White grubs are turf pests found throughout North Carolina. It is not uncommon to find 10 or more grubs per square foot feeding on grass roots. Heavily infested turf wilts or dies, often leaving the lawn feeling soft and spongy. Grubs may feed for several months before any turf damage becomes visible. Severely damaged turf may be rolled back like a carpet because its root system has been destroyed. Bluegrass and bentgrass are the varieties most seriously attacked, but all grasses are susceptible.
Because of their underground feeding habits, white grubs are more difficult to detect and control than many of the pests that feed above ground. If they are promptly detected and identified, they can be controlled through treatments applied at the appropriate time.
The timing of the insecticide application is critical if control is to be effective. There are two approaches, preventative and curative. Some of the newer products (Merit® and Mach 2®) are preventative, and are most effective when applied prior to when the eggs are laid. Now is the time to consider making these preventative treatments as the end of April and 1st of May is ausually an ideal time for this area .
March 2013 has officially arrived and we are just days away from seeing some warmer temperatures and grass beginning to green up here in central North Carolina. Now is the time to apply Spring/Summer pre-emergent products for the control of crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail and other summer annual weeds. In the Triangle are of NC, we generally see crabgrass germination when the average daily soil temperature reaches and maintains 55 degrees and goosegrass at 60 degrees. We are only days and a couple of weeks from seeing this. Call us today to schedule your application or to receive a free quote on our turf maintenance services to keep your lawn looking good, green and healthy this year.
Now is the time of year to make winter annual weed control applications for warm season turf. Our staff is currently spraying a post & pre-emergent foliar spray application for the control of winter annual broadleaf weeds and poa annua. This will leave your dormant turf completely brown and weed free during the winter months. We get many phone calls this time of year wanting to know what the green spray is on lawns. We use a spray dye indicator, so our technicians assure complete coverage of lawns with no missed areas in coverage. If you want your warm season turf clean this winter, then give us a call at 919-934-3554. We service Johnston & Wake Counties to include Smithfield, Clayton, Garner, Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Fuquay Varina and surrounding areas.
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Fall is the time for planting in Raleigh, Cary and surrounding areas of The Triangle in NC. If you have been thinking about a new addition or refurbishment to your existing landscape, please give us a call at 919-934-3554 or use our easy contact form on our website. Our Landscape Director will be glad to meet with you and discuss the many options from landscape design to installation and maintenance. We are a FULL service landscape company located in Smithfield NC servicing Wake & Johnston Counties to include Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Clayton, Smithfield & beyond. We are a registered landscape contractor with staff that hold certified plant professional and certified turfgrass professional certificates. We look forward to talking with you soon.
Now is the time be completing a Fall Renovation service of Fescue lawns. Our service involves dethatching, core aeration with applications of lime and starter fertilizer and seeding of a triple-blend tall Fescue. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call our office at (919)-934-3554 or simply fill out the on-line request form.
Fall armyworms are sporadic pests in North Carolina turfgrass most years. Dry and hot years often make them a more serious problem as the armyworms will migrate towards irrigated turf since everything else is brown and less desirable. So while the numbers may not be any higher, their concentration around turfgrass can be much higher. The following information provides some insight into their biology and management. We will post alerts if we get any reports of actual damage.
The fall armyworm is a continuous resident of Central America, tropical South America and the West Indies. During mild winters, it may overwinter in coastal areas of southern Florida and Texas. Each spring, the fall armyworm spreads from these areas into the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and westward into southern New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The larvae are green, brown, or almost black. The dark head is marked with a yellow inverted “Y”. There is a longitudinal black stripe along each side of the body and a faint narrow middorsal stripe. There are four black dots on the dorsal side of each abdominal segment. Fully grown larvae range between 1.38 and 1.97 in (35 – 50mm) long. The reddish brown – black pupae are about 0.5 in (13mm) long and are found in the soil. Adult moths have front wings that are dark gray mottled with light and dark markings. There is a white blotch near the tip of each front wing. The back wings are white.
The fall armyworm is most commonly associated with damage to bermudagrasses in the southern United States. However, it also feeds on fescue, ryegrasses, bentgrasses, bluegrass, and various small grain and grass crops. Infestations are associated with lush, green, dense grass. Problems most commonly occur in late summer and fall.
Larvae feed on all above-ground plant parts. Younger larvae skeletonize the most tender leaf tissue. Older larvae may consume most or all of the leaf tissue. Larvae move in groups from consumed areas to new areas. After fall armyworm feeding, bermudagrass, with proper management, usually regenerates. Feeding on cool-season grasses such as fescue and bluegrass may result in permanent damage.
Adult moths are most active at night and are attracted to lights. Light-colored objects adjacent to turf, such as flags on golf greens, goal posts, metal gutters and metal fences on athletic fields are favorite sites for egg deposition. Eggs hatch in 2-10 days. After 2-3 weeks, fully grown larvae burrow into the soil to pupate. Moths emerge in 10-14 days. Flocks of birds feeding consistently in turf areas may indicate fall armyworm presence. If no larvae are seen, examine the turf for green fecal pellets and larvae. Soap flushes can be used to bring larvae to the surface. Except for home lawns and golf greens and tees, infested areas of less than 1,000 ft2 (92.9 m2) are seldom treated.
Control of fall armyworms will be improved if you cut the turf prior to treating. A light irrigation prior to treatment may also help as will treating late in the day. Large fall armyworms are difficult to control. Don’t expect 90% control. Pyrethroids will do a reasonable job as will Sevin (carbaryl) and even Orthene (acephate) against small worms. Products like Mach 2 will also control some worms, but don’t expect miracles, especially if the worms are allowed to feed and grow for a week or so before treating. In warm weather the caterpillar can go from egg to pupa in around 2 weeks. If the worms are very large (inch and a half long) then they will go into the soil very soon to pupate and control efforts may be a waste of time.
The key to finishing out this year with success against fall armyworm is to stay on top of the problem.
by Diane Silcox and Rick Brandenburg
Our staff will begin core aerification services very soon.
Aeration is one of the most important cultural practices available for your lawn. Aeration helps control thatch, improves the soil structure, helps create growth pockets for new roots, and opens the way for water and fertilizer to reach the root zone of your lawn. The end result is a beautiful lawn.
HOW AERATION WORKS: Aeration removes thousands of small cores of soil 1″ to 3″ in length from your lawn. These cores “melt” back into the lawn after a few rainfalls, mixing with whatever thatch exists on your lawn. The holes created by aeration catch fertilizer and water. Turf roots naturally grow toward these growth pockets and thicken in the process. Aeration holes also relieve pressure from compacted soils, letting oxygen and water move freely into the root zone.
REGULAR AERATION CAN HELP AVOID COSTLY LAWN RENOVATION: Thatch on your lawn works like a thatched roof. This layer of roots, stems and other plant parts shed water and prevents fertilizers and insect controls from moving freely into the soil. Thatch that is too heavy can make major lawn renovation necessary. Regular aeration helps thatch break down naturally by mixing the soil cores into the thatch and speeding up decomposition. Performed once or twice per year, aeration significantly reduces thatch and improves turf growth. Barefoot and Associates is here to help provide any service your lawn may need, so call us today to discuss how aeration can help keep your lawn looking good!
Core-aerification of turf. **Note: If your lawn has irrigation, all heads and valve boxes should be clearly marked and if you have an underground dog fence, the perimeter of the fence should be marked also. We will not be held liable for the underground dog fence if damage occurs.