Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beware, be aware

This week I was out performing my fall applications when I saw a rival truck from one of the larger companies spraying a lawn down the street.

Thinking that it was a new weed control other than Sarritor, I stopped to ask what he was spraying.

The dude told me he was doing a nematode application.

Well it was quite sunny and hot and as I looked up at the sun I said, "Really?"

"Yup," he said.

Fact: Nematodes should never be applied in full sun, the UV rays kill them.

I looked at the tank on his truck that he was spraying from. "The tank refrigerated?" I asked.

He looked at me like I was from another planet. "No," he said.


Fact: Nematodes are a microscopic worm that should be kept refrigerated until time of use.

"Didn't you used to spray pesticides from that tank."

"Yes," he said. "But you can't spray pesticides anymore."

Finally something knowledgeable.

Fact: Nematodes should be sprayed from a tank that is strictly used for that purpose. Any residual chemical will kill them.

"Well, good luck getting those nematodes to work."

"Look," he said, obviously becoming a little agitated by my banter. "I just do what I'm told by the company."

Fact: Just doing what the company tells you is not always in the best interest of the customer. Especially one who's paying a C note for dead nematodes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tis the season to be seeding


Now I know many of you out there swear by Spring seeding, but if you listen to the argument, Fall is actually the best time to over-seed your lawn.

Labour Day is the bench mark I tell people who want to ensure the health of their turf come next Spring.

The reason I feel so strongly about seeding at this time of the year is simple. The weeds are virtually done for the year, having gone through their germination process. There just isn't the same competition for the soil that you have in the Spring.

The nights are cooler with an abundance of natural precipitation, yet the days are generally, still warm with lots of sun- an ideal condition for any grass seed.

You are also utilizing the benefit of two growing seasons- that's right- this Fall and next Spring.

One other important item that I will stress is, to use a premium grass seed. The cheaper the seed, the more weed seeds you will find lurking in the bag.

Why go to all the effort of over-seeding your lawn when you are simply compounding the problem by planting weeds that may spring up next year. It's bad enough that tons of weed seeds already lay dormant in your soil, or the top soil you have delivered, waiting for ideal conditions to break free.

Most premium seed have undergone a testing process for weed seed and will have little to none.

I use Eco-Lawn when over seeding mainly due to this. Each and every bag is tested and the results are displayed on the back as my guarantee.

Sure, the seed costs a little more than other brands out there, ( about $40 after you factor in tax), but we're talking about grass that is slow growing, (9 inches a year), has a deep root system that needs very little water, (9 inches in clay soil, 14 in sandy soil), will eventually choke out any weed's ability to germinate, has a natural endopyte to ward off Chinch bug and even survive any grub infestation.

It is also a seed that does not need the addition of top soil to germinate, as long as you have good seed to soil contact.

It's not high in protein, so you're not putting out expensive bird food and it grows well in full sun as well as thriving in deep shade.

To me, it's worth shelling out a few extra shekels to have a lower maintenance lawn.

Remember you get what you pay for and by seeding with a high-end seed now, you won't have to pay later with your time, pulling those nasty weeds.