Your Central Texas Lawn Update: Summer 2022
Turf & Soil What We’re Seeing
Because soil temperatures were about 30 days behind their typical norms this spring,
lawns have taken longer to green up and weeds had a longer growing season.
Early signs of drought stress due to winter drought and a cooler spring. This has caused the turf’s root systems to be more brittle, impacting their ability to absorb and retain water.
This spring, we experienced many windy days, so much so that wind advisory warnings were more frequent. High winds can reduce the effectiveness of your sprinkler systems in two ways: it becomes more dispersed and evaporates faster. The combination of these factors places
additional stress on your turf’s root system, hence the delay of lawn green up this year.
we are applying chocolate loam sooner than normal to assist you in getting a head start in summer prep.
Loam adds much needed soil depth to
hold water and protect grass roots To accommodate a wider variety of needs, you can select either 1/2″ or 3/4″ coverage
saves water and heat stress that leads to hydrophobic soil. Hydrophobic soil is very common in Central Texas due to our hot climate and mild winters coupled with sparse rainfall. It’s the soil’s natural way of protecting itself from heat. The soil produces a “waxy” layer on the surface to retain the moisture it has. Unfortunately, it results in repelling water instead of absorbing it. It’s the effect most observed in potted plants, where the water pools on the surface rather than immediately being absorbed into the soil.
To avoid hydrophobic soil, we use Hydretain! Using science,
Hydretain reduces moisture evaporation from the soil by transforming humidity into plant-usable water droplets. This means your root system can absorb and retain 50% more water!
Round 4 of our fertilization program prepares for Central Texas summer heat. We focus on
improving turf health and density by creating deeper roots and adjusting pH levels.
continued stolon growth with less risk of “burning”
Iron is added to give a pop of color without taxing the nutrients currently in the soil Treat against grassy weeds
spot-treat all broadleaf weeds and monitor all insect and disease activity on every visit
If you have Bermuda grass, mow your lawn weekly and do not bag the clippings, as
they are a source of water, nutrients, and act as a “sunscreen” to insulate the roots.
For those of you who have St. Augustine lawns, it would be wise to
raise your mower setting one notch as it loves the warmth of summer but is less drought tolerant than Bermuda grass.
Use the cycle and soak watering method wherein you set your irrigation system to run additional cycles, but each has a shorter duration.
Trees & Shrubs What We’re Seeing
We are seeing bark scale on crepe myrtles. This insect feeds on the sugars of the plant and love crepe myrtles because it is easy for them to attach themselves. Bark scale secrete the sugar back onto the bark causing a black sooty mold that takes time to work its way off of the plant.
Leafhoppers are feeding on the chlorophyll of leaves or the tissue itself. Although they don’t cause lasting damage to the trees, they can
cause deficiencies and irregular growth.
Usually, we see soil compaction with the heat, especially in mulch beds which can restrict nutrients, airflow and drainage. However, the primary source of nutrient deficiency is over watering or saturation. No more than an inch weekly is needed for your beds;
more water doesn’t equal better growth, in fact it’s the opposite!
We are seeing the Genesta caterpillar on Mountain Laurels,
which feeds on the new growth tissue.
Bag worms are on pecan trees! They build a bag looking web (would be a great Halloween decoration if they weren’t so damaging) on the tips of the branches and feed on the leaves.
Your technician will easily take care of these bad boys.
Leaf spot and black spot fungus are popularly found on Red Tip Photinias, Indian Hawthornes, Hollies, and a few other plants & trees. The fungus develops due to:
High humidity levels
Overnight watering with extreme fluctuations of temperatures
Unnecessary build up of moisture in low points of the beds
technicians are reporting a significant uptick in the aphid population that is the result of the late (behind from the latest freezes) but quick growth.
This spring, our arborists and technicians spotted
freeze damage in various plants that caused dieback; most notably were Viburnum, Ligustrum and Palms. Some trees, specifically Ash and Monterrey Oaks were subjected to damage for the cold snap. What We’re Doing
From May through October, we are on insect and disease patrol! Our special treatments help control and prevent damage in your landscape.
four applications about every 30-40 days to protect from chewing & sucking insects and fungal diseases. We use systemic pesticides that are absorbed by the plant whenever we can. They work their way through the plant’s tissues, killing disease and insects as they do. Plus, they’re great for your landscape and the environment!
What You Can Do
Did you know more water in your landscape causes more harm than good? This is the primary source of nutrient deficiency! No more than an inch weekly is needed for your beds.
To build root strength, the plant needs to process the water, so allow at least 2-3 days between waterings.
Use correct watering habits to avoid fungal, bacterial and algae diseases. Apply the “Goldilocks” technique. Under-watering your trees and shrubs can make them more susceptible to fungus and insect issues, but overwatering is even more dangerous because it can actually end up killing the plant. It’s a common misconception that you should water a whole lot at one time, and that’s not true. With our limestone and clay soils, you really want to do low amounts of time when you’re watering.
Ten to 15 minutes twice a week is “just right”.
Trees, shrubs, and plants are your
largest landscaping investment, take time to enjoy and inspect them at least every two weeks. If you see anything which causes concern, please give us a call and we will send your technician. Ready for the summer heat? We are!
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