Dr. Jack's Bimonthly Lawn Care Program Details
We primarily treat St. Augustinegrass and Zoysiagrass lawns only. Bahiagrass is the other common grass in our area, but it declines when given too much attention (fertilizer and water). Since Bahiagrass performs best with the most minimum of care, we don't recommend our regular service programs for people who have a Bahiagrass lawn.
The following information is a general description of the different types of lawn treatments that we offer. There are no extra charges for inspections and included treatments when requested to address problems that can occur between our regularly scheduled applications. However, we may recommend our monthly program if our service history indicates that a more frequent service interval would be beneficial. Please consult with our horticulturist if you would like a more detailed explanation of the services.
Fertilizer: Turfgrass needs period fertilization in order to grow and remain healthy. Most applications will include either a dry or liquid fertilizer since there are some application advantages to using both types. The grass doesn't care what form is used and it is more important to make correct applications rather than be concerned about whether the fertilizer is in a liquid form or a dry form. Dry fertilizer containing approximately 50 percent slow-release nitrogen is used to reduce the frequency of applications needed because more fertilizer can be safely applied without burning the grass and feed longer then when using liquid quick-release applications alone.
Some fertilizer companies and lawn care companies have recently begun marketing organic fertilizers. Some people have the impression that anything organic is always best for us and the environment. Organic fertililizer can be composed of either natural organic or synthetic organic sources. Natural organic fertilizers are derived from several sources including manure, sewage sludge, fish meal and seaweed. Natural organic fertlizers typically have low burn potential but tend to cost more, provide slower results and have objectional properties like odor and formulation than synthetic organic or inorganic sources.
We have our dry fertilizer custom blended and it contains both synthetic organic and inorganic nitrogen sources. Plants utilize nitrogen from all nitrogen sources so it really comes down to price, and the formulation properties that will provide good results and be easy to apply. All fertilizers containing nitrogen can contaminate our ground and surface water so they should be applied according the the BMP (Florida's Best Management Practices). Our fertilization also takes into account the soil pH, the texture of our sandy soils and your property's proximity to lakes.
Insect Control: Our insect control includes some preventative applications of insecticide during the periods of high insect activity and includes insecticide applications between the six regularly scheduled applications for turf (lawn grass) damaging insects (chinch bugs, sod webworms, mole crickets) and fire ants — at no extra charge — when needed. Fleas are controlled in the lawn when we apply our preventative insecticide applications but additional control measures are needed if a problem develops. These measures may include additional applications to plant beds and inside the home, which would be at an extra charge. Additional flea control can be enhanced by using products available from your veterinarian.
Weed Control: The best way to control weeds in your lawn is by keeping the grass healthy so it can compete with weeds. This is done by proper fertilization, chemical control of insects and diseases and proper cultural practices of watering, mowing and sunlight requirements. Sometimes when either of these requirements are not met or competitive weeds appear in the lawn due to other factors, we must resort to chemical weed killers called herbicides.
We apply two applications of herbicide during the cooler months when broad leaf weeds are the most common and controllable. We also apply weed control at no extra charge for controllable weeds during the other four applications (weather permitting) as needed at no extra charge. There are some weeds that are difficult or uncontrollable with selective herbicides. Your horticulturist may recommend resodding in areas of your lawn for these types of weeds.
Disease Control: We usually treat diseases on an as needed basis because the fungicides are expensive and diseases are usually not a serious problem of St. Augustine grass when properly installed. Zoysiagrass seems to have a more common problem with Brown/Large Patch fungus during rainy fall/winter months and we make preventative treatments for this disease if history shows a site has had a frequent problem. The four common diseases of St. Augustine grass are Pithium Root Rot (Pithium sp.),Take All Root Rot (Gaeumannomyces graminis var.graminis), Brown/Large Patch Fungus (Rhizoctonia solani), and Grey Leaf Spot fungus ( Piricularia grisea).
There are no extra charges to spot treat Brown Patch fungus when needed. While Brown Patch fungus can be difficult to control, it fortunately is a temporary cool season problem for us in this area and it is primarily a cosmetic problem since it kills leaf tissue only. Grey leaf spot fungus can usually be tolerated. The lesions that appear on the grass leaf during the rainy summer months are usually minimal and the rapid grass growth during this time of year helps with control. There are extra charges to treat for Pithium when deemed necessary and there currently are no recommended chemical treatments for Take All Patch.