Saturday, November 5, 2011

Frost soon!

It is that time of year again. Time to turn our clocks back one hour and time for our first frost in the metro area. The average first frost for the Birmingham, Alabama area is November 8. Get hanging baskets indoors, as well as all your potted plants that you will be saving. We have Autumn Ferns that have been brought in for three winters now. Our 3 Cathedral Cacti are now down to one because of an early killing frost last fall. Frost is not a bad thing. It eliminates lots of insects and bacteria and causes our turfgrasses to transition to dormancy. If you cannot bring a plant inside; then cover it with a bedsheet or a plastic tarp. Remember to remove the cover later in the day to avoid excessive heat build-up by the sun.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hot Time: Summer In The City

Our temperatures have been in the 90's for a while now. That makes water a premium element when it comes to your landscapes. We visited Phoenix, Arizona last January, and one thing we saw on a consistant basis was xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is environmental design that keeps water requirements at a minimum. In Phoenix there were exit and entry ramps on the interstates, golf courses, public walkways and gardens that all used xeriscaping in some form or another. With average rainfall sometimes as low as 7 inches in a year, it is no wonder xeriscaping is so popular. Pictured here is a plot between our wood fence and our parking pad where we designed a low maintenance selection of plants and mulch for a low water area. Purple fountaingrass, cathedral cactus and miscanthus grass, as seen here, are good choices as are any succulents. In Birmingham, Alabama, the sewer charges are double to triple the water charges making water expensive. If you are one of the lucky ones on septic systems, then water is your only charge.
What were we doing in Phoenix in January, you ask? We attended the NCAA College Football National Championship game between Auburn University and the University of Oregon. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Those pesky winter weeds



What to do about Winter weeds. First off, pre - emergent should have been applied in September 2010 and February 2011. This takes care of most Winter weeds BEFORE they are able to come up in southern turfgrasses. It is a turf maintenance procedure that should NEVER be overlooked. Dandelion and wild onion are difficult to remove because these weeds are perenial [they come up every year]. A good post - emergent should be used on these annoying weeds. Do not use Roundup spray on dandelion and wild onion at this late time as it will leave dead spots around the areas sprayed when your turf "greens up". It is possible to glove-up and wet a paper towel with Roundup, then clasp the onion and swipe it upward covering the entire shaft. This will kill, but is extremely tedious.

For more on weeds go to

Henbit and Deadnettle are now out in ful force . Henbit has more of a rounded leaf, while Deadnettle leaves are more heart shaped. Both these winter weeds display lavender colored blooms and both are easily pulled up for quick disposal. Neither Henbit nor Deadnettle like hot sunny weather, and usually die out as Spring evolves to Summer.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sun and Fuel

What a difference a month makes! The past two weeks have been filled with sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Have you seen the Narcissus popping up and blooming? The hope of Spring is everywhere. We have pre-emerged all but one of our customers' turfs. Here's to seeing less Henbit and Deadnettle in our turfgrasses this Spring.

Fuel costs are fast approaching $4.00 per gallon again. High fuel costs take a bigger bite out of our disposable income. High fuel costs drive [no pun intended] up the price of everything that is delivered by truck. At CDL, we have no other choice than to adjust our prices also. Diesel prices are higher than gasoline. Refueling our cars, trucks and equipment in the morning saves a bit due to fuel density changes at the coolest part of the day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


What can we say about this time of year? Cold. Damp. Snow. Ice. There have been far too few sunny days and we are 52% into the season. Did the ground hog see his shadow? Are we in for more cold weather? No and yes. It is supposed to be an early spring. We will keep our fingers crossed on that one.

It is now time to cut back those Crepe Myrtles if you haven't already. Also, if you have Knockout Roses, now is a good time to cut them back too. Last year I cut ours down to 12 inches above the ground. This year I am leaving them high so I can compare the growt and health of the blooms.

Leriope [monkey grass] can be mowed down with the mower on its' highest level. This will produce a very healthy blade in the Spring.