Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crabgrass Menace

# weed control Crabgrass is up and affecting lawns. Lighter green foliage that does not blend well with the darker greens of desirable lawn grasses is one reason people feel crabgrass is a weed. Here we see crabgrass sprouting in a lawn.

Crabgrass likes warm soil. Most often it is found along the edges of the lawn -especially where the grass abuts concrete or asphalt walks or driveways. The hard surfaces hold the heat and transfer the warmth to the soil nearby. Coupled with the fact that the lawn tends to be weaker at the edges, makes these spots ideal for crabgrass to grow.

In this lawn, one may think that crabgrass is the problem. In reality, the crabgrass growing here is a symptom of a weak lawn. This patch of crabgrass is in a sunny, open location. Yes, that is the type of situation that crabgrass likes. But, I believe crabgrass is here because the lawn is weak. I don't believe the lawn is poor because of the crabgrass.

Sure enough, there were a number of chinch bug nymphs crawling through this area.(not the best photo, but they don't stop to pose, no matter how politely you ask). Not a lot yet, but much of the damage was from last year. This year the nymphs are just starting. My point is that this area was damaged by chinch bugs in the past, which weakened the lawn, which allowed the crabgrass to invade.

To reduce the risk of crabgrass, do protect your lawn from pests. Then do those things to keep your lawn healthy and dense- regular quality fertilizations, overseeding as needed. Also proper mowing and watering. For crabgrass, a mowing height of 3" is important. The longer grass blades will shade the soil and keep it cooler. This will favour desirable turfgrasses and discourage crabgrass.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Black Medic- an Indicator Weed>

Black medic is similar to white clover in that you often find it growing in low fertility, low maintenance sites

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fiesta Weed Control Before and After Pics

Turf King has been using Fiesta weed control . Check out these before and after photos on a lawn treated a short while ago..
Fiesta weed control before and after photo. First photo was taken June 15th, before treatment.

Second photo, June 23rd. Not perfect but such a huge difference.

Call Turf King 905.318.6677

White Grub Report

In  the 7th edition of the "Turf Management Report" sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Pam Charbonneau  reports on: 

New on the insect front this week are European chafer flights.  They began roughly a week ago and were pretty much right on time.  Flights have been heavy all week. I have spent roughly a half hour every night over the last week at dusk observing the adult emergence and flights.  I really should get a life.   I think people are surprised at how many adults are flying, but that is usually the situation in a wet year.  The grubs were there, but there was very little turf damage.

Here at Turf King we received an email from someone who has been seeing adult flights as well.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Eliminate Violets from your Lawn with new Product

– Jun 14, 2010 – With nearly 32 million acres of lawn grasses in the United States making it the largest irrigated crop in the country, it is estimated that over twenty million homeowners use different types of lawn products, every year.
A Michigan lawn care specialist, Shane Schultz, has obtained patent pending status on an all natural control process for sporadic bunches of violets that are considered weeds in lawns. This very common pest is one of the most difficult problems, as the plants are much stronger then grasses. When a lawn is thin, violet weeds can move right in. Most homeowners become convinced, after years of failure, that it is impossible to eliminate violets in their lawn.
         The new product offering , called Vio-less is all natural and when applied directly to the heart shaped leaves of the target, eliminates the plants in only two days, most importantly, they do not return. This is much faster then any other known treatment and the new powerful product is completely non toxic. Current available products rarely eliminate
the purple and white flowering plants completely and they can grow, again. Online, there are hundreds of blogs, where users seek advice on how to get rid of weeds in their lawn. Common questions, most often involve the toughest kind of weeds, like the violet and safer alternatives then chemicals .  
                 The new Vio-less product is available at several online sites, on a service which helps entrepreneurs’ establish business to business partnerships and on Ebay in the weed control listing.  Future plans are to offer the product at major lawn and garden retailers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

White Grub Sense

Found a White Grub in a lawn today. The customer says that this week a 6-10 inch circle appeared in the lawn . The grass was not completely dead or yellow, but looked dry. About 30-40% of the grass blades had turned brown thus creating a noticeable difference within her lawn.

The sod was easy to pull up. In each of 2 of these circles, I found a single white grub. This seems either early or late?


One lawn expert says that the look of the grub's exoskeleton is "crinkled" which would indicate that it is ready to pupate. The peak adult flights are about 2 weeks away, so the timing seems to be right on.

The raster end of the grub identifies it as a European chafer larva. White grubs can be from European chafer, Japanese beetle, or the June beetle (June bug).

Nowadays in Ontario, the only thing you can legally use to treat white grubs is Nematodes.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Sarritor for Sale - at Bargain Prices

Weed control product for sale. Saw this on craiglist. What is the reason?

Not working, not enough weeds available, too much product, other alternatives.

Sarritor Bags (Commercial size) - $95 (Vaughan)

Date: 2010-06-02, 5:31PM EDT
Reply to:

Sarritor Organic Weed Control 15 - 7.5kg bags left, They have been kept in a deep freezer which is required to ensure they remain very fresh.
Works well on dandelion, plantain, clover and thistle. With the warm spring, and good rains, it's time to get moving.
Willing to sell at a very good price (much cheaper than retail)
Sold by the bag or buy the whole lot. Sells for 29.95 for only a small 350 g bottle in retail stores (that will hardly treat 100 sq ft.)- The bags I have for sale are 7500 gram (7.5kg) bags which would be worth about 640.00 at retail pricing, but are only 95.00 obo each incl tax 

Yellow Slime Mould on Lawns

This morning found some yellow patches on the lawn. Further investigation confirmed that this is slime mould.

"This disease does not infect grass tissues. It feeds on bacteria and decaying organic matter. It will not harm turfgrass. As soon as continuous sunny dry weather occurs, the disease will disappear. Light raking or disruption by brushing will hasten its eradication. No fungicidal control is necessary. Hope this info helps."
Thanks, Chuck

According to Pam, "Slime mould.  It comes in many colours - black, grey, yellow and it climbs up the sides of turf blades but doesn't do any damage.  It usually is seen right after a rain."

See also

The Lawn Experts

Friday, June 4, 2010

Uneven fertilization

This lawn, while at first glance appears to be in good shape, does show some areas that are greener and more lush than others. Certainly, different soil, moisture, light/shade, competition with other plants, and other factors will lead to differences in lawn density and colouration.

In this case however, there is a pattern to the darker grass. If you look closely, you will see that this has been caused by a fertilizer spreader.

Either the granules are not flowing evenly, or the passes with the spreader are not properly spaced.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Fiesta Results

Some pics of Fiesta applied about 5-7 days ago. Dandelions especially turn black very quickly and dry up and disappear.

Here is a before and after comparison - second photo about 16 hours later.

Some pics of Fiesta applied about 5-7 days ago. Dandelions especially turn black very quickly and dry up and disappear.

Some dandelions are gone completely, some are trying to regrow. Not a perfect weed control. But at least provides an opportunity for the grass to take back some of the lawn.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Turf Disease- Dead Spots on the Lawn?

Lots of lawns are suffering from the hot humid weather of last week. Temperatures were close to 30 C. These sorts of conditions put the lawns to a great deal of stress. This patch of lawn was newly sodded either this spring or last fall.

Large areas have turned brown. According to the homeowner, this happened very quickly.

Pythium is a disease that can be highly contagious and does spread quickly. Often, the lawn mower can be a caouse of spreading the disease. In this situation, you can see the marks left by the mower wheels in the lawn. Where the disease was spread by the blades and mower body the pattern is less distinct.


Some cases the lawn deteriorates quickly. Most often, the lawn will recover, but it may take some time. Overseeding will help to fill in some of the damaged areas.

To prevent further spread, refrain from watering that will leave the lawn damp through the night hours. Do not mow when the lawn is wet or in hot temperatures. Mow at 3" high minimum. Use a slow release fertilizer. We'd recommend something with 75% slow release nitrogen. Finally, mow the diseased areas last to minimize spread to the healthy parts.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Scale on Purple Sand Cherry

Scale Insects
Stan emailed us regarding his Purple Sand Cherries (Prunus cistena). They were dying and he found spots on the stems.

Closer inspection did reveal the scale insects. The young ones were out on the stem. The mature ones could be seen in their darker, larger shells.

Treatment is recommended to prevent damage to the shrubs.

Turf King