Summer is almost here, and the pressures of the environment are starting to take a toll on turfgrass. With a good set of eyes and a little know how, you can stop these problems before they become an issue.
Summer annuals are in full bloom so make sure you spray the weeds now to prevent them from seeding. You can move toward a lush lawn that is weed free in roughly three seasons if you consistently reduce the weed populations and strengthen your turf.
Fungal diseases are starting to be more prevalent in June especially red thread. Red thread is a common cool season fungus that causes turf death. The disease pattern is easy to spot in lawns. Red thread derives its name from its unique damage pattern like appears similar to actual red thread. The spots can be up to a few inches in diameter and will pock the lawn in a random pattern. Turf is most vulnerable to red thread under low fertility conditions, so simply go out and fertilize. Note: fungicide can be used in extreme cases.
Insect activity in turf is generally low in June. But it is important to check your ornamentals for insect damage. A common bug called the boxwood leafminer, is very active during the month of June. These flies lay eggs inside of the boxwood leaves and the larvae eat the tissue from the inside out. If you look at the undersides of the leaves you can see orange or brown spots spread throughout the plant. If you tear a leaf apart through one of those spots you’ll be able to see small orange worms. Those are the leafminer larvae. Boxwood leafminers cause permanent damage to leaves, can be fatal to the plant, and spread like crazy. Imidacloprid based systemic insecticides are very effective on leaf miners. Make sure you mix your systemic insecticides with fertilizer. This will cause the plant to take up the insecticide more effectively.