Proudly Serving NE Florida Since 1992
THE LATEST DIRT...
In September we began applying a liquid fall fertilizer/winterizer/herbicide to our client’s lawns and will continue to do so through mid October. As a result—even with the herbicide application - you may notice an increase in the number of weeds in you turf. This is normal and to be expected, as fertilizer is not selective in what it makes grow. Believe me, we wish it was! We anticipate this and is the reason we schedule a pre/post emergent weed control application for November. Weather permitting (lower temperatures and no rain), we will most likely begin this application in mid-to late October and continue through November.
On a completely different note, I want to apologize for not being able to write our monthly newsletter in September. As I have explained to the many clients who called us, our customer database crashed several times in June and July. In June I was able to retrieve the lost information, but unfortunately July was much different. Several panicked phone calls to my brother-in-law who is an engineer specializing in IT, and him making several trips to our office, revealed that the database was corrupt, as well as our back-up. Retrieving any of the lost info was impossible. I had no choice but to mail out what bills the old data base was able to produce, then the entire month of August I had to learn, while setting it up, a new on-line accounting software program; trying to find someone willing to come in and train me was impossible due to the pandemic. I had to research the hard copies of each client’s payments to insure the next billing on 9/1 for August was correct. To complicate matters, I discovered that many of our clients were never billed for July. Because of the lengthy process, time just didn’t allow me to write a note explaining the issue, much less produce a newsletter. Thankfully I finished the afternoon before billing on 9/1.
You most likely noticed your invoice looks different. Nothing has changed in our billing method, other than we now bill on the first of each month, but it is still in arrears for those paying monthly. You may have noticed the addition of invoice numbers. I am still trying to decide if they need to be included or not, as we have always used Customer ID numbers, so you may see them disappear in the future. The good news is the new program is performed on-line and continually backed up, meaning crashing and/or losing information will not occur.
Again, I sincerely apologize for the lack of a note or newsletter and for any confusion. What can I say, this year has been the gift that keeps on giving! As if CPC having to shut down to quarantine in the spring wasn’t enough, 2020 decided it’d be a lot of fun for it to add serious computer issues to the mix! In all seriousness, given this year’s trials that have affected everyone, this was just a bump in the road. So many people are dealing with much more serious issues—being laid off or fired, shutting down their business, homeschooling, the start of the school year and deciding what to do, being ill with the virus or having a loved one ill, not being able to see loved ones—sadly, the list goes on and on. I know I am not alone when I say that I pray we head into better times in 2021.
Lastly, I want to thank those of you who called and were so very kind when I explained the situation. One of our clients called in the midst of me feeling overwhelmed. She works in finance and said that she had been through the same thing and said something that stuck with me—’just take a deep breath, explain to those who call and they will completely understand and be kind’...she was right. The last thing we ever want to do at CPC is let our clients down, whether it is the services we provide or the administrative duties I provide. Your kindness during this stressful transition did not go unnoticed and was appreciated more than you know.
IN THE GARDEN...
With the cooler temperatures approaching (hopefully!) and daylight still not waning very quickly, this month is the opportune time to view your landscaping with a critical eye. You still have time to evaluate its function, as well as eye and curb appeal, and to make the appropriate changes. Are any of your plantings too tall, or perhaps poorly placed? Ideally, you want your plantings to be no higher than 2/3 the height of your home at its corners. You want to avoid plantings too close to your home’s foundation, or too complex for you to maintain. You may find you want to add appeal with interesting textures, colors and elements, such as a water feature. Whatever you decide, have fun and make your lawn and home a reflection of your personality.
Remember that Poinsettias require their last application of fertilizer this month. We recommend using a 8-10-10 formulation at the rate of one tablespoon per foot of plant height.
Slugs and snails may still be active. They can do a lot of damage to your plants in a very short amount of time so be on the lookout for these creatures. There are effective baits available at most home and garden centers or you can opt to go all natural and use the beer-in-a-jar-lid treatment.
This time of year mulch is a really good ounce/pound of prevention. It helps to protect your plantings from the cold weather and aids in holding moisture in the soil. Pine straw and leaves (free of disease) make the perfect mulch. Magnolia leaves also work well but must be shredded first because they do not easily break down.
Furthermore, certain tender plants and some flowering plants and shrubs should not be pruned this time of year. Late pruning can render tender plants, such as Ixora, Plumbago and Hibiscus, vulnerable to the cold. Additionally, late pruning of Camellias, Poinsettias and Azaleas will prevent buds from being produced next year.
Lastly, interested in what vegetables you can plant this time of year? Go to: http://sustainablenorthflorida.org/north-florida-vegetable-planting-guide/
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