Summer Turf Pests and Diseases

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Be on the Watch For Summer Pests and Diseases

Earlier this week we sent out an e-mail regarding some of the bigger turf threats for the summer. We wanted to replicate that information below as we feel it plays a crucial role in keeping lawns healthy through the toughest part of the summer. If you would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, click here.

Nutsedge can be one of the most troublesome weeds found in lawns and other plant beds. Unlike most weeds, it is not controlled with application of traditional grass or broadleaf herbicides and an outbreak of nutsedge can appear at any time and any place, including landscaped areas with woody ornamentals and perennials.

The active ingredient in the herbicide used to control nutsedge is absorbed into the leaf tissue within 24 to 48 hours and is translocated through the vascular system, interrupting amino acid production within the plant. It is recommended that the plant not be pulled out of the ground as the “nutlets,” or underground rhizomes, will be disturbed and can germinate into new plants.

A surfacant is required for maximum absorption and should be sprayed before outside temperatures reach 90 degrees, and is rainfast in four hours.

In cases of heavy infestation, it is recommended that a pre-emergent herbicide be applied. Spot treatment is preferred as opposed to blanket coverage.

Brown Patch is a fungal problem for our cool season grasses such as fescue and perennial rye, and it is the most damaging of all turf grass diseases.

It begins with late and lush spring growth and the arrival of heat and humidity, and is most active when temperatures reach 80-85 degrees and night air stays above 70 degrees.

Not only is this fungal disease airborne, it can also be spread by mowers, foot traffic, and animals. Late day rains and irrigation not having ample time to dry out only add to the spread of this disease.

If possible, increase light and air penetration or movement by pruning over-hanging tree limbs and shrubs. Mowing frequently may also help limit the spread of this disease.

Due to the high cost of herbicides used to treat these two common problems, most traditional lawn care programs do not include the treatment. Only after discovery and identification should treatment begin and continue until under control.

Also, if you see June bugs and Japanese beetles, watch out for grubs! These beetles lay their eggs in turf areas and the larval stage of the lifecycle causes severe damage to turf as they eat the roots of the grass. This insect should be treated as soon as possible after discovery.

If you have any questions about these turf issues or if you are seeing symptoms and would like to begin a treatment program, please give us a call at 336-765-6340.

Photo Credit: From our Pinterest board “Backyard Inspiration

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