Two Brothers Landscaping LLC is family owned and operated, providing commercial and residential lawn and landscaping solutions to the greater Raleigh Durham Triangle area. Based out of Southern Wake County, our service area includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs, and Fuquay Varina.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

September "To-Do" Checklist:

With the weather change from summer to fall, September is the best time to repair and enhance your lawn, trees & shrubs.  Here is a "to-do" checklist below.

Call Two Brothers Landscaping (919) 600-1834 to schedule your Fall checklist NOW!

Aeration breaks up your lawn's soil compaction
  • Fertilization: Lawns & plants require 16 nutrients for proper growth. Two Brothers can provide your lawn and plants a regional-specific fertilization mixture, OR we can perform a Soil/pH test (test results by NCSU College of Horticulture).  This test enables Two Brothers to provide your lawn & plants the specific nutrients they need.
  • Aeration & Over-Seeding: Aeration breaks up your lawn's root compaction to help moisture & fertilizer gain access to the root zone. In conjunction with Aeration, we over-seed to boost your lawn's growth potential during the Fall growing season. Aeration also reduces thatch, reduces water runoff and improves heat and drought tolerance.
  • Lawn Repair (Sod Propagation, Drainage & Grading): September is the perfect time to "re-do" your lawn/grass, correct drainage issues, re-grade problem run-off areas, replace or redesign runoff drains. If you're considering re-doing your grass, call Two Brothers Landscaping TODAY to lock-in the best prices per-pallet and installation.
  • Sod arrives in pallets
  • Weed, Pest & Disease Control: Two Brothers Landscaping is licensed & certified for weed & pesticide application.  We participate in IPM (Integrated Pest Management), and promote the use of organic chemicals.  We spray for all weed types (broadleaf, rush, sedge, or weed grasses).  Take advantage of the Fall season to correct any issues that have cropped up thus far this year.

Friday, August 20, 2010

North Carolina WEEDS WEEDS WEEDS!

Weeds are described as plants growing where they are not wanted. They can disrupt the appearance and use of lawns, recreational areas, and other turfs. In addition, they compete with desired turfgrasses for space, water, nutrients, and light. Turf weeds may be grasses, grass-like plants (rushes and sedges), or broadleaf plants with annual, biennial, and/or perennial life cycles.

Turf professionals should become familiar with weed characteristics, growth habits, and life cycles. These factors play an important role in weed identification and control. A weed management program is based upon identifying the desired turfgrasses and existing weeds, including knowledge of other weeds that may potentially germinate. However, an effective program begins with a vigorous turf; one that has been correctly fertilized, watered, and mowed. Weeds can quickly invade thin turf. Cultural and management practices that enhance turfgrass growth generally reduce weed competition and encroachment. When selecting a herbicide, consider the weeds present, those that will potentially germinate, and the tolerance of the turfgrass.

MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Selection of adapted turfgrass species and cultivars and the use of cultural practices are important in minimizing weed encroachment and competition. Management practices include:

(1) mowing at the recommended height for the selected turfgrass species and removing clippings when seedheads of grassy weeds are present
(2) applying the proper amount of nitrogen at the correct time according to the turfgrass present;
(3) using soil tests to determine needed nutrients and lime; and
(4) properly identifying the weed species, then applying appropriate herbicides either before weeds germinate (preemergence) or when weeds are small and actively growing (postemergence).

From the extremely helpful resource: Turf Files, NCSU:
http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/Weeds/Default.aspx

Fertilizer Basics - "Why Fertilize?"

Why do we need fertilizer?
Plants require 16 nutrients for optimum growth. Often, the soil doesn't hold enough of these nutrients in the quantities needed for desirable growth and production. The nutrients, that are in the soil, are often used up and need to be replaced.
Nutrients, such as nitrogen, are easily leached by water and can also be volatilized into the atmosphere. These nutrients are usually not available, in sufficient quantities, from the soil. Therefore, we need to add extra plant nutrients to the soil ( or in some cases, on plant foliage ) to obtain maximum plant performance. We add these nutrients by applying fertilizer. For more information about the nutrients required by plants, see the article "Essential Plant Nutrients".

What is fertilizer?
Fertilizer is any material that supplies one or more of the essential nutrients to plants. Fertilizers can be classified into one of two categories: organic or inorganic. Organic fertilizers are derived from living or once living material. These materials include animal wastes, crop residues, compost and numerous other byproducts of living organisms. Inorganic fertilizers are derived from non-living sources and include most of our man-made, commercial fertilizers. For more information about both categories of fertilizers, see the articles "Organic Fertilizer Sources" and "Inorganic Fertilizer Sources".

What kind of fertilizer should I use?
Several considerations should be made before deciding on a fertilizer choice. First of all, you need to consider the nutritional needs of the crop for optimum performance. Secondly, you need to have you soil analyzed to see what is available in the soil. After you know what your crop needs and what is available in the soil, you can determine the nutrients and the amounts that you need to add to the soil.
The amount of each nutrient, that you need to add to the soil, will determine your choice of fertilizer. Choose the one that best matches your needs. You may find that you will need to use two or more types because one type may not satisfy all of you crops needs.

As for organic verses inorganic types, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Inorganic types are easier to use and we have more control over the content of nutrients in these sources. This allows us to apply our nutrients more accurately. Organic sources are variable in their nutrient content and we have very little control over this. However, organic sources can sometimes be obtained for little or no cost, it adds valuable organic matter to the soil and has some slow release action. Again, for more detailed information about each of these fertilizer sources, see the articles "Organic Fertilizer Sources" and "Inorganic Fertilizer Sources".

When should I apply my fertilizer?
Timing means everything to the efficient use of fertilizer. As a rule of thumb for all plants, fertilizer needs to be applied when the plant is actively growing. This timing will depend on the specific crop that you are growing. Before applying, know when your crop needs fertilizer and apply it so that the nutrients will be available when the plants need them.

Written by Kenny Bailey, Agricultural Extension Agent, NCSU
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/cumberland/fertpage/fertbasics.html

Fall Armyworms in Turf and Pastures

From the NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' 
NORTH CAROLINA PEST NEWS
Volume 25, Number 18, August 13, 2010


Fall Armyworms in Turf and Pastures
By Steve Bambara and Rick Brandenburg, Extension Entomologists

Despite low numbers being reported in light traps, fall armyworm (Fig. 2) infestations have exploded this week in eastern North Carolina. In turf, some lawns are disappearing overnight. The hot weather seems to be aiding their development. Moths are blown into North Carolina from states farther south each year. Within an area, female moths are attracted by light and lay eggs on anything (usually not the crop). As the eggs hatch and the caterpillars grow, they spread out from that point eating all that they can. Infestations start along a field or lawn edge such as next buildings, or along fences and street lights.
Homeowners can use some product containing bifenthrin (or similar) or Sevin can be applied. It is best to apply in morning or evening. Follow directions for the product used. In severe cases, there may be no time for granules to be rained-in and spray would be recommended. Consider pending weather conditions.


For information on fall armyworms in turf, see the following websites:
North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual: http://ipm.ncsu.edu/agchem/5-toc.pdf
(see page 187, Table 5-19, Insect Control in Commercial Turf)
Ornamentals and Turf Insect Information Note No. 128: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/lawn/note128/note128.html

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Watering Tips (Trees & Shrubs)



Focus on recently planted trees and shrubs: These can easily wilt or die without enough water and require more care than annuals, which have shallower root systems. Watering once or twice a week with 5-10 gallons per tree using a hose with a slow, steady trickle. Thoroughly saturating a recently planted medium-size tree should take about a half-hour. Because the ground is particularly dry during the summer, softening the soil first is necessary to ensure that the water reaches its target.

Use a hose, not a sprinkler: During the day, more than 50-percent of water from a sprinkler will evaporate before it hits the plants.

Water in the morning: That's when there is less light intensity and evaporation. Watering at night can incur bacterial or fungal problems due to the combination of water and darkness. Soaking the leaves of plants can cause similar problems, so it's important to only saturate the base. Battery-operated timers that attach to hoses are a great option for people who are often too busy to properly water.

Gator Bags: These plastic sacks can be filled with water and placed at the base of a tree, providing a slow and steady trickle. Another option is to use deep root feeders, syringe-like spikes that attach to a hose and send water directly to a plant's roots.