Quick Tip: What are those Round Growths on my Live Oak tree?

Each year around Summer, we get clients inquiring about 'these weird little round growths' they are finding in their trees, commonly Live Oaks.

These 'weird little balls’ are called galls, which are plant tissue growths caused by exposure to small doses of hormone-like chemicals, which are produced by the gall makers. The gall makers can be many different things - but usually it is insects that cause them. Galls can actually occur on roots, flowers, bark, and buds, but people generally notice them when they are on leaves or twigs because they're the easiest to spot. 

Most often clients ask me about the galls that are appearing on their oak trees, as they are common in Gainesville, FL landscapes. It is usually mealy oak galls they are finding which are tan and can be roughly the size of a jaw breaker, as the photo shows.

The galls will eventually drop, at which point they are woody and hard under bare feet in your lawn. If you look closely at one you’ll note a...

5 Tips to Help Your Lawn Beat the Dry Spell

We’ve gotten a number of calls from customers asking questions about how to improve their lawn's appearance in the North Florida dry spell. Lawns are struggling from drought stress in any area that gets sun exposure, landscape plants are beginning to wilt, and you're already watering with your sprinkler system. What can you do?

Until we begin to get normal rainfall, here are some watering tips. Notice that these tips are beyond the basics of watering early in the morning, follow the 2 day per week schedule (unless you have new sod or plants), and put down an inch of water. These tips are specifically the dry spells we have come accustomed to a couple times a year in Gainesville landscapes. These tips need to be reveresed after normal rainfall begins as you could create problems with overwatering and fungus when the dry spell ends. 

  • Use the Seasonal Adjust function -On most irrigation controllers installed in the past decade, there is an option
  • ...

5 Things Your Gainesville Lawn is Trying to Communicate to You

A lush, well-manicured lawn adds to curb appeal and enjoyment of your home. But lawns are susceptible to diseases and pests, especially if they're left vulnerable from poor cultural practices like underwatering or being scalped too low. Here are five common things your Gainesville lawn is trying to communicate to you, and how to spot and fix each before they get bad.

Problem #1
Problem: Brown Spots

Why do you need Aeration for your Gainesville Grass?


Simply put, aeration is essential to having a healthy, resilient lawn as it lets oxygen, water, and nutrients penetrate past the topsoil to reach the root zone of your turfgrass, where essential lawn nutrients can stimulate roots to grow and create healthier, stronger Gainesville, Florida lawns.

Aerating your lawn is pretty cool because it …

Winter Tips for Gainesville Lawns

The next 12-18 weeks will determine how your lawn does in 2019, so we hope these tips are helpful to you in making sure you have a lawn you love in 2019. During the winter months in Gainesville, Florida lawns, the grass is semi-dormant – growing but at a slower pace and almost barely growing at all. The soil microbes are still busy though, doing what soil microbes do – enzymatic digestion of organic matter – aka composting.

So don’t be fooled into thinking the soil and turf grass doesn’t need food and water in the winter – the turf and the soil microbes are living, sending out roots, and need nutrients to stay healthy. Without an active and healthy turf and soil microbe population in winter, the St Augustine or Zoysia turf grass lawn will lag in the spring, losing valuable time during the prime growing season.


Water Your Lawn with proper irrigation (1x week is recommended)
Feed Your...

Gainesville Lawn Pest of the Month: Black Sooty Mold / Holly Scale

Many of our clients recognize a black moldy soot covering their hollies in their landscape and wonder what it is. The 'black sooty mold' isn't a fungus, although it is a symptom of a Gainesville lawn pest. It is the secretion from a pest known as scale that releases a sticky substance that dirt sticks to, causing the black fungus-like appearance. The scale pest can be treated with a contact or systemic insecticide as well as organic treatments.

To reduce insecticide use, our team will use horticultural oils in the cooler months to control this common landscape pest. In the warmer months, the best method is systemic insecticides that are soaked into the plant and kill the scale as they Feast on it's nutrients.

If you come across a Gainesville lawn pest or Gainesville, Florida landscape pest, please don't hesitate to let us know if we can help. Contact our office at (352) 378-5296 and one of our technicians would be glad to assist you. We are a locally owned and...

TMLC earns 2018 Super Service Award for Gainesville Landscaping

The Angie's List award reflects The Master's consistently high level of customer service and professionalism in the lawn care industry. They have earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for the 5th year in a row for 2018. This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews for the Gainesville, Florida Lawn and Landscape market.

“Service pros that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network, who are consistently making great customer service their mission,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros have provided exceptional service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2018 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must...

Why are there brown spots in my Gainesville lawn?

Brown Patch or 'Large Patch' Fungus runs rampant in Gainesville grass, usually in the fall when temperatures tend to start dipping below 80°F and spring as they head back up into that mild range. Irrigation heads are putting out the water and watering times get pushed to their limit as homeowners each compete for bragging rights of the best lawn in the neighborhood. As we all learn, there’s a balance between being efficient and being effective especially when it comes to watering. As we all envy the plush green lawn.

Turfgrasses Affected
All warm-season grasses, especially St. Augustine & Zoysia.

Brown Patch Fungus usually occurs from November to May when temperatures tend to drop between 75-50°F. Infection is triggered by rainfall, excessive irrigation, or extended periods of high humidity resulting in the grass blades being continuously wet for 48 hours or more.

Signs & Symptoms...

Why do I have weeds in my Gainesville yard this winter?

Timing is critical when it comes to Gainesville lawn weed control. The mistake most homeowners make is to wait too late to treat winter weeds. If you plan to use a pre-emergent herbicide in your lawn to control weeds, you need to apply the product during October when nighttime temperatures drop to 55° to 60° for several consecutive nights. This is when their seeds need to be protected from germination. 

At Santa Fe College, where this video was taken, we did our first pre-emergent weed control application in October but these weeds popping up were tubulars leftover from the year before that had to be treated with a post-emergent weed killer.

Most winter weeds are annuals. Common winter annual weeds include annual bluegrass (Poa annua), chickweed, henbit, hop clover, lawn burweed, and wild geranium.

These and other winter annual weeds germinate from seeds during fall as the soil...

What does 'scalping' the lawn do to Gainesville turf?

Mowing your lawn properly is one of the easiest ways to fight off Gainesville lawn weeds and diseases. Cutting grass at its recommended height helps it get the sunlight and vital nutrients needed to be lush and healthy. Mowing too short ('scalping') can have some pretty serious negative effects; it can weaken and even kill your lawn. Additionally, cutting too short will limit the grass’s nutrient supply, giving weeds the opportunity to take over your Gainesville turf.

How Scalping Affects Grass

Grass is able to survive thanks to photosynthesis, which is the process of taking in sunlight and using it as energy. Cutting too much of the leaf blade limits the lawn’s ability to store this energy, restricting its nutrient supply and ultimately choking the grass. Not sure if you’re scalping your lawn? If your grass is so short that its stem is exposed, it’s too short. This stem is usually brown in color. Typically, most warm-season grasses should be at least...