WHAT IS INVOLVED IN GREEN LANDSCAPING?

Green Landscaping or sustainable landscaping as it is sometimes called is a way of designing and maintaining a beautiful yard, garden, or larger grounds using techniques and products that reduce harm to the environment and save time and money with lower maintenance in the long run. It takes a little effort and expense up front, but the benefits can provide a healthier place to work and play.

WHY DOES MY TURF HAVE YELLOW PATCHES AND WEEDY PATCHES IF WE GET WEED CONTROL TREATMENTS?

What you are seeing is called Poa. Weather conditions this year created the perfect environment for both Poa trivialis and Poa annua. Some of our clients have experienced this common pest in the past, but this year has been extreme. Poa trivialis seeds or stolens can lie dormant in the soil for many years, germinating or emerging under favorable conditions, like wet seasons. Poa annua is a winter annual that germinates in late summer/early fall and often dies in the heat of the summer. There are treatments for both, but this year we are giving clients the option of spot treatments, re-seeding, or waiting it out. Poa annua will most definitely die off. If you have questions, please contact support@barringerlandscape.com and we will work with you on your specific situation.

PLEASE EXPLAIN THE TREE BANDING THAT I SEE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD EACH DECEMBER?

The female adult moth is gray and cannot fly. The male is a small brown moth with wings. The first cold snap in early winter alerts the adult moths to leave their in-ground cocoons. This usually occurs during the third or fourth week in November. The female crawls up any vertical object (all species of trees, houses, street lights, etc.) determined to reach the highest point possible to lay thousands of eggs on twigs and branches. This climbing habit is why the tree banding practice of treatment is used. When the female is trapped on the way up, we prevent the laying of thousands of eggs. The more traps installed, the greater the reduction in the caterpillar population in the spring.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MULCH AND WHEN DO YOU MULCH?

Mulch serves 2 purposes.  First to insulate plants and secondly for comestic reasons.  Most homeowners will wait until the leaf litter is removed before applying a 3-4″ layer of pine needle, pine bark or hardwood mulch.

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IF I WANT TULIPS NEXT SPRING, WHEN DO I PLANT THE BULBS?

Plant them by late November.  Based on the height of the tulip there are specific depth requirements for the planting the bulbs, but most are planted 6-8″ below ground.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT WATER RESTRICTION IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY?

Currently you may water your lawn 2 days per week Charlotte/Mecklenburg.  Odd addresses on Tuesday/Saturday and even addresses on Thursday/Sunday.  See the attached link for full details.http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Utilities/WaterSmart/Mandatory+Restrictions%3a+What%27s+Allowed.htm

I HEAR THAT MECKLENBURG COUNTY MAY FURTHER RESTRICT WATERING, IS IT STILL WORTH IT TO AERATE AND SEED?

Experts agree that fall is the time to reseed fescue lawns.  Though ideal watering intervals have been temporarily restricted, we WILL get natural rain at some point.  Having the seed in place now before the heavy leaf litter drops is imperative. Skipping this crucial step in the fescue turf calendar is not advised.

WHY DO LEAVES CHANGE COLOR IN THE FALL?

Leaves do not change color as much as they simply become less green. The reds, yellow and oranges of fall are actually present in the leaf throughout the growing season: they just become more visible as the green chlorophyll wanes in preparation for winter.

WHY DO TREES HAVE RINGS?

Rings are made up of tiny ?pipes? that transport water and nutrients throughout the tree. Each year, a tree creates one larger ring in spring and a smaller ring with a slightly different color in summer; together they represent one year of growth. Incidentally, rings are only present in trees that go through a rest period each winter.

WHY DOES MY LAWN LOOK THE WORST IN THE SUMMER? I THOUGHT GRASS SHOULD LOOK GREAT IN THE SUMMER?

Fescue is a cool season turf which means it performs best in the spring and fall. Summer is actually one of its dormant seasons. It does not grow at the rate it does in the spring or fall and thus is susceptible to weeds and disease during the summer months. To help it look its best during those months water 1” per week IN THE EARLY MORNING ONLY. Apply a fungicide to prevent brown patch and feed your turf with Iron to provide green up without the nitrogen.

IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT WATERING RESTRICTIONS, WHAT HAPPENS IF I DECIDE TO NOT AERATE AND OVER SEED IN THE FALL BUT RATHER WAIT UNTIL THE SPRING?

We do not recommend this for 2 reasons.  First, in order to seed in the spring you can not apply the pre-emergent application for crabgrass prevention thus creating a weed infestation all spring and summer.  Secondly, if you seed in the spring the new seedlings will not have enough time to root deeply enough to protect themselves from the harsh heat and humidity of July and August.
OUR RECOMMENDATION:  Core aerate and over seed your fescue lawn between mid-September and mid-October.

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IN LIGHT OF THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS AND CURRENT BAN ON LAWN WATERING IN THE AREA, WAS THE PROCESS OF AERATION AND SEEDING ALL FOR NAUGHT?

The short answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT.  In light of the current restrictions on lawn watering, we are reminded how dependent we have become on automatic sprinkler systems.  At this point we cannot rely on our ideal watering regime but have to revert back to days of old and let nature do what is does best.  Please remember that this is a multipurpose process:

  1. Aeration of fescue lawns is essential to expose air and moisture to the existing root systems of your established lawn(This is not contingent on watering)
  2. We have also applied a starter fertilizer that in addition to aiding the germination process feeds your existing fescue at this time.  (This is not contingent on watering)
  3. We are still within this small window of opportunity to introduce new seed to your lawn before the heavy leaf litter limits proper seed placement  (September 1-October 15th)
  4. Though irrigation systems have reduced the natural germination cycle down to 10-14 days, we are now having to rely on natural rainfall to complete this process.

IF I HAVE NOT HAD THIS SERVICE PERFORMED ON MY LAWN, IS IT TOO LATE OR SHOULD I EVEN HAVE IT DONE?

Fall is the beginning of the fescue turf calendar and the process we perform will determine the health and quality of your lawn throughout the year.  We will not disregard this most important part of your turf care program.  In normal conditions, we would recommend watering your newly seeded lawn multiple times throughout the day every day until germination occurs (about 2 weeks).  Watering just long enough to moisten the soil.  However, due to the ban, we now have to rely on natural rainfall to complete this process.  In addition, aeration and fertilization are a huge part of the process and neither are contingent on watering after completion.
OUR PLAN:  Core aerate, fertilize and over seed between early September and early October.

IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT WATER RESTRICTIONS, WHAT IF I WANT TO WAIT UNTIL LATER IN THE FALL, SAY NOVEMBER OR EARLY DECEMBER TO CORE AERATE AND OVER SEED MY FESCUE LAWN?

Your chances for germination are far greater if the seed is sown between mid-September and mid-October.  Seed will germinate after that, but the percentage of germination declines.  If you wait too late you will also be faced with leaf litter damaging your new seedlings thus affecting the quality of your new lawn.  Lastly, the turf applications we recommend are timing related and waiting this late will not allow you to apply your pre-emergent herbicide in time to ward off crabgrass and other weeds that germinate in the early spring.
OUR RECOMMENDATION:  Core aerate and over seed your fescue lawn between mid-September and mid-October.

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WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND OVER SEEDING EVERY YEAR? IN LIGHT OF THE RESTRICTIONS, WHY NOT JUST SKIP IT UNTIL NEXT FALL?

Each blade of fescue is a plant. Unlike some warm season grasses like bermuda, fescue does not crawl and fill in on its own. The more dense the turf the less likely weeds will emerge and the stronger the turf will be against disease. Fall is the beginning of the fescue turf calendar and the process we recommend will determine the health and quality of your lawn throughout the year.  We are very interested in partnering with the city on water conservation while keeping beautiful lawns across our area. Though the current restrictions do not allow for our premierrecommendations for watering newly seeded lawn, it does allow you to water; so we will not disregard this most important part of our client’s turf care program.  In normal conditions, we would recommend watering a newly seeded lawn multiple times throughout the day every day until germination occurs (about 2 weeks). Watering just long enough to moisten the soil.  To remain within the city guidelines, those multiple times will have to be conducted only on days allowed as outlined below.

As of 8-28-07:

No lawn watering by anyone on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
ODD Number Addresses ? Watering is allowed on Tuesdays and Saturdays
EVEN Number Addresses ? Watering is allowed on Thursday and Sundays

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO FERTILIZE MY AZALEAS?

You want to fertilize and prune Azaleas after blooms are spent, basically between April and May. To learn about pruning techniques visit our February tips-Spring Flowers/Woody Plants for details.

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CAN I PRUNE MY HYDRANGEAS AFTER THEY BLOOM?

You CAN prune hydrangeas that flower on new wood and have papery leaves like: Hydrangea arborescens? Annabelle? Grandiflora? Hydrangea paniculata? Grandiflora? Tardiva?.

DO NOT prune hydrangeas that flower on old wood and have waxy leaves like: Hydrangea macrophylla ?All Summer Beauty: “Forever Pink? ? Blue Wave? ?Mareissii? ?Variegata? ?Nikko? Hydrangea quercifolia ?Oakleaf? ?Snow Queen?

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PLEASE EXPLAIN THE ARMY WORM INFESTATION RECENTLY IN THE AREA?

You may have read in the  Charlotte Observer newspaper Thursday 10/10/01 that there is an uncharacteristically incredible infestation of the Fall Army Worm. The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service did not predict it and call it an epidemic. In short, the army worm feeds on fresh growth of new grass and can wipe out an entire lawn in a matter of days. To see if your soil has them hiding in it, try this simple test. Put 2 ozs of dishwashing liquid in 4 gallons of water. Pour the mix on a 3 feet by 3 feet area of lawn. The soapy solution will irritate the caterpillars and flush them up. This will not harm the turf. An insecticide treatment like Sevan should be applied if more than 8 or 9 worms surface.