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Tips For Pruning Your Plants & Shrubs.

Tips For Pruning Your Plants & Shrubs.

Spring is a great time to start planning for your summer pruning, trimming, and/or shearing of your shrubs. But what method is best for your landscape? Knowing the best method to prune and trim is critical! Pruning a plant at the wrong time of year or in the wrong way can cause irreparable damage to your landscape. For example, it is more than okay to trim knockout roses with power shearers. But, if you do this to a long-stemmed rose variety, like a grandiflora, floribunda, or hybrid tea rose, you’ll ruin the plant! With that in mind, let’s define some terms… Shrub Trimming Normal shrub trimming involves using electric or gas-powered shearers to trim shrubs. This often gives your landscape a more uniform and even appearance. It is also the fastest and most efficient way to trim many shrubs. You should discuss with your landscape professional to determine if this method is right for you as shearing is not advised for some plant species. Hand Pruning Hand pruning involves selectively cutting individual stems to give your shrub a more natural shape. This service is performed with a pair of hand pruners, which look a little bit like a pair of scissors. New growth is removed to maintain its natural shape, one snip at a time. Although more time consuming and costly, this is the best option the long-term health of your plants. Hand pruning is also used to naturally thin a plant to improve air circulation and light penetration. This method is also used for topiaries (trimming a shrub into a specific shape). When trying to maintain that nice...
Pest Control Chronicles: 3 Grassy Weeds That Are Likely To Haunt Your Lawn This Summer.

Pest Control Chronicles: 3 Grassy Weeds That Are Likely To Haunt Your Lawn This Summer.

Grassy weeds in your lawn are the most difficult pests to identify and control.  For the average homeowner, telling them apart is near impossible, and getting rid of weeds like crabgrass is usually an even harder task.  Here we will talk about some common lawn killing weeds in the northeast and what you can do to control them.   CRABGRASS The most problematic of all lawn weeds, crabgrass can be more easily identified than other grassy weeds.  Crabgrass is an annual weed, which spreads from last year’s seeds.  It can be identified by its purplish-red stems near the soil, and its finger-like projections that give it its name. To control this weed you must use an aggressive pre-emergent plan that should include half-applications in Fall and then again in Spring. Read more on Crabgrass Here:https://greenteamct.com/2019/04/22/reminder-your-time-to-prevent-crabgrass-ends-soon/ Goosegrass Goosegrass is another summer annual that will emerge around the same time as Crabgrass.  The difference in appearance will be that it only grows in tufts, bunches with a single tap root, and has bleached stems that are often flattened to the ground. Seedheads will resemble a zipper-like pattern and gives it an easy way to make an identification.  Goosegrass needs to be treated like crabgrass, with an aggressive pre-emergent strategy and proper watering. Very dry and compacted soil is preferable to this weed, so keeping your soil in a healthy condition can help deter Goosegrass growth. Read about another common lawn weed here: https://greenteamct.com/spring-lawn-pest-control-spotlight-the-early-bloomer-common-chickweed     Yellow Nutsedge It is almost amazing how common this weed is in lawns, yet how overlooked it can be.  Nutsedge can blend well with preferable grasses...
U.S. EPA reaffirms that glyphosate does not cause cancer

U.S. EPA reaffirms that glyphosate does not cause cancer

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it finished a regulatory review that found glyphosate, the most widely used weed killer in the United States, is not a carcinogen. The conclusion reaffirms the agency’s stance on glyphosate, the key ingredient in Bayer AG’s Roundup, despite judgments by U.S. juries that have found that use of the weedkiller was responsible for plaintiffs’ cancer in some trials. “EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen,” the agency said in a statement. The EPA judgment could help bolster the case for Bayer as it faces thousands more lawsuits from Roundup users who allege it caused their cancer. Bayer, which bought Roundup maker Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, welcomed the findings. The company has maintained glyphosate and Roundup are safe and not carcinogenic. Farmers spray glyphosate on fields of soybeans and other crops. Roundup is also used on lawns, golf courses and elsewhere. “Glyphosate-based herbicides are one of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, which is a major reason why farmers around the world continue to rely on these products,” said Liam Condon, Bayer’s global president for crop science. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer arm classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Bayer said last Friday it reached an agreement with plaintiffs’ lawyers to postpone a Missouri jury trial over allegations Roundup causes cancer to provide time for negotiations to settle the litigation. Three consecutive juries previously found Bayer liable for causing cancer with...
Pest Control Chronicles, White Clover: The “Indicator” Weed

Pest Control Chronicles, White Clover: The “Indicator” Weed

Some lawn weeds are so common, and so adaptable, that they become an expected part of the Landscape.  Others are indicators of specific issues or practices that have to exist for the respective weed to thrive.  Also, some weeds have beneficial properties and are sometimes grown purposefully, which can lead to unintentional invasions.  Common White Clover is a weed that fits the bill for all three of these characteristics, and we will discuss why here.   Identification White Clover can be easily recognized by its distinct set of 3 heart-shaped leaves, “3 Leaf Clovers”, that inspire the long-time search for its 4-leafed variation that is said to bring luck.  Its spiked white cluster flowers are very common as well, and can be seen all Spring & most of Summer. White Clover can also be distinguished by the white markings in the middle of its leaves.   Indications White Clover has often been an indicator of certain lawn conditions for lawn care professionals, and used to confirm or exclude a certain diagnosis. The most common of these conditions is the indication that a lawn is being mowed too low.  The presence of White Clover in a lawn is a good clue that you are mowing your grass too low, as it thrives where the grass is cut too short to outcompete it.  Mowing your lawn between 3.5 – 4 inches weekly can help to promote healthy turf and discourage White Clover. White Clover can also indicate the presence of low Nitrogen content in the soil.  Clover can fixate, or create, its own Nitrogen for growth.  So it will thrive where...
Warm Season Fungal Diseases. The 3 Most Misdiagnosed Lawn Problems.

Warm Season Fungal Diseases. The 3 Most Misdiagnosed Lawn Problems.

During the Summer months, the most common culprits of Lawn problems are lack of water, low mowing heights, and compaction from Summer foot traffic.  Often going unnoticed and under-appreciated is the impact fungal diseases can have on your turf during the hotter months.  These are often referred to in the Lawn Care business as “Patch DIseases”. Here we discuss the common features and causes of each of these problems, and how to treat them. Read More: https://greenteamct.com/lawn-watering-basics     Summer Patch Appears as yellow-colored circular patched about 2-20 inches in diameter. Summer patch can also appear as crescent patterns or rings. Up close black fungal threads can be seen at the roots. Summer patch is caused by hot days, above 85 degrees F, and wet conditions. Symptoms appear in late Summer, and persist on poorly drained compacted soils. Low mowing height and high soil pH levels also favor the development of this disease. Aerating to reduce soil compaction, planting shade trees and plants & adjusting soil pH below 6.5 can help alleviate the symptoms of Summer Patch. Related Read:https://greenteamct.com/2019/01/08/fungal-diseases-that-can-damage-your-lawn-during-after-winter/     Brown Patch Another disease that is closely related to close mowing heights and hot temperatures.  It appears as circular patches up to several feet across, that fade to light brown in color.  Gray smoke rings may be observed in the early morning, along with tan lesions on leaf blades.  High Nitrogen Levels increase its severity, as well as prolonged rainy weather.  Aerating compacted soil to aid in drainage, improving circulation, and decreasing Nitrogen use can aid in correcting this problem from your lawn. Related Read:https://greenteamct.com/2018/07/29/tips-advice-eco-friendly-landscaping/     Dollar...