Red Thread Alert
You may have noticed these ‘brown patches’ that have developed quickly in the lawn over the past week. If you look closely you will notice they have a pinkish hue and the tips of the grass blades have a red strand protruding from it. This is a very common spring disease known as red thread. It is more prominent in areas of sun and certain grass types are more susceptible than others. The red thread areas will start out as circular patches and may even join up to form larger areas. Shaded areas are not as susceptible which seems counter-intuitive. Most disease and insects prefer sunny locations.This is not an issue with grubs or an issue with the applications not being done properly. The severity of the red thread will be directly related to the temperatures and the amount of rainfall we have been receiving. The fertilizer applications will help to ‘push out’ the damaged grass blades and they will be removed with mowing. The red thread can last a week or several months depending on the weather conditions and mowing practices. It does not typically effect the grass roots or crown (area that the grass grows from) but during extremely bad seasons it can cause some thinning or die-back of the effected turf grasses. Fungicide applications can be applied but it will normally take multiple treatments and the effectiveness of the treatments will be greatly influenced by the weather. If rains and heavy moisture persist then the results may not be as favorable as hoped. Fungicide applications will typically cost 1.5x-2x the regular application cost.
Normally the red thread will run its course and clear up with the change of weather and drier conditions. Patience will be needed.
Here is a link to more information on Red Thread: https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/managing-diseases/red-thread
Spotted Lantern Fly
Yes, we have been inundated with these invaders from the far east and information on the proper control of these pests is limited. The Department of Agriculture and Penn State have been doing testing on the effectiveness of tree and shrub products for the control of the spotted lantern fly scourge. There is a catch 22 involved- as a service company we can not use products that do not specifically list a target pest and, because the spotted lantern fly is so new to the area, no products actually have it listed on the controlled pests information. The ‘powers that be’ have allowed companies to use certain products in the control of this pests even though it is not specifically listed on the label as a target pest. Many of the products we already use do control the lantern fly. Controlling the egg casings is another story. The only control, at this time, is manual removal of the eggs and these eggs can be very high up on the underside of the branches. Dormant oil is being tested for control but the results will not be known until later.
I have observed that the lantern fly really loves congregating on maple trees to breed and lay their eggs on the branches. In high numbers their ‘honey dew’ draws a lot of bees and wasps so be careful around these areas. I have noticed many black faced hornets which can be very aggressive. Again, this is a very new pest to the area and we are doing everything possible to learn what we can for the proper control. For now, if you see one, step on it, swat it, smash it…. Manual control of even one female can greatly reduce the effects of this alien invader.
Here are some helpful links to information about the spotted lantern fly:
Lawn – Tree & Shrub Applications
At this time we are doing the weed control with fertilizer and the grub preventative treatment.
Rainfall is beneficial for the grub application and for the fertilizers. The current rains have slowed the die-back of the weeds. They are very curled up and wilted back but are taking more time than normal to actually die-back. Some weeds, such as violets and ground ivy, may even rebound entirely with the current weather pattern we are in. The ground ivy and violets are one of the more difficult to control weeds and can take the entire season, or even multiple seasons, to control.
Organic Lawn Care Applications
**I would like to clarify for many of you about lawn care programs and claims of ‘organically based programs’:
When someone says they are an organically based company or that they used all organically based products that is not the same as a true organic treatment or program. It is merely a play on words. Every company in the lawn care industry can claim they are organically based due to the fact that the fertilizers or products contain organic compounds. If you are getting crabgrass control, weed controls, or grub controls they are pesticides. A true organic program is nothing but straight fertilizer applications and these other companies are using the exact same products as everyone else uses. All that is being done is that your fear of pesticides is being brought into play to sway your decision to use their ‘organically based program’ and you will be charged more for going so called ‘organic’. Arsenic is ‘organic’ in nature but that doesn’t mean I am going to ingest it. On a 10 thousand sq. ft. property there is only 11 oz. of weed control being applied. It is not the amount of product that it may appear to be. The majority of the application you see being applied is an 75%-80% water carrier and 20%-25% of the fertilizers. If you wanted an all organic program you have to remember that there will be no pesticides (crabgrass control, grub control, weed control, surface insect control, nutsedge control or any other type of chemical control) included with the applications. It would be just straight fertilizers and more then likely they would be granular fertilizers.
Aeration and Seeding (spring):
We really try to avoid doing spring seeding for a number of reasons:
- Crabgrass control inhibits the proper germination of not just crabgrass but, of any type of seed. If the crabgrass control can not be applied at the appropriate time of the season then we will more then likely be battling crabgrass germination throughout the summer months and would need to reseed again in the fall.
- Watering requirements through the summer months may make it difficult to maintain the young grasses. If you plan on going on any vacations and we experience a drought then the young grasses would probably not survive and fall seeding would need to be done as well.
- There may not be proper time for good germination and for the turf to get more established before the onset of hot/dry weather due to the unpredictability of our spring weather conditions. If this happens then fall seeding would be needed. (can you see a pattern happening?)
If spring seeding is absolutely needed we will do our best to properly apply a crabgrass control and/or weed controls when the young grasses can tolerate the applications. Watering will be extremely important to expedite it’s establishment and summer watering will probably be needed as well. Post emergent crabgrass controls can be applied later in the season to prevent the crabgrass from damaging the lawn but control can sometimes be limited depending on the weather conditions. If it is too hot or dry then crabgrass (and other weeds) will be more difficult to get proper control. If you have larger areas that require attention either soil and seeding or sod would be the avenue to take. Give the office a call and we can stop out to give you an estimate for this type of work. I do prefer fall for most of the seeding and sod installation but if it is needed in the spring then it must be done.
Our mowing list is currently full for the season. There have been some issues already this season with timing for our mowing customers. The rainy and wet spring up to this point has really altered our mowing schedule and has made it difficult to get everyone done on their normal mowing days. Our crews have been working until almost dusk trying to make certain to get everyone mowed during the week. They have even come in on Saturdays to ensure we are getting everyone mowed for the week. Our apologies for the inconvenience but we would rather wait until the properties dried out as to not cause unreasonable damage to the properties. They were so wet for an extended period of time that there were ruts being left and an unusual amount of turn marks. Once this started happening we made the decision to err on the side of caution and wait. If this cycle continues, or happens again, you can be certain we are doing everything within our power to get the mowing done in a timely manner. Mother Nature sometime doesn’t play well with others.
- Spring Clean-up: We will begin with the spring clean up services when the snow melts off. The level of clean up is entirely up to you. We can do a simple bed debris & weed clean up or an entire property clean up. This is a service that is billed by the hour/per man with disposal. We can set up an appointment to stop out to go over what level of service you want performed and give you a good ‘guestimation’ of the cost or, if there is a limit on the amount you have budgeted, we can put a ‘cap’ on the time allotted for the crew to stay within that budget. The crews work very diligently knowing full well this is an hourly service and we want to make certain you get your dollar’s worth.
- Spring pruning: Early spring is a great time to do heavy pruning and to resize items that have become out of control. Many times with proper resizing we can rejuvenate plants that have become too unruly instead of removing them and replacing them. Depending on the plant variety it may be a 2 year process to resize and shape a plant but many respond within the first few months. This can be a huge money saver vs. replacing them. Azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs, and other spring blooming plants will need to be pruned after they are done blooming. Azaleas typically bloom around Mother’s Day so that gives you an idea of timing but depending on this season’s weather, that could be sooner or later. If you would like an appointment please call the office and we can set one up for you. Our sales representative has extensive plant knowledge and will do a detailed map of the property with very specific instructions for the crew to follow.
- Landscape bed edging and mulching: Bed edging’s cost is determined by now many linear feet of bed edges are present. Labor and disposal are included with the bed edging cost. Stone beds do require additional labor to do a proper bed edging and will usually require additional stone to dress up the edges for a professional appearance. Mulching is billed per yard and delivery and labor are already factored into the cost. We carry both black and brown mulch on site. Our mulch is not ground up pallets like some other companies use. It is a true hardwood mulch. Our sales representative will stop out and provide you with the cost for these services.
- Bed stone refurbishing: The cost for this service is billed by the yard and determined by the type of stone used in the beds. Most stones are the same cost but there are some varieties which are either more expensive, are not readily available by bulk and we must make a special trip to purchase them, or are only available by the bag. The cost of this service will be provided by our sales representative.
2017 lawn issues
Grub activity and damage was very widespread last season. It was mimicking the appearance of drought stress, that is until you gave the turf a little tug and it just pulled up like a bad carpet install. I have been saying for the past 3 years or so that the grub population and activity was increasingly getting worse and that last season was going to be a bad fall for grub damage. Please, if you do not have a grub control application on your program for this season, add it to the program to prevent costly lawn repairs from grub damage. If you did have grub activity and damage last fall then you may want to add an early spring active grub control to prevent spring feeding/damage and also the summer grub preventative for the prevention of fall grub damage this year. I don’t see this issue getting better anytime soon. It is better to be safe rather then sorry and have to spend money on lawn repair. Repair vs. application cost can be quite significant.
Sod webworm and chinch bug activity was also quite prolific last season. The activity was extended due to the weather conditions. I had many who opted to do multiple surface insect controls and it did make a noticeable difference with the lawn condition. These damaging insects can be very difficult to predict with their multiple generations a season. There were two properties in particular that were mostly zoysia grass and the chinch bugs caused a lot of damage to them in a very short amount of time.
If you were wondering when a project may be able to be started I would recommend calling the office to inquire about the time frame.
Please give the office a call if there are any services you need done, would like to add, or if you need an evaluation or pricing for any of our services.
We look forward to having another great season in 2018 and Thank-you,
Turfpro Sales/Customer Service/Lawncare Manager
If you ever have any questions about our services or on the condition of your lawn and landscape, please feel free to contact us.
The following are pamphlets I hand out with the estimates explaining in more detail the lawn applications, tree and shrub treatments, and our property maintenance services.
Turfpro Lawn Care and Tree & Shrub Program
Our Lawn care/Tree & Shrub programs are designed to enhance, beautify and maintain your lawn and landscape. There are many factors which can influence the color, thickness, and overall health of the turf. Weather conditions such as too much rainfall and summer drought, heavy shade from trees, pets/animal damage, and heavy foot traffic are just a few of these factors which can have a negative impact on the turf.
Proper mowing practices can also have a large impact with the condition of the turf. Mowing too short and dull mower blades can cause excessive stress, allow disease to develop, permit the germination of crabgrass, and general turf decline. Mowing at a minimum of a 3” height and removing only 1/3 of the grass blades with each mowing will help to relieve stress and allow the lawn to naturally thicken. This in turn will help to control crabgrass and weeds. Mowing can be done the following day after a liquid treatment or even the same day depending on when the application was applied. If there has been no rainfall after the application, please leave the clippings as to not remove any product that may still be on the grass blades. Mowing can be done at anytime after a granular treatment. Mowers do not typically have the power to remove any granular product that was applied.
If there are problems or questions between applications, free service calls are a part of our full lawn program. We will come out to investigate the problem and inform you as to what the problem is and what steps need to be taken to correct the problem. If it is an issue that should be remedied with our regular treatments, we will resolve the problem without additional charges. Sometimes however, additional treatments are needed (such as lawn fungicides or surface feeding insect controls) that may be billable depending on the situation. This will be conveyed to you before any further steps are taken.
The lawn care applications will be applied as either a granular application or as a liquid application. Which type of application will be determined by the timing of the treatment, the weather, and what type of treatment is being applied. In most cases, any rainfall will benefit these treatments. In the case of heavy rainfall immediately after a weed control application, please allow at least 7-10 days for the weeds to show signs of curling from the weed control application before calling for a service call.
When a liquid application is done, please allow a minimum of an hour before walking out on the turf, or until the application has a chance to dry. This includes pets. The amount of time the application can take to dry can vary depending on the humidity and temperatures. Typically the application will dry within an hour or two. If a pet needs to be let out before this time has passed, please make certain to either wash off the pets pads and feet or wipe them thoroughly with a damp paper towel. With a granular application, you may walk on the turf anytime after treatment.
Our goal here at Turfpro is to give you the type of lawn you can be proud of. We will do everything we can to ensure that you are happy with your lawn, and with our service. When people ask you who does your lawn applications, we want you to be able to recommend Turfpro with confidence.
Lawn Care Application Schedule
Early Spring Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer with a crabgrass pre-emergent. This treatment can be either a liquid or a granular application depending on the timing of the treatment. This treatment will encourage spring green up and help to prevent crabgrass and many other summer annual weeds. If any rainfall occurs, it will benefit this treatment.
Spring Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer including a broadleaf weed control. This will further improve the turf’s health and vigor and control most broadleaf weeds. Some weeds, such as clover, will typically require a second treatment for total control. Please allow 7-10 days for the weeds to show signs of this treatment. This treatment is typically done as a liquid application.
Early Summer Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer including a broadleaf weed control. This treatment will help to maintain the lawn’s color as well as clean up any remaining broadleaf weeds. Please allow 7-10 days for any weeds to show signs of this application. This treatment is typically done as a liquid application.
Grub Control- This application will prevent grub damage from occurring in the fall by controlling many different types of grub larvae, including Japanese beetle larvae. This application is typically done in conjunction with the Early Summer application to ensure proper timing. If no rainfall occurs after this treatment, watering is advisable to ensure the product penetrates the soil to where the grubs feed. With the next mowing after this treatment, leaving the clippings and not bagging will also ensure that all of the product remains in the target area. The grub control application is guaranteed as long as proper steps are followed after its application to the turf.
Summer Surface Feeding Insect Control- This application will control surface feeding insects, such as chinch bugs and sod webworms, which can cause severe damage to the turf during the summer months. This damage will normally go unnoticed, due to summer turf dormancy, until the lawn recovers in the fall. These lawn damaging pests are different then grubs and do require a different product. This application also contains a light rate of fertilizer to help sustain the turf through the summer. This application can be done as a liquid or granular treatment. Rainfall will benefit this application.
Fall Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer including a broadleaf weed control. This application will help the lawn to recover from summer stress and will control many of the summer and fall germinating weeds. Please allow 7-10 days for the weeds to show signs of this treatment. This application is typically done as a liquid application.
Late Fall/Winter Application- A fertilizer application designed to prepare the turf for the coming winter months. This treatment can be done as a liquid or granular application. Typically it will be a granular application. Light leaf cover will not effect this application. Rainfall will also benefit this treatment.
Lime- Lime helps to balance the soils Ph level. An unbalanced Ph level can lock essential nutrients and micro-nutrients in the soil. This in turn can prevent the turf from being able to properly utilize these nutrients. Lime can be done anytime during the season but is typically done in the spring or fall, or both depending on your soils needs. Rainfall will benefit this treatment.
Tree and Shrub Program
Spring and Fall Dormant Oil- This is a horticultural grade oil which is applied in the early spring, late fall, or both depending on the types of insects present and the severity of the infestation. This application is the most effective treatment for the control of scale insects but, also does an excellent job at controlling spider mites, aphids, and many other types of landscape pests as well as their eggs. This application is an integral part of any tree and shrub program.
Spring and Fall Deep Root Fertilization- This liquid fertilizer is injected directly into the soil, at the drip-line, where the plant’s feeder roots are located. This application will enhance the landscape’s health and vigor, help to develop a healthy root system, and improve the plant’s flower and foliar production.
Insecticide Soil Injection- This liquid application is excellent for controlling leaf minor damage on birch trees and American hollies as well as other varieties of damaging pests on select plant material. This application is injected into the soil and is translocated though the root system and out into the foliage. This application is done in the early spring to ensure the product has ample time to be moved throughout the plants.
Fungicide- These applications will help to control many different types of fungus and disease on the landscape. Crabapples in particular will require multiple treatments beginning at bud break. These applications will help to control diseases on crabapples such as cedar apple rust, and apple scab. Control from season to season can vary depending on the weather conditions. With the exception of the crabapples, diagnosis is usually needed to determine the type of fungus or disease that may be present and the appropriate control measures that would need to be used, if any.
Insect and Mite Control- These applications are done during the most active times for damaging landscape pests. Spider mites, aphids, bagworms, and Japanese beetles are just a few of the landscape pests that are controlled with these treatments. Different products are used for these applications depending on the time of the treatment and the target insects that are being controlled. There are three insect and mite control applications that are done from spring through the fall months.
Anti-desiccant Application- This application is applied to evergreens before the onset of the winter weather. Its purpose is to protect the sensitive evergreen foliage from severe winter wind damage due to moisture loss.
Lawn Care Beneficial Services
Flea and Tick Applications- These applications are done from the months of May thru October when fleas and ticks are active. The applications are done at 4-6 week intervals. Typically 4-5 treatments are needed in a season to ensure proper control of these pests. Less can be done but, control may be more limited. Theses applications can be done as a liquid or granular treatment. Any rainfall will benefit these treatments.
Lawn Fungicide Applications- There are many types of lawn diseases that can attack the turf throughout the season from spring red thread and leaf spot, to summer patch disease and rust. Most lawn diseases will clear up on their own with the passing of time, but, lawn diseases are very weather related. With the proper conditions they can continue to spread. The lawn fungicide application will help to control the spread of most lawn diseases. Diagnosis before treatment would be needed to determine which disease is present and the proper product that would be needed for control. In some cases more then one fungicide treatment may be needed depending on the severity. These applications can be done as a liquid or a granular treatment.
Nutsedge Control- Nutsedge is a very invasive seasonal plant. It requires very specific chemical applications and proper timing for control. This lawn intruder can take a number of seasons to control because of its growth and reproductive habits. Pulling this invader can actually make the problem worse and the amount of nutsedge can vary from season to season depending on the weather conditions. Pricing for this treatment is determined on the amount of nutsedge that is present in the turf. Usually, more then one treatment is needed to control this troublesome turf invader. This application is done as a liquid treatment.
Acclaim Application (Post-emergent crabgrass control) – Acclaim is used for the control of severe crabgrass infestations. This application is normally for lawns that have not been treated in a very long time or have had severe lawn weed problems in the past. Usually the customer is just starting a new lawn care program and the crabgrass has already germinated and is in very high population. Aeration and seeding is normally done in the fall following this treatment due to the heavy crabgrass damage to the turf and severe thinning. Similar products may be used in lieu of Acclaim depending on availability. This application is done as a liquid treatment and as the weather permits.
Aeration and Overseeding- Aerating the lawn is a very good maintenance practice. This will help to incorporate air into the soil which will allow the roots to respire, allow better water and fertilizer absorption, and help to break up and reduce thatch. Overseeding isn’t always needed but, is a common practice with the aeration to help to fill in thin turf and improve the overall appearance of your lawn. Light leaf coverage is not normally an issue with aeration and seeding. It can be done in the spring or in the fall. Typically the aeration and seeding is done in the fall because of the weather conditions. Doing the aeration and seeding in the fall will also give the young grasses a better chance to become established before the heat of the following summer. In cases where spring aeration and seeding are needed, watering is extremely important to maintain the young grasses.
Property Maintenance Services
*Weekly Mowing Service: Weekly mowing includes string trimming of the perimeter of the landscape beds, trees, walkways, driveways, around buildings, etc. Blowing clippings from hard surfaces will be performed at the end of the mowing service. Mowing will be perfomed every 7-10 days (depending on weather conditions). During conditions of drought or other circumstances, when the turf may not need to be mowed, our crew will evaluate and make the determination if the mowing would need to be skipped for that week. You would not be billed for any mowings that are skipped due to weather conditions. In the event of multiple weeks being skipped due to excessive wet conditions, and the turf has become exceedingly high, the subsequent mowing would need to be billed on an hourly basis.
**In the fall months we will need to bill for any clean up of leaves or debris with the mowing service, and the disposal of, on an as needed basis. This will be billed on an hourly rate and may be for multiple weeks depending on the amount of leaves present. If this is a service that you do not want performed you must notify the office ahead of time. We would then skip any mowing that are scheduled if the leaves and debris were too severe and would return after a clean up has been performed. If multiple weeks need to be skipped, and the grass has become extremely high, then the following mowing would be done on a time and material hourly basis.
**In an average season there are 28 mowings. This number can vary depending on the season’s weather conditions. We will continue to mow the turf until the end of the growing season unless otherwise notified. If you are a prepay customer we will honor your prepay discount for the additional mowings. If we do less mowings then you have prepaid for, we will apply the remaining balance to the next season’s services unless otherwise notified.
Bed Edging: The cost for bed edging is based on linear feet. If the bed edges need to be re-established, or are in disrepair, the initial cost for edging would be higher the first time this service is performed. Areas that are in contact with stone beds do require more labor and can sometimes require additional stones for a professional and manicured appearance. This service is normally done in the spring with the mulching or as requested. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Landscape Mulch: The cost for mulching is determined by the amount of mulch that is needed. Mulch is applied to an approx. depth of 1.5-2 inches deep. Mulching too heavily can cause plant decline. You can choose between black or brown mulch at the same pricing. Delivery and labor are included with the mulch pricing. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Bed Pre-emergence applications: This service will help to reduce the germination of annual weeds. This service can be done once in the spring or multiple times throughout the season. Perennial weeds, such as thistle or nutsedge, are not controlled by this service. This service is intended to be done in mulch beds. Stone beds may have limited results. In areas of stone a bed maintenance program would be more appropriate. The amount of weeds is greatly affected by the wetaher conditions. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified. This service is best done in conjunction with the bed maintenance program for best results.
Note: This service does not guarantee a weed-free landscape but can greatly reduce the amount of annual weeds.
Bed Maintenance: Bed maintenance is provided twice a month, or as needed/requested, to keep the beds free of weeds, debris, and spent flowers. Round-up will be applied in open areas to help to control weeds. Areas that are too close to plant material will have the weeds hand pulled. The frequency or level of service to be performed would be determined by your request. We can do just a quick cleaning or a very detailed cleaning based on your requirements. The service’s cost is based on time and material per man hour. From season to season the weeds can be better or worse dependent on the weather conditions. If extra bed maintenance is required you can call to add additional services at any time. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Spring/Fall Clean-up: These services are billed on an hourly basis with a minimal disposal fee (if applicable). The degree of the clean-up is entirely up to you. We can do an entire property clean-up or just the beds. Typically clean-ups include (but are not limited to) cleaning leaves and debris from the turf and landscape beds, cutting back of grasses and perennials, weeding of the beds, or any additional tasks that you request to be done with the service. If round up or similar products are required we will bill for the materials used. Instructions are provided to the crews for special jobs or if circumstance requires special instructions per customer requests. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Spring/Summer/Fall Shrub Trimming: Trimming and pruning of ornamental trees and landscape shrubs is extremely important to maintain their size and health. Typically, landscape maps of the property are made and each plant is labelled with instructions for the crew to follow. It is a good practice every few years to cut certain plants back harder to rejuvinate their health and vigor where other plants need to be pruned at specific times of the season to ensure maximum blooming and fullness. Our experienced staff is knowledgable in these areas. The detailed maps are included when the crew comes to your property and in special circumstances, or with more complicated lanscapes, our tree and shrub specialist will instruct the crew on site before the work is to be done. We know how important your landscape is to you and it is just as precious to us. This service does renew from season to season unless otherwise notified. If it is a specialty pruning job, or a one-time landscape resizing, this service is not renewable. The pricing for this service will be given before any work is to be performed. Specialty pruning for specimen plant material willl be perfomed by a member of our staff having the experience and knowledge of that plant material (ie. Japanese maples, coral bark maples, etc.).
One time services: We can do any of our service, excluding mowing, on a one time basis if requested. Just please be certain to inform either the representative or the office that job is a ‘one time only’ service. Our service do renew automatically unless otherwise instructed.
Winter Conformation Letters: Over the winter months we will mail out confirmation lettters to inform you of the services which are scheduled to be done in the upcoming season. These letters also give you the opportunity to take advantage of pre-pay savings and additional savings on selected services. If changes are needed to your services for the upcoming season, or if you have questions about the scheduled services, please give us a call. We can make modifications to your services or answer any questions that you may have.
*Travel times to the job site are billable for our hourly services.
*We do not perform bi-weekly mowing. Weather conditions and growth rates are too unpredictable from week to week to accurately price this type of service.
From all of us here, I want to thank you for reading through this pamphlet and considering us for your lawn and landscape needs. We strive for the highest level of quality and customer service. If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to give us a call at anytime.
Remember, when it comes to all of your lawn and landscape needs, the only word you need to know, is…