Precision Lawn Care, Inc. August 2013

WetThis year Atlanta has been, well - wet! We have had more than more than 41 inches of rain to date. According to one source the last time that happened was 1948, when the area logged 42 inches of precipitation by this time of the year. So, if you are on top of the situation you have installed a rain sensor on your irrigation system and your water bill should be the lowest its been since 2008. (Not a scientific measurement, just a guess) At this point we have more than doubled the rain of Seattle, known for its rainy disposition. As of this last week, Seattle's annual precipitation count is 18.05 inches.

The problem is all this rain presents another set of problems, weeds and pests. It's not within the scope of this article to discuss all problems under these headings so let's discuss some of them in reverse order: First and most important to your barbeque is mosquitoes.

mosquitoesMosquito-borne diseases - which kill 1 million people worldwide every year - include malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis and, more commonly in the United States, West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes also carry heartworm, a life-threatening disease for dogs. Mosquitoes can breed in very small amounts of water. Fix it, change the water in birdbaths, empty the saucers of flower pots, clean rain gutters. With all the extra inches of rainfall you need to look around your property for water accumulation. Puddles on your property (Drainage problems anyone?) can be a breeding ground for these pesky pest!

If you have a pond or water feature with fish, stock ponds with mosquito fish that eat the larva or treat them with larvicide mosquito rings sold at home and garden stores. There are organic control instructions online. Feel free to check them out.

Then we have a problem with weeds! Again, we won't try to cover everything here but we will deal with weed problems in the Southeast. Remember, this is not the time of year to do wholesale weed control. There are some weeds that simply take hold in warm and wet conditions in the southeast. If you broadcast some weed killers on your property you could risk losing your entire lawn. This is the time to spot-kill! Our buddy Walter Reeves has a compilation of these on his website.

There are various pesticides on the market for spot-spray application. Roundup is good for invasive weeds such as poison ivy, poison oak, kudzu. Buy it at local stores under the name of Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer Pump 'N Go® Sprayer

Then there are over 225 other weeds that are sprouting up including Chickweeds, Cudweed, Curly Dock, Dandelion, English Daisy, False Dandelion, Henbit, Junglerice, Large Crabgrass, Oxalis, Pennywort, Plantains, Purslane, Red Sorrel, Smooth Crabgrass, Yellow Foxtail, Torpedograss*, Speedwell, Spurges, Spurweed, Thistles, White Clover, Wild Carrot, Wild Geranium, Wild Onion, and other broadleaf weeds. Ortho® Weed-B-Gon Weed Killer for Lawns Plus Crabgrass Control Ready-to-Use kills over 225 weeds. Remember - spot & shoot!

Deadhead spring blooming bulbs but let the foliage grow until it yellows, deadhead flowering perennials and roses to encourage a second bloom.

Mid-August through mid-October is the best time to start new lawns and renovate or overseed existing lawns. If your lawn area contains more than 50% weeds, consider a total lawn renovation. Contact us directly for renovations.

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Coming to a Theater Near You...

Have you seen "The List" yet? It's a classic late summer hit that's re-released every year, and always gets mixed reviews. Whether it creates cheers, jeers, or even tears, "The List" is a must-see for every family with children over the age of five. Do you know why? It's because I'm talking about the annual school supply list that marks the beginning each school year.

The List can be handled in a variety of ways. Each method reveals distinct shopping characteristics that fit a profile. Most of us are either Warriors, Event Coordinators, Thrift Queens, or Preppers. Take a look at each description and see which profile fits you.

Warriors - With The List firmly clutched in her hand, the Warrior braves the congestion, mayhem and pandemonium of a big box store within 48 hours of the school year's Opening Day. She pushes herself to maneuver through the crowded throngs of last-minute shoppers, showing strength and endurance as she tracks down and conquers each item on the list. When one of the school supplies has sold out or is not available in the specific color or style that is required, she lets out a battle cry as she plans her strategy of traveling to another big box location to complete her quest. She braces herself at the cash register to pay whatever total that pops up, then unloads her spoils in the parking lot.

Event Coordinators - The family gets together to search for the best deals for items on The List. Each person is assigned to a different research tool: Dad's on the computer to search the internet; the kids and grandma divide up all of the advertising circulars from the newspapers; and Mom has an array of coupons for items on The List. They all sit around the dining room table, and as Mom announces each item, the family shouts out the price that each store is advertising, and Mom jots down the best price offered from the most convenient location. With drinks and snacks on the table for this family fun experience, everyone can take their places and share in preparing for the Big Trip. On your marks, get set, go!

Thrift Queens - After setting a fixed budget for school supplies this year, the Thrift Queen enlists the help of the kids by telling them they can keep any budget surplus. The first order of business is to take inventory of school supplies that are already in the house, left over from the previous school year, and still in good condition. After eliminating those items from The List, the Thrift Queen decides which items are absolutely necessary for only the first three days of school and adds them to her radar on her twice weekly runs to the thrift store and garage sales. Why only the first three days of school? It's because she won't buy any other items on the list until the Tax-Free Holiday on August 9th and 10th.

Of course, she'll only buy the basic, no-frills, store brand of supplies if the name brand items and sticks to the exact quantities requested, buying nothing more.

Prepper - In order to be prepared for whatever may be on The List, the Prepper buys all supplies in bulk. One month after school started last year, she cleared the shelves of all of the school related items that were marked down on clearance before the regular year-round prices were in place. She coordinates with a smart friend who also has a bulk savings club membership and they split the list, sharing the 100-pack of pencils and reams of paper in a box that weighs more than the whole family combined. For the past 12 months, she's purchased clothes on clearance that are one size larger than her children so that they have a complete wardrobe for school already stored in the extra closet, along with this year's Christmas and Chanukah presents that she's already purchased in bulk.

We hope that 2013-2014 is your best school year yet. It all starts with The List….

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