Posted by & filed under post-emergent, pre-emergent, Spurge, Weed-control.

SpurgeWith hot and dry weather that we encounter in July and August in Carolina, a common summer broadleaf weed named Spurge can invade lawns and beds. It can not only grow in lawns, particularly well along the edge bordering the street, but in landscape beds as well, small cracks in driveways, etc. It does not take much soil for Spurge to germinate in and grow, with its’ deep taproot sinking down wherever it can find a place to grow. It is well adapted to hot, dry, Carolina summers with thick fleshy leaves holding the water in the plant well. From one taproot, spurge can spread out like a mat into the lawn or shrub bed. The good news is that it can easily be pulled up. And because our broadleaf herbicides are not as effective when temperatures are over 90 degrees, this is really the best way to eradicate it.

Spurge is one of those broadleaf weeds which the early spring pre-emergent does not control very well. It will help some, but spurge is just going to germinate during the summer. Our Bed Weed-Control Program, with special pre-emergents applied in early spring, will actually control spurge better than our lawn pre-emergent, Barricade. So with this troublesome summer weed, you’ll have to go “old school” some and hand pick the weeds in most cases.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Each year we find ourselves enjoying the great outdoors, yet somehow ticks and mosquitoes find a way to get back to us. Both insects carry a number of diseases that can put anyone at risk from Lyme Disease to West Nile Virus. LawnAmerica wants to help protect you and your family by sharing 3 ways to keep ticks and mosquitoes away.

Protect your Landscape: Both mosquitoes and ticks prefer areas with tall grass and a lot of shade. Mowing your lawn and keeping tall or overgrown weeds low helps deter ticks and mosquitos from hanging around.

We get it, everyone has a life and sometimes you just don’t have time to treat and protect your landscape from mosquitos. LawnAmerica’s Buzz Off! Mosquito Control program helps protect your lawn and landscape so you have more time to spend outdoors without worrying about the nuisance of mosquitoes.

Insect Repellent: The CDC recommends repellents containing products such as DEET. This product is effective at keeping both ticks, mosquitos, and other insects away. Remember, always follow instructions carefully before applying.

Other natural repellents are also available online or at local health food stores, but may not be effective against ticks or other bugs.

Clothing: Covering and minimizing exposed skin in loose, light-colored clothing is a great way to prevent both mosquito and tick bites. This may be uncomfortable to do in the summer heat, but it will help keep ticks and mosquitos away from your skin.

Mosquitoes are attracted to dark areas, so wear the opposite color—either white or neutral shades. By wearing light colored clothing, you’ll also have an easier time identifying if a tick is on you before it’s too late.

Although mosquito and tick encounters are impossible to prevent, taking preventative measures like wearing the right clothing, applying insect repellent and keeping your landscape clean can help protect you and your family all season.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Every year families across the country gather together to watch fireworks light up the night sky in honor of our nation’s birth. North Carolina has an incredible fireworks selection throughout the state, complimented by fun family festivities to enjoy before the show. LawnAmerica has picked out some of the best places to go and celebrate Independence Day!

 

Bryson City Freedom Fest

When: July 4, 2017

Where: Downtown Bryson City, NC

Start celebrating Independence Day with a 5k run in downtown Bryson City at Freedom Fest. Afterwards, enjoy live music, food, crafts and a watermelon eating contest. The best fireworks show in the Smokies starts at 10PM.

 

July 4th Freedom Festival

When: July 4, 2017

Where: Forest City Owls Stadium, Forest City, NC

Celebrate the 4th during Forest City Freedom Festival. Watch the parade, compete in the pie eating contest, sack races and of course watch the fireworks light up the Forest City sky!

 

Red White and Boom  

When: July 3, 2017

Where: Old Town Rock Hill, SC

Looking to celebrate the 4th of July a day early? Look no further than Old Town Rock Hill’s Red White and Boom. Starting at 5:30PM watch live performances from RadioJacks and The Legacy Motown Revue, enjoy food trucks and an ice cream eating contest. After a day of fun activities, gather around and watch the fireworks blast off at 10PM.

 

SkyShow 2017

When: July 4, 2017

Where: BB&T Ballpark, Charlotte, NC

Get the family together and head to SkyShow 2017 at BB&T Ballpark to watch Team USA play against Team Cuba. Before the game, stop by the SkyShow Street party so you can listen to live music from 3-9PM. If you want to see the fireworks, but don’t plan on going to the game, you’re in luck! Just head to Romare Bearden Park, directly across from Mint street.

 

Birkdale Village’s 4th of July Celebration

When: July 4, 2017

Where: Birkdale Village, Huntersville, NC

Birkdale Village’s 4th of July Celebration with entertainment for all, a bike parade, and a water fight courtesy of the fire department. Admission is free and takes place from 10AM to 1PM.

 

Gather the family and celebrate our independence!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

The news has been buzzing about the decline of our bee populations, and the dramatic consequences their loss could have globally. According to pollinator.org, an estimated 1/3 of all foods and beverages are made possible by pollinators which is nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.

Without bees, the produce section would be a lot smaller but did you know that you can help protect the pollinators by creating a pollinator-friendly habitat? LawnAmerica wants to spread the word and share two of the easiest ways to make your space more pollinator friendly.

 

Plant a Pollinator Friendly Space

Choosing an assortment of plants with overlapping bloom periods will provide food for pollinators throughout the season. Here is a list of some native shrubs, trees that bees and other pollinators LOVE:

Flowers –

Early Bloom:  Lanceleaf Coreopsis and Smooth Penstemon.

Early Mid Bloom: Wild Indigo.

Mid Bloom: Butterfly Milkweed, Great Blue Lobelia, Joe Pye Weed, Mountain Mint, Purple Coneflower, and Wild Bergamot.

Mid-Late Bloom: Field Thistle, Marsh Blazing Star, and Wingstem.

Late Bloom: Bottle Gentian, New England Aster, New York Ironweed, Seaside Goldenrod, Sneezeweed, and Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod.

 

Shrubs and Trees –

Early: Cockspur Hawthorn, Eastern Redbud, Highbush Blueberry, and Pussy Willow

Mid: Basswood

Mid-Late: New Jersey Tea

You can find more about these plants at here.

 

Create a Hydration Station:

Don’t forget, like us, bees and other pollinators need water. A single bee visits at least 2,000 flowers daily so as you might expect, bees need lots of water to keep going. During hot summer days, bees will use the water throughout the day to cool down their hive, dissolve crystallized honey, and hydrate after a busy day.

You can help bees stay cool and hydrated by taking a plastic bowl and filling it with water and glass marbles or even rocks. The marbles provide the bees a nice place to land while hydrating.

You can find instructions to build a hydration station here.

Posted by & filed under Insect Control.

fleas and ticksFleas and ticks can be a year-round problem in Carolina, especially with the mild winters we’ve experienced lately. They can be a real nuisance on our dogs and cats, along with being a health issue. And especially with ticks in the landscape, diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease can be threats. Therefore, it’s a good idea to control these small but irritating critters with both cultural and sometimes chemical practices.

LawnAmerica provides a good Flea & Tick Control Program as an add on service for homeowners, especially with pets. We always stress though to not just treat the lawn, but also the pets, and even indoors if needed. Our service is good, but we can’t guarantee that you’ll never see a flea or tick on your pet. And you should check with your veterinarian as to which products are good for pets.

We use a granular product that contains Permethrin, which is a very common and safe product. This product affects the nervous system of the insect, causing repetitive nerve firings. They  are effective yet easily broken down, so this makes their toxicity fairly low. Permethrin controls fleas, ticks, ants, and many other common surface insects. After the granular product is activated with rainfall or irrigation, it provides about 3-4 weeks of residual control of insects. Permethrin is so safe that it is even applied directly to animals, such as my cattle in my pasture at the farm. Even certain clothing now has Permethrin imbedded into it for insect control in outdoor situations. For a label, which details probably more information about it than you really want to know, visit HERE.

For best results, we apply the Permethrin with summer lawn applications, about every 4-6 weeks. So with 3-4 treatments during the peak of the insect season, this really helps lessen the population of insect pests such as fleas and ticks in the Charlotte and Asheville areas. Our new Buzz Off Mosquito Control Program also uses a form of Permethrin, along with another insecticide, so this service also helps cut back on flea & tick pressure in the landscape.

For more complete information on controlling fleas and ticks, visit this fact sheet: http://www.tulsamastergardeners.org/lawngarden/insects/fleas_ticks.shtml

And for more information on our LawnAmerica Flea & Tick Control Program in the Carolinas, visit HERE.

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Posted by & filed under azaleas, pruning azaleas.

If you haven’t pruned your azaleas yet, now is the time! Not only will pruning help stimulate new growth for next year, it will also provide a full and vibrant bloom as the season progresses. The lawn care experts at LawnAmerica want to share some helpful tips to keep your azaleas looking their best.
Tip #1: Timing is everything

Timing is key when it comes to pruning azaleas. It’s best to prune azaleas when they’re finished blooming and before new buds start to bloom. New bud growth usually starts in June or July. If you prune them during this time, you risk cutting off already developing buds.

 

Tip #2: Hand select the branches that need trimming

Azaleas prefer to be trimmed naturally. When they are shaped into hedges with sharp corners they will only develop blooms on the very outer inch of the shrub. If you want a very full blooming azalea from the inside out, thin the plant by selecting individual branches to trim and use pruning sheers to get the job done.

 

It’s important to keep in mind that azaleas will add about six inches of new growth from any spot they have been trimmed. However, if six inches of new growth is too much, you can trim branches back six to twelve inches above the base of the plant.

 

Tip #3: Fertilization adds necessary nutrients 

LawnAmerica offers a 2-Step Azalea Program that is designed to provide necessary nutrients to help keep your azaleas looking their best. This service is performed in mid-May through June, after the blooms have developed.

Now is the perfect time to prune and fertilize your azaleas in order to keep them looking their best. If you haven’t already, give the experts at LawnAmerica a call to set up an azalea fertilization appointment.

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

by: Jake Johnson

The word “hero” is thrown around these days a great deal. Usually the word follows some sort of tragic event where individuals did something unselfish to save other people and putting themselves in harm’s way.

Sometimes it’s the guy returning home from war with a chest full of medals and ribbons or the unit coming home from a year long deployment with signs saying “Welcome Home Heroes!” being waved in the crowd.

Then there are the men and women who returned home, but in a box covered by an American flag carried by solemn men in uniform back to their hometown to be laid to rest. Laying under that flag, they will be driven down roads they probably used to cruise in high school on summer evenings looking for trouble or just something to do. However, on this final trip through town, the roads are lined with people paying tribute to someone who made the ultimate sacrifice.

That sacrifice is what separates something heroic from a hero. A true hero is someone whose story is no longer being written. The heroes we are remembering today had their story cut short, and did so for you, me and for their country. They didn’t do it for glory, or honor or even politics. As soon as that first bullet flies overhead in combat, all the things we think important in life are stripped away and we are left with only the things which are most important.

Be it race, politics, religion, social upbringing, financial status; none of it mattered over there. We leaned upon each other for strength and fought as one force against evil and for those who could not fight for themselves. We were a microcosm of the America that so many have given their lives for before us. An idea of what America was, can be and still is. As long as we have young men and women like the ones that I fought with that believe in that idea of America, she will continue to live on through the generations.

You see, those are the real heroes to me. Myself and those of us that came home from war aren’t heroes, no matter how brave or courageous we fought to earn the medals we wear. We smile and thank anyone if they refer to us as such, but inside we feel a tinge of guilt.

We aren’t heroes, I’m sure not at least.

I’m still going to make selfish choices from time to time. I’m going to let down my wife, my family and my children at some point.

I will let down my fellow brothers that came home by not calling and keeping up with them enough now that we are scattered across the country, some still overseas fighting a war we have all forgotten about.

But ultimately, I will let down the guys that gave their lives so that I would be able to still make these selfish choices.

The memory of what they gave is my daily reminder that it is our responsibility to them to build upon this great idea of American Life. Their final choice was one completely pure and completely unselfish, to give the one thing that you can never get back.

A real hero is someone who has given that life and laid it upon the altar of freedom as Abraham Lincoln once wrote, “so that others may live under that blanket of freedom.”

To me, all of the real heroes are dead.

Today, take time from however you choose to celebrate those lost by taking a moment and thinking about the choice that those heroes have made for us. Celebrate their lives and remember their sacrifices so that we will always know what true sacrifice, and true heroes look like. By doing that this weekend and all the days in between, we can ensure that the real heroes continue to walk side by side with us as we continue to build on the legacy that they have left for us.

NEVER FORGET.

IN HONOR OF:

GYSGT CHRISTOPHER H. EASTMAN

SSGT ADAM L. PERKINS

SGT DONALD J. LAMAR

CPL DAANE A. DEBOER

LCPL CHRISTOPHER RODGERS

LCPL FREDERIK E. VAZQUEZ

LCPL JOSHUA M. DAVIS

LCPL KEVIN M. CORNELIUS

LCPL RICHARD PENNY

LCPL THOMAS E. RIVERS JR.

LCPL TYLER O. GRIFFIN

LCPL WILLIAM T. RICHARDS

PFC VINCENT E. GAMMONE

AND

SGT TREY HUFF

Posted by & filed under bermudagrass, brown patch.

It’s that time of year to be on the lookout for brown patch turf disease in Carolina lawns. High humidity, excessive moisture, and warmer temperatures are the perfect conditions for lawn diseases such as brown patch to develop.

In order for lawn diseases to occur, there are generally three things that must be present. Those three things include a susceptible host, present fungi, and the right weather conditions. Fungi loves warm, wet, humid weather, which is what we generally experience during this time of year.

As for brown patch, fescue is a good host for this disease and some varieties are even more susceptible than others. Bermduagrass is another grass susceptible to severe brown patch, along with large patch, which is often found on zoysiagrass lawns. Fungi are present just about everywhere and are waiting for the right conditions to grow.

Brown patch will cause yellow to brown splotchy areas in lawns. A turf fungicide can be applied on a preventative and curative basis. But it typically has about a two to four-week residual, so repeat treatments are often needed for best results. In periods of heavy rainfall, make sure you turn off your irrigation system and let the lawn dry out.

If your lawn has been impacted by brown patch turf disease, it’s best to remove the grass clippings when mowing. This will help remove some of the fungi present and allow better air circulation within the turf.

For more information on symptoms, control methods and a variety of pictures to help with identification, check out the NC State Turf files page.

The professionals at LawnAmerica can also help to diagnose and treat brown patch. Give us a call for more information or

to get set up on a program.

 

 

Posted by & filed under mosquito control.

Mosquitoes are easily one of the most annoying and hated insects. They buzz around seeking out victims to feast on, especially later in the evening when everyone is trying to enjoy time outdoors, in the pool or around the grill.

Unfortunately, there’s a lengthy list of diseases and health concerns caused by mosquitoes ranging from itchy bites, all the way to West Nile, Dengue and Zika. However, not every species of mosquito is a carrier of these dangerous diseases, and identifying which one is flying around your head is difficult, if not impossible.

Instead we recommend our Buzz Off! Mosquito Control Program to help control this pesky problem.  With LawnAmerica’s Buzz Off! Mosquito Control program your property is treated using a combination of two proven insect control products. The combination of these two products safely eliminates existing mosquito populations, while interrupting a mosquito’s reproductive cycle.

This application is applied with a backpack mist blower around the landscape of your home and along the perimeter of your backyard.

In addition to our treatments, it’s very important to follow some basic tips to help eliminate breeding habitats for mosquitoes.  Simple things like keeping your gutters free of debris, removing areas where standing water can accumulate, and refilling bird baths regularly will also help to lessen populations.

If you’re already a LawnAmerica customer with our Buzz Off! Mosquito Control Program, we should be out for your first application soon, if we haven’t been already. However, if you haven’t signed up, it isn’t too late. We still have time to get all four treatments completed so you take back your backyard!

Sign up online or give us a call today!

Click here for tips to help control mosquitoes!

Posted by & filed under mushrooms.

With all the warm and wet weather we’ve been getting lately, we’re beginning to get more calls regarding mushrooms in lawns.

Mushrooms are actually part of a fungus that grows underground and are caused by a mixture of increased moisture, lack of light, and buried organic matter.

The fungus grows by breaking down organic matter such as buried timber, stumps, or roots of trees and shrubs that have been removed.  It’s a natural process that actually helps improve the structure of the soil.

The “toadstools” are most commonly recognized for their flowering structure of the fungus that contains all of the spores. Spores can be spread by wind and water, which helps to establish other fungal colonies.

One of the easiest ways to get rid of mushrooms in your lawn is to mow them and once the soil begins to dry out, the fewer mushrooms you’ll see. Meaning there’s no need to apply a product to your lawn because in most cases mushrooms do not cause any damage.

There are a few cases where mushrooms can be a sign of a turf fungus, rather than a soil fungus.  Although not common in North Carolina, fairy ring is a disease that can easily be recognized by the arc-like or circular patterns of mushrooms.

The ring pattern is caused by the outward growth of fungal mycelium, which forms a dense, mat-like structure in the soil that decomposes organic matter. This decomposition releases nitrate into the soil, which stimulates the growth of dark green grass at the outer portion of the ring. The fungus may also release certain byproducts that are toxic to the turf, leading to brown or dead turf next to the ring.

Fairy ring is difficult to control. One method of controlling the disease is to dig out the affected areas and replace it with new soil and sod. Another method is to apply turf fungicide. We recommend to just wait for hotter and drier weather, as the problem seems to go away. If the disease is severe enough, we can apply a product labeled for fairy ring disease. But remember that this is only when the mushrooms are found in an arc pattern associated with the turf disease.