Winter pruning

Winter pruning is something that can keep your landscape healthy. Is winter pruning a good idea for shrubs and trees? Before you start clipping, remember that it is important to make sure you are pruning the right plants at the right time! 

According to Mississippi State University Extension Agent, Gina Wills, you should prune a plant after its’ “feature has passed”. This just means that after the plant has flowered or the berries have faded. This calendar of pruning chores is very helpful for Southern homeowners.

Seven days, four seasons.

It’s an old joke, but it’s true. In the South you can go to breakfast in your flip-flops today and make snow cream for breakfast tomorrow. We have a “temperate” climate, which just means that our temperatures span greatly throughout the year. In temperate climates, plants go into dormancy.

Naptime for you, dormancy for your plants.

In the winter, our plants go into a state of dormancy. To many, it appears that everything is “dead”, but they are really all just resting for the winter. Like hibernation in animals, plants in dormancy are preparing their insides for freezing weather and lack of water and nutrients.

Pruning tips:

Prune evergreen shrubs in the winter while they are in dormancy.

Wait until your flowering shrubs or trees bloom, then you can prune them after their blooms fade.

If it’s time to prune your trees (once every three years), hire a professional tree trimmer.

Be sure to remove your clippings in the event that they have disease or insect issues (don’t spread those around!)

There aren’t very many rules or tips for winter pruning, just follow the guides above and when in doubt, look it up! If you are ever unsure, feel free to give us a call at Lawn and Pest Solutions. Our plant health expert can work with you on specific plants and treatments. 

Our trained and licensed lawn technicians are always willing to listen to your concerns and advise you on ways to improve your landscape. Contact our office and let us schedule a visit! We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with outstanding lawn and pest control.

Fall plant health care

Why bother with fall plant care? Pool owners “close the pool” for winter. Boat owners don’t leave their precious investments floating in cold waters all winter. If an ice storm is coming, we move our new cars in garages. Just like boats and cars, our landscapes are an investment.

What’s the use?

If you don’t believe in fall plant health care, think about this. All of the time and money you have spent on planting, nurturing, watering and fertilizing shouldn’t be wasted. The money and time you have spent shouldn’t go to waste over the fall and winter. 

You won’t regret it

By protecting your landscape with fall plant health care, when spring arrives, you will be proud of your healthy and well protected lawn. At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we offer a plant health care program that focuses on keeping your landscape and shrubs insect and disease free.

How does the LPS Plant Health Care program work?

If you join our Plant Health Care program, an expert will visit your lawn six times per year. The pro will examine all of your plants, make notes and leave a written report at each visit. You will receive a copy of the notes and they will also go on file. 

The pro will then treat your plants specifically based on what is happening with your plants and what they need. Most programs include a pre-mixed spray that is applied to all of the plants, no matter what they need at that time. 

A program tailored to the specific needs of your lawn.

You can spend a lot of time and money guessing what is wrong with our landscape and even trying to fix it yourself. With our plant health care plan, you can spend less money and save lots of time by leaving it up to a professional. Contact our office today to protect your investment. Our licensed and trained technicians serve the North Mississippi and Memphis areas.

What are good bugs and why do we need them?

What are good bugs and why do we need them? For people who really have issues with bugs, it’s hard to believe that there are “good bugs”. Most of the time, even with “bad bugs” you can usually find at least one redeeming quality. Good bugs are protecting our gardens, crops, and lawns. 

Not all bugs are bad.

Do a little research before you kill the one thing that may be saving your tomatoes! This says it all, “Some insects are destructive and should be controlled, but of the more than 1.5 million known insect species in the world, more than 97 percent are beneficial to gardens, or simply benign”. Don’t go stomping and spraying everything that crawls and flies.

A quick checklist before you stomp and spray:

  • Is the bug eating your plants, grass, garden?
  • Does the eating appear to be doing damage to the plant?
  • Is there one bug or is there an infestation ? 

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these, you may have a “bad bug”. In our region of the South, bugs that are considered to be “bad bugs” include chinch bugs and white grubs. These insects attack our lawns and cause damage there. An infestation of pests like army worms is something many of us are way too familiar with this season.

Insects that we are probably more familiar with are those that attack people (rather than lawns) like fire ants, wasps and ticks.

Examples of good bugs…

  • Lady bugs are generally considered to be helpful insects. When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they typically have laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids. As soon as the eggs hatch, Lady bugs begin feasting on the aphids. Ladybugs can rescue a crape myrtle and even a crop from aphids when the timing is right! 
  • The larvae of Green Lacewing eat aphids and other insects that destroy our lawns. Brachonid Wasps lay eggs on the very destructive Tomato Horn Worm. When their eggs hatch, they eat the horn worm. 

There are good bugs and we do need them. Good bugs are abundant, bad bugs get all of the attention. Let us help you get rid of the bad bugs and we will leave the good ones alone.

Our licensed professionals know good bugs versus bad bugs and are glad to come to evaluate your situation. Our company offers bed bug exterminator treatment! We are ready to help you out. You can spot our trucks all over North Mississippi and in the Memphis, TN area. Learn more about “The Lawn and Pest Difference”. 

Fire Ants

Is there ever a “best time” to treat for fire ants? Yes! Now is the time to tackle those ant mounds. After a long, wet summer of growing and building underground, the ants are at maximum capacity. 

Fight fire ants now while “everyone is home” and next spring they should be very weak and hopefully, all gone. Fire ants struggle in the winter, so attack now in the fall. Because they haven’t burrowed too far underground, they will have a tough time surviving. 

When the mound is disturbed, fire ants get angry.

Disturbing fire ant mounds is not the best plan of attack. According to a Lawn and Pest employee, “You are just chasing them around your yard with those DIY products. You may think you are rid of the problem, but you really just made them move a little.”

The best way to fight fire ants is with a bait system. This doesn’t disturb the mounds, so the fire ants get the bait and return to their underground system of tunnels. They then “share” the bait with the army below your lawn.

“Old School” is not always the best plan

Many of our dads would pour concoctions of powders, liquids, and even gasoline down into fire ant mounds. Anything to rid our yards of the ugly piles of hardened dirt seemed worth a try. Though it made for some great “hey, watch this” memories, those outdated methods are not only unsafe but also ineffective. 

The best plan for fire ants

Lawn & Pest Solutions has the technology and expertise to provide season-long fire ant control treatment for houses. Our fire ant control treatments target the queen, not just the mound. Our plan is efficient and effective.

In just two strategically timed bait applications, we typically wipe out 95% of your fire ants. We will visit two more times per year just to assess the effectiveness or apply more bait (if needed) at no extra charge. 

Give us a call or click here and we will send out a licensed technician to address your issues! We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with lawn and pest services. 

Lawn care after Labor Day

Now that it’s September and we can almost breathe again, people ask, what’s left for lawn care after Labor Day? While some of us are wondering if we really need to pack away our white pants, the others of us are asking, can I pack up the lawnmower?

Are we done here?

Are you ever done? Does the laundry pile ever really go away? Is the housework ever finished? Not really. Owning a home is one thing, but keeping it up is a never-ending job. Landscaping and lawns fall into this category of never-ending work.

It was fun the first time around.

When you buy or build a home, it is really exciting at first. Picking out paint, windows, and doors that show off your style are part of your outdoor look. Landscaping is a major investment that also accentuates your home and style. These are exciting times for a new homeowner!

 Fast forward ten years when the roof is starting to leak, the paint is peeling, the driveway is stained, and the front door is looking dated. Maybe the lawn is starting to look thin and patches have appeared. We won’t even mention the sofa you bought that was “so cool” ten years ago.

The day’s work is never done. So don’t wait.

Keeping up the work around the house every season keeps us from being ten years down the road with thousands in repairs and sprucing up to do. Maintaining the lawn, landscaping, turf, and plantings are all things we need to do year-round. Continuous upkeep and management keeps home and lawn maintenance manageable, financially and in terms of hard work.

To do list for the fall:

A little work in the yard every day (or week) even after a long summer can make lawn care easy and affordable. These small jobs can be done year-round and will give your lawn the best chance at being beautiful and healthy.

  • Keep mowing as long as the grass is growing.
  • Take care of your lawnmower.
  • Your lawn still needs water even when it is cool.
  • Wet piles of leaves left to rot on your lawn suffocate the turf.  Rake piles up before the job is too much to handle.
  • Aeration and lawn fertilization will pay off when spring arrives.
  • Never stop fighting the war against pests in your lawn.  Armyworms, moles, weeds…these need to be controlled.

Labor Day and lawn care, let’s make that a “thing”

Whether you decide to pack up those white pants for the winter or not, lawn care after Labor Day is definitely a “thing”. Lawn work and home maintenance require year round attention. A little work every day makes this manageable. But you don’t have to do this by yourself. 

You have the services of licensed technicians at Lawn and Pest Solutions just a phone call, text, or email away. Our licensed technicians can visit you, give you some advice about how to move forward, and help you with not only lawn, plant, and tree issues but also their future health. We serve the Memphis, TN, and North Mississippi areas including Tupelo, Oxford, Fulton, New Albany, and more. 

Moles Grubs Armadillos

If you are having a problem with moles or armadillos in your lawn, it’s because they have found a food source in your yard, grubs. Moles and armadillos like to eat grubs. If grubs are present in your yard, moles and armadillos are going to dig into your yard and possibly set up a home underneath.

What is a grub?

Grubs hatch when a beetles lay eggs in your lawn. They are white, soft and have legs up near their heads. Grubs eat on the roots of your lawn causing patches to turn brown and die. If untreated, they grow up to become beetles and lay more eggs in your lawn. The best time to treat for grubs is mid to late summer and early fall. 

How do I know if I have grubs?

The first and easiest way to attack a mole or armadillo problem is to rid your lawn of grubs. Look for spongy grass and brown patches. Pull up a piece of the brown turf. If it comes up easily like a piece of carpet with no roots attached, grubs have been feeding there. The best time to treat for grubs is mid to late summer and early fall. 

Moles

Moles can be fairly destructive, they live underground and create tunnels in your yard. Moles are small and have paddle-like feet that help them dig under your lawn. They usually leave a small mound of soil as their “entrance” to the underground. The tunneling under your lawn is not good for the roots of your turf.

Armadillos…weird but true.

The prolific songwriter/singer Robert Earl Keen, Jr. wrote a song about an unfortunate and greedy armadillo hunter. Handling armadillos frequently or eating them can result in leprosy  (a RARE occurrence, but still a fact).  The only armadillos in the US are the 9 banded variety which always give birth to identical quadruplets.

But more importantly… 

  • Armadillos will destroy your lawn looking for grubs, earthworms, food. 
  • Armadillos thrive in warm, moist climates
  • Armadillos prefer loose and porous soil
  • Armadillos live underground, specifically under your lawn
  • Armadillos are nocturnal and forage for food at night
  • Armadillo quadruplets become independent at around 6 months, so they multiply quickly 

If you are suspicious that you may have moles or armadillos, you need to act now. Start by lifting up a piece of turf to look for grubs. If you find grubs, you need help. 

Moles and armadillos are a problem that start with grubs. Our licensed lawn technicians can evaluate your situation. We answer your calls promptly. In fact, our website has an instant chat that can get you the quickest service possible. Look for it in the bottom right corner. Type in your email address and cell number and you will get an instant reply. Lawn and Pest Solutions of New Albany, MS serves the Memphis, Tennessee area and all of North Mississippi. Let us help you in the battle against whatever may be digging a tunnel under your yard! 

Why is nutgrass so persistent?

Some call it nutsedge, some say nutgrass but whatever you call it, it is a persistent weed. If you ask Google, “what is nutsedge good for” it will tell you that it’s good for ground cover or lawn replacement. That is maybe the most accurate and scary description you will find. 

Do you want your lawn replaced by nutgrass?

The most prolific way that nutgrass reproduces is through underground tubers which are also called “nutlets”. These extensive root systems can reach up to four feet deep. This is one of the conditions that make nutgrass so persistent.

Nutgrass outbreaks usually occur during and after really wet springs, especially in lawns with poor drainage. Later in the summer when drought conditions exist, the persistent nutgrass or nutsedge continues to thrive. 

By summer, the roots are so deep and established that they can survive almost anything. Nutgrass survives because it beats out your grass for water and nutrients. While underground, nutlets can survive for up to 10 years before emerging again. Buried at depths like that, they are protected from cold weather and common treatments for killing nutgrass.

“sedge” versus “grass”

If you are wondering how to identify nutsedge (also called nutgrass) remember this phrase, “sedges have edges”. Just pull up a piece that you think might be sedge, if it feels triangular instead of round and smooth, it is a sedge. The sedge has a center “crease” or fold that makes it have a “v” shape. Imagine if you took a piece of flat grass and ironed it like a pants leg. 

Is nutgrass or nutsedge a bad thing?

A study conducted by the Mississippi State Extensionstudy conducted by the Mississippi State Extension service measured the effects of nutsedge or nutgrass on a sweet potato crop. If just a little nutgrass has devastating effects on a crop, imagine what it does when it takes over your lawn! 

There are some who like the challenge of a DIY project. Taking on pesticides and tackling persistent nutgrass might be a better job for professionals. If DIY weed control is not for you, call Lawn and Pest Solutions to fight nutgrass, nutsedge or any other weeds that are taking over your lawn. 

Our licensed technicians can evaluate your lawn and use the correct treatments to not only treat current outbreaks of weeds but also to prevent them from ever taking root.  Our Lawn and Pest Solutions licensed lawn techs serve  Memphis, TN, and all over North Mississippi. Contact us and let us start helping you today!

Should I treat lawn fungus?

Should I treat lawn fungus? Of course, you should!  Why wouldn’t you treat a fungus that could destroy your beautiful lawn? Don’t feel bad. All healthy lawns contain millions of fungi spores at all times. Most fungi will never cause problems, but we never know when one is going to decide to show off. If you know and care enough to even notice a fungus in your lawn, you are probably going to take care of this matter.

It was too hard to resist.

No good blogger can pass up the rare opportunity to mention and link to the Lamisil commercial. How could you not connect a fungus article to a cartoon toenail fungus who lifts up the human toenail and climbs in? Moving on to the real mission here, treating lawn fungus. A fungus can be easily treated by our trained lawn technicians. You just need to watch for it and call us if you see the signs. 

What are the signs of lawn fungus?

The main types of fungus that tend to grow in our popular grass types include:

  • Dollar Spot/Bermuda grass: can cause spots of brown or straw-colored that start as small as a grapefruit. Beware, they can grow to take over your whole yard.
  • Rust/Zoysia grass: to check for rust fungus, take a white tissue and rub a few grass blades. If an orange color comes off on the tissue, you have a rust problem.
  • Gray Leaf Spot/St. Augustine grass: leaves large gray spots on your grass blades that grow larger as the infestation gets worse.

When should I treat lawn fungus?

There are a few causes for fungi to grow, so as they say… “If the shoe fits, wear it”

  • Fungi can become a problem when we have had too much rain.
  • Fungi can become a problem when we haven’t had enough rain.
  • Fungi can appertains when we mow our lawns too low.
  • Fungi can appear when we have a dull mower blade.
  • PRO TIP: if you have a really large lawn you should sharpen your mower blades a second time mid season!

What can be done to rid my yard of this fungus?

If you suspect you have lawn fungus, call us. A licensed lawn technician will investigate your issue and determine the best plan of treatment. A fungicide will be applied to your lawn and have the fungus problem under control in no time.

As with any lawn health issues, when you are working with professionals like Lawn and Pest Solutions, we are only a phone call away.  Let us know now before more damage occurs. Your lawn is your investment and we want to help you not only maintain it, but allow it to thrive.  If you aren’t already a customer of ours, please contact us here. Our office system receives messages 24/7. We serve the areas of Memphis, Tennessee, and North Mississippi. If you need more references, feel free to read our Google reviews.