The other night at dusk I was taking my dog for a walk and noticed many tan-colored moths flying up out of the grass. From past experience, I know that what I was seeing was the annual emergence of vagabond sod webworm moths. They come out in large numbers and cause considerable concern for many homeowners and turf managers. They think their lawns are being attacked by the more serious sod webworm moths. Actually, the moths are not a concern from a feeding standpoint. They don’t feed, so they don’t […]
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Tar Spot on maples is an occasional tree disease that can cause concern for customers who have maple trees on their property, especially Norway, Red and Silver Maples. The black spots look like someone spilled tar in big drops on the leaves and can cause the leaves to fall early in August or September. Tar Spot begins in the spring or early summer and develops light green to yellow green spots on the upper leaf surface. During the summer, black, tar-like structures form within the yellow spots. The spots can […]
Several years ago, more than I want to remember, when I was working on a lawn in the Chicago suburban area, I was walking close to a house and saw something very unusual in the landscape bed that was covered in mulch. At first, I thought a child had been playing in the area, became ill, and vomited in the spot. I didn’t think much about it at first, but each time I walked by the spot, I became more intrigued with what I was looking at in this mulch […]
I guess the answer to this question depends on your perspective. If you are a homeowner, you hope that it is not a good year for grubs. If you are in the lawn service industry, you want the preventative products you applied earlier in the summer to have worked so the lawns you treated are protected, but you don’t mind the extra revenue that comes from selling grub control treatments, so you are hoping for a good year for grubs. From the grubs’ perspective, I guess they are hoping that […]
I know discussing bugs and diseases is not at the top of most people’s lists, but sometimes something happens that I find fascinating. I am not sure anyone else will have the same opinion, but finding out weird things about critters like Japanese beetles that feed on lawns or landscapes can be interesting. I subscribe to several newsletters from major universities and one of them is the Ohio State Buckeye Yard and Garden Line. In the issue that came out on August 29 there was a reference to a second […]
For those people who live in the northern climates and grow cool-season grasses in their lawns, late summer into early fall is the best time for overseeding a lawn. The summer takes its toll on cool season grasses, such as bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescues and tall fescue, and they often become thinned out due to heat, drought, insect feeding and damage from diseases. Almost every cool-season lawn would benefit from being overseeded at this time of year. Successful overseeding requires more than just spreading some seed across your lawn. […]
The August 27th issue of the Wall Street Journal had an article in the Personal Journal section titled Better Ways to Battle Weeds, written by Anne Marie Chaker. In the article, Ms. Chaker wrote, “Weeds are bigger and badder this year in most states east of the Rocky Mountains than in recent memory, horticulture experts say. A particularly wet growing season, following a mild winter and last year’s dry summer, has helped weeds flourish, weather experts say.” She goes on to describe many weeds that seem to be flourishing this […]
I recently received a picture of a maple tree from one of our franchisees whose customer was asking about some cracks that were developing in the trunk. Nothing can take the place of seeing something in person, but I can usually provide a fairly good estimate of what is happening to a lawn or landscape plant from a picture. Even after 35 years in lawn care, I am still learning new things. I was visiting one of our franchisees, Kent Fisher, in Green wood, IN. We were out looking at […]
At our recently held National Training Conference, we had a tradeshow for our many equipment and product vendors. One of our Franchisees asked the representatives of FMC Professional Solutions why there were so many nutsedge plants this year. It was a good question and one that I had asked myself. I am very observant of what is growing in lawns and landscapes wherever I travel and it seems to me that nutsedge has run rampant this year. FMC makes several weed prevention products that the lawn care industry uses to […]
I often receive pictures from franchisees or from the general public of an evergreen tree that appears to be dying. Although evergreen diseases generally cause a certain pattern when they affect a tree, it sometimes is difficult to provide an exact diagnosis without seeing the tree in person. For example, in the picture to the right, it appears that this Blue Spruce is suffering from a disease, but then again it could be caused by an insect as well. In this case, the franchisee included a close-up picture of the […]