Posted by & filed under fertilizer, herbicide.

Recently, my wife and I spent a good portion of the summer in the beautiful mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado. I couldn’t help but notice how green and lush the bluegrass was while enjoying one of the outdoor concerts in the area. Kids were happily playing in the grass, others laying on it, and I even caught a glimpse of a woman running her hands over the soft blades of grass as though she were petting a dog.

I wondered if the experience would have been as pleasant if the park was not allowed to use fertilizers and herbicides to achieve such a thick, inviting lawn.

The word “herbicides” can have a negative connotation in some parts of the country. The perception is that herbicides are harmful, or really not needed to get a beautiful lawn. In fact, some municipalities have passed ordinances prohibiting the use of pesticides on lawns and in landscapes.

But when it comes to grass, people want it green and weed free and that can only happen with the use of herbicides.

Some might object, going along with the opinion or belief of the day. But if you do the research, while there are some risks to using herbicides, they’re minimal if used properly. The benefits include a beautiful, thick lawn everyone enjoys when they’re running barefoot on it. When push comes to shove, most customers tell us to use whatever is necessary to make the lawn look great – trusting us to do the right thing.

So, whether it’s a park, sports venue, golf course or backyard, fertilizers and herbicides are necessary tools to help produce the healthy, green, beautiful lawn Americans love. Professionals, such as LawnAmerica, know how to use these tools properly, doing what we do with pride.

As for the city that banned pesticides? Recently, an upper court judge ruled that the local ban was not valid, since there are already state and federal rules in place to properly regulate the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

We’ve seen a huge influx of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale this year and it’s becoming a big problem and you may want to know what it is and how it can be treated.

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is a fairly new insect problem in our area that’s just developed specifically on Crape Myrtles in the past few years after coming up from Texas. This particular type of scale looks like a small white waxy lump and will always be located somewhere on the branch of the Crape Myrtle. Scale is an insect that feeds on the plant, and over time can kill it.

There are things that can be done to treat and prevent Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. At LawnAmerica, we use a very effective product. It’s a systemic insecticide that is absorbed through the leaves, stems and roots. The best time to treat for scale is in February/ March when scale is just coming out of dormancy and is most susceptible to insecticides. However, LawnAmerica can treat for scale at anytime of the year and it will produce fairly good results. Prevention of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale can, in most cases, be achieved by spraying them in February with Safari systemic insecticide and Dormant Oil, and then following  up with a second spray in April/Early May.

If you are trying to treat scale yourself, aim for treating in February with a mix of Imidacloprid systemic insecticide and Dormant Oil.  You will want to treat again in April. If the Crape Myrtles aren’t too tall, you can remove a good bit of scale by using a brush and a light soapy water solution.  Keep in mind the treatments you can buy in stores is not as effective as professional treatments in scale treatment, but will definitely keep the scale at a manageable level and should keep your Crape Myrtles healthy.

If your Crape Myrtles aren’t looking their best, the professionals at LawnAmerica can help. Give us a call for more information or to schedule treatment.

Summer Lawn Tips

Posted by & filed under summer lawn care tips.

The sun is intense this time of year. We find ourselves slathering on sunscreen and grabbing extra water, but what about your lawn? With the scorching temperatures we’ve been seeing, your lawn may need some extra care. The experts at LawnAmerica want to help ensure that your lawn looks its best during these hot summer days with these hot summer lawn care tips.

Tip #1: Ensure you are watering enough

It’s recommended that you water your lawn with one and a half inches of water per week. Longer watering, spaced a few days apart is also recommended compared to shorter more frequent cycles.

Short watering causes the roots to stay in the upper few inches of soil. These upper inches tend to be the first areas to dry out and cause the plant to show signs of stress.  Less frequent, longer water cycles tend to encourage root growth to go deeper into the soil where moisture is more readily available.

You can measure the amount of water your lawn is getting by placing empty tuna cans around your yard. Most tuna cans are roughly a half inch in height, so if you fill up the cans three times per week, your lawn should be getting sufficient water.

Tip #2: Water your lawn at the correct time

The best time to water is in the morning between 4 AM – 7 AM. At that time, it’s cooler and there is less wind, allowing the moisture to be absorbed before evaporating. It also allows the lawn time to dry as the morning progresses.

Lawns that are watered at night will stay damp and are more susceptible to fungal diseases. While afternoon watering increases the amount of moisture lost due to evaporation and rather than “cooling” the turf, it amplifies the heat and humidity.

Tip #3: Adjust your mower height  

Cool season turf, such as Fescue, needs to be mowed at the tallest possible setting. Warm season turf like Bermuda grass can generally handle being mowed at a lower level compared to Fescue.

No more than 1/3 of the grass blade should be removed at one time. For example, if your grass is 3 inches tall, cut no more than 1 inch off each time. Doing so will remove a lot of the dark green color, but will also add unnecessary stress to the plant.

Ideally, mowing cycles would be based on the 1/3 rule, not the “I cut my grass every Saturday” rule.

Tip #4: Don’t panic if your lawn turns brown

If you can’t water and your lawn starts to turn brown, don’t be overly concerned. Heat stressed Bermuda grass will go dormant and turn brown, much like it does in the winter. It isn’t dead, but it is conserving energy. Once the stress of the heat is gone, or moisture improves, color returns and recovers nicely.

Fescue on the other hand, won’t go dormant but will stop growing and tend to turn brown. Depending on the length of the heat and lack of moisture, it may recover, but most likely will require supplemental seeding in the fall to help re-establish anything that doesn’t recover.

Summer lawn care is essential in these hot temperatures. Contact LawnAmerica to help keep your lawn looking its best this summer!

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