GreenGrass Blog

Tulsa Lawn Care February Update – Weed Control, Fescue and Bird Feeders

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Feb 09, 2016 @ 11:14 AM

The El Nino factor has been very kind to us this year in regard to Tulsa lawn care.  Our winter thus far has produced no blizzards, no minus 10 degrees, and some lovely days in the 60’s and even 70’s.

 

The upside is that the fescue is looking grand, we probably won’t see any cold weather damage on the bermuda grass, and we have had almost adequate precipitation, for the most part. 

 

The downside is that the weeds love it, too.  It’s been warm enough that we’re seeing lots of broadleaf weeds that aren’t usually out yet at this time of year.

 

Crabgrass Pre-Emergent

 

Now is the time to get crabgrass pre-emergent down on your lawn.  Pre-emergent prevents the crabgrass from germinating.  If it does germinate, it is difficult to get rid of, so a pre-emergent just makes sense.

 

Our first application, that we are doing now, and the next application, both have crabgrass pre-emergent in them.  Both applications are essential if you want to get good crabgrass control this year.

 

Broadleaf Weeds and Post-Emergents

 

The broadleaf weeds we are seeing now, like henbit (the ones with purple flowers,) need a post-emergent to kill them.  Our first application and second application also contain post emergents.  Post emergents will destroy the broadleaf weeds that you are seeing in your lawn, now.  There is no pre-emergent for most broadleaf weeds.

 

If you are not a current customer, we would be happy to give you a free estimate and can usually do it over the phone. Just click on the link below.

 

Request a free estimate.

 

Water If You Can

 

Although we've had rainfall during the winter, the high winds we're experiencing now have dried out everything.  If you are able to water, it would benefit your lawn greatly, not to mention reduce the chance of grass fires, which are a threat to all of us.

 

Fescue_grass_in_Feb.jpg

 

Fescue Grass

 

Your fescue should be looking pretty good right now, and you may have even mowed it recently, because it is actively growing.  Just remember to try to keep the leaves off of it, as this is the time that fescue gets sunlight, since the leaves are off the trees.  Sunlight is very important to fescue this time of year, because it’s building up its carbohydrate reserves to sustain it through the long, hot summer.

 

If you have piles of leaves built up along a fence or in a corner somewhere on top of fescue, you need to get them off the fescue.  If you don’t, the fescue will die.  Fescue will turn yellow underneath a pile of leaves in just a week or two.

 

Birds_at_bird_feeder.jpg

 

Bird Feeders

 

If you are a bird lover and have bird feeders hung in various places, just remember that bird seeds are….well, seeds.  You may have a lot of unknown stuff popping up in the ground under the feeders.  You might even have a little bare spot where the birds are stomping around, pecking at the seeds that fall out of the feeder. 

 

grass_under_bird_feeder.jpg

 

Most of the time, if the grass is bermuda, this will rectify itself when it warms up and the birds start eating worms and insects instead.  The bermuda will overtake the area.  But if you have fescue, you might just end up with a little stomped on place with a bunch of weeds in it.  Just sayin’. 

 

Spring is just around the corner!  What you do now will affect the way your lawn looks this summer, so get your pre-emergents and post-emergents down, water if you can, and blow those leaves off the fescue!

 

Topics: spring pre-emergents, watering, weeds

Tulsa Lawn Care October Update – Water, Fescue, Bug Bites

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 @ 01:47 PM

A far as Tulsa lawn care goes, we’ve had a surprisingly warm and dry October so far.  The weather has been simply lovely. 

 

On the other hand, the warm temperatures, high winds, and lack of rainfall are posing a threat to our landscapes.  Many trees dropped leaves early, and many are suffering drought stress.

 

The drought stress in trees shows up later than it would in your lawn, because trees are very slow growing.  Sometimes, the damage may not show up until next spring, when the trees means of photosynthesis and water uptake just won’t work.

 

What’s in store for winter?  Who knows?  NOAA is predicting a warmer, wetter winter for us, but with one of the strongest El Nino’s on record in play right now, and a few other factors, it’s hard to tell.  Check out NOAA’s winter predictions here.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO HELP
YOUR LAWN AND LANDSCAPE LOOK THEIR BEST:

 

Water – Your lawn needs one to one and a half inches of water per week.  Obviously, it’s not getting that unless you’re watering.  Never mind how much rain we had in the spring – that’s long gone!  It’s never a good thing for your bermuda grass to go into winter dormancy in a dry state.  Water is insulation against the cold temperatures.  Areas where your grass is thin are most susceptible to winter damage.

 

If you have fescue, this is the beginning of its growing season.  Hopefully, you have already overseeded your fescue areas or seeded bare areas in the shade.  You must keep the seedlings moist or they will die.  If your seed hasn’t germinated yet, you must keep it moist or it will not germinate.  Read all about fescue here.

 

Water your trees (especially young trees) and shrubs with a deep watering twice per week.

 

Leaves_on_fescue

 

Keep the leaves up off your fescue – if you have recently seeded or overseeded fescue, this can be tricky.  DO NOT rake, or you will pull out your seedlings and rake up all your new grass.  Blowing leaves off into a bermuda grass area and then raking will work.  Or, use a leaf vacuum – just be careful not to rest it on the ground where you could suck up un-germinated seeds or new seedlings. 

 

Even though we plant fescue in the shade, it must have sunlight now to build up its reserves of carbohydrates through the long, hot summer.  As the leaves come off the trees, it will get more and more sunlight (if you keep the leaves off of it) and get stronger and healthier so it can withstand the heat next summer. 

 

What’s with the bug bites?

 

If you have oak trees anywhere nearby, you may be getting bitten by oak leaf itch mites.  For some reason their population has exploded this year, and they are coming off the trees by the thousands.  Oak leaf itch mite bites may feel like mosquito bites, but they very quickly start to itch badly and resemble chigger bites.  Awful!  I have 3 huge oaks trees in my front yard, and it hasn’t been fun!

 

Unfortunately, with the windy days, your neighbor’s oak trees may send the mites your way.  They are so tiny they’re invisible to the naked eye.  Bug repellant doesn’t seem to work, so cover up if you’re working in the yard.  Long pants and long sleeved turtlenecks may seem odd for this time of year, but you’ll be glad you covered up!  The bites are miserable!  Read more about oak leaf itch mites (which can drop 370,000 adult mites from one tree in one day) in this Tulsa World article.

 

Enjoy the weather while you can, but don’t forget to water if we don’t get that promised rain this weekend!

 

As always, we appreciate your business!

Topics: watering, leaves on fescue

Tulsa Lawn Care Update July Tips

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Sun, Jul 05, 2015 @ 01:12 PM

Tulsa Lawn Care Update July Tips

 

Fireworks bs resized 600

I hope everyone had a happy, safe and entertaining 4th of July!  Too bad tomorrow is Monday – unless you’re on vacation! :O)

 

So it’s July and summer is in full swing!  The rain (flooding) has finally stopped, but not without leaving an indelible print on our lawns here in Tulsa.  Many have had standing water for so long that areas of grass look terrible (mine) and most of the traces of pre-emergent weed control are long gone, thanks to Mother Nature’s deluge!

 

But at least bermuda grass has a wonderful knack for bouncing back.  The fescue…not so much, since we’re into the hot weather and fescue is heat intolerant.

 

The grassy weeds are out in full force, especially nutsedge, which is a water grass.  You can read all about this difficult weed on our nutsedge info page.  But most likely, if your ditches have been full of water, there’s probably some nutsedge in there!

 

What can you do to make your lawn look better now?

Here are some tips:

 

Water your lawn.   It seems like we’ve had enough water to last all summer, but we have not.  High temperatures and windy days will dry out your lawn quickly.  I can see signs of heat stress in many lawns, and the fescue is hard hit.  See our page on proper watering procedures.  Fescue may need a daily sprinkle in the high heat, as well as the twice per week deep watering.  If you can't push a 6 inch screwdriver into your lawn, you need to water more deeply.

 

water your lawn (2) resized 600

 

Mow frequentlyOur mowing page has lots of good tips, but the rule is to mow your lawn when it needs mowed.  You never want to mow off more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at once.  If you let it get too long and mow it down all at once, it will look brown.

 

Mow at the proper height.  Your fescue grass needs to be mowed higher than your bermuda grass.  Fescue struggles with the heat.  The longer the blades of grass, the better it will be able to take care of itself, and the more the roots will be shaded.

 

Understand that proper mowing is a HUGE part of weed control.  The weeds are going to be tough this year, and you may see weeds you’ve never seen in your lawn, thanks to flood waters carrying seeds around to everyone’s lawns.  But if you let your grass get really tall, our job of trying to eliminate your weeds will be nearly impossible.

 

Don’t forget the fertilizer!  Many people skip fertilizer applications because they believe they will have to mow more often.  While that may be partially true, you want to have a good looking lawn, right?  Fertilizer is the grass’s food.  A healthy, vigorously-growing lawn will not only look much better and greener, it will help choke out the weeds.

 

If you have any problems or questions about your lawn, please don’t hesitate to contact us!  

Topics: July lawn tips, mowing, watering, weeds

Tulsa Lawn Care Tips: Did We Miss Tornado Season?

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 04:09 PM

 

On the morning news, the weather man was lamenting the fact that we seem to have missed tornado season – that the bad weather was all north of us.  But that’s good, right?

 

tornado                                                         BAD

                                             

He was actually referring to the fact that May is usually our rainiest month of the year.  And here we are with only about 5 ½ inches of rain for the entire year, which is about 1/3 of what we usually have by now. 

 

This is not a good thing.

 

I know I mentioned in my last update that you need to water your lawn.  For the record, I’m going to mention it again.  No, actually, I’m going to strongly recommend that you begin a regular regimen of watering.  Please take a look at our watering page for correct watering procedures, because if you do it wrong, you’re not only wasting water, but raising your water bill needlessly.

 

We all know that summer brings drought and high temperatures.  But starting out the spring with a pointed lack of precipitation is a bad forecast for our landscapes.

 

And I’m not just saying water your lawn – your trees and shrubs are going to need water badly.  The high winds we’ve had recently are compounding the problem by drying out everything.  If you wait until it’s 95 degrees and things are wilting and your trees are dropping leaves, then you will have to resort to deep watering probes to revive them, and you may risk losing them.  On my morning bike rides, I’ve been noticing some trees that didn’t make it back from last year.

 

rainstorm                                                           GOOD

 

So… maybe the weather guy is wrong?  Hope so, but let’s not bank on it!  With temperatures in the 60’s at night, everything looks good now, but don’t wait for it to get baked in the heat.  Haul out the sprinklers and give everything a nice soaking twice per week.  A soaking will help develop a deep root system, whereas light watering daily will give you a shallow root system which will have a much harder time in the heat and in drought conditions.

 

Thankful for no tornadoes…but not looking forward to drought! That's always bad news for lawn care. (And there goes the price of beef again!)

 

Make it a great day!

Topics: May 2014 weather, watering

Tulsa Lawn Care Tips – May Update

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Mon, May 12, 2014 @ 04:56 PM

It’s May, the flowers are blooming and the lawns are green!  Awesome!

 

But there are still a few things that may need your attention.

 

Water Your Lawn

It seems like it’s rained somewhat frequently, but we’re still behind in precipitation for the year.  Be sure your lawn gets 1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week, and remember that it’s better to give it 2 good soakings each week than light daily waterings.  Deep watering twice weekly will give a deep, strong root system which will be essential in the hot days to come.

 

water your lawn 

And when I say deep watering, I mean to the saturation point.  If water starts to run down the street, turn it off. 

 

I ride my bike every morning, and whenever I take a particular route, I notice this one house that has a sprinkler system.  It’s always on in the morning, and water is always streaming down these people’s cul-de-sac, onto the next street, all the way down to the next street, and beyond the next street where it’s flowing into the storm drain.  Waste of water, and waste of money!  (I think I’ll leave a note on their door, next time!)  Moral of the story: if your sprinkler is on an automatic timer, have a stay-at-home neighbor peek at it and make sure water isn’t running down the road for 30 minutes!)  And see our page on watering!

 

If you have fescue grass, you may have to water it more frequently as it gets hotter.  On really hot days, you should water it lightly, just to cool it off, plus water it deeply twice per week.

 

Remember, no matter how much rain we get, the high winds dry out your landscape very quickly! (Kind of like putting a gigantic hair dryer on it!)

 

spring dead spot disease in bermuda 

Spring Dead Spot is Visible

Spring Dead Spot, or SDS, (pictured above) is caused by a soil disease in bermuda grass.  There is no “cure” and preventive products can be very expensive and are not guaranteed to help at all.  You may notice brown areas in your bermuda lawn that just didn’t green up when the rest of the lawn did.  See our Spring Dead Spot page to see how to help it green back up faster!

 

Crabgrass 

Crabgrass Is in the House!

Crabgrass has germinated, and we’re seeing other grassy weeds like nutsedge emerging.  If you missed the first or second crabgrass pre-emergent, you may be seeing some crabgrass in your lawn.  We can treat grassy weeds only when temperatures are consistently above 80 degrees (the material we use doesn’t work in cooler temperatures.)  If your lawn tech sees any weeds that he can’t treat while he’s out there (due to weather) he will put in a service call to come back when he’s able to treat them. See our page on main page on weeds, or specifically grassy weeds.

 

REMINDER:

If you haven’t scalped your bermuda lawn yet, you can still do it now.  See our mowing and scalping page for proper mowing procedures, which can help immensely in stopping weeds!

 

Make it a great day!

Topics: May lawn care update, spring dead spot, watering, grassy weeds