Saturday, January 14, 2012


Since the beginning of 2012 there have been the usual onslaught of predictions for the year ahead. Everything from financial warnings and potential weather catastrophes to celebrity death guestimations and scandals lying in wait.

And let us not forget a shout out to the Mayans with the end of the world looming next December.

In keeping with the spirit, I thought it might be fun to give you my forecast for the 2012 lawn care season.

So here it goes:

People will continue threatening to pave over their lawns, or create 4,000 square foot rock gardens, but the number who actually do this will be small.

April and May will be cooler and drier than normal across most of the region. Which means less time spent in my rubber boots and perhaps manageable weed control...fingers crossed.

Grub issues will continue to be a problem as we run the 3-year cycle. Most damage will be seen in the Spring due to a milder Winter and unruly raccoons.

Summer will be cooler and drier than normal, with the hottest temperatures in early June and mid-July. Crabgrass could be a problem in July again in some areas, but Chinch Bug shouldn't be as bad as it was last year.

September and October will be cooler and slightly rainier than normal in the east, while the west will be drier than normal, with near-normal temperatures, on average.
In all, looks like a pretty decent fall to over-seed, apply nematodes and pray for a quick end to the lawn season...just kidding about that last one.

People will continue to shop state-side for weed and insect controls and disregard the Provincial bylaw. After all, the Feds run the border and they don't have a problem with, is that poison ivy and giant hogweed I see in the backyard?...just sayin'. Poisonous plants are exempt under the bylaw.

On second thought maybe the Mayans were right, except it's the lawn care industry teetering on the precipice of extinction?

Here's hoping there's a 2013. In the meantime have a great 2012.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Same old, same old

The 2012 IPM Symposium happened this past Monday and once again yours truly was in attendance. Yet, I found the speakers presenting much of the same old tired information I've heard over the past few years concerning green alternatives to control weeds and insects.

I actually found out more on my own research than was presented to me at this largest event for the Lawn Care Industry.

There was no information of the long awaited new weed control Phoma Macrostoma. What I found out is, it has been approved by the PMRA, but Scotts is dragging their ass on the manufacturing. Probably until they discover the best way to charge us more for this product. Anyway it could be as much as 2 more years before we see it hit the shelves.

Continued tests with Fiesta showed it did work, to a point, in controlling weeds. The key word here is "control", not kill. Also take into consideration that the Guelph Turfgrass Institute conducts many of its tests in a controlled, or greenhouse environment. There are no neighbours with weed infested lawns going to seed and blowing onto your lawn, no children and pets running roughshod over the testing area and no times where the mercy of Mother Nature comes into play. The good news, Fiesta seems to be coming down in price as other companies challenge Neudorff with their own chelated iron products.

Also the reason Neem Oil was pulled from our collective grasp in 2011 was mentioned, but if you've been reading these blogs, you knew that months ago when it first surfaced.

The Ministry continued to thump their chest with the amount of inspections and fines that were administered over the past year, but it came across as weak at the knees and job justification more than a warning to those caught in a moral dilemma of pesticides vs. bylaw. There are just too many loopholes and not enough teeth.

Over all, the food was good, but I came away with nothing more then a "circle the wagons" mentality preaching to try and weather the storm until someone manufactures weed and insect controls that actually work effectively.

Until then, either hang on and curse under your breath, or convert to a micro lawn, (pictured above) that you can maintain easily. The alternatives are slim to none, and Slim just left the IPM Symposium.