The right agronomic program for a commercial property makes the difference between a healthy, well maintained commercial landscape and one that requires lots of intervention to combat the weeds and pests. Timing is crucial for weed control. Weed control and weed germination is based off of soil temperatures. Our team monitors soil temperatures in order to properly apply the product. For our area, we target the pre-emergence of weeds based off of what our particular pressure is for each commercial property. Some properties may have crabgrass which is going to require an earlier application starting typically around February, depending on the soil temperatures. Some commercial properties may face doveweed as a significant pressure. That has been very common over the last few years and is going to require a different approach. It does not germinate until the end of May typically, in the Houston area, so it requires a split application starting in April with a 2nd application 8 weeks later. Depending on the specific threats of each property, LMC tailors a pre-emergent program to properly manage the weeds.
Our tailored program is also determined by the type of grass growing on the commercial property, whether it be St Augustine, Bermuda or Zoysia. St. Augustine grass tends to be thick and dense so it may not have very high weed pressure. When St. Augustine is healthy it often requires very little pre-emergent weed control, depending on the health and condition of the grass. When it is healthy it can fight off its own predators. Achieving that kind of health for the turf of a commercial property requires a well-balanced and well-timed agronomic program. This includes a tailored pre-emergent program, maintaining proper soil aeration through cultivation and the right fertilization regime. LMC recommends soil aeration at least two times a year in the spring and fall. Fertilizer should be determined through a soil sample test. A well-balanced fertilizer may get you through the year but custom tailoring your fertilizer based on a soil test means you are getting the proper nutrients to the plants, trees and turf to make it as healthy as possible. When you have healthy turf, you can typically out-compete the pressures whether it be insect, weed or disease. Healthy turf is always your best line of defense.
The last piece of our agronomic program focuses on insect and disease monitoring. Chinch bugs and grubworm damage are common issues of St. Augustine turf. In 2020, Sod Webworms were prevalent throughout the area. As temperatures begin to warm up, we will be keeping an eye out for them again this year. The larvae and surviving adults will typically be killed during a cold winter, but we have not seen those temperatures yet this season. Because of this, we are planning ahead on properties that experienced this problem last year with a preventative approach to head the Sod Webworms off at the pass.
In summary, LMC tailors our agronomic program to each commercial property as much as we possibly can. Throughout the year we continue to be conscious of the pressures that present themselves in the commercial landscape in order to be proactive and make changes as needed in order to build the health of the landscape as a whole.