Author Archives: turfdoctor

May not be practical, but it might be fun!

I’m not sure if I should admit this or not.  I am intrigued by the Rodenator Pro.  They claim that it does a great job controlling tunneling pest in you fields.  Who knows, maybe it has an application in the turfgrass industry.  Let me know if you decide to buy one – I want to see it in action!

Check out the video below – you will see why I am intrigued!

Rodenator on YouTube

I should have known better

Let me start by stating the fact that I grew up in middle of the desert in Southern Idaho.  Seriously, the middle of the desert.  If you do not believe me, take a look for yourself. I used to live at the location that shows up on the map when you click through.  Fifteen miles from the nearest town.  More than a mile to the nearest neighbor.  My dogs have always had plenty of room to do their business.

Hopefully you will be able to forgive me for not foreseeing the potential market demand for a small patch of *green* space for your apartment-bound dog to “do his business.”  Chances are that if you are following my blog that you have read my post from December 6th discussing a product that I came across in the Dr. Foster and Smith catalog.  At the time, I thought nothing of it other than the fact that it gave me a chuckle to think of our100+ lb dogs (all three of them) using this little piece of artificial turf.  How short-sighted of me.

In the time that has past since I put that post up I have quickly realized that terms like “turf puppy pads” and/or “artificial turf puppy”  have resulted in a significant amount of the traffic that I get on my blog!!  I’m not kidding.  More people search for the artificial turf puppy pads than any other keywords that I have used.

That brings me to this post.  I am sitting in my hotel in Limerick, Ireland where I am going to be speaking at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland’s annual conference.  On my flight into Shannon from Newark I took some time to browse the SkyMall magazine and came across the following products.  I think they speak for themselves.

That’s right – one even comes with a fire hydrant and a pop-up sprinkler to rinse it after each use.  And I thought it was simple enough to just take your dog for a walk.

I would love to hear from anyone who has one of these.  Do they really work?  If so, please PLEASE send me pictures of it in use!

“Clip it or Ticket”

At first glance you would probably not guess that the article that I’m about to mention was about turfgrass.  The news of Lynwood’s decision to regulate the heights of lawns came to my attention yesterday late in the afternoon.

Foreclosed homes have lawns that can get out of control.

In a nutshell, the Lynwood City Council voted to limit the heights of lawns to 8-inches or less as was reported by Channel 5 in Seattle.  It is interesting to think about what might be driving this decision.

Obviously, lawns that are allowed to grow uncontrolled can become a great habitat for rodents, snakes, and other pests.  But to go to the extent of penalizing homeowners who do not mow their lawn?  I am willing to bet that the majority of the lawns that become a nuisance problem will ultimately belong to a financial institution due to the numerous foreclosures that are happening across the country.

I do not believe that this is a problem that will be unique to Lynwood.  I do not have to drive very far across town into some of the new neighborhoods around Gainesville to find numerous homes that are falling into disrepair.

I am curious – what do you think about laws like this?  Do you think they are beneficial to communities and/or property values?

Please feel free to leave a comment!

I couldn’t agree more!

Concerned by all of the brown surrounding you in the landscape?  The Gainesville Sun reached out to UF experts to address the concerns of many people throughout Florida for some insight.

I agree – now is not the time to panic.  One of my previous posts addressed this topic, and my opinion is still the same.  We just need to be patient and let nature take its course.  Over the next few weeks the soils will start warming up and the grasses should begin coming out of dormancy.  Want to learn more about lawn care?  Check this out: Homeowner Best Management Practices for the Home Lawn.

I have been feeling kind of brown lately

It was cold. Really, really, cold. Or was it? While it was sunny and in the mid 70’s in Central Florida today, two weeks ago it was a different story.

I remember the moment so vividly. We had just stopped by Ward’s, our local (and favorite) grocery store to pick up some things for dinner. On the way into the store we commented on how cold it was, and I mentioned that I might need to pull out a heavier jacket. We quickly made our way into the store where I began looking for the broccoli. Just then a gentleman came into the store, made eye contact with me, and said something that really struck home. He looked directly at me as I stood there, hands in my pockets and shoulders hunched trying to warm up, and said “This cold weather is getting old. If it doesn’t warm up pretty soon I’m going to retire and move to Florida where it’s warm.”

You see, at that point we were about 3 days into what would turn out to be one of the longest consecutive number of days with temperatures below freezing. The previous record was set in 1960 at nine days. We made it to eleven this time around. Being a bit of a weather junkie I had a couple thermometers set out around the yard and recorded a low temperature of around 17 degrees.

For those of you up north who are laughing a this point, you don’t get it. We live in Florida. It’s not supposed to get that cold!

Now we have friendly reminders of the cold all around us. Nearly every lawn you drive by from here to Orlando which would normally have at least a hint of green in it at this time of year has turned to a nice toasty brown color. If your lawn falls into this category, do not be alarmed. You are not alone.

Here is a picture that I took at Disney last week. They normally pride themselves on carefully manicured landscapes. Even they, with all their magical powers, could not escape the cold.

Of course, they had a response to this situation. It appeared that they “fixed” the problem and recreated paradise by laying new sod in the high-traffic entrances to the resort as you can see in the pictures below.

Don’t worry though if your grass is still brown and you lack the unlimited budget that would allow you to run out an hire someone to lay new sod next week. There is a good chance that the grass is simply dormant. Very, very, dormant. That is why it is brown.

The good news is that dormant grass will green up in the spring. Keep your eyes open for the first signs of green once we have had two or three weeks of warmer weather. If, however, you do not see any signs of life by the first of April, it might be time to be concerned.

Until then, just sit back and enjoy the fact a brown lawn does not need to be mowed! The alternative would be living up north and shoveling snow. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take brown grass in Florida over a snow shovel any day.