SEVERE LAWN DISEASE AND INSECT ACTIVITY ALERT !!!
It has been a very long time since I can remember such a wet season. Not the best weather this season for tomatoes, peppers and other plants that like sunshine and it has been very bad for the lawn diseases, especially for those of you with susceptible grass types or the proper environmental conditions. Areas of sun are more susceptible to disease and insects so If you notice the shaded areas have more even color then this is why.
Some lawns have begun to recover but with the severe diseases this season, many are having trouble recovering due to the weather. The disease patches are prolific and there is a plethora of diseases at this time. This is giving many lawns (especially ones with mostly fine fescue and bluegrass) the appearance of heat/drought stress. The abundance of diseases this year is not only frustrating to our clients, but to me as well. With the problems we have been encountering with the severity of the diseases and the insect activity, and Mother Nature not allowing a decent dry period, it is enough to make me want to just throw my hands up in surrender and hope next season is better. Trust me, I know the frustration but there is only so much that can reasonably be done to try to control these issues unless you just want to dump money into the problem with little instant results.
Red thread, leaf spot, pythium, fusarium, dollar spot, summer patch disease, fairy ring, take all patch, brown patch, anthracnose, stripe smut….. the list goes on as to the types and abundance of the diseases we are encountering at this time. Couple these diseases with an emerging chinch bug and sod webworm population and things will get very interesting for the next month or so.
With the passage of time, change in temperatures, and if we ever get a dry period, the lawn diseases will clear up on their own. Fungicide applications can be applied if they are severe but usually more then one treatment is needed for proper control and there is no guarantee that the applications will have the desired effect if the weather conditions continue. The lawn care applications and proper mowing will help to expedite this process but ultimately, Mother Nature will always have the final say as to how quickly the lawn diseases will pass. This year has been an especially bad year for red thread and dollar spot.
Mushrooms: WOW, can you believe the amount of mushrooms that have popped up with all of the rains and overcast conditions? The mushrooms are feeding on organic matter in the soil and are not signs of anything wrong with your lawn. This is a normal cycle but this season it is a lot more obvious because we did have the mushroom spores germinate a little over a month ago, they matured into mushrooms and spread more spores, and now we have the second crop that has germinated. Be patient, they will dissipate shortly. Grab a 9 iron and practice your golf swing while you can 🙂
SOD WEBWORMS AND CHINCH BUGS:
The chinch bugs and sod webworms have become prolific again and are on the rampage. I was just on a property that was mostly Zoysia grass and 3/4 of the turf was damaged from chinch bug activity.
Chinch bugs are very small but can do great damage if left untreated. A lot of people mistake sod webworm and chinch bug damage for grubs and don’t use the appropriate product for control of these pests. With the little bit of drier weather (albeit not much drier) the insects are really becoming aggressive.
Surface insect controls need to be applied to prevent further lawn damage and usually more then one application will be needed for control over a longer period of activity like this season.
Sod webworm moth and sod webworm caterpillar
Lawn Applications: We are applying the weed control and fertilizer applications (liquid treatment) and surface insect/flea & tick applications at this time. The timing for the grub preventer has passed. You will have to watch for fall grub damage if you did not receive one of these applications or, if you want us to just automatically do an active feeding grub control in the fall we can set up this application to be done at the appropriate time. If you are signing up late you may want to plan on a post emergent crabgrass application in the late summer (if it becomes necessary).
We have also been applying the flea and tick applications. This can be done as a liquid or granular application. More then one treatment will need to be applied through the course of the season for proper control of fleas and ticks. The products do not have the longevity to last an entire season.
It has also been quite difficult to maintain a regular, constant schedule for our mowing clients. Almost every week it has either rained, remained too wet from rain over the weekend, or has been just too wet in general to mow on a regular schedule. We have been doing our best to get everyone mowed before the weekend but don’t want to sacrifice a quality mowing just to get it mowed. Our crews have been working late days even up to 8pm and Saturdays to try to ensure your property is being mowed every week. In the event it does not get mowed during a wet week we will be out as soon as we can to get the mowing done for you. Please be patient and try to understand with the weather conditions it has been quite a challenge this season.
Lawn Issues for 2016: (from late fall 2016)
- Grubs were very bad this past fall. Probably the worst I have seen in 7 – 10 years. Many customers have reported grubs damage to the turf. Please make certain there is a grub control on your lawn care program for 2017. Yes, it will be that important to have this done this season and for future seasons to protect the turf from costly repairs. The grub control is also guaranteed so, if damage does occur when we have already applied the grub preventative, then we will repair that damage. There have been very few cases of this happening over my 25 years in the business. The application is just that reliable.
- Sod webworms and chinch bugs were also particularly severe last summer and their activity continued for an extended period due to the drought. A surface feeding insect control will prevent severe damage to the turf but may not get complete control due to their extended feeding period. Sometimes more then one application is required for proper control.
- Lawn diseases: The weather from year to year will dictate how severe both insects and diseases may, or may not be. Sometimes it is difficult to be proactive to problems. Sometimes we need to be reactive to problems. Mother nature can be very hard to predict. In severe cases a fungicide application can be applied but multiple treatments are typically needed and the weather will play a very large role in the control of the diseases.
- Bed Clean-up: If you didn’t have a chance to do a good clean-up to your property and landscape beds then it will be even more important to have this done. Decaying matter in the lawn and landscape can cause plant decline, disease, and cause dead patches in the lawn. We can do an early spring clean up for you if you didn’t have a chance to do a proper fall clean up.
- Proper pruning is of the utmost importance. If there are landscape items that have grown too big, many times they can be resized. Heavy pruning to resize the landscape should be done either early spring or later in the fall depending on the plant variety and requirements. Regular pruning is key to the aesthetic appearance as well as the overall health of your landscape.
- Bed maintenance can also make a big difference to the landscape. Keeping your beds free of weeds and debris will not only help it to look better but, weeds will cause competition for water and nutrients with the landscape and debris can encourage diseases. We can do a once a month program or more depending on your landscape’s needs.
We are doing everything within our power to ensure that our mowing customers are done on a weekly basis and have been working very late during the week, and even working late Saturdays. This has been due to the rainy weather we are experiencing this spring. Your mowing days may not be the same from week to week until the weather is more cooperative. We are doing our best to keep it on the same day but Mother Nature isn’t playing nice at this time.
Mowing during the season should be at a height of no less then 2.5-3 inches. The last few mowings for the season you can begin to lower the height of the mowing deck. Removing some of the top growth before the onset of winter will help to combat many wintertime diseases. *Our mowing list continues to fill up quickly and we are doing everything in our power to make adjustments so we can accommodate any new mowing requests.
I want to thank all of our customers, both our loyal customers and new customers, for a strong season last year.
If you were wondering when a project may be able to be started I would recommend calling the office to inquire about the time frame.
Please give the office a call if there are any services you need done, would like to add, or if you need an evaluation or pricing for any of our services.
We look forward to having another great season,
Turfpro Sales/Customer Service/Lawncare Manager
If you ever have any questions about our services or on the condition of your lawn and landscape, please feel free to contact us.
The following are pamphlets I hand out with the estimates explaining in more detail the lawn applications, tree and shrub treatments, and our property maintenance services.
Turfpro Lawn Care and Tree & Shrub Program
Our Lawn care/Tree & Shrub programs are designed to enhance, beautify and maintain your lawn and landscape. There are many factors which can influence the color, thickness, and overall health of the turf. Weather conditions such as too much rainfall and summer drought, heavy shade from trees, pets/animal damage, and heavy foot traffic are just a few of these factors which can have a negative impact on the turf.
Proper mowing practices can also have a large impact with the condition of the turf. Mowing too short and dull mower blades can cause excessive stress, allow disease to develop, permit the germination of crabgrass, and general turf decline. Mowing at a minimum of a 3” height and removing only 1/3 of the grass blades with each mowing will help to relieve stress and allow the lawn to naturally thicken. This in turn will help to control crabgrass and weeds. Mowing can be done the following day after a liquid treatment or even the same day depending on when the application was applied. If there has been no rainfall after the application, please leave the clippings as to not remove any product that may still be on the grass blades. Mowing can be done at anytime after a granular treatment. Mowers do not typically have the power to remove any granular product that was applied.
If there are problems or questions between applications, free service calls are a part of our full lawn program. We will come out to investigate the problem and inform you as to what the problem is and what steps need to be taken to correct the problem. If it is an issue that should be remedied with our regular treatments, we will resolve the problem without additional charges. Sometimes however, additional treatments are needed (such as lawn fungicides or surface feeding insect controls) that may be billable depending on the situation. This will be conveyed to you before any further steps are taken.
The lawn care applications will be applied as either a granular application or as a liquid application. Which type of application will be determined by the timing of the treatment, the weather, and what type of treatment is being applied. In most cases, any rainfall will benefit these treatments. In the case of heavy rainfall immediately after a weed control application, please allow at least 7-10 days for the weeds to show signs of curling from the weed control application before calling for a service call.
When a liquid application is done, please allow a minimum of an hour before walking out on the turf, or until the application has a chance to dry. This includes pets. The amount of time the application can take to dry can vary depending on the humidity and temperatures. Typically the application will dry within an hour or two. If a pet needs to be let out before this time has passed, please make certain to either wash off the pets pads and feet or wipe them thoroughly with a damp paper towel. With a granular application, you may walk on the turf anytime after treatment.
Our goal here at Turfpro is to give you the type of lawn you can be proud of. We will do everything we can to ensure that you are happy with your lawn, and with our service. When people ask you who does your lawn applications, we want you to be able to recommend Turfpro with confidence.
Lawn Care Application Schedule
Early Spring Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer with a crabgrass pre-emergent. This treatment can be either a liquid or a granular application depending on the timing of the treatment. This treatment will encourage spring green up and help to prevent crabgrass and many other summer annual weeds. If any rainfall occurs, it will benefit this treatment.
Spring Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer including a broadleaf weed control. This will further improve the turf’s health and vigor and control most broadleaf weeds. Some weeds, such as clover, will typically require a second treatment for total control. Please allow 7-10 days for the weeds to show signs of this treatment. This treatment is typically done as a liquid application.
Early Summer Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer including a broadleaf weed control. This treatment will help to maintain the lawn’s color as well as clean up any remaining broadleaf weeds. Please allow 7-10 days for any weeds to show signs of this application. This treatment is typically done as a liquid application.
Grub Control- This application will prevent grub damage from occurring in the fall by controlling many different types of grub larvae, including Japanese beetle larvae. This application is typically done in conjunction with the Early Summer application to ensure proper timing. If no rainfall occurs after this treatment, watering is advisable to ensure the product penetrates the soil to where the grubs feed. With the next mowing after this treatment, leaving the clippings and not bagging will also ensure that all of the product remains in the target area. The grub control application is guaranteed as long as proper steps are followed after its application to the turf.
Summer Surface Feeding Insect Control- This application will control surface feeding insects, such as chinch bugs and sod webworms, which can cause severe damage to the turf during the summer months. This damage will normally go unnoticed, due to summer turf dormancy, until the lawn recovers in the fall. These lawn damaging pests are different then grubs and do require a different product. This application also contains a light rate of fertilizer to help sustain the turf through the summer. This application can be done as a liquid or granular treatment. Rainfall will benefit this application.
Fall Application- A complete, balanced fertilizer including a broadleaf weed control. This application will help the lawn to recover from summer stress and will control many of the summer and fall germinating weeds. Please allow 7-10 days for the weeds to show signs of this treatment. This application is typically done as a liquid application.
Late Fall/Winter Application- A fertilizer application designed to prepare the turf for the coming winter months. This treatment can be done as a liquid or granular application. Typically it will be a granular application. Light leaf cover will not effect this application. Rainfall will also benefit this treatment.
Lime- Lime helps to balance the soils Ph level. An unbalanced Ph level can lock essential nutrients and micro-nutrients in the soil. This in turn can prevent the turf from being able to properly utilize these nutrients. Lime can be done anytime during the season but is typically done in the spring or fall, or both depending on your soils needs. Rainfall will benefit this treatment.
Tree and Shrub Program
Spring and Fall Dormant Oil- This is a horticultural grade oil which is applied in the early spring, late fall, or both depending on the types of insects present and the severity of the infestation. This application is the most effective treatment for the control of scale insects but, also does an excellent job at controlling spider mites, aphids, and many other types of landscape pests as well as their eggs. This application is an integral part of any tree and shrub program.
Spring and Fall Deep Root Fertilization- This liquid fertilizer is injected directly into the soil, at the drip-line, where the plant’s feeder roots are located. This application will enhance the landscape’s health and vigor, help to develop a healthy root system, and improve the plant’s flower and foliar production.
Insecticide Soil Injection- This liquid application is excellent for controlling leaf minor damage on birch trees and American hollies as well as other varieties of damaging pests on select plant material. This application is injected into the soil and is translocated though the root system and out into the foliage. This application is done in the early spring to ensure the product has ample time to be moved throughout the plants.
Fungicide- These applications will help to control many different types of fungus and disease on the landscape. Crabapples in particular will require multiple treatments beginning at bud break. These applications will help to control diseases on crabapples such as cedar apple rust, and apple scab. Control from season to season can vary depending on the weather conditions. With the exception of the crabapples, diagnosis is usually needed to determine the type of fungus or disease that may be present and the appropriate control measures that would need to be used, if any.
Insect and Mite Control- These applications are done during the most active times for damaging landscape pests. Spider mites, aphids, bagworms, and Japanese beetles are just a few of the landscape pests that are controlled with these treatments. Different products are used for these applications depending on the time of the treatment and the target insects that are being controlled. There are three insect and mite control applications that are done from spring through the fall months.
Anti-desiccant Application- This application is applied to evergreens before the onset of the winter weather. Its purpose is to protect the sensitive evergreen foliage from severe winter wind damage due to moisture loss.
Lawn Care Beneficial Services
Flea and Tick Applications- These applications are done from the months of May thru October when fleas and ticks are active. The applications are done at 4-6 week intervals. Typically 4-5 treatments are needed in a season to ensure proper control of these pests. Less can be done but, control may be more limited. Theses applications can be done as a liquid or granular treatment. Any rainfall will benefit these treatments.
Lawn Fungicide Applications- There are many types of lawn diseases that can attack the turf throughout the season from spring red thread and leaf spot, to summer patch disease and rust. Most lawn diseases will clear up on their own with the passing of time, but, lawn diseases are very weather related. With the proper conditions they can continue to spread. The lawn fungicide application will help to control the spread of most lawn diseases. Diagnosis before treatment would be needed to determine which disease is present and the proper product that would be needed for control. In some cases more then one fungicide treatment may be needed depending on the severity. These applications can be done as a liquid or a granular treatment.
Nutsedge Control- Nutsedge is a very invasive seasonal plant. It requires very specific chemical applications and proper timing for control. This lawn intruder can take a number of seasons to control because of its growth and reproductive habits. Pulling this invader can actually make the problem worse and the amount of nutsedge can vary from season to season depending on the weather conditions. Pricing for this treatment is determined on the amount of nutsedge that is present in the turf. Usually, more then one treatment is needed to control this troublesome turf invader. This application is done as a liquid treatment.
Acclaim Application (Post-emergent crabgrass control) – Acclaim is used for the control of severe crabgrass infestations. This application is normally for lawns that have not been treated in a very long time or have had severe lawn weed problems in the past. Usually the customer is just starting a new lawn care program and the crabgrass has already germinated and is in very high population. Aeration and seeding is normally done in the fall following this treatment due to the heavy crabgrass damage to the turf and severe thinning. Similar products may be used in lieu of Acclaim depending on availability. This application is done as a liquid treatment and as the weather permits.
Aeration and Overseeding- Aerating the lawn is a very good maintenance practice. This will help to incorporate air into the soil which will allow the roots to respire, allow better water and fertilizer absorption, and help to break up and reduce thatch. Overseeding isn’t always needed but, is a common practice with the aeration to help to fill in thin turf and improve the overall appearance of your lawn. Light leaf coverage is not normally an issue with aeration and seeding. It can be done in the spring or in the fall. Typically the aeration and seeding is done in the fall because of the weather conditions. Doing the aeration and seeding in the fall will also give the young grasses a better chance to become established before the heat of the following summer. In cases where spring aeration and seeding are needed, watering is extremely important to maintain the young grasses.
Property Maintenance Services
*Weekly Mowing Service: Weekly mowing includes string trimming of the perimeter of the landscape beds, trees, walkways, driveways, around buildings, etc. Blowing clippings from hard surfaces will be performed at the end of the mowing service. Mowing will be perfomed every 7-10 days (depending on weather conditions). During conditions of drought or other circumstances, when the turf may not need to be mowed, our crew will evaluate and make the determination if the mowing would need to be skipped for that week. You would not be billed for any mowings that are skipped due to weather conditions. In the event of multiple weeks being skipped due to excessive wet conditions, and the turf has become exceedingly high, the subsequent mowing would need to be billed on an hourly basis.
**In the fall months we will need to bill for any clean up of leaves or debris with the mowing service, and the disposal of, on an as needed basis. This will be billed on an hourly rate and may be for multiple weeks depending on the amount of leaves present. If this is a service that you do not want performed you must notify the office ahead of time. We would then skip any mowing that are scheduled if the leaves and debris were too severe and would return after a clean up has been performed. If multiple weeks need to be skipped, and the grass has become extremely high, then the following mowing would be done on a time and material hourly basis.
**In an average season there are 28 mowings. This number can vary depending on the season’s weather conditions. We will continue to mow the turf until the end of the growing season unless otherwise notified. If you are a prepay customer we will honor your prepay discount for the additional mowings. If we do less mowings then you have prepaid for, we will apply the remaining monies to the next season’s services unless otherwise notified.
Bed Edging: The cost for bed edging is based on linear feet. If the bed edges need to be re-established, or are in disrepair, the initial cost for edging would be higher the first time this service is performed. Areas that are in contact with stone beds do require more labor and can sometimes require additional stones for a professional and manicured appearance. This service is normally done in the spring with the mulching or as requested. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Landscape Mulch: The cost for mulching is determined by the amount of mulch that is needed. Mulch is applied to an approx. depth of 1.5-2 inches deep. Mulching too heavily can cause plant decline. You can choose between black or brown mulch at the same pricing. Delivery and labor are included with the mulch pricing. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Bed Pre-emergence applications: This service will help to reduce the germination of annual weeds. This service can be done once in the spring or multiple times throughout the season. Perennial weeds, such as thistle or nutsedge, are not controlled by this service. This service is intended to be done in mulch beds. Stone beds may have limited results. In areas of stone a bed maintenance program would be more appropriate. The amount of weeds is greatly affected by the wetaher conditions. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified. This service is best done in conjunction with the bed maintenance program for best results.
Note: This service does not guarantee a weed-free landscape but can greatly reduce the amount of annual weeds.
Bed Maintenance: Bed maintenance is provided twice a month, or as needed/requested, to keep the beds free of weeds, debris, and spent flowers. Round-up will be applied in open areas to help to control weeds. Areas that are too close to plant material will have the weeds hand pulled. The frequency or level of service to be performed would be determined by your request. We can do just a quick cleaning or a very detailed cleaning based on your requirements. The service’s cost is based on time and material per man hour. From season to season the weeds can be better or worse dependent on the weather conditions. If extra bed maintenance is required you can call to add additional services at any time. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Spring/Fall Clean-up: These services are billed on an hourly basis with a minimal disposal fee (if applicable). The degree of the clean-up is entirely up to you. We can do an entire property clean-up or just the beds. Typically clean-ups include (but are not limited to) cleaning leaves and debris from the turf and landscape beds, cutting back of grasses and perennials, weeding of the beds, or any additional tasks that you request to be done with the service. If round up or similar products are required we will bill for the materials used. Instructions are provided to the crews for special jobs or if circumstance requires special instructions per customer requests. This is a renewable service unless otherwise notified.
Spring/Summer/Fall Shrub Trimming: Trimming and pruning of ornamental trees and landscape shrubs is extremely important to maintain their size and health. Typically, landscape maps of the property are made and each plant is labelled with instructions for the crew to follow. It is a good practice every few years to cut certain plants back harder to rejuvinate their health and vigor where other plants need to be pruned at specific times of the season to ensure maximum blooming and fullness. Our experienced staff is knowledgable in these areas. The detailed maps are included when the crew comes to your property and in special circumstances, or with more complicated lanscapes, our tree and shrub specialist will instruct the crew on site before the work is to be done. We know how important your landscape is to you and it is just as precious to us. This service does renew from season to season unless otherwise notified. If it is a specialty pruning job, or a one-time landscape resizing, this service is not renewable. The pricing for this service will be given before any work is to be performed. Specialty pruning for specimen plant material willl be perfomed by a member of our staff having the experience and knowledge of that plant material (ie. Japanese maples, coral bark maples, etc.).
One time services: We can do any of our service, excluding mowing, on a one time basis if requested. Just please be certain to inform either the representative or the office that job is a ‘one time only’ service. Our service do renew automatically unless otherwise instructed.
Winter Conformation Letters: Over the winter months we will mail out confirmation lettters to inform you of the services which are scheduled to be done in the upcoming season. These letters also give you the opportunity to take advantage of pre-pay savings and additional savings on selected services. If changes are needed to your services for the upcoming season, or if you have questions about the scheduled services, please give us a call. We can make modifications to your services or answer any questions that you may have.
*Travel times to the job site are billable for our hourly services.
*We do not perform bi-weekly mowing. Weather conditions and growth rates are too unpredictable from season to season to accurately price this type of service.
From all of us here, I want to thank you for reading through this pamphlet and considering us for your lawn and landscape needs. We strive for the highest level of quality and customer service. If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to give us a call at anytime.
Remember, when it comes to all of your lawn and landscape needs, the only word you need to know, is…