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mackerel_sky

2014 Lawn, Garden, Landscaping , Fishing , and Allergy Thread

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I knew the pictures would be coming, but I like that one! I'm not good with veggies, but I'm about 95% sure rhubarb is a cool season crop like Swiss chard and cabbage and such. It doesn't like heat and humidity, your window of opportunity for a spring crop may be rapidly closing! Also check out the 80lb flathead catfish they caught out of the cooper river last week! Don't have the link, but google it

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I knew the pictures would be coming, but I like that one! I'm not good with veggies, but I'm about 95% sure rhubarb is a cool season crop like Swiss chard and cabbage and such. It doesn't like heat and humidity, your window of opportunity for a spring crop may be rapidly closing! Also check out the 80lb flathead catfish they caught out of the cooper river last week! Don't have the link, but google it

<Wanna go fishin' again.  

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Here are a few tips for those southern fescue naysayers as well as the newbie fescue optimists.

This is most likely the last week for overseeding if you haven't done it yet, at least south of Greensboro. Yes, I know that the Summer will kill about 30% of it, but we all have some bad spots that need attention between now and September. Ideally we all should have all done this 3 weeks ago, but alot of folks have been waiting 2 weeks for their Spring weed and feed treatments to dissapate. Winter weeds were a real b**ch this year. It's been a while since I have seen so much chickweed.  Yes, I failed to do the winter pre-emergent last Fall. If you haven't done your preemergents for Summer, you have missed the first bus, but there is still time to keep it from getting too out of control. I did mine the first week in March and had a few very small patches crop up but I quickly got them with post emergent. The nieghbor's yard is a crabgrass nightmare already, but they do nothing to prevent it.

 

Here is a little tidbit that I will share because you would be surprised that 95% of lawn enthusiasts do not even know it.  If you still need to apply pre emergent and overseed at the same time, there are two pre emergents that allow this. Tupersan and Mesotrione. This pertains to cool season grasses only. It is so little known that most landscaping supply companies do not even know about it, but sod farms have used these for some time now. I had great success with these last year. They are both very expensive, but worth the money. You can save about $20 per 5000 square feet by using Scott's Starter Fertilizer with weed control. Make sure that it is the one with Mesotrione, they make two different kinds. I found some at Lowes for $36 a bag this year and it appears to have been as effective as the Tupersan that I have only been able to purchase on the internet in the past.

 

Lastly, for the newbie lawn freaks, do not fertilize your fescue in the Spring, at least not with high nitrogen contents. You are asking for fungus and disease come Summertime if we get normal rainfall. Been there, done it too many years. Fungus control is astronomically expensive. Remember SOD. Sept, Oct, Dec. for fertilizing Fescue in the South. Also, get your season long grub control down by mid May. Grubs were a real b**ch last year by early August here in my area. Those of us that didn't pre-treat paid the price. I was able to stop the damage in time, but had 4 weeks worth of dead spots that I had to re-grow while the rest of the lawn was pristine. I dug up the areas and rolled them back to find at least one grub per bad patch.

 

If you have nominal shade, beautiful thick fescue is obtainable with proper care and watering. Titan RX seems to be the heartiest in Upstate SC. The garbage at the big box stores is worthless. Even the expensive Rebel Brands do not compare to the quality of Titan RX, both in germination rates and survivability in the heat. You can get 50# of Titan RX  at Farm Supply or Landscaping stores for about $80-$90. Water deep and infrequently, at least an inch per week. If the summer is too brutal and you don't want to keep pouring the $$ into your water bill, let it go dormant. It will be fine in the Fall when temps cool. I don't do that but have friends that do and they come out just fine.

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Here are a few tips for those southern fescue naysayers as well as the newbie fescue optimists.

This is most likely the last week for overseeding if you haven't done it yet, at least south of Greensboro. Yes, I know that the Summer will kill about 30% of it, but we all have some bad spots that need attention between now and September. Ideally we all should have all done this 3 weeks ago, but alot of folks have been waiting 2 weeks for their Spring weed and feed treatments to dissapate. Winter weeds were a real b**ch this year. It's been a while since I have seen so much chickweed.  Yes, I failed to do the winter pre-emergent last Fall. If you haven't done your preemergents for Summer, you have missed the first bus, but there is still time to keep it from getting too out of control. I did mine the first week in March and had a few very small patches crop up but I quickly got them with post emergent. The nieghbor's yard is a crabgrass nightmare already, but they do nothing to prevent it.

 

Here is a little tidbit that I will share because you would be surprised that 95% of lawn enthusiasts do not even know it.  If you still need to apply pre emergent and overseed at the same time, there are two pre emergents that allow this. Tupersan and Mesotrione. This pertains to cool season grasses only. It is so little known that most landscaping supply companies do not even know about it, but sod farms have used these for some time now. I had great success with these last year. They are both very expensive, but worth the money. You can save about $20 per 5000 square feet by using Scott's Starter Fertilizer with weed control. Make sure that it is the one with Mesotrione, they make two different kinds. I found some at Lowes for $36 a bag this year and it appears to have been as effective as the Tupersan that I have only been able to purchase on the internet in the past.

 

Lastly, for the newbie lawn freaks, do not fertilize your fescue in the Spring, at least not with high nitrogen contents. You are asking for fungus and disease come Summertime if we get normal rainfall. Been there, done it too many years. Fungus control is astronomically expensive. Remember SOD. Sept, Oct, Dec. for fertilizing Fescue in the South. Also, get your season long grub control down by mid May. Grubs were a real b**ch last year by early August here in my area. Those of us that didn't pre-treat paid the price. I was able to stop the damage in time, but had 4 weeks worth of dead spots that I had to re-grow while the rest of the lawn was pristine. I dug up the areas and rolled them back to find at least one grub per bad patch.

 

If you have nominal shade, beautiful thick fescue is obtainable with proper care and watering. Titan RX seems to be the heartiest in Upstate SC. The garbage at the big box stores is worthless. Even the expensive Rebel Brands do not compare to the quality of Titan RX, both in germination rates and survivability in the heat. You can get 50# of Titan RX  at Farm Supply or Landscaping stores for about $80-$90. Water deep and infrequently, at least an inch per week. If the summer is too brutal and you don't want to keep pouring the $$ into your water bill, let it go dormant. It will be fine in the Fall when temps cool. I don't do that but have friends that do and they come out just fine.

I take a slightly different approach as my post from late summer 2012 shows. :)

 

As we move into the latter part of the grass growing season I wanted to share my secret for a lawn.

Lived in house 13 years

Total Lawn Expenses

Grass seed $0.00

Weed control $0.00

Fertilizer $0.00

If it grows there I mow it with a mulching deck. That's it. LOL

In any case here are a few pictures I took this week of my natural weed lawn. In order, front, back and side yard.

large.jpg

large.jpg

large.jpg

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I take a slightly different approach as my post from late summer 2012 shows. :)

 

Hey, at least it is green. I did that same approach for a good while. The first 11 years in this house, I was a lawn freak, then just quit because of time and energy contraints. Then I went 12 years using your approach and it was practical for the time but the family finally decided they liked the old lawn better and now that I have a little more time, I decided to go back to my old ways for their sake as well as a little exercise. So 5 years ago, I killed it all with round up and started the journey fresh and things look as good as they ever did, maybe better. I'll be honest though, there is a lot to be said for either method!

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Darn lawn thing.  I don't get it.

 

My lawn is weed 'til May.  Grass chokes out weed.

Mow leaves and cat crap (some of mine) into the lawn all year.

 

<Best looking lawn by June.

 

 

"Green Is Good!"

 

 

BTW - Perfect lawns are an "English Thing" (easy to grow grass in the UK).  In the US... it's a money scheme.

I'd rather focus on my 'bating skills.

 

 

BTW - I think bagging grass is 'stupid'.  Grass is 10% nitrogen - and natural mulching.  Why would

you do that?  Seems like you're removing good stuff and replacing w/ chemicals.  Aeration is all you need.

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Hey, at least it is green. I did that same approach for a good while. The first 11 years in this house, I was a lawn freak, then just quit because of time and energy contraints. Then I went 12 years using your approach and it was practical for the time but the family finally decided they liked the old lawn better and now that I have a little more time, I decided to go back to my old ways for their sake as well as a little exercise. So 5 years ago, I killed it all with round up and started the journey fresh and things look as good as they ever did, maybe better. I'll be honest though, there is a lot to be said for either method!

 

I like my method because my grandkids can sit in the yard and not be in danger of growing a tail.  :)

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Here are a few tips for those southern fescue naysayers as well as the newbie fescue optimists.

This is most likely the last week for overseeding if you haven't done it yet, at least south of Greensboro. Yes, I know that the Summer will kill about 30% of it, but we all have some bad spots that need attention between now and September. Ideally we all should have all done this 3 weeks ago, but alot of folks have been waiting 2 weeks for their Spring weed and feed treatments to dissapate. Winter weeds were a real b**ch this year. It's been a while since I have seen so much chickweed.  Yes, I failed to do the winter pre-emergent last Fall. If you haven't done your preemergents for Summer, you have missed the first bus, but there is still time to keep it from getting too out of control. I did mine the first week in March and had a few very small patches crop up but I quickly got them with post emergent. The nieghbor's yard is a crabgrass nightmare already, but they do nothing to prevent it.

 

Here is a little tidbit that I will share because you would be surprised that 95% of lawn enthusiasts do not even know it.  If you still need to apply pre emergent and overseed at the same time, there are two pre emergents that allow this. Tupersan and Mesotrione. This pertains to cool season grasses only. It is so little known that most landscaping supply companies do not even know about it, but sod farms have used these for some time now. I had great success with these last year. They are both very expensive, but worth the money. You can save about $20 per 5000 square feet by using Scott's Starter Fertilizer with weed control. Make sure that it is the one with Mesotrione, they make two different kinds. I found some at Lowes for $36 a bag this year and it appears to have been as effective as the Tupersan that I have only been able to purchase on the internet in the past.

 

Lastly, for the newbie lawn freaks, do not fertilize your fescue in the Spring, at least not with high nitrogen contents. You are asking for fungus and disease come Summertime if we get normal rainfall. Been there, done it too many years. Fungus control is astronomically expensive. Remember SOD. Sept, Oct, Dec. for fertilizing Fescue in the South. Also, get your season long grub control down by mid May. Grubs were a real b**ch last year by early August here in my area. Those of us that didn't pre-treat paid the price. I was able to stop the damage in time, but had 4 weeks worth of dead spots that I had to re-grow while the rest of the lawn was pristine. I dug up the areas and rolled them back to find at least one grub per bad patch.

 

If you have nominal shade, beautiful thick fescue is obtainable with proper care and watering. Titan RX seems to be the heartiest in Upstate SC. The garbage at the big box stores is worthless. Even the expensive Rebel Brands do not compare to the quality of Titan RX, both in germination rates and survivability in the heat. You can get 50# of Titan RX  at Farm Supply or Landscaping stores for about $80-$90. Water deep and infrequently, at least an inch per week. If the summer is too brutal and you don't want to keep pouring the $$ into your water bill, let it go dormant. It will be fine in the Fall when temps cool. I don't do that but have friends that do and they come out just fine.

CH, my summertime hobby is rose gardening. I have numerous large beds throughout the yard that is becoming a burden as far as weeding goes. Is there a herbicide for chickweed, purple clover, wild strawberries, etc. I can use that won't damage the roses or ornamentals?

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The Green Monster.

Tobacco Horn Worm.  

 

<Had to pick them off my tomatoes, last year, daily.  

I follow advice from internet... still end up picking them off.

No tomatoes yet... but, they are running all-over my roses (old growth, oddly).

 

BTW - the Wasp Larvae covering the one in the photo is a 'good thing'.... but, not nearly

effective enough to deal with the green menace.

 

Any have success dealing with these?

 

wasp-parasitized-hornworm.jpg

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The Green Monster.

Tobacco Horn Worm.

<Had to pick them off my tomatoes, last year, daily.

I follow advice from internet... still end up picking them off.

No tomatoes yet... but, they are running all-over my roses (old growth, oddly).

BTW - the 'larvae' covering the one in the photo is a 'good thing'.... but, not nearly

effective enough to deal with the green menace.

Any have success dealing with these?

wasp-parasitized-hornworm.jpg

Yeah, the white things on the back are eggs from a wasp that preys on the hornworm. The worms are nasty and show up overnight. They can easily be picked off if you stay diligent. Don't know of anything to kill them, putting insecticide on edibles for humans can be tricky. Just read labels and check the Internet and maybe Clemson extension , call them or online , they are very helpful and knowledgable , and used science based facts!

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By the time you find them, the damage has usually been done. Hand picking is the best, obviously.  If I see one with the wasp eggs, I leave it be and keep looking for the next one. One tell-tail sign is to look for droppings on the leaves, then look on the stems above that for the culprit. Our problem here is, we almost invite them into the yard with all the night-blooming flowers we have - moonflowers, nicotiana, 4-O'clocks... the hornworm is the larvae of the hummingbird/sphinx moth, which loves those night flowers.

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Yeah, the white things on the back are eggs from a wasp that preys on the hornworm. The worms are nasty and show up overnight. They can easily be picked off if you stay diligent. Don't know of anything to kill them, putting insecticide on edibles for humans can be tricky. Just read labels and check the Internet and maybe Clemson extension , call them or online , they are very helpful and knowledgable , and used science based facts!

Bt (Bacillus Thuringienses) usually works for most all caterpillars or worm-like pests. It's not an instant kill, but I have found it very effective on my cabbage plants and walnut tree that was overtaken by caterpillars last year. For hornworms, I usually just hand pick them if the wasps haven't killed them already.

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To make a long story short... my English Bride (once a cat hater) got her first job as an Administrator at a Prison here in SC a couple years ago... just after immigration to the US.  She brings home hopeless strays from just outside the prison.  Most of them are only weeks old - some even younger.  She bottle feeds them to health (I help) with the intention of adopting them out.  A few cats in the neighborhood mix into the fray.  We've lost a few due to 'roadkill' and dog attacks.  It's hard to count them at any given moment.  I do remember all of their names, usually!  

 

We do get all of them their appropriate shots and spay/neuter as soon as each is old enough.

 

My wife is developing relationships with others and authorities within the arena.  Hard to tell where this is going (as I think to myself while cleaning house).  It makes her happy - and there's no way I would turn away from a needy being.

 

BTW - Wife brought home a kitten barely over a week old two days ago.  Its head is smaller than a Walnut!  I just feed it.  Very healthy.  I would never have thought possible before.

 

If you know of anyone interested in saving animals - or helpful contacts, anything.... Please respond.  Again - I don't know where

this is going. 

There is an excellent rescue in Ashville, only hear good things about them. The name is Brother Wolf (?). Good luck with them!

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The Green Monster.

Tobacco Horn Worm.  

 

<Had to pick them off my tomatoes, last year, daily.  

I follow advice from internet... still end up picking them off.

No tomatoes yet... but, they are running all-over my roses (old growth, oddly).

 

BTW - the Wasp Larvae covering the one in the photo is a 'good thing'.... but, not nearly

effective enough to deal with the green menace.

 

Any have success dealing with these?

 

wasp-parasitized-hornworm.jpg

I just keep a close eye on the plants and when I see the half eaten leaves, I search until I find him. They aren't easily found when they are small as they blend in well with the plant. Once I find them I hand pick them off and my size 11 boot works well on them. I try to avoid insecticides if at all possible.

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There is an excellent rescue in Ashville, only hear good things about them. The name is Brother Wolf (?). Good luck with them!

 

Yes, it's Brother Wolf. I've heard lot of great things about them from my friends and they sometimes bring dogs from Brother Wolf with them to Quad so they can enjoy the freedom outside the building :)

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Yes, it's Brother Wolf. I've heard lot of great things about them from my friends and they sometimes bring dogs from Brother Wolf with them to Quad so they can enjoy the freedom outside the building :)

<Will look that up again.  When I was doing "The Avery Homepage"... was looking into them.  Had an interview scheduled...

... right before my wife scooped up the kids and 'hauled arse' from the mountain top.

 

-Another story.  Not pretty.

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Another Devastating Pest (Other Than Mack Sky).

 

I didn't have trouble with these guys last year... but, I know once it comes -

the fat lady has finished with the operetta.

 

 

It's the Squash Vine Borer.

 

squash-vine-borers-1.jpg

 

Similar to the Tobacco Horn Worm - in the sense that almost nothing can be done

once one is found.

 

These critters plant larvae in typically large and hollow-stemed vines.  They lay spawn

at the junction of leaf and main vine.  The plant in question eventually gets it supply cut

off by the feeding parasite babies.  You witness this by wilting and yellowing... you immediately know.

 

Again... the solution is always to "pick them off."  Actually, you have to cut each intersection of vine

and leaf stem with a knife and suck them out by method of choice.  I used to use a turkey baster.

Ridiculous.

 

Anyone with horror stories about those??? 

 

 

BTW - I suspect the Tobacco Horm Worm might taste like a Lima Bean (which I like very much).  I may taste one.

I usually just cut them in half if I have a knife, or squish them between my index and thumb.  If they are really large...  I pick them off and throw them as far as I can while screaming like a 6-year-old girl.  

 

They are ugly... and I can hear the big ones "growl".   Eeeehhhh!!!

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That's why I don't mess with vegetables that much! Too much heartache can happen after you baby them all summer, only to have them killed overnight! I have two tomato plants, and that's just to appease the old lady's cries of" why don't you grow any vegetables?" I know there is nothing like the taste of home grown veggies, but I have rectified that situation, I don't eat vegetables! Unless you count the incidental onions on a triple- decker bacon burger! :)

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That's why I don't mess with vegetables that much! Too much heartache can happen after you baby them all summer, only to have them killed overnight! I have two tomato plants, and that's just to appease the old lady's cries of" why don't you grow any vegetables?" I know there is nothing like the taste of home grown veggies, but I have rectified that situation, I don't eat vegetables! Unless you count the incidental onions on a triple- decker bacon burger! :)

 

Around here everyone has a garden.  When the stuff comes in we get given more than we can eat.  Best of both worlds.

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The only pests I have a problem with year after year in my vegetable garden:

  • the so-far unidentified critters (slugs, snails maybes?) that always eat holes in my young beans and seedlings. Diatomaceous Earth takes care of those as long as it's not rainy every single day.
  • aphids on a few of my tomatoes. Soapy water takes care of those.
  • stink bugs on beans and tomatoes, and squash bugs on my pumpkins. I plant marigolds among all my squash/cukes/pumpkins, and I hand-pick the bugs and drop them in soapy water. And watch them drown. And it gives me a good feeling inside.

Nothing else has really bothered my garden so far. So far.

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The only pests I have a problem with year after year in my vegetable garden:

  • the so-far unidentified critters (slugs, snails maybes?) that always eat holes in my young beans and seedlings. Diatomaceous Earth takes care of those as long as it's not rainy every single day.
  • aphids on a few of my tomatoes. Soapy water takes care of those.
  • stink bugs on beans and tomatoes, and squash bugs on my pumpkins. I plant marigolds among all my squash/cukes/pumpkins, and I hand-pick the bugs and drop them in soapy water. And watch them drown. And it gives me a good feeling inside.

Nothing else has really bothered my garden so far. So far.

 

This year could be different.

 

standard.jpg

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Another Devastating Pest (Other Than Mack Sky).

I didn't have trouble with these guys last year... but, I know once it comes -

the fat lady has finished with the operetta.

It's the Squash Vine Borer.

squash-vine-borers-1.jpg

Similar to the Tobacco Horn Worm - in the sense that almost nothing can be done

once one is found.

These critters plant larvae in typically large and hollow-stemed vines. They lay spawn

at the junction of leaf and main vine. The plant in question eventually gets it supply cut

off by the feeding parasite babies. You witness this by wilting and yellowing... you immediately know.

Again... the solution is always to "pick them off." Actually, you have to cut each intersection of vine

and leaf stem with a knife and suck them out by method of choice. I used to use a turkey baster.

Ridiculous.

Anyone with horror stories about those???

BTW - I suspect the Tobacco Horm Worm might taste like a Lima Bean (which I like very much). I may taste one.

I usually just cut them in half if I have a knife, or squish them between my index and thumb. If they are really large... I pick them off and throw them as far as I can while screaming like a 6-year-old girl.

They are ugly... and I can hear the big ones "growl". Eeeehhhh!!!

The Vine Borer is the worst enemy in my garden. I love to grow squash and pumpkins, but these things are ridiculous. There's literally nothing you can do about them other than pull the plant after they find it. I've cut out the larva, but they always come back. I can't keep a pumpkin plant alive long enough to grow a pumpkin. This year, I'm going to use sevin dust on my pumpkins. I know some don't like that stuff, I don't care. I'm not going to eat them.

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