When you do all the things necessary to achieve a healthy and robust lawn, you also make your lawn incredibly attractive to some of its biggest enemies. Turfgrass needs thick, juicy roots in order to thrive, as well as robust top growth. The healthier the turf, the more attractive it is to grubs and armyworms.
Fire ants, which were introduced to the United States from South America over 70 years ago, have now spread throughout the southern United States. These aggressive ants can be 1/8″ to 1/4″ long, with reddish-brown to black coloring. In general, they build their large, mounded nests in sunny, open areas (often visible along sidewalks and driveways). However, nests may also be constructed around trees and stumps or even under buildings.
With the arrival of summer also comes the arrival of a couple very destructive pests: June bugs and Japanese beetles. While very similar and often confused, June bugs are brownish, nocturnal insects, while Japanese beetles are a shiny green and active during the day. In their larval stage as grubs, these pests feast on turf roots. As adult beetles, they focus on the foliage and fruit of over 400 plant species. After emerging from lawns in late June and July, Japanese beetles start to chow down. They have a tendency to cluster in big groups on some plants more than others, and they can completely skeletonize a plant in no time.
Establishing a good watering and mowing schedule can be difficult when you are busy, but this year it is especially important. Helping lawns and landscapes fully "bounce back" from last year's stress will take time, effort and a teamwork approach with your lawn care company. Use the following guidelines for a good start on a great season.
Dollar SpotDollar spot affects a wide variety of grasses and will likely make an appearance soon in warm-season turf such as Bermuda and zoysia grass. The fungus is active throughout the growing season, especially when there is low soil moisture and excess surface moisture. This fungal disease, which is most common in the spring and summer, appears as small white patches that are 1-3 inches in diameter (about the size of a silver dollar). Sometimes, a large number of spots can come together and form larger brown areas.
Core aeration. It may sound complex, but it's really simple. An aerator punches out cores, or plugs of soil about a half-inch wide and three inches long, across your whole lawn. This lets moisture, nutrients, and most of all, oxygen reach your turf's roots. Aeration also breaks up thatch build-up – that layer of dead grass and debris between the soil and grass that blocks water and fertilizers.
This time of year, warm-season turf grass, especially zoysia, often suffers from large patch disease. This fungal disease appears as large, circular patches of discolored orange or yellow turf. If left unchecked, it will continue to spread, damaging or killing the turf it infects.
The coming of spring means the coming of a variety of insects. Certain insects such as Grubs, Spittle Bugs, Aphids, and scale can be detrimental to your lawn and landscape. Other insects such as Fleas, Ticks, Fire Ants, and Mosquitoes pose no threat to your lawn but can be hazardous to your health and the health of your pets.
If you didn't see a single, ugly crab plant, it doesn't mean you're immune this spring. The strength of crabgrass is in its numbers. Each plant that grew in your neighborhood last year produced as many as 4,000 seeds before it died. Those seeds may have found their way into your lawn on the soles of shoes, by being blown on the wind, or by birds.
When you do all the things necessary to achieve a healthy and robust lawn, you also make your lawn incredibly attractive to one of its biggest enemies. Turf grass needs thick juicy roots in order to thrive. The healthier the roots, the more appetizing they are to grubs.
Nothing takes the fun out of an evening barbecue outdoors like a bunch of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. In addition to inflicting a painful bite, mosquitoes can transmit diseases. Because mosquitoes require water to breed, here are some practical ways to eliminate water sources in your yard:
It Doesn't Have to Be an Uphill Battle
There's no doubt about it…crabgrass is a worthy opponent in the quest to keep your lawn looking its best. This very common turfgrass invader can seriously detract from the beauty and health of your lawn if left untreated. With proper treatments and good lawn care habits, though, crabgrass can be kept under control. The trick is to take care of the problem before the seeds get a chance to sprout.
Lawns, trees, shrubs and flowers need adequate water to thrive, and the summer months are the time to be especially aware of your landscape's watering needs. Remember that how often plants need to be watered is closely related to how deep their roots are.
The season can be saved with pre-emergent controlsAnnual grasses like crabgrass are extremely aggressive. Without treatment, they'll thin and choke out your good grass as they compete for growing space in your lawn. In just a few years, you could be left with little or no healthy turf.
The idea of concentrating on prevention, rather than cure, can easily apply to much more than humans. Prevention also plays an important part in the maintenance of your lawn. And one of the best ways to maintain your lawn's health is to practice Plant Health Care.
Ever laid eyes on a grub? If so, you know how ugly these pests are. Even uglier, though, is the damage they can do to your lawn. Grubs are the unfortunate offspring of beetles, such as June beetles and Japanese beetles, and they hatch from eggs laid in the soil. After hatching, the grubs (or beetle larvae) start feeding on turf roots.