Tag - Grass Over-seeding

Treating Brown Spots in Your Yard - Lawn Applications Springfield MO

Treating Brown Spots in Your Yard – Lawn Applications Springfield MO

Treating Brown Spots in Your Yard

You have brown patches of dead grass in your lawn. Is it the common lawn disease known as “brown patch” or is it something else? The answer is important: if it is brown patch you probably need to spray with a fungicide. If it is not, you’ll waste your money on lawn applications that won’t really solve the problem.

DISEASE vs ENVIRONMENT – While brown patch does cause patches of dead grass, other things can cause the same symptoms. If the area is poorly drained and water stands on a spot for more than 24 hours, the grass roots will rot, causing a dead patch. If you have a sodded lawn less than one year old, it is possible the soil underneath the sod was never plowed to relieve compaction. Where the sod has rooted poorly, brown patches will develop as dry weather sets in. If one part of the lawn was once used as a baseball home plate or a soccer goalie area, the earth beneath is almost as hard as concrete. It’s easy to see why green grass would turn brown there.

BROWN PATCH SYMPTOMS – If you eliminate environmental causes of the brown patch, what are the true symptoms of the disease? True brown patch spots are small to begin with but in warm weather they can enlarge rapidly. Seen from above, the patch will look like a doughnut – a ring of tan grass having a patch of green grass in the center. Individual grass blades will be brown down to the crown – where the blade emerges from the ground – but the crown will be green. Early in the morning during hot, damp weather you might see a white fungal web at the edge of the dead grass patch.

KEEP GRASS HEALTHY – Remember that the fungus that causes brown patch is constantly present. It can not be eliminated. Your grass gets sick because it is weak and becomes susceptible to the disease. You can help keep the grass strong by fertilizing only when the grass needs it: during the cool months for fescue and during the warm months for Bermuda Grass.

WATERING – Never water in the evening. The best time to water is in early morning. Fescue is much more susceptible when it has lush, green growth plus warm nighttime temperatures. Warmth at night can not be avoided but lush growth can be moderated. The second step is to water at the right time. Since brown patch needs 14-16 hours of wet leaf surface to reproduce itself, water only after the dew has dried in the morning. An alternative is to water after nightfall. Since the grass is wet with dew anyway, watering in the dark does not unnecessarily extend the wet period.

FERTILIZER – Fertilizer applied in late spring and summer causes rapid growth (which must be mowed!) and drought stress. It is best to fertilize fescue only in fall, winter and spring. Nitrogen fertilizer in June, July and August increases the severity of brown patch fungus on all cultivars except Kentucky 31 fescue. The disease is worse at mowing heights less than two inches and more than three inches. Fungicides to control brown patch are available but they must be applied regularly. To avoid the expense, change the cultural conditions before reaching for the fungicide.

FUNGICIDES – If you are absolutely sure you have brown patch, the disease can be controlled with fungicides with our lawn applications. Several are labeled for brown patch control.

If you have brown spots in your lawn and aren’t sure what’s causing them, contact Gabris Landscaping to get a professional diagnosis and proper treatment to take care of the problem.

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Spider Mite Treatment - Yard Pest Control Springfield MO

Spider Mite Treatment – Yard Pest Control Springfield MO

Identifying Spider Mites on Houseplants and Outdoor Plants

As a leader in local landscape and lawn care, part of our yard pest control task involves removing spider mites from plants. Initially, spider mite damage will appear as small yellow or brown spots on the leaves of the plant. If the plant is badly infested, the plant’s health will suffer and it may develop completely yellow leaves and may stop growing.

Spider mite damage may also include a telltale spider web type webbing on the plant. Spider mites are arachnids and are related to spiders. They produce webs in order to protect themselves and their eggs. It is very difficult to see spider mites on houseplants and outdoor plants with the naked eye because they are so small, but if you suspect that your plant has spider mites, you can hold a piece of paper under the leaves of the plant and shake them gently. If it is spider mites, specks will fall on the paper that looks similar to pepper.

Effective Yard Pest Control to Kill Spider Mites

One natural spider mite remedy is to simply spray down the plant with a nozzled hose. The force of the stream of water is enough to knock most of the spider mites off of the plant.

Another natural spider mite remedy is to release natural predators of spider mites around the plants. These can include Ladybugs, Lacewing, Minute pirate bugs, and Predatory mites. If the infestation is too extensive or you do not have the time or products to treat your yard pest control, call us right away.

Also, an effective spider mite treatment that we provide is to use an insecticidal oil, like neem oil, a horticultural oil or a dormant oil. You can also try using a miticide, a substance made specifically to kill mites. Yard pest control can be a tedious task, but it is important that the proper precautions are being made. You should not try to use a normal pesticide for spider mite treatment as they are resistant to pesticides. Using a pesticide will only kill off the beneficial bugs that eat spider mites, which will only make the spider mite infestation worse. Spider mites on houseplants and garden plants is annoying and unsightly, but you do not have to let spider mite damage kill your plants. Knowing what spider mite treatment works means that you can kill spider mites quickly and easily.

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Lawn Mowing Techniques - Lawn Aeration Springfield MO

Lawn Mowing Techniques – Lawn Aeration Springfield MO

While there can be a numerous amount of things that can affect your lawn, the three most common influences are the weather, the soil and lawn care and mowing techniques. Since the weather and soil can be quite difficult to control, proper lawn care and mowing techniques are a manageable variable that can show a big difference.

Proper lawn aeration, care and mowing techniques are vital to having a healthy lawn and landscape and usually cost a minimal amount. Coming up with lawn care and mowing techniques can never happen too early or soon. Some tips for healthy lawn care and mowing techniques are:

High Mowing

The higher the grass, the healthier your lawn will be. With the height of the grass and the depth of the roots, there is a one to one relationship, which means if you mow at two inches, your roots will have a depth of two inches. The one-third rule states that you should never remove more than one third of the high of the grass in one clipping, because it leaves the grass more prone to diseases. High mowing will add root mass and will make your lawn more disease and drought-resistant.

Variation of Mowing Pattern

Mowing pattern variation makes sure that the wheels of the mower are not running over the same areas every time. This can cause bald spots in the grass and can eventually weaken it.

Sharp Mower Blade

A good thing to remember is to keep the blade on your mower sharp. Cutting with a dull blade will leave the grass jagged, which will brown the grass quickly and will leave the grass prone to disease.

 Mulch Clippings

When people bag clippings, they are losing a lot of nitrogen they are applying when fertilizing. Leaving the clippings on your yard will help maintain soil activity. One environmental positive of not bagging mowing clippings is the landfills are not being filled with good healthy nitrogen.

Water Dry Grass

Especially during the summer months, grass needs at least one inch of water per week. Watering deeply in the morning to reduce the possibility of disease once a week is a good technique.

The frequency of watering isn’t the most important issue anymore, the amount of moisture and the timing is what matters the most.

Aerate

Aeration reduces compaction, which makes root development easier. This also pulls microorganisms to the surface, which helps break down thatch and other organisms.

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How to Pick a Healthy Plant

How to Pick a Healthy Plant – Yard Pest Control Springfield MO

Before going out and finding the perfect plant for you, it is good to know that, since plants can be expensive and temperamental, some plants might not work for your landscape or they might not be in season yet. Even the fully developed plants can develop problems quickly, such a yard pest control problems, diseases and damages done, but knowing how to tell if a plant is healthy may solve future problems.

Selecting A Healthy Plant

The first step before selecting a plant for your landscape, is understanding the signs of a healthy and unhealthy plant. Looking at all of the plants parts will tell you if there are any problems, and you should start with looking at the leaves. Next you should look at the growth of foliage, then disease and pests issues and finally with the roots. Here at Gabris Landscaping we can help you with any of your landscaping needs, anywhere from starting from scratch with a new house, to a yard pest control problem, to planting a new tree or shrub.

Growth of Foliage

Healthy plant growth will indicate a healthy plant. Most plants, with some exceptions including plants with multi-colored leaves, should have green leaves with even color. It is recommend not buying a plant with pale leaves. Also, it is a recommendation to avoid dry leave edges and yellowing or brown leaves on plants. Full, bright colored growth is a sign of a healthy plant. Instead of long plants, it is recommended to choose sturdy plants. If a plant looks to be pruned, this could indicate a damaged stem has been removed because it was diseased or damaged in process of growth or movement.

Disease and Pests

After looking at the leaves and growth of a plant, it is recommended to look at symptoms of diseases and possibly pests. When looking for diseases and pests, you should check underneath the leaves and where the stem attaches to leaves. At Gabris Landscaping we can help you with any problems you may encounter with your landscape with our yard pest control service. This is the location some pests stay, such as: Spider mites, Aphids, and Scale Mealybugs.

Roots

Other signs of a healthy plant are good sturdy roots. However, because roots are difficult to see when a plant is in a pot, most of the time you can tell if the plant is rootbound. you notice roots growing through the hole of the pot, the plant has been in that pot too long. When the roots are growing on top of the potting soil mix, it is a sign of a rootbound problem.

Rootbound plants are not necessarily an unhealthy plant, because it shows that the plant is growing, but it is recommended to repot a rootbound plant as soon as you can.

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Cicadas are Back in 2015 - Yard Pest Control Springfield MO

Cicadas are Back in 2015 – Yard Pest Control Springfield MO

Well folks, I’ll keep it short and sweet… the cicadas (sometimes also known as “locusts”) are back in 2015.  We actually have 2 populations emerging this year near Springfield, Missouri.  Typically they emerge in early May.  There is a 17-year cycle that will emerge on the west side of the state near Kansas City, as well as a 13 year population that will emerge on the east side of the state closer to Arkansas.  It is rare that we have two cycles emerging at the same time so expect to see quite a few flying around this year.

What does this mean for your plants and trees?  Well, basically the main thing you will notice is insect shells all over the place, but you may also find ovi-positing slits in branches from egg-laying and possible some branch flagging.  In most cases, this should not be a major concern for the trees or plants but we specialize in yard pest control even though there’s not a lot to do with cicadas.  In extreme cases, there is potential for some damage and extra stress to affected plants, but the damage from cicadas is usually not a big deal.  The phenomenon itself is just interesting to be aware of.

Some things we can expect after cicada emergence is an increase in mammal populations the following 1-2 years.  You can also expect an increase in ticks and other mammal feeding insects 2-3 years following emergence.

For more on the periodical cicadas visit: www.magicicada.org and www.indiana.edu/~preserve/cicada/CicadasPres/slide14.html

I would like to give thanks to Rob Lawrence, Forest Entomologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation, for the information above.  All of this information was presented by Rob during the 2015 Tree Insect and Disease Update in Springfield, Missouri.

 

Jeffrey R. Gabris, MBA

ISA Certified Arborist – MW5363A

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Emerald Ash Borer 2015 Update - Lawn Care Services Springfield MO

Emerald Ash Borer 2015 Update – Lawn Care Services Springfield MO

Emerald Ash Borer is a type of inset that is known to be suspicious and can infest a county. While they affect a county, there are multiple homeowners that are affected in their infestation process. Because of this we offer many lawn care services to homeowners within counties that have been affected by Emerald Ash Borer. The following insect information comes from a 2015 Insect & Disease Workshop (in January) and is compliments of Rob Lawrence, Forest Entomologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation:

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Information:

www.eab.missouri.edu

www.emeraldashborer.info

http://stopthebeetle.info/

 

To Report EAB Suspicions for your county in Missouri, take the following steps:

1.) Check the map of known EAB infested counties @  www.eab.missouri.edu

If your county is already known to be infested, you can stop there.  If not, continue on to step 2.

2.) Compare EAB signs and symptoms from brochures available at the Missouri Conservation Department or www.eab.missouri.edu

If your signs and symptoms match those of EAB, continue on to step 3.

3.) Report your findings to your local Missouri Department of Conservation forester (See local contact box at http://mdc.mo.gov), by phone toll-free at 866-716-9974, or @ www.eab.missouri.edu

 

EAB: Branch Sampling Information –>  http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pubwarehouse/pdfs/32127.pdf

EAB: Management for Homeowners –> http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/eab/index.php?page=management/homeowners

EAB: Insecticide Options (revised 2014) –> www.emeraldashborer.info/files/multistate_EAB_Insecticide_Fact_Sheet.pdf

EAB: Insecticide Potential Side Effects –> www.emeraldashborer.info/files/Potential_Side_Effects_of_EAB_Insecticides_FAQ.pdf

EAB: Cost Calculator –> http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/treecomputer/

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