Unfortunately Chinch bugs are the single largest destroyer of St. Augustine grass types. There are usually 7 generations of chinch each year with the initial hatch typically starting in May. Without treatment, a chinch bug infestation can wipe out an entire lawn in 70-80 days.
Chinch bugs are small insects. Adult chinch are about 4 times the size of a flea. Many often wonder how such a small insect can do so much damage and the answer is simple. In order for chinch bugs to damage a lawn, there must be 20-40 chinch bugs per square foot. If there was only 1 or 2 of them, we would never even know it, but when the numbers are high, St. Augustine grass doesn’t stand a chance.
Watering Can Be Expensive
Recently, many of our customers have noticed a spike in their water bill. Minimal rainfall means the pool needs water added and the lawn seems constantly thirsty. Welcome to spring time in Florida. The only thing we can say is once we make it into June, the rains should take over for us. The pool will begin to overflow into the back yard and the sprinklers shouldn’t be needed. Now is the time we rely on the sprinkler systems to get us through. Once the summer rains get here, we will notify everyone to reduce their watering, but hopefully eliminate the sprinklers until October. Twice a week watering should get us through until the rains arrive.
King and Queen sago palms are ready to produce their new growth. This generally happens in May but due to our mild winter this year, we have begun to notice them a little early. If your sago palms have developed the notorious white scale on the undersides of their leaves, now would be a great time to prune off all of the old growth. Not only will this remove any remnants of the scale insects, it will force the sago to rapidly push out its new heart. The new growth will look beautiful within the next 3 weeks if this pruning is needed.
We have received quite a few phone calls from customers wondering why their beautiful magnolia tree is suddenly losing its leaves. Although this may be alarming, there is a good reason for it. Magnolia trees are about to bloom. These trees naturally “sluff off” 10-30% of their foliage prior to a bloom. No matter how healthy or unhealthy the magnolia is, this process cannot be avoided. Enjoy the good fragrance from the flowers and rest assured, your trees, under our care are going to be ‘OK’.
Bird of Paradise is also about to bloom like crazy! May is also their month to show off their beautiful, unique flower. We have put alot of time and testing into the Bird of Paradise to find the best fertilizer for them. For the past few seasons, we have been using a turf fertilizer to promote the best blossom. We tend to feed these plants a lot and what we are striving for is to develop a pink to red vein that extends down the center of the leaflet. Once we see that 15% of the foliage has this reddish vein, we know the fertilizer requirement has been met and the plant is ready to flower the way it should.
If you are a proud owner of a Bird of Paradise, send us a picture of it blooming next month. We would love to see them.