Lespedeza is an open branched annual weed which is present between late spring and the end of summer in Louisiana. There are other varieties of lespedeza, but common lespedeza is what most people have a problem with in their yards. The stems harden and become woody the longer this weeds stays in your lawn. It grows outward into prostrate mats mixed in with your grass.
Good cultural practices help. The best deterrent to lespedeza is a healthy lawn. Deep and infrequent watering helps to develop strong grass roots. Mowing your lawn at the correct height allows it to photosynthesize enough food. Taller grass provides more shade which denies new weeds sunlight. Cutting your grass too low weakens your lawn while allowing more sunlight to fresh weeds.
Beyond cultural changes, pre-emergent herbicides can prevent lespedeza weeds from appearing in your lawn. The main caveat here is you have to do it before the weed is growing each year. Plan to do before next spring. A few pre-emergent herbicides work well against lespedeza. Products with the active ingredient atrazine, simazine, or dithiopyr work very well at prevention. Read the label to make sure you are applying it correctly.
Once you have a lespedeza weed problem, your go to solution is selective post-emergent herbicides. Luckily, there are a number of post-emergent herbicides available that take care of lespedeza. Products with the active ingredient atrazine, dicambia, metsulfuron, or simazine to name a few. There are plenty more herbicide choices. Read the label before purchasing and be certain it is labeled for your grass type, else you may end up damaging the plants you want to keep.
Why are my crepe myrtles turning black? What are these white specs on my crepe myrtles? If you are asking yourself these questions, you likely have crepe myrtle bark scale on your trees. It was introduced to the United States in the mid-2000s in Texas. Crepe myrtle bark scale made its way over to Louisiana shortly afterwards.
How to Get Rid of Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale
Crepe myrtle bark scale affects crepe myrtles more that are unhealthy. Crepe myrtles that are subjected to poor pruning habits (looking at you crepe myrtle toppers) are more likely to get bad bark problems. Maintain proper pruning methods to keep your trees healthy.
The best time to treat is in during spring, between April and May. A soil drench or deep root treatment using a product containing imidacloprid. You can find this in any hardware store. Follow the mixing instructions and treat the area all around the drip line of the crepe myrtle. Be certain to rake back any mulch before treatment. You can rake the mulch back into place once the treatment has dried. Treat it again the following year to ensure you do not have a resurgence.
During the winter, you can use a dormant oil spray when all the leaves have fallen off the crepe myrtle. This should only be used during the winter and it should be a dormant oil containing paraffin, not some of the lighter oil varieties since they will not kill off the scale.
There have been some success with contact insecticides. Insecticides containing bifenthirin have had limited success. This solution works better on younger scale.
Insect growth regulators as a crawler spray are useful in stopping the crepe myrtle bark scale's life cycle. The solutions will have to be used by a professional since they are restricted use products. Products containing pyriproxyfen or buprofezin have had good success in scale crawler control. Apply when crawlers are active and spray to coat the affected area, this is usually spring.
How to Get Rid of Black Sooty Mold
You've killed off the scale, but the black sooty mold remains. The most affordable, and quickest option is to clean it off. Put a couple of tablespoons of dish soap and warm water in a five gallon bucket. Lightly scrub the affected areas with a soft bristle brush that has been dipped in the soapy solution.
Contact us today to have us get rid of your crepe myrtle bark scale problem.
What is a Living Green Wall?
A living green wall is a vertical arrangements of plants that don't take up a lot of floor space while looking nice. These are also called living walls, biowalls, modular green walls, or vertical gardens.
What Are the Benefits of Green Walls?
People like beauty and nature is beautiful. More people will notice, talk about, and want to be around green walls. The less greenery around, the more attractive your green wall becomes to people. You will attract more potential clients and team members with a well designed living green wall.
Exterior green walls lower energy costs by reducing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the building in the summer. In the winter, they insulate the building from heat loss. Plants and the planting base absorb sound, keeping the area behind the green wall quieter.
Interior green walls increase oxygen and filter out pollutants. Studies have repeatedly shown indoor plants increase productivity while reducing stress. Plants regulate air temperature and humidity.
What Are Green Walls Made of?
Green walls can be as simple as a wire frame that supports small plastic bags filled with soil. They can also be made from structural medium that incorporates soil or non-organic alternatives which have a useful life of over a decade. An increase in the quality of the growing medium causes an increase in the amount of time between medium replacement. Loose soil in bags needs to be replaced every year or two. Structural media can last between a decade to fifteen years.
What Type of Plants Go in Green Walls?
This depends of the green wall's location. An interior green wall consists of a mix of tropical plants. Plants for exterior green walls tend to work better when using plants that would thrive in climate zone slightly north of the area being planted. Choose "easy to grow" plants. Plants with short life spans or plants that must be constantly cared for are not an ideal choice for a vertical green wall.
Can a Green Wall Have a Unique Design?
Yes. These are formed using different plants and maintaining gaps between plants. The simplest way is to get the spacing between plants and dimensions of the wall and to use it to make a color-coded dot diagram.
How Hard Are Green Walls to Care for?
They are actually quite time consuming. Green walls take a while to acclimate to growing vertically. The plants compete for space and try to grow over one another if not pruned often. An interruption in water could be disastrous for the entire wall. Regular fertilization is required. Unintentional changes in light are often a source of grief. If possible, hiring a professional to maintain your green wall is going to make things much easier.
Interested in Buying a Living Green Wall
If you live in either the Greater Baton Rouge or Greater New Orleans areas and are interested in buying a living green wall, please contact us or give us a call at 225-752-2333.
Go into any modern hospital and you will notice a lot plants. Hospitals have therapeutic gardens, potted indoor plants, and often at least one plant in most patient rooms. This is due to plants having a proven track record of improving the health and well-being of people. Indoor plants bring a relaxing element to what is often a stressful ordeal for the patient and their family. Indoor plants ease tension for the sick, their loved ones, nurses and doctors who treat them.
Proven Benefits of Indoor Plants and Therapeutic Gardens
Countless studies have concluded that indoor plantings bring about positive changes in people.
Below are a few examples:
Therapeutic gardens come in a variety of sizes. They can be installed on a wall or they can take up most of your lobby. If you are in the design phase of a new building, include an area for a garden indoors. Landscape pots and garden boxes can retrofit almost if you are interested in a therapeutic garden, but don't have a designated space. Therapeutic gardens provide both health benefits and aesthetic beauty for the affordable cost of maintaining landscaping.
We often forget about plants when designing our buildings. We know plants are beneficial and should have a place in our day to day lives. Feel free to contact us if you are thinking about installing a therapeutic garden or using indoor plants.
The temperature is warming up and you look outside at your lawn and wonder, "What happened?" You are not alone. Winter can do things to turn your beautiful lawn into a quite a mess. Let's go over what you can do to get your lawn looking its best again.
How to get rid of broadleaf weeds from my lawn?
Your lawn most likely has a lot of broadleaf weeds, including white clover, thistle, Carolina geranium, dollarweed, dandelion, and more. These should be easy to take care of using weed control products you can find at your local hardware store. Important: Make sure you are aware of your grass type and focus on the temperature restrictions for the product you choose. They can be the difference between dead weeds and a dead lawn.
How to get rid of annua poa from my lawn?
The best way to get rid of annua poa is to use a pre-emergent during the previous late October to November. Since we didn't do that, you can use a weed control product containing atrazine. Be sure to follow the label as there are restrictions based on time of year, grass type, and state.
How do I prevent weeds from growing in my lawn?
Apply pre-emergents now to stop summer weeds before they start. Pre-emergents are usually cheaper than controlling weeds after they grow. Read the label for your pre-emergent to see if it controls the weed you are having trouble with. Common summer weeds are purple nutsedge, spurge, dallisgrass, goosegrass, Virginia buttonweed, and crabgrass (crabgrass pre-emergent should be started in November to December in the prior year).
How to stop fungus from damaging my lawn?
Fungus is active during cool nights and warm days (read as spring and fall). Apply a preventative fungicide just as the the weather is favorable for these conditions. If your lawn already has a active fungus, you will need to use a curative fungicide. Some curative fungicides recommend combining with a preventative. Read the label to be sure.
Fungi also enjoys a nitrogen rich environment. This means it is a terrible time to add a lot of nitrogen to your lawn. A small amount of nitrogen should be okay if it comes paired with a soil additive, just be cautious since it can turn a small fungal problem into a big fungal problem.
What to do about low spots in my lawn?
Low spots in your lawn hold water which damage the grass roots and lead to weed patches. If you have low spots, top dress them with sand or compost. You can choose to sod over these spots or to let nature do its thing and have the grass slowly grow.
Test irrigation coverage and problems
Setup your irrigation time to operate for spring. Run a full cycle on your irrigation system. Check for obvious leaks (giant geysers) and for full coverage of your lawn. Changing a few tips now will keep your lawn well irrigated when the weather heats up.
Clear clogged drains
If you have drains that aren't draining, it is time to clean them. Sometimes this requires a call to a professional drain cleaner since it requires special equipment. Older, poorly maintained drainage may require a complete rebuild.
Soil pollution is a paramount environmental challenge that will only increase in the future. People keep looking for ways to correct the soil as more industrial sites contaminate it through spills and accidents. Testing shows heavy metals and oils are the main threat to our soil safety. Surprisingly, landscape choices can help to remove contaminants from the soil at these sites through a process called phyotoremediation. Using select plants on these sites can greatly improve the earth.
Plants can have a huge impact on keeping the ground clean by reducing, trapping, or removing contaminates from soil and water. It is the simplest way to do it and it is nature based solution. No large machines or experimental mixes necessary. Obvious sites for phytoremediation are at brownfields or landfills. Another location would be large population centers where pollution activity is hard to monitor. Below are some choices for phytoremediation you can choose.
You have a nice, clean walkway around your house and then the rain comes. Suddenly, what seems like every loose bit of soil in your yard finds its way to the walkway. Dirty walkways are not inviting and can be very frustrating as a homeowner. You tend to keep asking the same questions. Why is this happening? Why does it seem like your house is the only house one where this happens? What can you do to keep your walkway from getting dirty when it rains?
Why do some walkways get dirty when it rains and some stay clean?
Your walkway is below the level of the soil. This can be caused by a few things:
How to fix a walkway that is gets dirty after it rains?
The solution is simple, but pricey. Demolish and replace the section of your walkway. If your walkway is lower than the surrounding soil, that is the only solution that will give your guaranteed results.
See solution #1.
This can usually be corrected with landscape border material. There is a thin landscape border made of either rubber or metal that will keep your overflowing landscaping in check. Hardscape edging, like stones or bricks can also dam up your landscaping.
Contemplate and install a drainage solution. A lot of landscape material floats, so you need to get the water moving before it gets too high. French drains, burms, ditches, and grading are all solutions you can explore to correct an excessive water problem.
Setup an area with rocks, pebbles, or a french drain to catch where the water comes off the roof along the drip line of your home. This will keep the water from washing out your landscaping onto the walkways.
It is summer time and you are outside admiring the great looking lawn you cut a few days ago when you spot it, crabgrass. Crabgrass weeds blend in with your lawn when cut, but will quickly grow taller than the surrounding turf. Many people cut their grass more often to maintain the uniform appearance, only to have this weed pop up and drive them batty. Let's figure out how to get rid of crabgrass so you can get back to a normal mowing routine.
Prevention is the name of the game with crabgrass. Crabgrass is an annual weed. This means it will die off on its own each year (yay!). It also leaves a lot of seeds that will grow again next spring (boo!). If you want to really control crabgrass weeds in the long run, you need to use a pre-emergent herbicide. We use a product called Dimension which contains the active ingredient dithiopyr. Search your local hardware store for a pre-emergent product with either this active ingredient or any grassy weed pre-emergent labeled for both your turf type and crabgrass. Time the pre-emergent application for late fall and/or mid-winter depending upon the product label. Pre-emergents need to go down before the new weeds sprout or they will not work.
Prevention can also occur by keeping the rest of your grass healthy. Don't leave thin areas since this creates an opening for weeds to take root and grow. Fertilizer and water are your best option here. Keep healthy grass and the weeds can't get sunlight.
Prevention is great for next year, but what about the weeds in your yard today? Luckily, there are a lot of options available to consumers that are readily available at the hardware store or through the internet. Be certain to check which turf grasses the product can safely be applied over. You don't want to be the guy that has a brown yard because he didn't check the label first. (This happens more often than you would think.) Don't spray your whole yard if you only have a spot of crabgrass. No need to risk an accident when it is unnecessary. Additionally, most products require a second application a few weeks after the first for proper crabgrass control, but check the label to be certain.
If all else fails, grab a shovel and a few pieces of sod. It can be labor intensive, but the results are both guaranteed and immediate.
We often get asked, "What is something I can do to make my garden look better?" Here are some of our most common suggestions for homeowners to improve their garden.
Welcome With Flowers
Flowers inform your visitors that they are welcome. An assortment of flowers near the entrance of your home sends the right type of warm message for company. Flowers add color that attracts the eye while softening hard edges. It would be nice to have flowers everywhere, but most people are on a budget.
Flowers Are Not Just For The Ground
Hanging baskets and raised planter boxes will take your garden to the next level, literally. This method creates visual layers which is quite appealing. Hanging baskets can adorn walk ways and patios. Raised planter boxes can liven up a drab patio. Experimenting is easy since you can simply move them to a new location. Remember to layer your baskets and planter boxes. Three types of plants should be in your containers: something that drapes, something that fills, and something tall.
Choose Flowering Plants
This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of landscapes are severely lacking in flowering plants. Lilies, irises, and hydrangeas are nice choices for some low maintenance color in your garden. Azaleas, gardenias, crepe myrtles, and camellias should keep your yard in bloom for most of the year.
Hide Your Shed
Sheds are functional, but most do not look great. Try lining your shed with some potted plants that get tall. A trellis with a flowering vine can screen a plain looking shed. Try a vertical herb wall. It will add some character and be useful when cooking.
Make It Memorable
Your backyard is yours to enjoy. Make something just for you that you love. If you have a large backyard, use the extra space to create an escape that you and friends clamor too. An outdoor oasis can include water features, statues, ornate outdoor furniture, grownup tree houses, or other hidden surprises.