2018  Spring Newsletter

 

A Big Thank You

Well, another year is here.  First off we would like to thank you for being a wonderful customer.  We are not perfect and make mistakes and we really appreciate how you are tolerant of us when we have made mistakes and how you have been patient and given us time to try to fix them.  Thanks again!

A Dry, Cold Winter

I am very interested in weather and so I can’t help but talk about it a little.  It has been a very dry winter.  It was a drier than normal summer, with us, receiving only a couple beneficial rains in Oct.  As you can see from the drought map the whole state is in a drought and the extreme drought keeps creeping ever closer from the SW.  It has also been a cold winter.  I’m not sure if this is more normal or if the last few were abnormal.  A little side note, if you have a self-draining sprinkler system, it would be very beneficial to water your lawn on a  day that it is above freezing.  Fescue grass is semi-dormant and it is good for it to receive some moisture

Lazy in the Winter

Many of you ask what I do in the winter.  I would like to tell you a little bit about what Winter consists of for me.  I do stay very busy it seems like but it is a more relaxed busy than during the Summer.  It is also work that doesn’t seem to make money.  It seems like there is lots of maintenance to do that gets pushed off until winter. I also have some cows together with my dad so that takes more work in the winter also. 

Vidor Tx

Vidor Tx

Last week I was privileged to go with our church to Beaumont TX, to help with rebuilding after the devastating flooding that happened with Hurricane Harvey.  9 of us went with Christian Disaster Relief.  We worked together with an organization called Operation Blessing that is funding all of the work that we did.  We were housed at a church there in Beaumont.  We were working in an area that was flooded when the dam upstream from them had to be opened completely open to keep the dam from washing out.  They said a wall of water came downstream from that. One man told us his town received 60.25″ in 3 days.  That country is very flat.  Flatter than here. They do not build their houses up at all when they build like we do here which probably contributed to a lot of them getting water in them. 

Flooding in Beaumont TX

We worked at hanging sheetrock and mudding sheetrock for people that had from 16″ to 4′ of water in their houses.  I was not prepared for the widespread damage that we saw.  We worked in areas where every house on every street had water in it.  Very few if any people were back in those houses yet.  Most houses had just been gutted and the sheetrock was laying in piles in front of almost every house.  If you struggle to be thankful for what you have, a trip to Beaumont might change that.  See photos of some of the areas we worked.

 

Beaumont TX

 

 


New Product

Defendor® Specialty Herbicide

DefendorLogo

 

Now for a little about what this letter is supposed to be about. We are hoping to be out starting to fertilize any day now.  We are excited to be using a new product this year.  It is called Defendor.  

Defendor® specialty herbicide is a post-emergence product effective at pre-emergence timing. Designed to perform in cold weather, Defendor prevents dandelion bloom and controls other spring weeds before they’re ever seen.
  • Extremely effective control of dandelion, clover and other broadleaf weeds
  • Apply in late fall or early spring when temperatures are still cool — a time when other postemergence herbicides aren’t effective

It is designed to not let dandelions bloom.  This is a huge thing for us.  If we can spray this on early and keep the dandelions from blooming, then we can come back on our 2nd application and kill the dandelion before it can spread any seed.  Take note of the fact that Defendor will not kill the plant, only keep it from blooming.  It would be wonderful if you didn’t see any dandelions.  That might be too unrealistic to hope for but I think it will help a lot.  Also, it is a very good option for killing Clover.  It seems like our weather conditions have been perfect for clover the last few years and it has popped up in a lot of yards that haven’t had it for quite awhile.  

Here is what our program for this year is going to consist of:

Step 1.  Partial rate of Crabgrass Preventor, Defendor, Fertilizer, (liquid application)

Step 2. Partial rate of Crabgrass Preventor, Grub Preventor, Weed control, Fertilizer, (liquid application)

Step 3. Fertilizer [weed control if needed] (granular application)

Step 4. Fertilizer [weed control if needed]

Step 5. Winterizer

Pre-pay Discount

Like last year we are offering a 4% pre-pay discount if you pay for the whole season before March 10, 2018.  You are under no obligation to do so.  Otherwise, you can just pay for each application after it is applied and we leave a door hanger or send you an emailed invoice. 

You should be receiving your quote for 2018 any day.  Prices have stayed the same.  If you would like to pre-pay,  just pay off of the quote and I will apply it to your account.  That is the best way for me to keep track that you have a credit.

Online payment and emailed invoices

We would love to email your invoice to you instead of leaving it on your door, but the same applies here.  You are under no obligation to allow us to do that if you would prefer to have us leave a door hanger invoice.  If we do email an invoice to you, you can, if you wish, use the online bill pay option.  If you sign up, it saves your information so you do not have to re-enter it every time.  It is very simple.  Many of our customers use it and really like it.  So, if you are not already receiving your invoices by email and would like to,  please send your email to me at windyridgelawn@gmail.com.  

Customer Referrals

There is no better compliment than to hear that you told someone else about our services.  We are giving you $35.00 off of your next application for each customer that you refer us to.  (The new customer that is signing up must pre-pay the remaining year’s program for you to receive your discount.  I wish I didn’t have to add that but I have had customers that were working the system and we just did one application and they canceled.)  Once again, Thanks in advance for referring us to your friends and neighbors.

 


 

2017 Newletter

Crabgrass preventer

It always seems early to start but we are starting to spread crabgrass preventer with fertilizer. This year we are spreading 13-0-0 with about 1/2 of the crabgrass preventer needed for the year. Next application we will spray the remaining 1/2. The reason we do this is to try to get better control on the crabgrass. Crabgrass preventer is a pre-emergent chemical that stops the crabgrass seed from germinating. That is one reason we try to get in on quite early in the spring. On the sunny south side of brick houses or on a south facing hillside, the soil temperature can be much warmer than the rest of your lawn. Especially so with all the 60 to 70 degree days we have been having.

Split Application

Back to the split application, a little more explanation. The way crabgrass preventer works is, it only takes about 1/2 the yearly rate to stop the crabgrass seed from germinating. The remaining 1/2 that we put on stays in the soil and keeps all the seeds that would germinate through out the year, from germinating. So we do the split app in case we leave any skippers we are less likely to skip the same area twice. It gives us about 6 weeks longer control by doing 1/2 now and 1/2 with the second application. This application also keeps good grass seed from germinating also so that is why it is difficult and not recommended to do spring overseeding.

New Face

We have a new face at Windy Ridge Lawn Care.  Eric Koehn will be doing a lot if not all the spraying and fertilizing.  This is exciting for me.  Many of you have expressed some dismay that you have a hard time communicating with me. I am hoping this will help change that.  I hopefully will have more time to help you with your problems.  Texting is an excellent way to get my attention, also email. Feel free to let me know if you have concerns about your lawn service.   Looking forwards to working with you this year!    

NEXT SCHEDULED APPLICATION LATE MARCH TO EARLY APRIL

 

 

Its seems like there is no normal anymore. We have had a very mild winter as you all know. Now it seems like a lot of plants are emerging and blooming well ahead of normal. Also, maybe it is just my imagination, because I need to be spraying, but it seems like it has been a windy spring.trampoline blowing away We used to say that crabgrass germinates about the same time as the Redbuds blooming. Beings crabgrass preventer needs to be spread and watered in before crabgrass germinates then we are in trouble. I don’t think that is the case though. Normally we would have until the end of April before we would feel like soil temperatures are warm enough to germinate crabgrass. I think it is early but I think some plants, as far as when they bloom, are soil temperature driven and some are daylight driven. So, that brings me to what we are doing this spring. Normally we would start applying crabgrass preventer around Feb 15, weather permitting. Then we would be back around April 1 to spray for weeds and put on a second application of fertilizer. Because of the windy spring and the mild winter we are combining our 1st and 2nd application. It seems like the best way to get the crabgrass preventer on soon and also spray for weeds earlier than normal. We have already done some of your lawns and are hoping to get to the rest this next week. (As I am writing this I see it is supposed to be very windy every day this week.) On a different note, I want to tell you what we are putting on your lawns this spring. I don’t want to bore you with the details so skip over this if it doesn’t interest you. I am someone that feels like if we only spread fertilizer we are doing nothing to improve your soil. Fertilizer is only feeding the grass. If your soil is healthy your grass will look good with less water and less fertilizer. We are spraying a product called Sanctuary 11-21-21.  You will hear me talk more and more about the benefits of Mycorrhizae. This photo shows the much more vigorous root system and healthier plant with mycorrihza. Mycorrhizae_2This is beneficial bacteria that feeds the microbial activity in the soil. The more microbes the healthier your soil and thus healthier grass. I can’t tell you enough of the benefits. We mix Mcorrhizae with the dirt around every tree and shrub that we plant. It has greatly reduced the number that we replace due to dying. Notice the pictures of grass with and without Mycorrhizae. Also we are spraying Rapture_4-0-4 which is micronutrient package. This will feed your grass with numerous minerals that will help your grass continue to be healthy through the hot part of the season. Iron greens your grass up without the fast growth that is hard on your grass. Lots of nitrogen actually causes grass to grow rapidly which if the weather conditions are not perfect stresses the grass, causing it to need more water to sustain the rapid growth. Also mowing so much of the leaf off, because you do not have time to mow multiple times a week, is also hard on the grass. On the flip side we all want dark lush green grass. So we try to balance the right amount of nitrogen yet not to much to cause rapid growth.

Please feel free to email me with questions.  I know some of you get frustrated that you can’t get me on the phone.  I have not been carrying it when I am working, so you will often just get my voicemail.  So email is probably the best way to reach me or send a text.  windyridgelawn@yahoo.com  316-835-0343

Armyworm Invasion army worm photo

army tankIts been 4 or 5 years since we last saw Armyworm damage like this. It almost looks like Grubworm damage but when you pull up on the grass it is firmly rooted, whereas Grubs eat off the grass just under the dirt and pulling on the grass causes it to come up like sod with a layer of dirt attached to the roots. Armyworms tend to do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. They eat the grass blade down to the crown. Armyworms do not necessarily kill the grass. Windy today and tomorrow and rain on Wednesday. I will not be able to spray for all you that have Armyworms.

armyworms 002

If you do want to spray for it Tempo or Talstar works very well.

Spray Tempo at a rate of 6 to 12 oz per acre. Talstar P at .18 to .25 oz per 1000 squ ft. I Would recommend you read the label yourself if you intend to spray.armyworms 004

When to Spread Crabgrass Preventer

Hi, we have finally started spreading crabgrass preventer! Only one day though :(. Then Kansas shows us its normal spring weather again. It went from 70 on Tuesday, to High wind and snow on Thursday. Do not worry about watering this application in at this point. I think it is still a few weeks before the lawns will be mowed for the first time for spring cleanups. If you will recall we are using Crabgrass preventer with Solu-Cal. Read the previous post to learn about the benefits of Solu-Cal. Remember, Crabgrass Preventer needs to be put on before Crabgrass germinates. People often ask when they should spread crabgrass preventer. That is a hard question. If we have a warm early spring it needs to be put on earlier. You have probably heard the rule of thumb, put crabgrass preventer on before the Red Buds bloom. That is probably ok. That always seems a little on the late side. If you have a protected area on the south side of a brick building, for example, that area may germinate well before the Red Bud’s bloom, because the soil temperatures will be much warmer there. I think a good time would be after you mow your grass for the first time, around the middle of March. Another thought. There are mainly two kinds of crabgrass preventer, Barricade and Dimension. There are different names for these but they all work the same. Barricade is a longer lasting preventer. It is often considered the best choice of the two. Barricade is only a pre-emergent, meaning it will only stop crabgrass before it germinates. Dimension prevents germination but it also will kill very small crabgrass. So Dimension can be used if you are a procrastinator or you just didn’t think of it in time. If you think it is probably too late to spread crabgrass preventer, spread Dimension. Another negative to Dimension is, it does not have quite as good of control later on in the summer when all pre-emergents are running out of umph. Remember, crabgrass preventer stops grass seed from germinating. Not just weedy grass, good grass too. So spring is a poor time to overseed your lawn. If you do overseed, your lawn can not be treated for crabgrass for 6 to 8 weeks and by then crabgrass will likely have germinated. In the next entry, I will attempt to discuss timing of when to cut your grass the first time and how short. So long until next time.

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2014 Newsletter

 

We are excited to tell you about some new changes for this year. You can see we have included anSolu-Cal S brochure informational on Solu-Cal. We are able to get this product blended together with Crabgrass Preventer. I believe we are the only company, in the area, using this product. We are continually striving to put together a program that is the best for your lawn. The benefits of Solu-Cal are many. From taking many soil samples in the area we find that the PH of the soil is often high. I don’t think we have ever had one that is too low. The remedy for this is Solu-Cal. Solu-Cal helps neutralize PH. If soil PH is high or too low your lawn is not able to efficiently use the fertilizer that we spread on. Some lawns began to look peaked a few weeks after we spread fertilizer. This often is a sign of PH imbalance rather than a lack of fertilizer. That is why Solu-Cal is targeting the root of the problem instead of spreading more fertilizer and not fixing the long term problem. Solu-Cal is also for aerating soil. In doing that it helps water and oxygen to penetrate the soil better. Gypsum is often used to loosen tight soil. Solu-Cal is enhanced Gypsum meaning it works faster and is longer lasting. Solu-Cal also flushes contaminates, such as salt, out of the soil. As a closing note on Solu-Cal though, as with any soil issue it does take time. To neutralize PH it can take several years. Over time the benefits of Solu-Cal will be easy to observe. Core aeration is a great way to speed up the process. Often when we aerate we spread Solu-Cal after. It falls into the holes where the plugs were removed. That enables it to mix with the soil much sooner than working its way down through the thatch with watering and time.

You will notice too, that we are going from 6 steps back to 5. For the past several years we have been combining the 3rd and 4th application for different reasons. Often time’s weather related. A late spring last year caused us to become several weeks off schedule, making it difficult to spread our 3rd application in June and then come back and spread Grub Preventer around July 4th. Also we were having some problems with grubs even though we had put preventer down. We are using a much longer lasting Grub Preventer this year. That enables us to spread it earlier and also put down fertilizer with it, while it is still cooler in the late spring.

We are always glad to have your email address so we can send these letters by email. Send an email to windyridgelawn@yahoo.com.

We very much appreciate your business and look forward to serving you again this next year!