By Rick Orr Fall 2014
Cool air and soil temperatures suspend normal turf growth – a type of hibernation until warmer temperatures arrive in the spring. However not everything is on hold until the next warm spring day. Some weeds and fungus can thrive in the cooler temperatures. Winterizing your lawn is necessary to take care of the fungus and weeds that can attack your lawn during the winter months. I use granular fertilizers high in Potassium and strong liquid herbicides to “Winterize” your lawn.
by Rick Orr Fall 2014
Those brown circular patches of dead grass in your St Augustine turf grass lawn are probably brown patch. Brown Patch forms distinct circles or joined lobed circles of brown grass with a “halo” of yellow grass. The pathogen is a soil born fungus and can not be eliminated. The Good News: Except for the worse cases, Brown Patch can be controlled with good cultural practices! With the cooler temperatures and wetter soils, Brown Patch is active in lawns in St Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater areas.
by Robin Kay Fall 2014
We avoid bragging at APL Lawn Spraying - we think every healthy lush green lawn speaks loudly for our work. However, there are times when we just get so many compliments, we need to share them with everyone. Thank You to all who wrote kind words about our service at Angie's list where we have "A" rating.
I told the owner the truth about her lawn – the plot of land she wanted to cover with St Augustine turf had limitations. This was her third attempt in 5 years to establish a lawn. It was evident the heavily wooded lot had too many tree roots and a too poor a soil to sustain a beautiful lawn. Sure there were patches of nice turf here and there but there were bare areas too! The owner just could not grasp the idea that her wooded lot had limitations – a picture perfect edge to edge St Augustine lawn was not possible. She believed there had to be a way to overcome the problems.
by Rick Orr Summer 2014
After heavy rains, high humidly and warm nights, it is not uncommon to have large white mushrooms growing out of your lawn in the morning. Often these mushrooms form a circle or an arc on the outer edge of a circle of darker greener turf. This is a fairy ring.
by Rick Orr Summer 2014
Fall is a transitional period in Pinellas County for St Augustine turf grass lawn – the transition from the rapid growth of summer to the sugar storage of Fall. Transitioning from from the rapid growth of summer to sugar storage is triggered by longer nights signaling the plant to remove sugars from leaves and send them to roots. The end results is more brown leaves and fewer green leaves and a lawn often described as “dying”. But the lawn is not dying, it is storing up for the winter and the the spring. So what to do in the Fall for your St Augustine turf grass lawn?
by Rick Orr Spring 2014
A healthy lawn is far more than a decorative patch of grass. A healthy lawn is a manmade improvement that enhances urban living. A healthy lawn captures the dust, pollen and solids that are picked by the wind and recycles them into plant food. And a healthy lawn filters and purifies rainwater (rainwater is not as “clean” as you think). However, the environmentalists have fought to discourage homeowners from growing healthy lawns by lobbying for fertilizer, pesticides and watering restrictions and stigmatizing lawns. Why? They believe the natural is superior to a any manmade improvement. But, are they right?
Lawn Fertilization does not Pollute
In recent years there has been a lot of chatter, finger pointing and even laws passed because of the persistent belief that fertilizing lawns is polluting rivers, lakes and seas in Florida. Well, new research confirms the old research that lawns take up virtually every drop of fertilizer applied to the lawn. And if you think this is junk science or research done by a biased group, the research is conducted by the University of Florida, funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Florida EPA) and procedures and techniques are monitored and controlled by the Florida EPA. This research is the real thing and it will leave egg on the faces of environmentalists as well as the politicians who listened to their junk science about lawn fertilization.
Hear for Yourself
Got to about the 2:15 mark and you'll hear Dr Trenholm drop the bombshell "… grass has a tremendous ability to take up virtually all the fertilizer that we apply to it"
Understanding the Video
Dr Trenholm parsed her words carefully to ensure they could not be deconstructed by rabid environmentalists. Yet she was very clear on two points:
- Unbiased broad spectrum Research - The research was funded by the Florida EPA and done on a "Wide Variety of Circumstances"
- No Escape for the Fertilizer - Dr Trenholm states "…grass has a tremendous ability to take up virtually all the fertilizer that we apply to it"
What about the Over Fertilizing and Heavy Rains Disclaimer
What about over fertilizing and heavy rains? Well, first I use less than the recommended rates because we're good - we're professionals! We don't need to over fertilize for effect - we can keep your lawn healthy with less than the recommended rate. Plus we are a "for profit" business and applying any more fertilizer than necessary cuts into profits.
As far as the rains, that is why we use liquid fertilizers in the rainy season. Sounds counterintuitive but unlike granular fertilizers that lay on the surface, liquids are chemically charged and adhere to organic matter. Rains only help spread the liquid over more surface for greater absorption.
Black Eye for Environmentalists and Law Makers
Dr Trenholm’s research is a swift kick to the environmentalist's and law-maker's backside who promoted and passed fertilizer bans. When you use words like "tremendous ability" you are talking extreme - lawns are extreme at taking up fertilizer. And for a scientist to say "virtually all" they mean all - they just can't be that definitive about agricultural research. The bottom line - Fertilizing lawns does not pollute our water bodies.
Here is a link to more information about this at ILOVETURF.COM: The Lake is Slimy Green because of People Fertilizing Their Lawns: Myth Debunked
Lesson #1 explains why the best mowing height is 3" or Higher for a St Augustine Turf Grass Lawn.
Many fail at growing a St Augustine Turf Grass lawn because they try to mow the lawn just like back home - in Jersey or Philly. But this is Pinellas County, where the soil is different, the climate is different and most important - the grass is different. In Pinellas County, Florida, the best lawn is a St Augustine turf grass lawn. And not all grasses are created equal - watch the video to learn how.
ILOVETURF.COM is an extension service of APL Lawn Spraying - a free service to the community to encourage good cultural practices to cultivate healthy lawns. This brief video highlights the main features of ILOVETURF.COM - Education, Connected and Customer Service. The articles, videos, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are free to the public but only customers of APL Lawn Spraying have access to customer service center.