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2 Tips for Maintaining Your Athletic Field

WP Law - Thursday, October 08, 2020
moving mistakes

Are you taking advantage of available industrial/commercial applications to help maintain your athletic field? You want it to be in tip-top shape, not just so it looks good, but so it plays well, too. Here are two tips to get it there.

Tip #1: Use the Right Irrigation System

Every field and every type of grass requires different watering applications. The critical consideration is the type of field irrigation system put in place. You need to be sure the system is properly designed to apply the proper amount of water within the allotted amount of time. Multi-use athletic fields typically have very tight watering windows due to the amount of play the fields receive and the other maintenance that must be performed to keep them in tip-top shape.

Tip #2: Consider Field Use

Is your athletic field reserved for elite athletes from one team, such as a college football team? Or is your athletic field at a civic facility used seven days a week by multiple teams and sports throughout the year? If your field faces constant play with minimal budgets for maintenance, your irrigation is even more important. Even a recreational field needs to look good and stay healthy to protect the aesthetics but more importantly, so the surface is safe for players of all ages.

Whether you’re in charge of the maintenance for baseball, football, or soccer fields, or all of the above, you need the right industrial/commercial applications to keep it well maintained. You need the team at W.P. Law, Inc. Contact them today for more information.

3 Ways to Maintain Sports Facilities this Summer

WP Law - Thursday, August 29, 2019
“Sports

The commercial applications of professional lawn care maintenance can save your turf this summer.

Commercial applications for lawn care maintenance keep turfgrass fresh and green through the grueling summer months. If you have big responsibilities, you need big solutions for yellow, dry, and brittle grass, weeds, bare spots, fungus, and other common growing problems. Let WP Law, Inc., help you keep your playing field in tip-top shape. Try these three steps for a start:

1. Inspect Once a Week

Even in the off-season, someone should be inspecting the field once a week or more. The sooner you notice a problem, the sooner you can get started on the solution. Look for yellow or bare spots, but also mowing issues. If you see jagged blades of grass, you should sharpen your mower blades. If there are noticeable clippings on the grass, you probably are mowing too much at one time.

2. Watch the Height

During the summer, it’s important to shave off as little grass as possible. Anytime you trim away more than one-third the height of your grass, it’s going to struggle. The hottest months will already place your turf under stress, so shift your blade higher and mow more often. It will be a little extra work, but by the time fall rolls around, your field will be thanking you for it.

3. Water Less Frequently

Instead of watering your field every day, use an irrigation schedule suitable to your grass type and location. Many grass types will do best with a combined inch of water a week.

Need more guidance? Reach out to the experts at WP Law, Inc., whenever you need commercial applicationsfor turf or field maintenance.

On a Budget? The Best Sprinkler System Options for Your Sports Facility

WP Law - Monday, November 11, 2013

Redesign Your Sprinkler System with True Value in Mind


On a Budget? The Best Sprinkler System Options for Your Sports Facility

Sports facilities have different sprinkler system needs based on the sports they host. In some cases, many different activities take place in one area. Whether you run a football stadium or a public park, cost factors in on which setup in best for your fields.

What is best doesn't boil down to one brand versus another; it's about function. Function is dictated by the needs of your field, and it should include aspects of cost, maintenance, expansion, and versatility.

The following is a list of brands that you may want to consider:

• Rain Bird is well known within the industry for producing quality, precision products.
• MP Rotator is an efficient, cost-saving brand. It's the go-to choice for facilities with a need to save water.
• Weathermatic is also water conscious, and they offer a huge assortment of water saving and remote control systems that can not only save water, but can save you time.

Technology plays a huge part in choosing the best system for your sports facility as well. We offer a long list of brands, and can help you choose the best one for your budget.

If you would like more information about designing a new sprinkler system for your sport facility, please contact us today.

How the Right Irrigation Controller Can Make or Break Your Grounds Maintenance

WP Law - Thursday, October 31, 2013

The facts about an irrigation controller and your Sports Facilities

How the Right Irrigation Controller Can Make or Break Your Grounds Maintenance
Irrigation controllers are a pivotal part of your grounds maintenance system. They allow you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to managing your entire facility and grounds. A key aspect is the fact that many systems can be controlled remotely. This means that you can inspect a portion of your grounds and make system adjustments right on the spot. It also means that you can monitor key data on the site and make system adjustments that support your plan of action.

A good example of this is when you must diagnose problems that occur on the grounds of your sports facilities. You can begin your investigation by identifying the problem and then accessing the data from your irrigation controller system before trying to make a correction plan. That data helps you make better informed decisions about how to correct problems.

A good irrigation controller also allows you to control different aspects of your maintenance system independently of other functions. Add liquid fertilizers, pesticides, or change the watering frequency – all without permanently adjusting your overall system.

Excellent controllers give you the power to manage issues, costs, and efficiency. These factors all lead to better controlled conditions, which in the long run, produce healthy soil, healthy plants, and better quality grounds within your sports facilities. It does not matter if your operation is large or small – a great controller will help you do your job better.

For more information on how an irrigation controller can help you with the maintenance of your sports facilities, visit W. P. Law, Inc. at www.wplawinc.com/corporate-contact.

Choosing the Right Watering Systems for Sports Facilities

WP Law - Monday, October 07, 2013

Things to consider for your sports facilities’ irrigation system

Choosing the Right Watering Systems for Sports Facilities
When selecting an irrigation system for your sports facility, it is important to understand what challenges your facility faces and how an irrigation system can impact those challenges.

For natural grass facilities, the frequency of use plays a large role in properly managing that facility. Most municipal sports facilities are multi-use, meaning that a variety of sports are played on the same fields.

This year-round use means that sports field managers must make the most out of the growing season to ensure a durable, healthy turf for sports teams to play on. The quality of the playing surface can go a long way in preventing injuries as well. Here are some considerations that need to be taken into account when selecting an irrigation system for my sports facility.

• What is my water window? How much time do I have to water during the week when the fields are not being used? (Don’t forget about practice times.)
• What special application capabilities will my irrigation system need to have? Syringing the infield for example.
• What off-site management capabilities will I need? Remote access, etc.
• What water conservation measures should be incorporated? On-site weather stations, etc.

Your goals should include reduction of labor and long-term mitigation of damage to the field from use. Special consideration should also be given to player safety and the responsible use of our natural resources.

We know from watching superintendents of golf courses how much work can go into keeping a field green and healthy. That is also true of the labor involved in the upkeep a sports facility. The irrigation system that you choose can go a long way in helping you reduce labor and improve the maintenance and care of your field.

Contact the irrigation system experts at W. P. Law, Inc. at www.wplawinc.com/corporate-contact for more information.

How the Right Irrigation Design Can Make Your Sports Facility a Super Star

WP Law - Thursday, August 22, 2013

Irrigation design makes or breaks the season on your field.


Irrigation Design Can Make Your Sports Facility

The right irrigation design for your facility keeps your soil in optimal health, your grass green, and your field playable. Interestingly enough, the erratic weather of late is really putting irrigation systems to the test. There is an art to designing an excellent multi-use sports field, and the number one part of that plan is the irrigation system.

When choosing the correct irrigation system for your field, your system should include a design to use the least amount of water possible, which means that water efficiency must be higher than normal. We can take a lesson from some of the hottest areas of the nations. In an article published in Athletic Business, there are illustrated cases where the correct irrigation could have prevented long-term field damage.

For example, in Texas, a severe drought coupled with an extreme heat wave caused the playing surface to crack. The cracks, according to the article, measured up to 1 foot in diameter and some were reported to be three feet deep. That is a lot of damage – damage that efficient watering might have prevented. We say might have because the decision of how much to water is often left up to city magistrates, and the effect of the irrigation system is found in irrigation design. This is a clear case where the cost of saving water did not outweigh the cost of repairing the Texas fields.

One of the key points of the article is that upfront decisions of how to care for sports facilities are in order. You need water to have grass, and without grass, you don't have a field. Installing the right irrigation system can lessen the burden associated with the cost of watering, but those decisions need to be based on the situations like what happened in Texas. The cost of repair far outweighed the cost of water.

If you’re looking for guidance on irrigation design for sports facilities, contact the experts at WP Law.

Turf Disease Alert

WP Law - Thursday, August 08, 2013
Turf Disease Alert

With the unseasonably high rainfall during the last few weeks, fungus on lawns will be on the rise. Fungus can thrive on lawns when warm temperatures and high moisture are present. Here are a few ways you can help prevent fungus from attacking your yard.

  1. Only water your lawn as much as necessary. The average yard only needs about 1 inch of water once a week during the warmest part of the season to stay healthy. Most fungi thrive in moist conditions.

  2. Avoid spreading it. Dollar spot and several other fungal diseases spread with minimal effort. Avoid walking in fungus infected turf, avoid mowing wet turf and clean your yard tools including mower deck and blade with a bleach and water solution after they are used in infected areas.

  3. Fertilize your lawn. Grass that does not receive enough nitrogen and potassium can become weak, which makes it easier to catch a fungal disease and harder to fight off. Fertilizer does for sick lawns what vitamin C does for humans during a cold. A good dose of slow-release fertilizer can give your grass what it needs to begin its recovery from various fungi.

  4. Keep your lawn mowed at a healthy height. Lawns that are cut too short can be stressed, making them weak. Lawns that are cut too high can be a breeding ground for fungi and insects.

  5. De-thatch your lawn. Soil that lacks proper air circulation is more likely to get a fungal disease, so de-thatching is often used as a preventative treatment.

  6. Apply a fungicide. Pillar G can be applied to any lawn as a preventative and a curative for most fungus. A bag of Pillar G will cover 10,000 square feet of lawn. Pillar G Granular Fungicide Label

If you have any questions or need to identify any possible fungus in your lawn, please contact your local W.P. Law location.


Common Turf Diseases:

 
 
Brown Patch 
 
 Dollar Spot 
 
 
Rust
 
 Slime Mold 
  
 Fairy Ring  


For additional resources and information on common weeds, diseases, and insects, check out the following links: 

Weed Identification Page Link   
Disease Guide Page Link
Insect Control Guide Link
 
 
 

Irrigation Tools to Keep Your Sports Facility Beautiful

Flip Law - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

A variety of irrigation tools are available to help sports turf managers keep the facility looking great



athletic field irrigationAmerican’s love their sports and packing the family up for a day at their favorite sports venue makes for a memorable weekend. The sports turf managers at these facilities work hard all season keeping the turf green, lush and healthy. Their job is made just a little bit easier with the use of irrigation tools to help them keep the grounds watered.

In addition to keeping the turf looking attractive, the sports turf manager strives to keep the turf healthy and create a durable playing field to help prevent injury to the athletes.

There are a variety of tools available to help the sports turf manager maximize his productivity. Most sports fields utilize an automatic sprinkler system. New advances in “smart controller” technology allow the irrigation controller to self-adjust watering times based on the current weather conditions. These smart controllers help the sports turf manager create the ideal moisture conditions to grow healthy turf that is capable of handling the rigors of a sports season.

In addition to the playing field there are many additional areas of the facility that need irrigation as well. These areas can use either drip irrigation or conventional pop-up sprinklers to help keep the landscaping attractive and healthy.

For all of your irrigation tool supplies visit the irrigation specialists at W.P. Law Inc.

Automatic Watering System: Why Is this a Must for Sports Facilities?

Flip Law - Thursday, March 08, 2012

An automatic watering system helps to maintain an attractive and durable playing field for sports facilities.


Automatic watering systems are a vital part of maintaining the health and appearance of turf at sports facilities. Watering is required to help keep the turf in the best possible condition. A sports arena’s turf needs to be attractive, durable and functional. Here’s why:
    • Durability: No matter what sport is being played on the turf, it has to be able to withstand the constant trampling of athletes. Watering needs to be done on a regular schedule to help maintain the durability. An automatic watering system will ensure it gets the right amount of water at the right time.
    • Functional: The turf has got to be functional to allow for all of the activities. If it is a golfing facility, the turf can affect the performance of the golfers. A poorly maintained course will keep golfers away.
    • Appearance: An attractive facility is necessary to help keep patrons coming back for games. Good turf helps to add to the overall appearance of the facility. A facility with dried up turf will drive patrons away rather than pull them in.
For more information and pricing on automatic watering systems contact us today!

Controlling Bahiagrass in Warm-Season Turf

- Friday, June 10, 2011
Controlling Bahiagrass in Warm-Season Turf

Bahiagrass is often considered a nuisance grass or weed when growing among more desirable grasses such as Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia, or Bermuda.  Bahiagrass is actively growing during the warmer months of the year and competes with other grasses for nutrients and sunlight.  Bahiagrass is considered unsightly due to its seed head that grows quickly and sticks out above other turf.  The seed head is "V" shaped at the end and contains numerous seeds that can spread quickly and invade other parts of Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia and Bermuda lawns. 

Bahiagrass is often found along highways and roadsides and works well for controlling erosion and is very drought tolerant.  In the Southeast, bahiagrass is often referred to as "highway grass" for this very reason.  It is usually not considered a highly desirable grass for lawns due to its lack of density and less than appealing seed head production. 

Lawns that contain other warm-season grasses such as Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia, or Bermuda often become infested with bahiagrass due to ability to quickly generate seeds.  The best control option to remove bahiagrass from Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia is a selective herbicide known as ManorManor selective herbicide can be sprayed over the top of existing Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia grass to remove bahiagrass.  Manor is a low-use selective herbicide available in a 2 ounce bottle.  Rates for controlling bahiagrass range from 0.25-0.75 ounces per acre.  In addition to controlling bahiagrass, Manor also controls a large number of broadleaf weeds. 

When applying Manor herbicide to control bahiagrass, mix a non-ionic surfactant (spreader/sticker) agent to help bind the herbicide and spread it out evenly across the leaves of the grass.  Non-ionic surfactant is available in a liquid form and is mixed with the herbicide solution to yield better results.  Manor selective herbicide will normally take around three weeks before results are noticeable.  Most users are able to control bahiagrass with one application, but in situations of severe infestation, two applications may be necessary. 

Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia may show some signs of of slight yellowing following application while their growth may be temporarily  stunted.  Mixing a chelated liquid iron with Manor selective herbicide will help mask any slight yellowing of Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia following application.  Please remember to follow label directions.  Manor selective herbicide is available at your nearest W.P. Law Inc. location.  Click here for directions on store locations.  W.P. Law Inc. does ship anywhere in the U.S.  Please contact one of our offices for any additional questions you may have.

Weed Guide

Controlling Mosquitoes With Bifenthrin Insecticide

- Friday, May 20, 2011

How can I  control my Mosquito problem?

As the weather warms, this is the time of year people find themselves spending more time outdoors.  With an increase in temperatures, also come an increase in the mosquito population.  When getting ready for your outdoor activities, you don’t want mosquitoes to be a part of the festivities.

Mosquito control can be as easy as applying bifenthrin insecticide.   Bifenthrin insecticide is available in both a granular and liquid form and can be used in conjunction with one another for best control.  Mosquitoes prefer to hang out in cooler damp areas most of the day and are most active during evening and morning hours when temperatures are cooler. 

The sprayable liquid form of bifenthrin can be applied to shrubs and lower tree limbs where mosquitoes prefer to hang out.  Underneath decks and other damp shaded areas are targeted areas where bifenthrin can be applied as a liquid to reduce mosquito populations.

The granular version of bifenthrin can be applied in mulch or pine straw areas where mosquitoes seek refuge from hot summer temperatures.  These areas can be sprayed, but depending on size, the granular version may be less time consuming to apply.

Mosquito control with bifenthrin causes the mosquito’s central nervous system to become paralyzed when ingested or contacted. Bifenthrin is a synthetic pyrethroid. It’s a man-made pesticide that is very similar to the natural pesticide pyrethrum which is made out of chrysanthemum flowers.  Bifenthrin is considered a newer generation insecticide that replace older chemistries such as Diazanon and Dursban. 

Users should know that bifenthrin is highly toxic to fish, so make sure you don’t get any form of the product near your ponds. Bifenthrin is not harmful to your pets when it is dry.  Bifenthrin is safe to use in your yard, because it cannot be absorbed by plant foliage.  In addition to controlling mosquitoes, bifenthrin controls almost 100 other pests, including spiders, cockroaches, ticks, fleas, and termites.   See the product label to get the full list of pests, application rates and directions on how to apply.  Click below to see product labels for bifenthrin.

Bifenthrin Granular Label

Bifenthrin Liquid Label

When to Apply Pre-emergent Herbicides

- Sunday, February 06, 2011
Pre-emergent herbicides are an essential tool to help keep your lawn looking its best.  Pre-emergent herbicides when applied properly can keep annual weed seeds from germinating.  This is important, because many weeds can be prevented before they have a chance to compete with lawn and become a problem.  Because pre-emergent herbicides are used to prevent annual weeds, they must be applied prior to weeds germinating. 

Many people ask the question, "When is the best time to apply pre-emergent herbicides?"  To help answer this question, the professional staff at W.P. Law Inc. has put together a comprehensive fertilizer and weed prevention program for South Carolina grasses.  This schedule will outline when to apply pre-emergent herbicides and when to fertilize your lawn.  In South Carolina, we suggest applying three applications of pre-emergent herbicides to help protect against both cool-season and warm-season annual weeds.  W.P. Law Inc. has taken the guess work out of when and what types of fertilizers and pre-emergent herbicides to apply to your lawn.  Our programs cover the major grasses found in South Carolina including zoysia, centipede, fescue, st. augustine, and bermuda.  

Our professinal line of quality pre-emergent herbicides and fertilizers will help ensure you keep your lawn looking its best.  Since pre-emergent herbicide timing is critical, individuals can sign up to have reminder emails sent to them on when to apply pre-emergent herbicides and fertilizers for a variety of grass types.  Click the link below to learn more about the fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide programs available through W.P. Law Inc. and sign up for program reminders of when to apply products for your type of grass.  At W.P. Law Inc., we help take the guess work out of keeping your lawn the envy of the neighborhood.

 Grass Fertilizer and Pre-emergent Herbicide Schedules 

Want to learn more about common weeds found througout South Carolina?  Click below to learn more.

Weed Management Guide

Painting Dormant Grasses for Winter Color

- Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Painting dormant warm-season grasses such as Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede, and Bermuda has grown in popularity over recent years as individuals desire to have green color for their lawns during the winter months.  Turf paints or colorants eliminate the need to over-seed lawns with cool-season grasses such as ryegrass to give winter color to the lawn.

 

Painting your lawn has several benefits versus traditional over-seeding with ryegrass.  Turf paints will not compete with your existing grass for nutrients and sunlight in the spring when warm-season grasses come out of dormancy.  Also ryegrass must be mowed throughout the fall, winter, and spring months.  Turf paints or colorants keep individuals from having to mow their lawns during cooler months.  In order for lawns over-seeded with ryegrass to look their best, they must be fertilized to allow the ryegrass to mature and produce desirable green growth.  By apply a turf paint or turf colorant to your lawn, individuals can save fertilizer and mowing costs associated with over-seeding, while getting the green color they desire for their lawn.

 

One product that is showing favorable results for coloring dormant grasses and lawns is Grass Greenzit™.  This product is actually a permanent green pigment that does not wash off or fade with sunlight.  It is harmless to all grass types including St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, and Fescue.  Grass Greenzit™ is sprayed onto turf and should be mixed with water.  When applying Grass Greenzit™, sprayers should be set up to deliver at least 3 gallons of finished solution per 1,000 sq. ft.  This will ensure that you get good coverage over the leaf blades of the grass to produce a solid color.  The rate of Grass Greenzit® on dormant grass is 16-32 oz per 1,000 sq. ft.  

 

When spraying Grass Greenzit™ to color turf, start with the lowest recommended rate.  If the color of turf paint is not dark enough for personal satisfaction, apply a second coat.  When making a second application of the turf paint or pigment, spray perpendicular to the first application.  This will ensure an even coverage of the paint on the lawn and will disguise any overlap. 

 

Turf or lawns that have been painted with Grass Greenzit™ come out of the spring transition stage stronger because they do not have to compete with over-seeded ryegrass.  Also grasses that are painted instead of over-seeded with ryegrass, allow individuals to use pre-emergent herbicides in the fall to prevent cool-season annual weeds.  This type of weed control is not possible when over-seeding with ryegrass, because it will prevent seed germination.  The combination of pre-emergent herbicide and Grass Greenzit™ produce weed free, green lawns that are visually attractive during the cooler months in South Carolina.

 

Grass Greenzit™ should only be applied when temperatures are above 40°F when painting grasses.  Shake container thoroughly before mixing with water.  Mixing rates for painting turf and lawns will vary due to individual preferences.  Grass Greenzit™ is available in 2.5 gallon jugs from your local W.P. Law Inc. store which are located throughout South Carolina.  Grass Greenzit™ can be applied residential lawns, commercial lawns, athletic fields, and golf courses.

Fescue Lawn and Landscape Fall Maintenance Tips

- Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fescue Lawn and Landscape Fall Maintenance Tips

As we come into the fall season, and the leaves pile up, remember the fescue grass seed you just planted and pampered. It’s important to remove the debris that is accumulating to give your fescue lawn a better chance during the upcoming growing season. Fall leaves can block out sunlight and limit the growth of your fescue lawn.  Here are some things to get done during this time of year to help improve the health of your landscape and fescue lawn.

  1. Remove any leaves that may be covering up your fescue lawn and limiting sunlight.   
  2. Aerate your fescue lawn.  Aeration improves fescue roots by allowing more oxygen into the root zone.
  3. Clean out annual and perennial beds; apply new mulch/pine straw, fertilizer etc.  A balanced slow-release fertilizer such as 14-14-14 will allow for healthier plants when new growth begins in the spring.
  4. Survey trees for limbs to be removed, both dead and low hanging.  Dead and low hanging limbs can interfere with needed sunlight for your fescue lawn.
  5. For information on weed prevention and fertilization for your fescue lawn, consult the W.P. Law Inc. Fescue Fertilization Program.  Additional information on Insect Control and Disease Control for your fescue lawn can be found on our website as well.
  6. Start a compost pile from your yard debris. It makes for a great vegetable garden and a good place to introduce children or grandchildren to worms for the next fishing trip.

Written by:
Morris (Mo) Gray
W. P. Law, Inc.
Greenville Branch

Drip Tape Plugging

Cameron Huntley - Monday, November 15, 2010
Drip Tape Plugging

As more vegetable growers try to get extra seasons out of their drip tape and plastic mulch, they have more problems with drip tape plugging. There are many causes to drip tape plugging, including sand or debris as well as organic slimes. The combination of the two is like brick and mortar and sure to clog the emitters. The organic slimes including algae are most common when using surface water as an irrigation source. When using drip tape for 2 or more growing seasons, even good well water will allow organic slime to build in the piping and drip tape over time.

Filters will solve the sand and debris problem, but the organic slimes, including algae and iron bacteria, grow in the piping and drip tape down stream of the filter. If your emitters have started to plug with organic slimes, they can be cleaned by injecting Di-Oxy Flush by Flo-Tec, Inc. The best way to know if you are starting to have tape plugging is by installing and monitoring a flow meter. Otherwise, you will know you have problems when your crop starts to wilt, but by then, you have suffered a major loss of production.

Flo-Tec manufactures a preventative product called Matrix II to be injected on a continual basis to prevent organic build up.

Flo-Tec products are safe for the plants and are designed to meet the needs of your specific water source. For the best and the most economical results, contact W.P. Law Inc.,a Flo-Tec Certified Dealer, to test your water source and recommend a product and injection rate. Organic growers, be sure to ask about OMRI  listed Di-Oxy Solv.

Some growers do not want to spend the extra money to inject maintenance products, but these are certainly more economical than the alternative.

Winterizing Pump Suction Lines

Cameron Huntley - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
How Do I Winterize the Pump Suction Line?

Winterizing the pump is one thing, but how do winterize the suction line?   There are several ways to deal with this situation.

If the suction line is short, 60 feet or less and the foot-valve end is not anchored, simply disconnect the intake and pull the suction line from the water.  When the foot-valve is ashore, lift it until the water runs down the pipe.  While lifting, walk forward to force the water “downhill” and out of the other end.  When the suction line is empty store it in a shady place to protect it from the sun until needed the following spring.

If the suction line is longer but in relatively shallow water maybe five feet deep, just wade out, raise the end of the foot-valve to the level of the water, remove the screen and depress the poppet check device until water stops flowing.  Reinstall the screen and let the pipe settle to the bottom.  What you have just done is to drain the water in the pipe to the water level at the shore line.  The water will not freeze (in our climate) when this is done.   If the suction is deeper and a wet suit and scuba gear is out of the question, loop a length of rope around the pipe at the shore line, get into a boat, and while moving away from the pump gently slide the rope down the pipe until you reach the foot-valve and bring it to the surface.  Follow the steps above and release the pipe when finished.  If you do not wish to follow this procedure every year, tie a float to the end of the suction line, then boat out and raise the foot-valve.

Winterizing Your Irrigation System

Cameron Huntley - Friday, October 29, 2010
Winterizing Your Irrigation System
With winter around the corner it is time to start thinking about winterizing your irrigation system.  There are a few key components to winterizing.  If you are using a pump to pump from the lake, pond, or river, you will need to drain your pump.  Usually winterizing consists of removing the drain plugs from your pump.  You can find these on the intake side of your pump on the pump casing.  These plugs should be left out until the spring start up.  Draining the water from your pump should be done late fall before the first freeze.  After draining your pump, don’t forget to turn your controller off.  If you are not using a pump, you will need to go to your irrigation controller and reduce the irrigation run times.  During the winter, your landscaping will go dormant and it will not need as much water.  Another winterization component is to use a rain and freeze sensor on your irrigation system.  The sensor will stop your irrigation from running on days of rain or temperatures close to freezing.  It is unnecessary to drain the irrigation lines.  The soil temperatures do not get low enough to freeze buried irrigation pipes.  Any pipes that are above ground should be wrapped with insulation or foam to protect them from freezing.  

Lawn Aeration in South Carolina Lawns

Cameron Huntley - Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Aerating your lawn is an important management tool to help keep it performing at an optimum level.  While lawn aeration has many benefits, it must be performed at the proper time or it could do more harm than good.  Lawn aeration should be scheduled during the time the grass is most actively growing.  The time of the year your grass is most actively growing will depend on your location and grass type.

In South Carolina, we have several different grasses that are used for residential and commercial turf.  The most common grass types include Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bermuda, and Fescue.  Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia and Bermuda are considered warm-season grasses.   They are most actively growing when night time temperatures are consistently above 65º F.  In South Carolina this generally occurs after May 15th and continues throughout the summer months.  Warm-season grass should not be aerated during the fall, winter, or early spring as they are not active enough to recover from mechanical injury.

The other grass type found in South Carolina is Fescue and is considered a cool-season grass.  Fescue is most actively growing during the spring and fall months.  Fescue responds favorably to temperatures that are around 60º F at night and 80ºF during the day.  This is an ideal time to aerate Fescue because it has the obelial to recover from mechanical injury.  Many turf managers prefer to aerate Fescue in the fall, because this is an ideal time to apply additional seed to areas that may have died out over the summer.  Aeration loosens and improves the soil to help new seedlings take root.

There are several benefits of lawn aeration.  This first benefit is that aeration allows air to be funneled to the root zone of the lawn.  Roots need oxygen in order to survive and take up necessary nutrients and water.  Aeration is a very important management practice to make sure roots can function properly.  Lawn aeration can also relieve compaction in soils and improve how water and nutrients move throughout the root zone.  Finally, aeration helps reduce thatch in lawns that can build up and restrict water and nutrient movement in the root zone.  Thatch also elevates the crown tissues in grass that make them more vulnerable to drought and temperature stress.

Lawn aeration should be at least 3-4" deep.  This will ensure that the root zone of the grass receives all the benefits that come along with lawn aeration.  Hollow tine aerators work best for removing thatch and loosening soil.

There are several types of weeds that are good indicators of lawns that may be suffering from compacted soils that are in need of aeration.  Goosegrass (summer annual weed) and annual bluegrass (winter annual weed) have the ability to survive in soils that are low in oxygen due to compaction.  If you have had a problem getting grass to establish and these weeds are the only ones surviving in your lawn, you may need to aerate your lawn to get a proper establishment of grass.  Consult the W.P. Law Weed Management Guide for help identifying these two weeds.

Proper aeration can help your lawn perform to its full ability when scheduled properly.  For additional questions regarding lawn management practices, consult your local W.P. Law Inc. store located throughout South Carolina or contact us via this website.

   

Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) Management in Lawns

Cameron Huntley - Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Annual bluegrass or Poa annua is a winter annual weed that invades many lawns such as Zoysia, Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Fescue.  This annual weed generates from seed and is easily prevented by using a pre-emergent herbicide.  Fall is the best time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent annual bluegrass (Poa annua).  

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) seeds lie dormant throughout the summer months and then germinate as soil temperatures begin to lower in the fall months.  Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) will mature throughout the winter and when spring arrives begins to grow more rapidly.  As warmer temperatures arrive during late spring and early summer, annual bluegrass (Poa annua)completes its life cycle and produces seeds that will drop  for the next crop in the fall.

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua)  is very unattractive in southern lawns and is hard to control once it matures in the spring.  Post-emergent selective herbicides are not nearly as effective as pre-emergent herbicides.  The best way to deal with this weed is through the use of pre-emergent herbicides such as Barricade.  Applications should be made in the fall prior to soil temperatures reaching 55º F.  In South Carolina lawns, this usually occurs between Sept. 15th and Oct. 15th.   Pre-emergent herbicides will also prevent other annual weeds from germinating such as chickweed, purple deadnettle, henbit, and others.  

Lawns that have suffered from annual bluegrass (Poa annua) in the past, are more susceptible to due to the amount of seed this weed produces.  Using Barricade pre-emergent herbicide can help prevent this weed before it becomes a nuisance in lawns.  Consult you local W.P. Law Inc. for more tips and advice on weed control for Zoysia, Centipede, St. Augustine, Fescue, and Bermuda lawns. 

Kudzu Bug is on the Attack!

Cameron Huntley - Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Kudzu Bug is on the Attack!

Kudzu bug or Bean plataspids is on the attack in South Carolina.  This invasive insect is flourishing in fields and on houses in some counties in South Carolina.  The Kudzu bug is known for its unpleasant smell.  These insects feed on the steam and leaves of plants. The Kudzu bug has been found on soybeans and kudzu in Oconee, Anderson, Abbeville, and Barnwell counties.  Clemson University researchers are asking your help in tracking these bugs.  The good news is that the kudzu bug feeds on kudzu but the down side is it also feeds on bean plants such as soybeans.  South Carolina has approximately 590,000 acres of soybeans that could be affected.  There are pesticides that can control the Kudzu bugs.  The organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides can be used for control.  The pyrethroid is better for residual control.  Researchers have been able to track the Kudzu bug back to Georgia, but they are uncertain on how it got there.  While it is uncertain how the Kudzu bug will affect South Carolina, it is important to track it throughout our state.  

Pre-Emergent Herbicide Use in South Carolina Lawns and Turf

- Thursday, September 30, 2010
Pre-emergent herbicides are used to control weeds in lawns and grasses.  In South Carolina lawns, pre-emergent herbicides should be used throughout the year to achieve proper weed control.  It should be noted that pre-emergent herbicides only control annual weeds and should be applied prior to germination.  Pre-emergent herbicides do not control existing weeds in lawns and turf.  Since there are both cool-season and warm-season annual weeds, pre-emergent herbicides should be applied several times throughout the year to achieve proper weed control.

Annual weeds that can be controlled with pre-emergent herbicides include crabgrass, annual bluegrass (poa annua), lezpedeza, and others.  Fall is a good time to apply pre-emergent herbicides as they can help prevent annual weeds in turf and lawns.  Pre-emergent herbicides form a chemical barrier that prevents weeds from germinating in turf and lawns.  Pre-emergent herbicides should be watered in with at least a 1/2" of water to activate them.  September and October are ideal times to apply pre-emergent herbicides in South Carolina on turf and lawn areas.  This timing allows for the pre-emergent herbicides to prevent annual weeds before they germinate. 

Pre-emergent herbicides can be used on zoysia, centipede, bermuda, fescue and st. augustine lawns.  Winter annual weeds begin germinating when soil temperatures lower to around 55 degrees.   The best way to deal with annual weeds is by preventing them with a pre-emergent herbicides.  Winter annual weeds germinate in the fall and mature throughout the winter months.  When spring arrives they aggressively compete with desirable grasses such as zoysia, centipede, bermuda, fescue, and st. augustine.   It is much easier to prevent weeds with a pre-emergent herbicide in turf versus applying a post-emergent herbicide.  W.P. Law Inc. stocks pre-emergent herbicides to help customers keep their lawns and turf weed free.  Visit their website at www.wplawinc.com to learn more about fertilizer programs for various grasses and lawns in South Carolina.

Fall Pre-emergent Herbicide for Winter Weed Control

- Tuesday, September 28, 2010

As fall arrives, most people forget about their lawns as the growing season winds down and we tend to turn our attention to other activities.  Warm-season grasses begin slowing down as the temperatures decrease and the natural tendency is to forget about your lawn.  There are however, a couple of things your lawn needs before it goes into dormancy.

Grasses such as St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede benefit from a high potassium fertilizer with a pre-emergent herbicide.  The potassium helps prepare these grasses for cooler weather while the pre-emergent herbicide will prevent winter annual weeds from germinating.  W.P. Law Inc. stocks a 0-0-15 fertilizer with Barricade® pre-emergent herbicide that will accomplish both tasks with one simple application.

Barricade® pre-emergent herbicide prevents cool-season annual weeds that germinate in the fall by creating a chemical barrier across your lawn.  Cool-season annual weeds such as annual bluegrass, chickweed, carolina geranium, henbit, and purple deadnettle can be prevented by applying Barricade® pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn.

Barricade® pre-emergent herbicide is available in a granular form that can be applied with a regular rotary fertilizer spreader.   Once applied, Barricade® pre-emergent herbicide should be watered in with a 1/2" of water to help move the fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide into the root zone. 

Pre-emergent herbicides are the easiest way to manage unwanted weeds in your lawn.  Many people fight unwanted weeds in the spring time of the year.  Often, if they had used a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall, they could have prevented the weeds that are maturing in spring.  Once weeds have had a chance to mature, eradicating them becomes much more difficult. 

The old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" could not be more appropriate when trying to get the upper hand on weed control for your lawn. 

For more information on pre-emergent herbicides and their application, view the fertilizer programs at www.wplawinc.com
Fertilizer programs are available for various grass types including Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, Fescue, and Zoysia. 

 Now is the time to put your warm-season lawn to rest for the winter by applying a 0-0-15 fertilizer with Barricade® preventative weed control.  For more information contact your local W.P. Law Inc. store located throughout South Carolina.


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