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Need to adjust the PH of your soil? This article will explain everything you'll need to know to get your PH right where it needs to be so you can grow thick, healthy, green grass.. READ MORE

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The past 2 years I've had nothing but problems with my yard.   It's the worst its ever been.   I have a lawn service, but they are chalking it up to the extreme heat we've had in St. Louis.  We have grubs and moles, fungus, brown patch and I'm sure low PH.   I need to treat it right now, but can I apply these products that you have at the same time or do they have to be applied at different times.   Are they safe for pets?   Help!    Can I purchase any of these products locally in the stores or only online?

First, you won't be able to get our products locally so if you decide to fix this problem using our materials, you'll need to order through our shopping cart and have the items delivered.

Second, lawn problems are never a "quick fix". Furthermore, when dealing with them at the end of the warm season, a full resolution won't be noticed till the following year. But based on the limited information you provided, I think it's safe to say you should start now since a couple of the problems can most definitely be resolved from the fall through the winter.

Third, the products we have listed are all safe for use where people and pets will be active.

Fourth, the PH is most important and needs to be measured and then adjusted (if it's too high or too low) first. Once it's fixed, you may proceed with dealing with other problems but not till that time.

So in summary, let's start with your PH. This means you need to get it measured. Our PH METER is a great tool to have just for this reason as it will enable you to get readings whenever you want. Once you know the PH, you can begin to adjust it if need be. Read up on soil ph here:

Soil PH Control: http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Once you get the ph fixed, we'll deal with the grubs. This will involve some treatments as explained in our GRUB CONTROL ARTICLE but there is no need to get ahead of ourselves. So for now, lets focus on the PH. Send us another message once you know it's level and we'll further advise.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

PH Meter:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/testing/phmoisturelight-probe

PH Control:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Grub Control:  http://www.bugspray.com/article/grubs.html

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how much 90% sulfur do you need to drop ph from 7.5 to 6.5 to 5.5 and so on for blueberries

There isn't a specific formulation or amount to use for exact ph adjustments. But if you look at the label for our SULFUR GRANULES, you'll see it says to use about 3.5 lbs per 1000 sq/ft. Exactly how much this will reduce the PH is hard to guage but in most situations it will be around .5-1.0 of a drop. So start with this rate and monitor the PH using a PH METER. Once you see the PH has dropped and becomes stable, apply some more. As you approach your goal, reduce the amount of Sulfur you're applying to maybe 1-2 lbs per treatment instead of the full 3.5 lbs. Over the course of 3-6 months you should be able to get it adjusted to where you want it to be.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Sulfur Granules:  http://www.non-toxic-pest-control.com/granules/sulfur-90-granules

PH Meter:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/testing/phmoisturelight-probe

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In October I had a new lawns  laid on 6" of new soil. When the recent bout of snow disappeared 10 days ago my lawns – back and front – were smothered with 3/4" diameter white rings.  I brushed them and the grass beneath appeared dead and in many instances gooie
What is the condition called ?
Is there a simple cure or will I need to call the landscape gardeners back to undertake a complete relay.

You most likely have either Typhula Blight or Fusarium Patch. Both will thrive in the cold and snow and are generally seen in the spring as local snowfall melts away. Since you've had some snow melting now you've discovered it earlier but this is not uncommon.

The good news is that either fungus can usually be avoided. And in most cases no treatments are needed. Since your turf is new, there is probably 2-3 things which allowed the condition to develop so quickly. Here's what may have contributed to the problem.

1) New turf in the fall. When one lays sod in the fall, there is a good chance the grass won't be strong enough to avoid falling victim to some kind of disease. Turf laid in the spring has a long season in which good roots can be grown insuring healthy and strong grass development. However, grass planted in the fall will typically have this process thwarted with decreasing temps slowing the process. In the end, newly planted sod in the fall will many times be more vulnerable to winter disease because it did not have a chance to grow healthy and get established.

2) Long grass growth promotes these fungus and empowers them. In regions where turf will be covered by snowfall, it's usually best to trim the grass prior to the first snow. Keeping it short and trimmed will take away what the fungus needs to thrive. In most cases, new sod will be left to grow when it's first set out to avoid killing it. Though okay for the first season and generally the best way to grow newly planted sod, don't let this happen in subsequent years.

3) Fertilizing late in the year. Most everyone will apply a good dose of fertilizer to newly laid turf. This is not suggested for established yards as late fertilizing will establish high nitrogen levels in the soil – perfect for snow mold to prosper.

4) Remove grass clippings. Though mulching grass clippings is no doubt the environment friendly way to handle grass that's been cut, letting it pile up on your turf is not suggested. In most cases this will only lead to fungus, insects and other problems. Be sure to remove and relocate the clippings off the lawn you're wanting to protect.

5) Soil Ph. If you haven't done so, get a SOIL PH PROBE and take some soil readings. Insuring your PH is in check is vital to proper lawn growth and necessary if you wish to sustain any lawn but it's especially important when new turf is laid. And don't think fresh top soil has a "perfect" ph. Many times top soil is fertilizer rich and low in ph – two ingredients that will almost always lead to problems sooner rather than later.

In summary, snow mold typically dries up and dies when spring arrives. Maintaining a healthy lawn and following the "do and don't" list above will help reduce the risk of feeding a fungus. But if the fungus appears next year, you'll most likely have to take preventive measures every fall to insure it's kept minimal. Applying a fungicide in late fall will no doubt help and could be needed but only after a history with your new turf is established will you be able to know for sure if you need to do preventive applications.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Soil PH Control:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Soil PH Probe:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1736.html

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I just bought the probe from U-Spray, after reading about the importance of proper Ph for a healthy lawn. I put in blue grass sod last spring. I live in the Chicago suburbs. In Aug and Sept, a large area of the sod began going brown. Not totally dead, but very weak looking. I aerated and increased watering but it didn't help. Now I am guessing it is a fungus problem. I checked the Ph using the new probe. The reading was just a bit under 8. Based on the article on your web site, I have alkaline soil, which requires treatment with sulfur. Before I go ahead, is alkaline soil consistent with the lawn problem I have described?

K.S.

As you know from our SOIL PH ARTICLE, getting your soil PH balanced is paramount when trying to diagnose turf grass related issues. Based on the information you've provided, I'm sure the high PH you've discovered in your soil is causing a problem. But it's really tough to know for certain just what the problem is as long as the grass isn't growing and the PH is out of whack. In fact, bluegrass likes a low PH. Something in the 6.25-7.0 range would be best. Once you get over 7.5 mark on the soil probe, a lot can go wrong. And as long as the PH is over 7.0, trying to figure out what's wrong doesn't make a lot sense. I'm inclined to say it's something like iron chlorosis and not a fungus but at this point I would be premature in making any such assessment. I just know bluegrass is prone to this disorder; once bluegrass turf gets a high PH and chlorosis kicks in, one of the symptoms can be brown, faded grass blades. But it's way too soon to know for sure so here's what you do.

First, get some SULFUR GRANULES and apply them right away. I would attempt to get the PH down to a level of 6.5 or slightly lower. Since it's just the beginning of December, it might take a little longer for this to happen once the turf in your region freezes. If you're able to get some granules applied before the yard is covered with snow, you should be able to start the process. But for the PH to change as much as you'll need it to move, I'm thinking you'll need some warm temps here and there over the course of the winter so the chemical adjustment can have the right conditions to complete the reaction and drop the PH level. Fortunately I believe you have enough time to correct the problem before next spring but for now, that's all I'd worry about accomplishing.

And after a month following the first application of Sulfur you can try to get some PH measurements to see what's happening. I'm thinking it might take 2-4 months so don't fret if it's January and you still haven't gotten below a 7.0. This is quite normal for cold climate regions and as long as you get it down to the good range by next April-May, I think you'll be set for next summer and whatever other turf problems arise once the PH is in balance. At that point (when the PH is in the right range) you can start trying treatments to cure problems as they occur.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Soil PH Article:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Sulfur Granules:  http://www.non-toxic-pest-control.com/granules/sulfur-90-granules

PH Probe:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1736.html

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HI – I HAVE SEVERAL PROBLEMS THAT NEED TREATMENT … AND I WOULD CHERISH YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS – THE SUBJECT IS A CENTIPEDE LAWN – IN HIGH PH SOIL – AND ATTENDANT FUNGUS PROBLEMS THAT COME WITH HIGH PH — HERE ARE SOME INTRO FACTS …

·         LOCATION EAST TEXAS – SIMILAR TO YOUR GEORGIA SOIL – SUGAR SAND IN PLACES – RED IRON BASED SOIL IN OTHERS

·         OUR GRASS AREA IS 4000 SQ FEET –  SOME 8 YEARS IN PLACE

·         ON AVERAGE THE PH  IN FUNGUS TROUBLE SPOTS IS  8.0 + AND OF COURSE FUNGUS LIKES HIGH PH WHILE CENTIPEDE LIKES PH 6.0 – SO NEED TO REDUCE PH 1.5 TO 2.0 POINTS OVER 4000 SQ FEET  FOR HEALTHY CENTIPEDE AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT REDUCE “FUNGUS FRIENDLY” SOIL

·         WE WERE GONE FOR 2 MONTHS THIS SUMMER – JUST GOT BACK AND FOUND 1500 TO 2000 SQ FEET OF LAWN WAS TOTALLY DEAD FROM FUNGUS  –  [WILL NEED TO RESEED OR RE SOD] — REMAINDER IS DOING FINE  — SO I HAVE AN IMMEDIATE  SEVERE FUNGUS  PROBLEM IN 2000 SQ FEET AND A LONGER TERM FUNGUS MAINTENANCE PROBLEM IN THE OVERALL 4000 SQ FEET

I AM SURE I COULD BLUNDER THROUGH ALL YOUR PRODUCTS AND FINALLY FIND A HELPFUL COMBINATION – JUST TIME AND MONEY! – FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME WHO IS JUST SMART ENOUGH TO GET IN TROUBLE YOU OFFER  TOO MANY OPTIONS!!! I HAD A LOCAL SOURCE OF

WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO IS PLACE AN ORDER THAT GIVES ME A 12 MONTH SUPPLY OF CHEMICALS TO ADDRESS [1] FUNGUS AND [2] PH REDUCTION – BOTH PROBLEMS ARE LONG TERM – SO 12 MONTHS IS SORT OF A STARTER KIT

FINALLY — HAVE WEEDS AND GRASS IN ASIAN JASMINE AND FESCUE/MONKEY GRASS – ANY RECOMMENDATIONS? – AND OUR FALLS ARE RATHER MILD LIKE YOURS – STILL 70’S AND LOW 80’S – SHOULD FUNGUS TREATMENT START NOW OR IN SPRING?

THANKS W.W.

If you review our SOIL PH CONTROL ARTICLE, you'll learn keeping the PH in balance is key for insect, weed and fungus control with most any kind of turf. Centipede is no different and in fact more susceptible than others to the impact of an improperly balanced PH. So for now, you need to address the high PH first and one of the best way to get it adjusted is with some SULFUR GRANULES. If you don't yet have a SOIL PH PROBE, get one and start applying the Sulfur with the goal being to get your PH down close to 6.0. More importantly, you'll need to monitor the PH to make sure it doesn't creep back up on you again. For some yards, this means taking readings every 2-3 months and in some instances, applying Sulfur as frequently as once a quarter.

Only after the PH is in check should you consider applying some ALGAE and FUNGUS KILLER. This can be done once the PH is okay whether it's in December or next spring some time. I would also recommend using it at least once a year to help prevent any return of the fungus.

Lastly, the Asian Jasmine and Monkey Grass are susceptible to a wide range of broadleaf weed killers so I'm hesitant to recommend spraying them with anything that would target similarly structured weeds. But I think you can apply something like POAST GRASSY WEED KILLER which targets grass like unwanted Bermuda and Fescue. Review the GRASSY WEED KILLER LABEL to be sure it's okay for use on your ground cover. I know it's commonly used in flower beds; it's helpful controlling creeping grasses in unwanted areas. As for the broadleafs; I'm afraid you'll have to resort to some good old fashioned man power known as "pulling weeds" to get rid of them :)

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Soil PH Control Article:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Sulfur Granules:  http://www.non-toxic-pest-control.com/granules/sulfur-90-granules

Soil PH Probe:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1735.html

Algae and Moss Killer:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1623.html

Poast Grassy Weed Killer:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page2004.html

Poast Grass Weed Killer Label:  http://www.bugspray.net/labels/poast_grass_killer_label.pdf

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Previous owners salvaged broken sidewalk pieces to use as stepping stones for paths and flat areas. I want to use these areas for garden plants. Should I dig up the concrete pieces or will it be OK to cover them with soil? Will the chemicals in the concrete adversely affect the soil ph?
Thanks, Tim

In general, concrete will have a high PH. This is due to the alkaline base most concrete mixes employ. If I was to guess, I would say leaving it in the soil could actually help keep your soil's PH stable. As our SOIL PH CONTROL ARTICLE explains, most yards tend to drop their soil PH over time. If this exists in your yard, the concrete will most likely work to stabilize the PH so in the end, I'm not sure you'll need to remove it nor worry about any other "chemical" releases that could impact plants in a negative way.

At this point the only thing I suggest is to get a SOIL PH METER so you can get a "ground" or control measurement of where your PH is now. Use this to compare what the PH becomes, should it change, by checking it every 3-6 months. I think you might actually find it remaining quite stable and wouldn't be surprised if you didn't have to do nearly as much to keep your PH in check compared to most homeowners. In the end, this might turn out to be something positive :)

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Soil PH Article:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Soil PH Meter:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1736.html

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White fungus looking patches have been showing up in my yard lately. It started right after we got some rain, in live in Gilbert Az and I've never had this problem before and I'm not sure what I need to do. Here is picture of some of it. I appreciate any help.

Thanks.

white mold soil fungus

There are several things going on here and from what I can surmise, it all starts with the soil. Although I'm not 100% certain, from the looks of this "growth", I'd say you have a white soil mold living in your dirt. There are many kinds which can thrive when soil has good moisture and the right nutritional supply. Most of these won't hurt plants directly. However, the conditions that allow them to grow will. In other words, if you aren't careful and correct the current situation, I'm sure other things will start to go "wrong" and over time it will become more and more difficult to fix. With this problem potential problem just "over the horizon" and about to come into view, here are my recommendations.

1) Not knowing where you reside in Arizona, I cannot tell if you are in a mostly dry arid section or one that gets significant rainfall. Arid sections would tend to dry out over time so there would be no cause for concern. Once dry, this fungus will die out. But if you are where it rains enough, this problem could persist and thrive. Additionally, if your soil isn't properly draining, the accumulating water will only fuel this growth more. If you have a drainage problem, getting the landscape graded differently or in some areas getting drainage systems installed may be needed to help remove this vital ingredient for mold/fungi growth.

2) Once the water problem is either fixed or dries out, get your soil PH checked. If you don't have a good SOIL PH METER, get one. It's invaluable and should be used throughout the year to make sure you're "dirt" doesn't get out of balance. As explained in our SOIL PH CONTROL article, once it does all kinds of bad things can happen and one of the most common is the growth of mold and fungus. Other problems relating to bad PH is weed growth, poor grass quality and insect infestations.

3) Once the water problem is resolved and the soil is known to be in balance, you could very well notice the white mold to be gone. But if it's lingering, treating with the MOLD AND ALGAE KILLER would be a good idea. It's easy to use and can be applied over the yard without posing a risk to plants or people. One application should do the job; as previously stated this mold is generally not a major problem and easy to control.

In summary, what you're seeing is undoubtedly the result of excessive moisture following the recent rain pattern and/or the balance of your soil. Get these two things in check and chances are high the problem will resolve itself. If it lingers longer than expected, treat with the Mold Killer RTS and you should see it dry up and die within a week or two. If you still have questiosn or concerns, give us a call on our toll free 1-800-877-7290.

Here are direct links to the information and products mentioned above:

http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1736.html

http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1623.html

jonathan

www.bugspray.com

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I've noticed the soil ph level in my islands where I have a lot of pine straw keeps dropping. It seems every year I have to apply lime to get it back up to 7.0 and then it just drops again. Does pine straw reduce PH balance?

Not directly. Pine straw indirectly affects the ph in your soil because as it decomposes it does release by products that are low. These in turn bring down the soil. Over time, this can be significant. For some yards, pine straw decomposes slowly and the effect is barely noticeable. For regions where there is a lot of moisture, the rapid decay of pine straw will reflect in rapid ph changes in the soil.

To keep the PH in balance, you'll need to first monitor it with a good SOIL PH METER. This level should be monitored by probing the soil every 3 months. Apply Lime Pellets or even better, some LIQUID LIME as needed. Details on how to use these products can be found in our SOIL PH CONTROL article.

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We had 3 trees planted 5 yrs. ago. They grew well and now are 8 to 11 ft. tall. However over the past 3 yrs. we experienced some tips that brownout in different locations around the trees, about 7 or 8 such brown spots. We also have every yr. where whole branches slowly start to turn light green and then yellow and over a few months the branch turns brown ,this occurs  in only one spot on the tree and has done this with 2 different trees . a third one has not yet had this problem. Early this spring we had to cut a large branch 2/3 up one of the trees out. Now a smaller branch on another tree has begun to turn light yellow and a few tips have turned brown. Last yr. the Penn St. Ag. Center looked at  snipped branches and got back to us that the tree was under stress.  We are at a loss to understand this problem and do not want to loss the trees. Now they are really growing nice new shoots. We would like your advice on what might be happening.

First things first. When it comes to trees, there are many factors that can contribute to their growth pattern and overall health. These factors are somewhat complicated and many times can take years to have an impact – especially since most trees grow slowly. That being said, there are some common reasons why many run into problems and the good news is that these corrective measures can be done by most any homeowner.

At this time, the most important thing to consider would be the condition of the soil under these trees. Spruce trees tend to make the soil underneath them acidic. When the soil PH drops below 6.5, undue stress will be felt by most any tree including spruce. For starters, I suggest you get a good PH reading to see where the soil is being measured where these trees are located. If you don't have a good SOIL PH METER, get one. Take readings every 5 feet. If you find it to be below 6.5, get some LIQUID LIME and bring it back up to an acceptable level. This can be accomplished in a week or two. More information about the importance of ph can be read in our SOIL PH CONTROL article.

Get back to us once you know the soil PH and are confident it's where it should be. This alone could be reason for all other problems; once we know the PH is Ok we'll further advise.

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