Well, it’s that time of year again! Spring has sprung and it’s time to get crackin’ in the lawn and garden (At least for those that are in the south and not covered by mountains of snow and slush, or still freezing temperatures!)
Ahhhh, Sunny Florida, Palm trees blowing in the tropical breeze, green lush lawns, delicious fruit just dangling from trees, spectacular visions of vibrantly colored flowers, sand, beaches,AND…chinch bugs, grub worms, fleas, ticks, fungus disease! What’s a homeowner to do? Well, I’m so glad you asked because that’s exactly what I do. My name is Mona Giordano and I am the “florida bug expert” here on Word Press, but in my real day to day job, I am a State Certified Pest Control Operator who has traded in her “pump sprayer” for a 9-5, air conditioned job in a retail do it yourself pest control shop called PEST CONTROL GENERAL STORE ( http://pestcontrolgeneralstore.com )located in sparkling downtown, Holiday, Florida!
What I now do, is teach homeowners and businesses how to do their own pest control and lawn & garden care using the “tools of my trade” as a professional pest control operator. We identify lawn problems, insects, critter droppings, termites, etc. and then show you how to use the “good stuff” SAFELY while getting expert results at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. Because Spring and Fall are the primary times to fertilize and get going on a lawn care program, I decided to prepare a little checklist for you to get you going on the right track.
March/April and then Sept/Oct are the times to be applying a slow-release, good quality fertilizer to your lawn. We are currently recommending our custom blended 16-2-8 with a solid secondary and primary nutrient package. You always want to use a slow release nitrogen source so you don’t encounter any burning or streaking AND what else is in that mix makes all the difference! The label should read like a One-A-Day Vitamin; zinc, copper, boron, iron, manganese, magnesium and molybdenum to name a few. This should never be done 1) if there is any active fungus present (the nitrogen will spread the fungus like a wild fire) and 2) before all danger of frost and freeze is gone.
If you are planning to re-seed or re-sod, it’s time to rake out all of the dead areas from winter damage and prepare the soil. This holds true for flower beds and vegetable gardens as well.
If you have weeds growing already, this is the perfect time to treat with pre-emergent weed killers to keep weeds from growing OR to treat with post emergent weed killers (not until the temps are between 70-82′ though and NEVER when the temp is over 85!!) to get them under control BEFORE they start getting out of control! Different turf grasses need different weed killers so make sure you are dealing with a professional for good advice (hey, like US). Weed killers cause more damage than any other type of pesticide!!
This is the time to repair/prepare/guage your sprinkler system. You may find that you have cracked or mis-directed heads on some, while others may be not working at all. Best to get this in check before the rapid growing season. Put out 6-8 Dixie Cups in each zone and water during your regular time, on your regular day and then see how many “inches” of water your system is delivering. It is not about how many “minutes” you water, it’s about how many “inches” you water. Florida lawns only need 1″ of water PER WEEK in the cooler months and 1 1/2″ during the hot months–HONEST! Too much water is more damaging than not enough!!
Sharpen those lawn mower blades! When the blade is dull, it tears and splits the grass blades leaving them frayed and damaged and wide open to disease pathogens.
Last, but certainly at the top of the important things to do list is Insect Control! This category, along with proper feeding and watering are the MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL! We have found that using a granular insecticide every 3-4 months or a liquid insecticide every 6-8 weeks is imperative to controlling all the various insects we deal with in a Florida lawn. We do NOT recommend the discount chain store items for this important task. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars promoting products that don’t work or work marginally, for a short duration, but because you here it advertised over and over, you get the impression that it’s good stuff, after all, they sell pallets of the stuff, right? WRONG! This happens with all of the chemicals, but many homeowners and businesses aren’t even aware that there is a Pest Control General Store, staffed by professionals where you can get the right advice, the right products and the proper instruction. Well, you do now and we are more than happy to help!
I hope this information sets you up for a beautiful, green, colorful, productive spring and summer lawn and garden. If you need further help, we are here for you Mon-Fri from 9-5 and Sat from 9-2. If you are not local, no worries. You can send us samples of bugs in the mail, send us pictures via e-mail or text….whatever it takes to get the job done. We can ship to most states and we always provide a wealth of in-detail instructions to make sure your application is not only effective, but more importantly SAFE for you, your children, your pets and the environment. When it comes to pest control and lawn care–you’ve got a friend in “the business”
Until next time, be blessed and….HAVE A SAFE SPRAY!