4 Seasons Landscaping's blog

Black Spot Fungus

Diplocarpon rosae, or black spot fungus does not just affect roses.  This fungus can affect any plant in your garden that has fleshy leaves or stems.  Identifying this fungus should be easy enough, since the name accurately describes the first stage of infection.  Plants with this disease have black spots, and when it progresses, the leaf around the spot starts to turn yellow, until eventually the entire leaf is yellow and falls off.  On the plus side black spot fungus does not kill plants, but it is very unsightly.  This fungus grows in the spring when temperatures start to climb into the sixties, and does not stop until temperatures reach the mid eighties.  This fungus also thrives when plants are wet for 6 to 9 hours in the day.

To treat black spot fungus, there are organic fungicides that will not harm your plants that you could use to treat the disease.  Neem oil is a more natural remedy that you could also use when diluted with water in a plant sprayer, neem is an oil that is pressed from the evergreen tree.  A third remedy is a gallon of water, a large tablespoon of baking soda, and a splash of neem oil; the baking soda will create an inhospitable ph level on the leaf while the neem oil helps the solution to stick to leaves.

Lawn Health

While fungus naturally occurs in grass and can be harmless, certain conditions can cause these fungi to become harmful diseases to your grass.  Weather conditions, especially temperature and humidity, can make certain fungi flare up, and too much rain or drought can also cause disease.  Mowing too low of a setting and cutting the grass off closer to the roots can make it more susceptible to fungus, and large amounts of fertilizer can green up your lawn quickly, but too much nitrogen can lower grass’ defense against disease.  Here are some tips to help prevent disease in your lawn:

 - Aerate your yard every couple of years.  This loosens the soil and allows grass to put down stronger roots, as well as allows more oxygen and water into the ground.

 - De-thatch your yard. Removing excess grass clippings and debris allows better absorption of water and drainage of excess water.

 - Apply a layer of top-dress. This will also help drainage and improve the soil.

Magnolias

If you are looking for a beautiful new tree to add to your landscape design, a Magnolia is a great choice.  This tree is a spring blooming tree that has blooms in a plethora of pinks, from pale to rosy hues.  There are a variety of types as well, such as Saucer Magnolias, Galaxy Magnolias, or pictured above Goka Magnolia Kobus. Saucer Magnolias usually have clump trunks, which means there are several trunks coming out of the ground for one tree, and a fully mature Magnolia can grow to about 25 feet in height and about the same in width. The Galaxy Magnolia is usually a single stemmed tree with just one trunk, and the branches and flowers grow more upright. They only flower for about a week in the spring, but this is a great way to start the spring with a beautiful splash of color in your yard, and you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood!

 

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