Lawn & Plant Health Care Renewals

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Organic Lawn Care Service

Spring is coming.  Lawn and plant health care renewal notifications are now in your mailbox or email box.  Prepay discounts continue this year with a 5% off for full season prepayment made by March 21st.  For customers with aeration that prepay for the season by January 31st take another $50 off the aeration service.  If you want to update your program or have any questions just call us or email renewals@greenhow.com.

 

Deer Protection

  

Over the winter deer can devastate ornamental plantings like arborvitae, rhododendron, boxwood and holly. We apply Deer Pro up to deer browsing height to make the plant tissue have a bitter taste. Deer tend to feed on preferred sources over and over so only light sampling will occur and the deer will feed on other, tastier, plants. The light green color at the bottom of the pictured arborvitae is the treated area. It lasts all winter, has anti-dessicant properties to protect the plant from winter burn as well and will weather off with the spring rains.

Fall Plant Health Care – Horticultural Oil

The Hemlock below has the woolly masses of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid eggs between the needles or leaves pictured in the photo.  Severe infestations resemble snow.  Dormant oil or Fall Horticultural oil applications to your plants has many benefits.  For hemlocks, the oil application suffocates hemlock woolly adelgid.

  • Oils are effective controls of many plant pests.
  • Advantages of oils include safety, effectiveness and limited effects on beneficial insects.
  • Horticultural oil sprays are directed to specific targets and do not leave a residual impact on beneficial insects or other organisms.

Various oils have been used for centuries to control insect and mite pests. Oils are an important tool to manage certain pest problems (e.g., scales, aphids, mites) on fruit trees, shade trees and woody ornamental plants. Several recently developed oils extend this usefulness to flowers, vegetables and other herbaceous plants. Oils also can control some plant diseases, such as powdery mildew. Oils used to protect plants have been called by many names, but perhaps horticultural oils best describes them.

  • For spider mites – hemlock, euonymus, forsythia, privet and pine.
  • For scale – euonymus, cherry, magnolia, hemlock, pine, oak, taxus, rhododendron, fruit trees, blueberry.
  • For hemlock woolly adelgid.
  • For lace bugs – andromeda, azalea, rhododendron
  • For winter moth – maple, birch, oak, blueberry and fruit trees.

Oils have different effects on pest insects. The most important is that they block the air holes (spiracles) through which insects breathe, causing them to die from asphyxiation. In some cases, oils also may act as poisons, interacting with the fatty acids of the insect and interfering with normal metabolism. Oils also may disrupt how an insect feeds, a feature that is particularly important in the transmission of some plant viruses by aphids.

Oils pose few risks to people or to most desirable species, including beneficial natural enemies of insect pests. This allows oils to integrate well with biological controls. Toxicity is minimal, at least compared to alternative pesticides, and oils quickly dissipate through evaporation, leaving little residue.

 

Lawn and Plant Care Boston

Make plans to get to 2017 Boston Flower and Garden Show – Superheroes of the Garden!

Make plans to get to the 2017 Boston Flower and Garden Show.  It is March 22 to 26 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.  When in the neighborhood, stop by La Casa de Pedro’s newest location 505 Congress St, Boston.  The theme this year is Superhero’s.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Valentine’s Day Lovebug

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  The Lovebug is a small black fly that is common in areas of South, Central and Gulf Coast North America.  The male and female Lovebugs are known for their large swarms twice a year.  Lovebugs will mate and remain attached for days, even in flight, leading to their name.  These bugs are unfortunately attracted to vehicle exhaust, especially diesel exhaust, and end up in large numbers near roads and highways.  They are so numerous near highways they cover windshields, body panels and even radiators leading to engine overheating in extreme cases.  In entomological terms, the name Lovebug lets you know it is not a true bug.  True bugs, order Hemiptera, have a space between the name and the word bug, like Bed bug.  Ladybugs and Lovebugs are not true bugs, so have no space in the name.  The Disney movie of the same name is based on the Volkswagen Beetle, but rules don’t apply when describing a car.

-Sean Greenhow

Winter Moth is Active

Adult Winter Moth

Early this morning winter moth males were seen flying around lights in metro Boston in Belmont, Watertown and Newton.  This moth will mate and the female who cannot fly will lay her eggs in the cracks of bark on trees.  Those eggs will hatch in the spring and the larva will climb up into the buds and feed on the leaf tissue as spring progresses.  Look for winter moth males to be flying around lights at home, street lights, car and truck lights over the next few weeks.  Activity is highest after precipitation.  No control measures are needed now and these winter moths will not infest a structure or feed on grain or clothing.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Lack of rainfall this fall, and this year, causes plant stress.

OThis map of Massachusetts, from the water.weather.gov website, which has data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) highlights so of the challenges plant life in New England are facing.  On this map yellow and gold are minus 4 and 6 inches year to date, progressing to minus 12 inches in red. This map should be accessible by clicking here.  To help combat further winter dessication, try to give your plants a good watering before rolling up the hoses and putting them away for the year.

 

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Winter Moth-Active Last Night



Winter Moth

 The moth surrounding your outside lights last night was the winter moth.  They have been active over the past few weeks and will continue to be active.  These adults are emerging from pupae casings in the soil.  The winter moth male and female will mate on a tree trunk, where the female will lay her eggs on the bark.  To protect landscape plants, including trees and shrubs, a variety of options exist, from late winter and early spring horticultural oil sprays to suffocate the eggs, to injection of a tree to kill the feeding larva, to spraying the foliage to kill the feeding larva.  For more winter moth information, contact us, or check out the Winter Moth web page at UMass.

Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.

www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Split Stem – Tree Repair

Here is an interesting case from two years ago, a heavy wet snow split the stem of a yew.  We cleared off the snow, drilled holes in the stem and bolted the tree back together upright.  Two years later, the tree  is healing around the bolts and doing great.



Winter 2009-2010



Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Site Sanitation

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Pest control is sanitation. Effective pest control, whether structural pest control, or ornamentals and shrubs is based on site sanitation. Keeping debris properly disposed of will dramatically reduce and control pest populations. For exterior pest control, including reducing issues that affect plant health, clean up all limbs, leaves and debris. Site sanitation will reduce the chance of plant disease. In addition, debris that are cleaned up reduce harborages for other pests, both rodents and insects that if left unchecked may multiply and cause problems inside.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.