Thursday, September 12, 2013
One school year begins as another ends
Last year I did an end of season report on the lawn care class room and the products we use to control each issue.
Now, realize that this is my opinion and you don't have to agree with what I say. I mean, maybe you sell some of these products and you don't want the public knowing the truth? Personally, I embrace it, to the point I've lost a considerable dollar amount suggesting to customers, if they really want something that is absolute they should seek advice from a minimum wage employee in a garden centre south of the border.
Do I suggest breaking the law is the way to go in lawn care...absolutely not, but an exacerbated home owner should be aware of all options open to them. If I can't guarantee results they should know what can.
So here we go.
Mother Nature- C+
At first I was excited to have this student in the class when I saw the long-range Farmer's Almanac prediction of a cooler/wetter summer, but she became a playground bully around mid July and by the end of August Mother Nature had terrorized more than her fair share of lawns with crabgrass, chinch bug and cut worm. Having seen the forecast for next year as "hotter/dryer", the marks for Mother Nature look like they are headed south.
There is still no effective treatment on the horizon to combat this class clown who repeatedly skips school then shows up magically when the weather turns hot, causing a disruption for all the other students. Some will preach corn gluten is the way to go to tame this beast, but I have found through trial and error you'd get better results from raising your mowing height and keeping you soil temperature as cool as possible because this is one weed that doesn't care how much time it spends in the principal's office.
Chinch Bugs- D-
The sudden heat in July led to a charge of this insect across many a lawn this year. The damage was easier to spot because until late August the lawns never had a chance to go dormant. F.Y.I. no nematode trials have ever shown any effect at controling this insect, although the very same nematodes have been effective at parting you from your money. Every heard of that saying,"there's a sucker born every minute"? Looking forward to getting Met 52 in my class next year and saying goodbye to nematodes, hopefully forever.
This student did a reasonable job this year keeping weeds in check as long as it was applied on a consistant basis, but the wet weather meant many repeated applications. It's no 2-4-D, but right now it's all we have so I give it a passing grade this year. Say, what ever happened to that foreign exchange student, Phoma Macrostoma? Weren't we promised that weed control in 2012?....Bueller....Scotts....anyone?
White Grub- A
Combined with a colder winter, a cooler/wetter spring and a dry August, grubs weren't much of an issue this year unlike the classroom disruption they've been in previous semesters. It made for one happy teacher that didn't have to rely on nematodes in 2013.
The Home Owner- B+
It's taken some time, but people are starting to understand, in order to have a healthier lawn, mowing heights have to be raised and weekly watering is needed. If you want to cut your lawn like a putting green, open a golf course. At least you'd have access to the good stuff...
...and I'm not trying to bring politics into this post. Those dunces were expelled from the classroom some time ago.