Tips & Tricks - July 2013

    Summer Fertilization & Pests!

  1. Texas lawns can easily become infested with all types of pests- from insects and parasitic bugs, to weeds and various fungal species. Therefore, Creative Landscapes of Texas will provide information on keeping your lawn and garden properly fertilized, treated for pests, and healthy throughout the summer heat!

  2. Fertilization
    We recommend fertilizing 3 Semester Cycles/yr:

  3. Cycle 1- Early March
    * Green-up your lawn by applying a simple “quick-release” 15-5-10 fertilizer for a quick 2-week green.

  4. Cycle 2- July 4th Week
    * Since we are currently in the Cycle 2 summer semester, a “slow-release” 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer will be most beneficial for turf and shrubs. The benefit of a slow-release fertilizer is that it will last up to 3 months and cover your turf with nutrition over a long hot season. Slow-Release recommended formulations: 19-5-9, 19-4-10, 18-4-6, and 15-5-10 depending on the type of turf you have. Make sure to read the packages carefully to ensure that you are purchasing the proper fertilizer for your lawn. As discussed in June- Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia grasses are commonly used in the Houston area.

    • “Scotts Super Turf Builder with Summer-Guard” is a great fertilizer product that strengthens and summer-proofs your Southern lawn by helping combat harsh seasonal threats- like insects, severe heat, and drought. If weeds are present, now is not the time to apply weed and feed; you’ll have to fight by pulling them up until the Fall season.

    • Additional Turf Treatment- Cycle 2Brown Spots Image
      July is also a good time to apply fungicide if necessary. Be sure to use fungicides with active ingredients like Daconil, Consan, or Banner. A brownish discoloration in the lawn is an indication of possible fungal damage. Be sure to check your lawn for Gray Leaf Spot, which is a blotchy gray/white spot that forms on the grass blade.

  5. Cycle 3- September’s Labor Day Week
    * In the fall, prep your lawn for cooler weather by “winterizing” your turf. Formula ratios will vary; however, be sure to look for labeled "winter" or "fall" fertilizers that are designed for southern grasses. Recommended examples: 18-6-12, 8-12-16, and 10-5-14 will make lawns winter-hardy.

    Unfortunately, insects and bugs are most active in the summer. Certain pests can destroy a healthy lawn; however, the most common pests for Southern lawns are cinch bugs, mealybugs, and grubs. Therefore, it is best to be prepared to attack pest infestations during the hot months by maintaining a well-nourished lawn and using the appropriate insecticides.

    Be sure to properly inspect your lawn and garden this month to recognize damage from fungus and/or pests. If you suspect infestation or turf damage, be sure to visit your local garden store for product and application assistance.

  6. PESTS:

  1. Chinch Bugs

    Chinch Bugs Image


    Mealybugs Image


    Grubs Image



    Chinch infestation will manifest on turf as odd-shaped, yellow/white spots in the lawn along concrete areas like- sidewalks and driveways. Mealybugs are tiny white parasitic bugs that feast on leaf plants and ornamental trees. They leave waxy excretions (a honeydew) on plants, which encourages the development of sooty mold fungus. Grubs grow rampant in warm moist soil and are c-shaped white worms with brown heads. Grubs will wilt and darken a lawn, leaving blotchy withered spots.



    Treat chinch spots w/liquid insecticides- like Permethrin or Cypermethrin. Then apply a granular insecticide like Deltamethrin or granular Permethrin in a broadcast applicator throughout the rest of the yard to take care of your common pests as well- ants, roaches, and spiders.

    Treat indoor or outdoor damage simply by: washing away the bugs on plants w/water, using insecticidal soaps, kitchen insect sprays, or neem oil.

    Treat for grubs 2x/yr-  with the 2nd treatment being in mid-summer. Use Merit insecticides for grubs in the soil; such as Merit Granules, or Merit Spray Concentrate. 

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