TURF NEWS

Turf News
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Spring 2017 Marks Our 37th Year of Operation in Western New York!

THE CRANE FLY 

The European Crane Fly is here!!!!!

Line drawing of crane fly adult and root-feeding larva. Larvae are about 1" long.
The European crane fly looks like a giant mosquito but does not bite. At this stage, they only are a nuisance although a cloud of them can become very intimidating. The damage they cause comes from their larvae which feed on the roots of grass, much the same as the grub larvae. A few crane flies will not cause noticeable damage to healthy grass. However, high numbers can cause so much root injury that the grass can no longer get the water and nutrients it needs and usually dies in the summer as the weather gets warm and dry. You'll see large, irregular patches of dead grass when this occurs. Since the larvae live in the root areas of the soil, you do not know about their presence until it is too late. As such, a preventative application of insecticide in both the spring and the fall, properly watered in, acts as an insurance policy against an infestation of crane fly larvae. If you saw evidence of the crane flies last year, it is highly recommended that you receive at least a spring application. The insecticide used is different from that used to control the beetle larvae (grub) and is applied at different times. Your normal grub control application will not affect the crane fly population. For further information or the scheduling of applications, please call the office.

WHAT'S NEW?

EXTERIOR HOME INSECT CONTROL

Have you been troubled by the multitude of insects that take turns invading your house throughout the summer? A program of four insecticide treatments applied to a spray band around your foundation will provide a protective shield, controlling spiders, ants, fleas, ticks, and many other insects. Each application will provide a residual protection of 2-4 weeks. With four applications (May-June-July-August) we can guarantee you season-long exterior perimeter control. Each application will cost $39.00 or $156.00 plus tax for the full season.

WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF MY LAWN?

Schedule a lime application! Most lawns in WNY are acidic. This means that the pH level of the soil is low. The lower the pH, the greater the problem. With low pH, nitrogen is not fixed in the soil, which means fertilizers that you are using are not getting to the plant. Therefore, the growth will slow and the color will be weak. Lime will bring this level up, or in “old-timers’” terminology, "sweeten" the soil. Ask and we will do a field test of your soil so you will accurately know its nature, or you can assume it is low and schedule an application. 
Also, don’t forget to mow properly! First things first, you have to get your blades sharpened. A dull mower will tear the grass blades, leaving a jagged tip which will turn gray in a couple of days. Secondly, after your lawn has grown to a length of 3 inches, cut 1 inch off, leaving a grass blade of at least 2 inches. Never cut more than 1/3 of a grass blade off at one time.

SNOW MOLD

Snow mold is a fungus that provides us an early problem. Grass that has been left long in the fall and a snow covering over soil that is not frozen will contribute to the problem. The grass will be folded over to the soil and appear white or pinkish white. You need to gently open up the grass to let air in and dry out. If this is done, the grass will usually recover.

Questions?

Why do I have crabgrass?

The pre-emergent used to control the germination of crabgrass seeds makes a film in the top level of the soil. If the soil is disturbed, as is the case around the edges of driveways and sidewalks, or exposed to sunlight, seeds will germinate. Under good conditions the chemical is only effective for about 10 weeks. If we have unusual weather conditions it is possible for germination to take place in July. Call our experts to find out how we fix this problem.

Why do I have weeds? 

Weed control does not prevent weeds from germinating or growing. It only takes out those that are actively growing at the time of application. Unfortunately, weeds continue to germinate throughout the year, even in the late winter. If the lawn is mowed and watered properly, our weed control will keep out most of the weeds. Keep in mind that a thick lawn mowed at a minimum of 2 1/2 inches does not let sunlight into the soil, preventing weeds from germinating.

Why do I have grubs? My neighbor doesn't! 

Grubs result from beetles laying their eggs in your lawn. Something has attracted the beetle to your lawn. It may be that you have a thick, lush lawn with a receptive thatch layer that provides a good environment for the eggs. Or it may be that your plants supply a source of food. Or maybe you have put a beetle bag in the center of your lawn, attracting every beetle in the neighborhood. PLEASE DO NOT PUT A BEETLE BAG ON YOUR LAWN!

Why do I have to water-in every application? 

Other than weed control, the chemical needs to be carried to the area of the lawn where it is needed. This is usually the upper layers of the soil. Water from the spray is not adequate to do this. So, you must water it for it to be totally effective. Once the weed control is dry, it has been taken into the grass blade, so it is then safe to water.
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