Monday, October 26, 2009

Weeds on Stones

Weeds have the ability to grow in some unlikely spots. We don't want weeds to grow in our lawns and we go to great lengths to keep them out and away from our tidy green patches of "our turf."
With the new Cosmetic Pesticide Ban now in place in Ontario, people are looking for ways to control weeds not only in their lawns but in other places as well. The shelves of the garden centres and hardware stores had to be empty of any of the banned pesticides by April 22, 2009.
Soon after the ban, I went into one national retailer to see what was on the shelf. No lawn weed killers but a rack with a couple hundred bottles of Roundup which contains glyphosate. Now in Ontario, glyphosate is the only active ingredient that is allowed to be used for "proscribed" uses. This includes uses such as controlling poison ivy, since this would be for health and safety and not cosmetic reasons.
I bought a bottle just to see if anyone would stop to tell me that the only place I could use the Roundup was on poison ivy. Using it to kill weeds on my driveway or on my patio would be illegal. (you wouldn't want to use glyphosate on your lawn as it is non-selective and will kill both weeds and lawn grasses.) No one stopped me or cared that I was buying Roundup. It wasn't until I left that store that I looked at my cash register tape, and there was a small note telling me to go to the provincial website to find out where this product could be used. Fine time to tell me after I bought the product.

You can buy vinegar type products in the stores now. They are basically acetic acids of varying strengths. The ready to use product is about 6% acetic acid, the household vinegar that you buy for your pickling is 5%. The packaged products may also include some citric acid to help with the weed control.
I have tried both vinegar and the packaged eco products. Both work quickly when it is sunny. Acetic acid will quickly blacken the leaves of your plants by removing the protective waxy coating on the leaves. The plant is more likely to have the leaves destroyed on a sunny day.
Acetic acid treatments work very quickly on the top part of the plant. Although grasses are less likely to be damaged, they will turn yellow and the tops will die. Fortunately, the grass will recover in about 2 weeks, 3 at the most.
Unfortunately, the weed roots are rarely destroyed, and many will regrow from the roots.
Similarly, you can use other household products to give similar effects. Household ammonia, another acid, will brown clover leaves, at least temporarily, while the lawn will recover. Baking soda is alkaline, and will create condition in the soil that make it harder to grow plants. Here the lawn is also affected.
In areas where no plants are desired such as along the driveway, a solution of water and salt will also kill off the top of the plants.
Any products that are used in these situations should be used with care and caution. Preparing, storing, and using homemade pesticides could pose risks to your health and the environment.

If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care- get The KING OF GREEN, the King of Lawn Care:
or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)
If you would like more information, please Contact us
Follow us on Twitter
Join our Facebook page  

Copyright 2009 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

, Posted by Picasa

Why Follow the Crowd?

It's that time of year for the Annual Hamilton Mum Show. And it's a time when many people add some fall colours to their homes and placed of business. Chrysanthemums are the queens of fall flowers. They are bushy compact plants bursting with colourful blossoms, spilling out over porches and walkways. They brighten your invitation to enter this home, "Welcome to our Home." ( in Spanish is "Bienvenidos a nuestra casa".)
Noticed a beautiful Fall Chrysanthemum at Heritage Green Nursing Home the other day. A brilliant yellow mum, at the peak of bloom.
But then as I looked closer, I saw a lonely bronze flower. Just one odd blossom in a sea of waving yellow blooms.

I remember from my classes in botany or horticulture at the University of Guelph, where we learned about chimeras. Here is this mum plant, there are 2 different genetic make-ups. One part with yellow flowers, one part with bronze flowers.

How did this happen? Most likely there was a mutation in a few cells that changed the colour from yellow to bronze. The stem of that flower somehow got its DNA coding mixed up.

I see something similar on many of the variegated euonymus plants. On a plant with green and gold leaves, you may find a branch or 2 that has reverted back to the plain green foliage. The variegated foliage is a sport or variety that somehow mutated in the first place. The green foliage twig has reverted back to the original genetic coding. Often the green section is more vigorous than the variegated part and if allowed to grow may overtake and overpower the variegated portion. Be sure to prune out the green foliage as soon as possible (assuming you wish to keep the plant as a variegated foliage plant.)
In business, some companies like to fit in and follow the rest of the world. Others prefer to do things differently.
Turf King Hamilton is geared to providing our customers with value and quality. We could provide the same fertilizer as the other companies. But the way we look at it, it takes the same amount of time to fertilize your lawn whether we apply a mediocre blend or whether we apply a custom blended high quality fertilizer. Any one can use mediocre blends or even cheap blends. They can offer to match the price of any competitor. I don't know if I have seen anyone offer to match the quality of any of their competitors. You will see some retailers who sell brand name products offering to match prices but here you are comparing apples to apples (at least for the product itself).

With lawn care, there is so much more than just a product. While we can be match by a competitor who may decide to offer a fertilizer with similar qualities, they also have to match our quality service. Here it becomes harder to define and harder to compare. And even harder to match.
Quality service starts with the attitude of wanting to serve your customers. They are not there to be taken advantage of. If we meet their needs, they will want our services. Granted, our quality of service is not for everyone. Some people want the cheapest price. Quality is of value only when it is appreciated. Our customers are looking for value.
And we do provide that value in many ways.
From having knowledge and expertise available to the technicians who care, and who are willing to spend extra time if and when needed, Turf King Hamilton strives to give each customer just what it needs.
Because every customer has different needs, we do offer a whole range of options to our lawn programs. Some companies have 3 programs, Good-Better-Best or Bronze-Silver-Gold. Whatever the name, pick one of these 3 programs. At Turf King Hamilton we have lawn care packages that can be customized in a multitude of ways. With or without crabgrass reduction fertilizer. With or without core aeration. With or without chinch bug protection. And so on.
If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care- get The KING OF GREEN, the King of Lawn Care:
or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)
If you would like more information, please Contact us
Follow us on Twitter
Join our Facebook page  

Copyright 2009 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by Picasa