mixed in with them which feeds the lawn and prevents the germination of crab grass at the same time. Try not to fertilize Zoysia and Bermuda grasses till May as it is still dormant at this time as mentioned earlier. Plus it may lead to early top growth on the lawn too plus only feeding the weeds at the same time. If you need any help with your spring lawn care let us know and will gladly answer any questions.