The Brown Patch Blues

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Daylight saving time is over. It’s time for your clocks to fall back and while you’re at it, why not check another timer in the house, the one on your irrigation system.

As you know, our rainy season is over that means no more evening thunderstorms, which is good news, but the rain that came with the lightning and thunder was great for your grass. So, now it’s time to get yourself familiar with the timer on your irrigation system again.

The big question

There’s no simple answer to the question, ‘what should I set my timer to?’, that all depends on where you live and what kind of grass you have covering your yard. However, there are some good rules that apply to most situations.

Here are some numbers. In the fall your irrigation systems should spray three-fourths of an inch of water on your landscape for two days a week. A good way to test this is to put empty cans in your irrigation zones and measure the results, then adjust the times depending on what you find. When winter creeps in, your lawns need less water, and you’ll need to change the settings again.

Spot the signs

Be on the look-out for dry patches, folded leaf blades, and grass that looks more bluish-gray than green. Any of these symptoms indicate that your lawn is asking for more water. But, don’t overdo it. Overwatering leads to weeds, like dollar weed and those sinister sedges.

We hope you don’t have any irrigation issues this fall. But, if you do, we understand, that timer can be intimidating, and sprinkler heads don’t always spray water where they’re supposed to. If you have any questions or want one of our licensed experts to come out and make sure everything is working and set your timer, please give us a call.

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Fall Back and Check Your Irrigation System

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Daylight saving time is over. It’s time for your clocks to fall back and while you’re at it, why not check another timer in the house, the one on your irrigation system.

As you know, our rainy season is over that means no more evening thunderstorms, which is good news, but the rain that came with the lightning and thunder was great for your grass. So, now it’s time to get yourself familiar with the timer on your irrigation system again.

The big question

There’s no simple answer to the question, ‘what should I set my timer to?’, that all depends on where you live and what kind of grass you have covering your yard. However, there are some good rules that apply to most situations.

Here are some numbers. In the fall your irrigation systems should spray three-fourths of an inch of water on your landscape for two days a week. A good way to test this is to put empty cans in your irrigation zones and measure the results, then adjust the times depending on what you find. When winter creeps in, your lawns need less water, and you’ll need to change the settings again.

Spot the signs

Be on the look-out for dry patches, folded leaf blades, and grass that looks more bluish-gray than green. Any of these symptoms indicate that your lawn is asking for more water. But, don’t overdo it. Overwatering leads to weeds, like dollar weed and those sinister sedges.

We hope you don’t have any irrigation issues this fall. But, if you do, we understand, that timer can be intimidating, and sprinkler heads don’t always spray water where they’re supposed to. If you have any questions or want one of our licensed experts to come out and make sure everything is working and set your timer, please give us a call.

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Is My Tree Dead?

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 We get a lot of calls and emails at Esterline Landscape, and we love it! There’s nothing we like more than talking about landscaping and researching questions for our customers. One query is coming up quite a bit, and it’s a blunt and simple one; is my tree dead? We want to go over a few ways that you can check?

Scratch test

The first thing to do is the scratch test. Take a small knife, or you can even use your thumbnail to peel back the bark of the trunk. Don’t go too deep. There are two colors you’ll find under that bark. Green is good; your tree is alive. Brown is bad news; your tree is dead or dying. You can do the scratch test on branches, but the results may fool you. Some trees shed branches, and those branches will fail the test, but that doesn’t mean the tree is dead.

Sick tree symptoms

Sick trees like people show signs before they get really ill. One big one is bare branches; especially if there are a bunch of bare branches in one part of the tree; this is a sign of root or trunk damage.

After your scratch test, look for cracks on the trunk. Vertical lines are a sign of bark splitting which is caused by changes in the environment. Also, don’t be too concerned about bark falling off the trunk, healthy tree do it when they age; however if you notice the old bark isn’t being replaced by new bark, that tree may be in trouble.

Fungus can be a sign of a tree in trauma. Fungi sneak into a tree through a hole in the bark, once in, it eats and eats, then grows and grows. This causes the tree to rot. There are several kinds of rot, but as you can imagine they are all bad.

We hope your tree passes the scratch test and doesn’t show any of the sick tree symptoms, but if it does, get it checked out. It may not be too late to save it, and the last thing you want it your yard is a tree that’s in danger of dropping limbs or collapsing onto your house.

If you have more tree questions, want one removed, or even better—planted, please contact your friends at Esterline Landscape.

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Florida Foliage

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Fall is here, and if you want to see the leaves change, you don’t have to book a flight to Vermont. There are trees right here in Florida that put on a show this season. Grab a sweater, heat up some apple cider and read about leaf-peeping in Florida.

Marvelous maples

Maple trees aren’t only for north of the Mason Dixon line. Red maples and Florida maples do well in our area. The red maple will impress you in the fall when the leaves turn and then again in the spring with its stunning red flowers.

The leaves of the Florida maple turn every shade of yellow and orange before they fall, and as a bonus, the bark of older trees turns a distinct gray.

Go bald

Central Florida is the perfect place for the leaf changing bald cypress tree. This kind of tree can handle flood waters better than most and thrives near rivers and in swamps. In your yard, the bald cypress gives you a canopy of feathery leaves, and in autumn they change to a rust orange color. In the winter, those leaves fall, and you’ll learn why it’s called a bald cypress.

Shades of the sycamore

If  looking

for year-long appeal, the sycamore is for you. In the summer, the leaves of this fast-growing tree create some lovely shade from the unrelenting sun, and around the holiday season those same leaves turn yellow, then brown, then fall.

Keep in mind that all these deciduous trees come with some work. Those brightly colored leaves will eventually be in your lawn and need to be picked up, and bigger trees can be difficult to plant on your own.

If you have any questions about these trees, contact us. We plant these trees for homeowners, businesses, and developers all the time and would love to do the same for you.

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Get Your Yard Ready For Fall

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You can’t tell by walking outside, but summer is over. September 22 is the first day of autumn, and that means it’s time to get your yard ready for a Florida fall.

Fall is feeding time for your lawn.

Look out for the lawn.

These are the months that you feed your lawn for the last time for the year. If you plan on doing the fertilizer yourself, be sure to pick one with little to no phosphorus. In the fall, it’s best to put one down with controlled-release nitrogen, this will get you the long-lasting results that you want.

If you live in a county with a fertilizer ban, the restrictions are expired or should be soon, now that the rainy season is coming to an end. Most of the bans end on September 30 at the latest. Each county has different rules, so check your county’s website for details on the fertilizer ban for your neighborhood.

The battle against weeds and bugs that are out to wreck your lawn isn’t over yet. Apply herbicides to control winter weeds. The best time to do that is at night when the temperatures are between 55-60. And keep an eye out for insect damage, armyworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets, and sod webworms are still out there.

Double danger

When fighting pests and weeds, avoid any product sold as a ‘weed and feed.’ These products claim to be both a pesticide and herbicide, but in reality, they are a double dose of danger. They are some of the most toxic chemicals legally sold. Besides damaging the environment, the granular form has been known to cling to clothes and shoes. The next thing you know the chemicals are in your kitchen and living room. And long-term, ‘weed and feeds’ are bad news for the overall health of your lawn.

Now that rainy season is ending, it's time to make sure your irrigation system is ready for the fall.

Irrigation inspection

How’s your irrigation system? Your sprinklers may not have been on much during our unusually wet summer. It's the perfect time to make sure all your zones are working, and heads are pointing in the right directions. If they’re not, your landscape may be in trouble.

If you would rather sip pumpkin spice lattes and spend your weekends watching football instead of working in the yard, you know who to call. Hope you have a great start to your fall.

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