Did you know that drought conditions causes stress in your turf and attracts Damaging Insects?
Overly Dry Conditions;
University of Florida studies have shown that drought conditions and improper irrigation techniques actually attracts harmful turf damaging insects . The lack of water or dry condition in your turf causes the turf to be come in stress. This stress in the turf actually attracts chinch bugs that can damage your turf root system enough to the point of turf replacement if left untreated.
Overly Wet Conditions;
UF studies have also shown that too much water causes stress in the turf and attract sod webworms. These sod webworms east the blades of the grass. If you look closely the turf blades will look like notches have been bitten out of the turf blades.
The University of Florida recommends that at each irrigation interval ½” to ¾” of water be allowed to penetrate the turfs thatch. This is the correct amount to maintain healthy turf growth. UF also recommends to never irrigation in the evening or daylight hours of full sun.
As a rule of thumb set your irrigation system zone to 20 minutes for stationary spray type heads and 45 minutes for rotating spray heads. With the average water pressures here in the Tampa area, this will get you very close to the ultimate irrigation zone timing of ½” to ¾” of water.
Always Irrigate just before dawn. For example if all of your zones add up to say 2 hours. Simply set your irrigation timer for a 6:30am start time. Your last zone will finish at 8:30am in compliance with state approved irrigation hours of operation.
Organic Safe Lawns Inc. treats these pests with Organic Pyrethrins by spraying the infected areas with excellent results! Using our service can save you thousands in turf replacement.
The best plan for dealing with lawn fungus is to do everything you can to prevent it. By the time you see noticeable signs that lawn fungus has infiltrated your lawn, it will probably be extremely difficult to control. More than half your lawn you may be destroyed seemingly overnight. Few fungal spores have easy fixes, but most instances of lawn fungus can be avoided with a few lawn maintenance tips.
Just as important as how much you water your lawn is the time of day you do it. Watering your lawn in the morning will allow the sun to quickly evaporate any excess water. If you don’t have the schedule and/or the discipline to water your lawn in the morning, you should invest in a lawn irrigation system with a timer. These systems are going to be cheaper in the long run than treating your lawn for disease.
Did you know Dollar Weeds and Nutsedge are aquatic plants? Many times when you find these weeds in your yard it is caused by a broken head in the irrigation system. If you find a concentration of these weeds in your yard, Test your irrigation system. A broken head or partially blocked head will direct large amounts of water to a very, limited area. Replace the head and make sure you are watering just before dawn to allow the water to be evaporated from the sun. Set your zone timer spray heads 20 minutes, rotors 45 minutes. ½ to ¾” water is the correct amount determined by the University of Florida studies.
Another common reason for these weeds is that the area in question may be low and will retain water. Check these areas after the irrigation cycle of after a rain to see if these areas naturally puddle water. The solution is to add dirt and re-level the soil to allow the water to run off.
In our heavy rains from the rainy season you may notice these weeds, Organic Safe Lawns with your permission will can control these weeds. These weeds will not grow in correctly irrigated and properly graded soils.
The University of Florida has made a study on Irrigation to conserve water and to promote optimum growth of turf grasses and plants. These studies have determined that ½ to ¾” of water is the proper amount of water to be utilized at each irrigation cycle. Two irrigation cycles per week is optimum, but during watering restrictions studies have shown that increasing these watering times for the one time per week cycle is actually detrimental to the turf and plants.
Watering times were also found to be very important. Did you know that if the leaf blades remain wet for a 24 hour period fungus, disease and insect presence is exponentially increased? Watering at night allows the leaf blades to remain wet much longer – never water at night! The UF studies have determined to water just before dawn. This allows the water to permeated the turfs thatch layer and enter the soil nourishing the plant. The sun then next dries out the leaf blades and thatch to promote plant health.
Organic Safe Lawns Inc. recommends setting your zone timers as follows; spray heads set for 20 minutes, Rotor heads (the ones that rotate like a golf course) set for 45 minutes and Drip lines set at 30 minutes. Have your system complete its cycle by 8:30 am. Our Tip; add up all your zones times and for example lets say they add up to two hours, simply set your start time to 6:30am.
Organic Safe Lawns Inc has completed hundreds of soil samples around the Tampa area, and have found the soil PH overall near 7.0 which is optimum.
We have had a few cases under large oaks that acidity levels were high enough to require treatment of lime. Never apply lime without a soil test. We have also seen issues with large Oaks that have been cut down and stump ground. These areas have heavy traces of decay from the stump. In these cases we recommend digging up these areas and replenishing with new soil. Out technicians are equipped with PH testers and will test the soil as needed.