Monthly Archives: October 2015

October 30, 2015 Press Release

GRASS ROOTS LAWN & LANDSCAPE, INC. EMPLOYEE ACHIEVES RECERTIFICATION OF THE LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY CERTIFIED DESIGNATION

Niceville, FL. October 30, 2015 – The National Association of Landscape Professionals is pleased to announce that Douglas Simpson of Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. in Niceville, FL has achieved recertification of the Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Manager national designation.

The achievement of the Landscape Industry Certified designation demonstrates a distinguished level of professionalism. Certification is voluntary and it represents a professional’s dedication to exhibiting superior knowledge in his or her field. Only a select few, approximately 1% of landscape professionals working in the United States today, are certified.

NALP’s Landscape Industry Certified programs, supported and used internationally, offers seven different certifications that include expertise in lawn care, interior plant care, horticulture, landscape care and business management.

For more information about hiring a certified professional, visit www.loveyourlandscape.com

About the National Association of Landscape Professionals

The National Association of Landscape Professionals is the voice of 100,000 landscape and lawn care industry professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces. The association advocates on issues impacting its members and offers mentoring and education programs that inspire its members to excellence. Many members become Landscape Industry Certified, achieving the highest standard of industry expertise, business professionalism, and knowledge.

landscape_icm_lg

 

Soil pH and its Effect on Nutrient Availability

ph_chart_web

There are 18 elements necessary for plant growth. They are Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Manganese, Sulfur, Boron, Copper, Zinc, Molybdenum, Chlorine, Nickel, and Silicon. Soil pH directly affects the growth and quality of many landscape plants by influencing the chemical form of many elements in the soil and soil microbial processes. For example, landscape plants may exhibit nutrient deficiency or toxicity symptoms as a result of highly acidic or alkaline soils pH. In acidic soils, the availability of plant nutrients such as Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium is reduced, while the availability of potentially toxic elements such as Aluminum, Iron, and Zinc are increased. In alkaline soils, Iron, Manganese, Zinc and Boron are commonly deficient.

So what is soil pH? Soil pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. On the pH scale, a value of 7 is neutral, a value less than 7 is acidic, and a value greater than 7 is alkaline. Florida soils can vary widely in pH, depending on the “parent material” from which the soil formed or on the management of the soil. For example, soils formed under pine flatwoods can be quite acidic. In contrast, soils formed from calcium carbonate-bearing materials like limestone, marl, or seashells are alkaline. Alkaline conditions are common in coastal soils and the mineral soils of south Florida. It is also common to encounter alkaline soils in the home landscape as a result of calcium carbonate-rich building materials (i.e., concrete, stucco, etc.) that may be left in the soil following construction.

Most common landscape plants are well suited to a wide soil pH range. For example, popular woody shrubs and trees (e.g., pittosporum, viburnum, oak, and pine) grow well in acidic to moderately alkaline soils. However, there are a few acid-loving plants like azalea and gardenia that do not grow well in soils with pH greater than 5.5. St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bermuda grass prefer a pH range between 6-7 while Centipede prefers a range between 4.5-6.

The best advice about dealing with soil pH is to choose landscape plants suited for the natural pH of your landscape soil. While some soil additives can raise or lower the pH of soils, the effects of these materials are often short-lived. In addition, if your soil pH is within 0.5 of a pH unit of the ideal range, adjusting the pH will probably not improve plant performance. However, if you want to try to change your soil’s natural pH to grow a specific plant, you have the following options.

To raise the pH of acidic soils, add a liming material like calcium carbonate or dolomite. Dolomite has the added benefit of supplying Magnesium, which is often deficient in Florida soils. Have your soil tested before applying any liming materials because many of Florida’s natural and urban soils have an alkaline pH. If a soil pH test indicates that your soil is acidic, it is important to test for the lime requirement before applying any liming materials to the soil. The lime requirement test measures your soil’s natural ability to resist (buffer) changes in pH. This test is part of the standard landscape and garden soil test offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory. Results of this test will indicate the amount of agricultural limestone you should apply to a specific area to reach a target pH.

In established landscapes, lime can be surface-applied and watered in, but take care not to overwater (e.g., no more than 0.5 inches of water over the treated area).

Unlike liming, lowering the pH of strongly alkaline soils is much more difficult if not impossible. In fact, there is no way to permanently lower the pH of soils formed from high Calcium materials, such as marl or limestone, or soils severely impacted by alkaline construction materials. In these circumstances, it is best to select plants that are tolerant of high pH conditions to avoid chronic plant nutrition problems.

Soil pH can be temporarily lowered by adding elemental sulfur. Bacteria in the soil change elemental sulfur into sulfuric acid, effectively neutralizing soil alkalinity. However, the effect of elemental sulfur is localized to the area that was amended, and the effect is temporary. Soil pH will begin to rise shortly after soil bacteria exhaust the added sulfur supply. This effect prompts repeated applications of sulfur to ensure that the soil remains at the desired pH. Using sulfur to amend a soil is complicated. Adding sulfur at high rates or applying it too frequently can damage your plants. If you decide to apply sulfur, be sure to look for signs of plant response after the application.

Always consider the pH of your soil when selecting new plant material for your home landscape or garden. Take action to correct soil pH only when it is substantially higher or lower than the desired pH for the plants you are growing. To avoid damage to your landscape plants, always have your soil tested for pH and lime requirement (if soil pH is acidic) before adding lime or sulfur to the soil.

 

Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. for all your Lawn Care needs. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach

 

Large Patch

Large Patch also known as Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani) is a disease that occurs on all warm-season grasses, especially St. Augustine and Zoysia. This disease is most likely to be observed from November through May when temperatures are below 80 degrees. Infection is triggered by rainfall, excessive irrigation, or extended periods of high humidity resulting in the leaves being continuously wet for 48 hours or more. 

This disease usually begins as small patches (about 1 foot in diameter) that turn yellow and then reddish brown, brown, or straw colored as the leaves start to die. Patches can expand to several feet in diameter. It is not uncommon to see rings of yellow or brown turf with apparently healthy turf in the center. Turf at the outer margins of a patch may appear dark and wilted.

Large Patch

The best way to help avoid getting Large Patch is to irrigate on an As Needed basis during the early morning hours when dew is already present. Fungicides can be used once the disease is present, however, they only stop the disease from spreading they do not promote turfgrass growth.

The turf must be actively growing in order for the diseased turfgrass to recover. Symptoms do not disappear until new leaves develop and the old leaves are removed by mowing or decomposition. Since the disease normally occurs when the turfgrass is not growing very rapidly, recovery may be very slow.

 

Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. for all your Lawn Care needs. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach

 

join grass roots email list