Posted by & filed under dallisgrass.

In the early 1900’s, paspalum dilitatum was introduced to North America. A native plant of South America, paspalum dilitatum is a fast-growing forage plant originally used by A.T. Dallis of LaGrange, Georgia.

The benefit of this South American plant was its ability to survive harsh southern climates, while providing a nutritional food source for livestock in pastures. However, Mr. Dallis probably had no idea that the food source for his cattle would one day turn into a troublesome weed for homeowners.

Dallisgrass is a hard to control perennial grass. Not only will it come back every spring, but it’s also a prolific seed producer – spreading seeds all season long with the help of wind, water, mowers, kids and pets. Pre-emergent applications can be effective when dealing with seeds, but they are totally ineffective in controlling existing plants.

So, if you can’t prevent the plant with a pre-emergent, how do you effectively get rid of it? There are really only four effective options:

  1. Dig it up. This is the most labor intensive option, but it does ensure that the plant is gone forever. It is recommended that you cover the newly bare areas with sod to prevent more weed seeds from germinating.
  2. Use a non-selective herbicide. Non-selective herbicides, commonly known as Round-up, will kill Dallisgrass, but it will also kill anything else it encounters, such as the existing turf around the plant. This option is effective, but will leave unsightly dead patches. Again, these dead patches should be covered over with sod to prevent more weeds from germinating and to keep a uniform appearance.
  3. Use a selective herbicide specifically labeled for Dallisgrass. This option is the most common, but chemicals only suppress Dallisgrass. Suppression will keep the plant growing lower to the ground so it’s less noticeable and unable to produce as many seeds. While reducing seed heads is beneficial, it’s not nearly as effective as eradicating the plant altogether.
  4. Call a professional. Lawn care professionals have stronger products available to them. LawnAmerica provides Dallisgrass protection for 6 and 7 step customers. Timing of the application is key to success (late summer into early fall).

Dallisgrass can be eliminated. But it will require one or a combination of all of the techniques above. Not to mention a healthy dose of persistence and patience.

For more information check out this information prepared by NCSU.

If you find yourself needing help with Dallisgras this year, contact LawnAmerica. We have several locations in North Carolina, including Asheville, Charlotte and Spartanburg/Greenville.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

You’ve seen the TV commercials by now, saying that you can spray Roundup for Lawns to kill all of your weeds without harming the grass. So a homeowner goes to the big box store and looks at the big fancy Roundup display, with all types of jugs saying Roundup on them…..for lawns, for cracks, for grasses, northern lawns, southern lawns, etc.  I noticed a consumer just staring over the different products before this picture was taken, walking away with nothing purchased after a minute of contemplation. Good call. Many unsuspecting homeowners will just grab the prettiest looking jug saying Roundup, buy it, spray on their weeds, and a week later wonder why their lawn looks dead. And the reason is that it probably is dead, after purchasing the Roundup that’s been around for years, which kills anything that’s green.

Roundup has the chemical glyphosate in it, a great compound, which has been used for over 40 years mainly in agriculture settings, along with spot-treating mainly in home lawns and landscapes. If a weed or plant is green and growing, Roundup will probably effectively and safely kill it. It will also kill the desirable turfgrass, be it bermudagrass, zoysisagrass, or fescue here in Carolina.

So Monsanto has apparently decided that since the name Roundup is so recognizable, why not just slap that name on a jug containing other chemicals that control broadleaf and grassy weeds without harming the turf, as most of the products we use at LawnAmerica do. This new “Roundup for Lawns” formulation does not contain glyphosate, but rather is a combination of four products commonly used for treating weeds in lawns:

  • MCPA
  • Quinclorac
  • Dicamba
  • Sulfentrazone

MCPA and Dicmaba are components of our common broadleaf herbicides, so they control things like dandelions. Sulfentrazone is the same thing as what we call Dismiss, the product we use in summer for good nutsedge control. And Quinclorac is a herbicide we now spray on Crabgrass, since MSMA is not available anymore. It does OK on Crabgrass (not great like MSMA did), but does not control weeds like Johnsongrass or Dallisgrass.

This new “Roundup for Lawns” states that it controls 253 weeds, as it should, since it’s actually a combination of four different herbicides. And as long as homeowners follow label instructions, it should work fine for most weeds.  A combination of four herbicides trying to cover all bases seems like overkill to me, more expensive, and a waste of product when maybe just one specific herbicide would do.

The problem is that mark my word, many people will be confused, buy the “real Roundup” with glyphosate in it, and spray it on their lawns thinking that it’s safe to use. That will kill their lawn since they sprayed glyphosate on it. This thing is just an accident waiting to happen.

So the best solution to this is really just to use a professional, like LawnAmerica! Monsanto just wants to sell their products and make money. That’s fine, but this marketing decision will cause confusion in the marketplace along with a bunch of dead lawns and angry homeowners. Just let the professionals do this….it will be a lot easier for you!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

It’s spring and every year tiny little yellow flowers start popping up all over the place. In a matter of days, children believe they can make wishes once they turn into white puffballs. But Carolina homeowners find these flowers to be nothing more than a nuisance.Dandelions are common weeds throughout the country, but thankfully LawnAmerica is here to help you treat and control them before they become a big problem.
Dandelions are considered a broadleaf perennial and can grow in almost any soil. This common weed has a long taproot, which can go down several feet in the soil and emerges in the spring.
Dandelions typically “disappear” ­– or more accurately – go dormant in the summer, as they don’t like the heat. But the long taproot allows it to survive and cycle back to life as cooler temperatures return.Pre-emergent applications, despite what you might assume, do very little in preventing dandelions from germinating each year. They can be adequately controlled by other methods though.

How to control Dandelions in your Carolina Lawn

  • Lawn Care: Healthy, dense lawns make it harder for weeds to germinate and grow. It’s important to keep your lawn thick and healthy to avoid dandelions
  • Mowing: Mowing over dandelions before they bloom can help prevent seeds from spreading across your lawn and neighborhood.
  • Hand pulling: Although this method may seem like an easy solution, it’s often a difficult method to controlling dandelions. If you don’t remove the entire root system, you will not only waste time, but you’ll be back to square one.
  • Spraying: The most common method would be to use herbicide labeled for broadleaf weeds.
  • Call the experts: The simplest solution is to call the experts at LawnAmerica. Evaluations are free for new customers and service calls are free for existing full program customers.

Don’t let dandelions take over your yard. If you find yourself needing help getting rid of weeds this year, contact LawnAmerica today.

Posted by & filed under landscape tips, landscaping.

 

Spring has finally arrived in North Carolina with trees, shrubs, and lawns coming out of dormancy after a somewhat mild winter. As the weather continues to warms up along with our beneficial April rains, it’s important to start preparing your landscape. Today I want to talk about four spring landscaping tips for Carolina homeowners.

Fertilize your Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn this time of year helps give your lawn the nutrients it needs as it is coming out of winter dormancy. Not only will fertilizing your lawn give you the healthy green color we all want, it will also help to thicken up the turf which will in turn naturally choke out weeds. Keep in mind though, not all fertilizers are created equal.

Mowing
Proper mowing is one of the most important cultural practices of taking care of your lawn.  It helps to remove any dying vegetation of weeds that may have been sprayed this spring. It is also a good idea to remove the dormant vegetation of bermudagrass lawns after the last freeze potential.  In North Carolina, you are usually safe to “scalp” your lawn after April 15th, but it does vary from season to season. For cool season grasses like Fescue, this is prime growing season so it isn’t unusual to have to mow twice a week or more.  Unlike warm season grasses, scalping is not recommended for Fescue, but rather a mowing height at 3 to 4 inches tall will provide the best-looking lawn.  Just make sure the blades on your mower are sharp.  Dull blades rip the grass and leave the grass damaged and more susceptible to disease.

Replant and Replace Trees and Shrubs

Now is a good time to also replant new trees and shrubs, replacing ones that are either dead or just not doing well. I planted a new Japanese Maple where my Redbud was, and it looks great. I’ll prune back dead growth on certain shrubs, so that new growth can come in and grow. This will help keep your landscape looking more polished once summer arrives.

Check your Irrigation System

Another important part of Spring is making sure that your lawn is getting the proper amount of water.  Thankfully we are getting our fair share of help from Mother Nature, but it is North Carolina we all know that weather conditions can turn on dime.  That’s why it is important to check your sprinkler system.  Verify that there aren’t any leaks and that all of the heads are working properly.  In some cases, your shrubs may need to be trimmed to allow proper coverage or the height of the sprinkler heads may need to be adjusted.  If you are uncomfortable with doing it yourself, there are plenty of reputable companies available to help.  We have a few listed on our website under our page.

Now that spring is here, it’s a great time to get your landscape ready for the warmer weather ahead. Just keep these four tips in mind to ensure your landscape is looking its best. If you ever have a problem or concern regarding your landscape, give us a call!

Posted by & filed under fertilizer.

Fertilizer is fertilizer, right? Well, not exactly.

It’s true that most fertilizers contain a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K), but that’s where the similarities end. While phosphorus and potassium are important and have their place, today we are going to focus on nitrogen, because let’s face it, when we think about applying fertilizer we’re looking for a greener lawn.

Nitrogen is the nutrient most responsible for the green color that is so important to homeowners.  But not all nitrogen sources in fertilizer are made equal or provide the same level of performance.

There are quick release, slow release, controlled release and even stabilized nitrogen products.

Many companies will stick mainly with the quick release products like urea, primarily because it’s a less expensive alternative to the various slow release products. Urea usually releases all of the available nitrogen to the plant and is gone over the course of two-four weeks.

At LawnAmerica though we take a different approach.  We still utilize urea, but as a component of a more balanced nitrogen source.  Our current blend of fertilizer, 36-1-3 contains 25% controlled and slow release nitrogen.

Our fertilizer is custom blended just for us utilizing products like Polyon and Duration CR which are controlled release nitrogen sources designed to last 12 weeks or longer.  We also utilize UFLEXX and UMAXX, which are stabilized nitrogen fertilizers.  Basically, that means they are less likely to be volatized into the atmosphere allowing more time for the product to be properly absorbed into the soil where it can be utilized by the plant.  XCU is another slow release nitrogen that achieves longer release times through polymer-coated sulfur coated urea.
The combination of these products allows us to apply fertilizers now as many of the Fescue lawns in the Carolinas are looking really good, while still having plenty of nitrogen in reserve in the soil to maintain a healthy green color without creating an unnecessary surge of growth over the coming months.

It does cost more to be able to use the advanced nitrogen sources, but in our opinion it is the right thing to do.

There is one other thing that makes our fertilizer better than most. Our people!

When you partner with LawnAmerica to take care of your lawn, you not only get the best products available on the market, you get the best staff as well.   Contact us today to make sure you are giving your lawn the best!

Posted by & filed under Flowers, landscaping, Tree & shrub.

Knockout RoseMites are.little microscopic creatures which serve no purpose whatsoever, other than to cause turf managers, landscapers, and homeowners to despair. Now Rose bushes in Carolina and other areas of the country are being attacked and even killed by the Rose Rosette Virus, which is spread by the tiny eriophyrid mites from plant to plant. “The disease alters the growth habits and form of the rose,” said Steve Huddleston, senior horticulturalist for the Dallas Arboretum, which has had no roses since 2015. “It results in a phenomenon called witch’s broom, where the ends of the branches get shortened and twisted close together like a broom.”  Even if plants do survive, they are weakened and more likely to develop other problems which could kill the Roses. In my case, two large plants were affected last year, and after some pruning, not much is left other than one small flower for now.

There is not much a homeowner can do to prevent Rose Rosette Virus, other than removing and destroying infected plants. Applying a dormant oil monthly may help somewhat with controlling mites. Planting Roses with other shrubs in the landscape spaced in between them may help cut back on infection by separating the plants.

For more complete information on Rose Rossete Disease, CLICK HERE for a good fact sheet.from Oklahoma State University.

 

Posted by & filed under General, Lawn Care, post-emergent, pre-emergent, Weed-control.

Tree SaplingsLawns are actually not natural. They are nice, healthy, and add tremendous environmental benefits to the urban environment. Mother Nature however is always trying to do her thing, and attempting to eventually grow a forest in your lawn. That’s what all these little tree saplings are that always pop up in Carolina lawns in spring. Many homeowners think they are weeds, and technically they are, as a weed is a plant growing out of place. Homeowners want lawns, with only turf such as fescue growing and no weeds, or tree saplings.

These tree saplings are actually little trees germinating from seeds that blew into the soil last year, or planted by squirrels and other animals, such as acorns from oak trees. Maples, hackberry, elm, and oaks are notorious seed producers. So if you or your neighbors have these types of trees, you’ll probably have tree saplings in your lawn every spring. Pre-emergent products applied earlier don’t do anything to prevent tree saplings from germinating, so they will just come up anyway. It’s really impractical to spray these with a post-emergent herbicide, as they will die out as soon as the lawn is mowed. So they will simply go away soon with mowing, and they don’t put any pressure on the turf at all.

If the lawn was not mowed and you allowed Mother Nature to run her course, then eventually you’d actually have a forest in your lawn. But that’s not going to happen, as you’d receive a citation from the city well before that would come about! So we recommend to just mow them down, as lawns need mowing now anyway.

 

Posted by & filed under Environmental, General, landscaping, Lawn Care.

April National Lawn CareEvery spring in April we celebrate the contribution that healthy lawns play in our families and communities in North Carolina. At LawnAmerica, we take great pride in doing what we do…….caring for lawns so that families can have more free time to do the things they really enjoy. We do this with properly timed treatments of fertilizers, weed-control products, and other inputs which turf needs to remain healthy and thrive. It can be a lot of work, and it’s hard when dealing with the curveballs that Mother Nature throws us at times. We do it for a big payoff though, and it’s much more than just for money in our pockets.

In addition to the aesthetics and economic benefits of quality turf, healthy lawns provide big environmental benefits, such as healthier air and less runoff. To read about the positive benefits of healthy turf, CLICK HERE.

According to a survey commissioned by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and conducted by Harris Poll in May 2015, eighty-three percent of Americans think having a yard is important. Here are a few insights about the value of our lawns and backyards.

Your neighborhood’s landscaping is important. Americans (91%) want to live in an area where they can see or walk to nice landscaping. So if you want the best chance of increasing the home prices in your neighborhood, make sure the landscaping looks good.

Your neighbors care what your yard looks like. Seventy-one percent think it is important that their neighbors have well-maintained yards. Perhaps “good landscaping makes good neighbors” should be the new word.

NIce landscaping helps to sell your house. Eighty-four percent say that the quality of a home’s landscaping would affect their decision about whether or not to buy. Great neighborhood landscaping helps, but it isn’t enough; yours needs to look good too.

 

We want to enjoy our yards. Seventy-five percent of people feel that it is important to spend time outside in their yards.

Despite common misperceptions, even Millennials want to spend time in their yards. Seventy-five percent of Millennials think spending time outside in their yards is important.

People want help with their landscape. A large majority of Americans (67%) agree that professional landscape help would allow them to have a nicer yard.

So show your love for your lawn this April, by showering it with the attention it deserves and partnering with the professionals at LawnAmerica!

Posted by & filed under Lawn Care.

earthday

This month on April 22nd, we’ll enjoy Earth Day, a celebration of the earth we live on. It’s an amazing place, this planet, created by God for us to live on and enjoy. Too bad we humans seem to mess it up at times. From one who actually makes his living by tending to the earth, loves the outdoors, and who spent over 4 months hiking through a beautiful part of our earth on the Appalachian Trail 5 years ago, I truly do love the earth and the benefits and bounty it provides.

For most homeowners in the Carolina area, our part of the earth we’re most responsible for is our lawn and landscape. A well-cared for lawn not only looks good and adds value to a home, it also provides real environmental benefits to urban cities such as the Charlotte or Asheville area. A 50×50 foot lawn area (that’s pretty small actually) will supply enough oxygen generation for a family of four, while absorbing harmful carbon dioxide and other gasses. Lawns in our county can store up to 37 billion tons of carbon, lessening the impact of global warming on our earth. The air temperature over grass can be up to 30 degrees cooler than the air over a blacktop driveway or parking lot. So a healthy green lawn and landscaping will cool our cities, lessening the heat trapping effect of concrete. Lawns and landscapes help buffer sound pollution, trap dirt, and prevent soil erosion, all of which help make our cities more livable.

According to a recent Harris Poll, most homeowners love their lawns, with 88% of Americans saying that having a nice lawn and landscape is important. A well cared for lawn and landscape has solid economic value, adding up to 15% to the value of a home most experts agree. Add the aesthetic and psychological benefits of enjoying a nice-looking lawn, and it just makes sense to do what we can to appreciate and care for our lawns well.

The products and the processes that professionals and homeowners use to provide the results of a healthy green lawn are safe and pose hardly any risk to people, pets, and the environment. It’s important to follow label instructions, and practice Integrated Pest Management, which basically means treating for weeds and pests only if there is a problem that justifies that treatment. Using organic-based and slow-release fertilizers at the proper times and using correct rates is important. And cultural practices such as proper mowing and irrigation also can go a long way towards growing a healthy lawn in conjunction with environmentally responsible application of fertilizers and weed-control products.

So April is a great time to invest in your little part of the earth and love your lawn, by taking care of it responsibly, and nurture it to provide the amazing benefits that it can provide us. For more information on the benefits and care of lawns, visit www.loveyourlandscape.org or www.thelawninstitute.org.

Posted by & filed under General.

The effects of global warming are being demonstrated right before our eyes now in Carolina lawns, of all places. We’ve been receiving strange reports at LawnAmerica of doughnuts appearing overnight in area lawns. That’s weird enough, but our concern is that people have been eating those, only to experience some sort of hallucinogenic effect and acting goofy and such after consuming these.

What seems to have happened is with the extremely warm winter and now spring, a rare mushroom has moved up from Mexico, that historically grows only in hot, dry climates. And in Mexico, they are known for their hallucinogenic effects on people, not harming them, but causing them to act goofy, almost like they are drunk or high on something. As the species has moved north into the south, it’s actually evolved into what’s called a doughroom. Seems that it looks more like a doughnut than a mushroom, and it appears very only after a hot spell, when temperatures cool just a little at night to below 48 degrees and the humidity increases to be above 60. So a homeowner wakes up to discover what looks like doughnuts all over their lawn!

These are actually called doughooms, not doughnuts, but tell that to a lady leaving for the office without breakfast or a hungry kid on his way to school. Many have been gobbling these up, only to be a little loopy a few hours later. Reports from a school in Huntersville are that a most of a 4th grade class had gone crazy and tied up their teacher with masking tape while going out for recess all day running around on the playground. And homeowners have been thinking they were like Moses and the Israelites receiving “doughnuts from heaven” or something. And after consuming these doughrooms, they’ve been reported to be doing crazy, illogical things, like calling Trugreen to care for their lawn rather than LawnAmerica.

So if doughrooms appear in your lawn, don’t pick them, and for sure don’t eat them! Only LawnAmerica has the effective control for these. Contact us now, and we’ll have one of our friendly, experienced Route Mangers come out to spray these and rid your lawn of this invasive species. Or we can safely gather those up, and take them to our sales guy, Darrell. Some people are immune to the goofy effects of Doughrooms, and he is one of the lucky few. He can consume mass quantities of these, and not show any of the hallucinogenic effects of these.

And…….Happy April Fools Day from LawnAmerica!