Leopard print lawn

Leopard print lawns, are your eyes deceiving you? After the first frost of the season, you may notice that your lawn seems to have a leopard print like pattern. Parts of the lawn will have turned brown overnight from the frost, some parts won’t. This causes the “frost leopard print” effect that may cause a little panic. 

What determines a “frost” in the weather?

Frost forms when the temperature of the grass surface cools to a temperature that is below freezing, and is colder than the dewpoint of the air.  The thickest coating of frost typically occurs when temperatures are closer to 32 degrees, because colder air cannot hold as much moisture.

Dormant versus Dead

Once we have cooler weather in the fall and eventually have a frost, our lawns go into a state of being dormant. When the brown appears in patches with frost leopard print, some may think their lawn has a disease. Your lawn is not dead, it is dormant

Remember that dormancy just means that your lawn is resting for the winter. It is saving all of the nutrients and energy it needs for the upcoming spring. As a result, the grass will turn brown. Your grass will continue to hibernate until temperatures reach a consistent low in the 60’s.

Protect the fragile

Our warm season grasses here in the South are not in danger of frost. However, there are precautions that you can take to ensure a healthy lawn in the spring. 

Following a heavy frost, stay off your lawn until the frost dissipates. Until then, the blades of grass can be brittle and frozen. Walking or driving equipment across these frozen blades of grass can break them. There’s no need to stress your lawn like that!

Other precautions to follow:

  • Tender plants need to be protected from the frost, particularly any of your summer blooming plants that you may be attempting to keep through the winter.  
  • Allow your grass to grow a little bit taller as the temperatures drop. The extra leaf blades can have an insulating effect for your grass and its’ root system.

Take a deep breath of air.

As the weather gets colder, your soil will naturally harden and become compacted. Compacted soil chokes your lawn’s root system, making it difficult to draw nutrients from the soil. High foot traffic, new sod, and standing water are just a few problems that can lead to compacted soil.

Now is the perfect time for aeration. Aeration is one key element of our Lawn 360 program at Lawn and Pest Solutions. When you take a peek to “check out the damage” of our first frost this year, you can take a deep breath and know that your leopard spotted lawn isn’t dying.

Lawn 360 is a year round program

At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we don’t think about your lawn one season at a time. Our certified lawn technicians want you to get the most out of your lawn. Our lawn care professionals work with you to create a plan that sets your grass up for a healthy winter and a more vibrant spring.

In addition to aeration for the winter, our techs can give you other pointers to get your yard through every extreme season of our wild and crazy South! Contact us today to learn more about the Lawn 360 program at Lawn and Pest Solutions. We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee 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 evaluate your situation. 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 control for fire ants. 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. 

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is a type of insect/pest that attaches itself to the trunk of a Crape Myrtle tree. You might first notice a problem on your Crape Myrtle when you see black areas forming on the trunk or branches. 

According to Mississippi State University Extension Services, “It is now well established in more than 20 Mississippi counties and will likely continue to spread. All members of Mississippi’s gardening and landscaping community need to know how to identify and control CMBS in order to help slow its’ spread and reduce its’ impact.”

What IS Crape Myrtle Bark Scale?

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is a pest that covers parts (or eventually all) of the Crape Myrtle tree. The first sign is a black, sticky soot-like substance that will cover the tree. The soot will then begin raining down onto everything underneath the tree. 

Sidewalks, driveways, shrubs and flowers, garbage cans, pools, toys are at risk.  Whatever is under the infected tree will get a black, moldy, sooty stain. The actual pest (the Bark Scale) is a flat, light gray or white pest that feels like felt. If you press on the Bark Scale and it oozes a pink substance, it is active.

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale typically gathers in the branch crotches or at pruning areas, also under loose bark. In addition to being unattractive, the mold prevents sunlight from reaching the tree. As it takes over, Crape Myrtle Bark Scale sucks the life (sap) from your tree.

Should I get rid of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale?

It is commonly accepted that CMBS won’t kill your trees, but it will most likely affect the number of flowers on your tree. The size of flower clusters and overall health of your Crape Myrtle trees may also suffer. Crape Myrtle Bark Scale may even cause your trees to flower later than healthy trees. 

Deciding to treat Crape Myrtle Bark Scale may come down to you deciding to protect the investment you have made in your trees, your landscape and your property.

How is Crape Myrtle Bark Scale treated?

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is being treated by our licensed lawn and pest technicians at Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS. 

  1. We start by systemically injecting treatment at the roots of the trees. This will slowly and methodically begin treating the entire tree and ridding it of the pest. 
  2. In addition to the systemic treatment, we spray the entire tree with a growth regulator. This doesn’t improve the growth of the tree, it speeds up the process of getting rid of Bark Scale. 
  3. In the fall, Lawn and Pest Solutions applies a dormant oil to the affected tree. This oil smothers and eliminates any remaining insects on the tree except those which are beneficial to the tree (like ladybugs). 
  4. Each year afterwards, we do an annual systemic treatment as a preventative to keep the CMBS from returning. This treatment also has a fertilizer which will help your Crape Myrtle thrive in the future.  (Even if you don’t have Bark Scale now you might consider this preventative treatment)

We are here to help.

Crape Myrtles are some of the most beautiful flowering trees we have in the South. These majestic trees enhance our properties, parks, cities and lawns. Contact us today to check on your investment! We have a great system to treat your trees before this Crape Myrtle Bark Scale has a chance to infect your trees. 

Our licensed technicians are trained in recognizing and guiding you in the right direction for treatment and/or prevention. We treat Crape Myrtles in the Memphis, TN area and all over North Mississippi.

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 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!

Dealing with drought in lawns

Dealing with drought in lawns may seem a bit untimely for our area. It seems like it has rained every day for months now. Even if we aren’t in an official time of drought today, your lawn may be in a bit of distress due to the extreme heat. However, a time of drought is probably inevitable at some point in the upcoming months.

Be prepared

With our recent extreme heat, you may be seeing some brown appear. As rain becomes less frequent, this may become more evident. Don’t worry too much, most of our grass species can take three to four weeks of dormancy without dying.

Dormancy doesn’t mean “dead”

Dormancy just means your grass has gone to sleep. You can tell if your grass is dead or dormant by tugging on the plants. If the plants pull out from the ground easily, they’re probably dead. If the roots hold fast when pulled, the plants are dormant. Brown grass is not the only sign of stressed out grass,  another sign is “footprinting”. 

What is footprinting?

Walking over the same areas of lawn compacts the grass and compacted soil can’t absorb water.  On a lawn that is already parched, these are the areas that suffer first. Footprinting is when you step on your parched lawn and footprints don’t disappear right away. 

Preventative measures to fight drought

  • Your lawn needs about an inch of water or rain per week to thrive. At the first sign of stress, begin watering!
  • If using a sprinkler, that means about 20 to 30 minutes/three times per week.
  • Skip at least a day between waterings. 
  • Move sprinklers around to cover all areas of your yard.
  • Water in the mornings, between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Watering before the sun rises helps to keep evaporation to a minimum.
  • Don’t mow the lawn too short or too often during times of drought. 
  • Stay off the lawn!

Are you feeling hesitant to use these methods to deal with drought in your lawn? Just remember all of the time, money and effort you put into your lawn and landscape. It is less costly and certainly easier and quicker to water your lawn than to replace it when it’s too late. The same goes for your landscape plants and trees. 

Your lawn and landscape is an investment. We work year round with our customers to protect their investments. Whether preventing and treating disease and invasive pests or nurturing with fertilization and aeration we want your lawn to look the best it can! 

A little water and care will go a long way when dealing with drought in lawns. At Lawn and Pest Solutions, our licensed lawn technicians can help you achieve your lawn goals and maintain them all year long. We serve the Memphis, TN area as well as all over North Mississippi. You will see our trucks and techs in Oxford, Tupelo, New Albany, Germantown, Olive Branch, Fulton and more. You can contact our office 24/7 to get started with our program.