Watering Heat Stressed Lawns

Lawn Alert

July 2018

Lot’s of folks have been asking if they should continue to water their brown lawns. This is what Uncle recommends.

If your lawn is looking great: You have been watering routinely, continue your normal watering cycles, and you get a gold star for staying ahead of the game. Don’t change a thing.

If your lawn is brown and toasty: You’ve been away on vacation or just couldn't find the time or money to keep ahead of the watering, it is okay to allow your lawn to go dormant in this heat. Dormancy is a good thing, that’s Mother Nature’s way of helping the grass plant to survive. An established yard can survive drought periods for a few weeks, but high heat and wind can really mess things up.

We would encourage you to water 1 to 2 inches every other week to keep the roots alive. We’re not trying to green it up, just helping the roots and crowns to survive the summer furnace blast. Water in the morning hours to help reduce evaporation. If you need to mow, mow high and try to keep foot traffic to a minimum.

Save yourself $500 water bills this month and next. You can use half of it for seed this fall and send the other half to the Royals relief fund.

How Can I Kill Japanese Beetles?

Why Do You Always See the Japanese beetles in swarms?

Plant odors attract both sexes to potential food sites. Japanese beetle feeding produces odors which act as pheromones to attract other Japanese beetles to the area to feed and mate. Pheromones are chemical odors used by insects to communicate.

Where Did They Come From?

Originally from Asia, Japanese beetles were brought over to the United States in 1917 into New Jersey. Currently the insect can be found established in all states east of the Mississippi River, except for Florida and Louisiana.

How Can I Kill Japanese beetles?

To kill the adult stage Japanese beetle contact insecticides that can be used are:
  • Cyonara 
  • Bifen 
  • Malathion
Always read the instructions and apply as directed from the label for any pesticide.

What about Japanese Beetle Traps?

Japanese beetle traps do work in that they capture adult beetles. However, placement is critical. DO NOT place the traps near any plant material you do NOT want the beetles feeding on. Although the trap is quite effective in attracting the beetle, only about 70 percent of the beetles end up in the trap. In addition, pheromone traps attract more beetles to your property than would have visited your property naturally. Research has shown that putting the traps in the perimeter of the property well away from valuable plantings or vulnerable crops may be the best use of the traps. Traps work better if you also get your neighbors to set out traps. Use a community-wide approach of 25 to 50 traps per square mile.

To kill the grub stage of Japanese and Southern Chafer beetle or white grub, timing of application is critical.

  • Preventative Control for grubs is Long Lasting Grub Control Designed to be applied before a potential grub problem develops. Normally applied in late June to early July and effective against the baby grubs as they hatch. 
  • Curative control for grubs is Quick Kill Grub Control containing Dylox. Normally applied in August or September, after the eggs have hatched and grubs are present. Very fast acting with a short active life. Water heavily after application to penetrate thatch.

5 Things You Should be doing for Summer Lawn Survival

Times can get a little hectic in the summer. Lots of things on your mind with summer vacations, holidays and kids out of school. Don't forget about the hard work you put into the lawn this spring, so here are 5 reminders to ensure your lawn's summer survival.

1. Summer weed pressure. Now is the time those ugly summer weeds will move into the lawn. Walk around your lawn and identify your weeds to determine your mode of control. Dandelions, clover, maple and elm sprouts along with other broadleaf weeds can be controlled with spot spraying using Speedzone or a granular application of Loveland Weed and Feed. If your lawn has a mix of broadleaf weeds and crabgrass, Uncle’s Q-bomb will control both weed types in one simple spray solution. Summer time is also the season for nutgrass invasions. Typically showing up in areas with poor drainage, nutgrass or yellow nutsedge can be a little more difficult to control. Uncle’s Nut Buster will control nutgrass. Nutgrass is a little slower to react while Nut Buster is being absorbed deep into the nutlets. Nutgrass tops will start to yellow and fade in 7-10 days.

Yellow Nutsedge
2. Summer lawn food. If it’s been more than a month since you fed the lawn, it may be time to give it a little summer boost. Uncle's Green Love  the ideal summer lawn fertilizer. Slow release formula containing iron, will not burn plants, and will green up your lawn fast and not make it grow six inches a week. Providing iron will keep grass deep dark green for a long time. Green Love contains organically complex iron and won't discolor concrete.

3. Summer Critter Gitters. Summer is for more family time on the patio and in the yard. Control chiggers, ticks, fleas and ants using liquid Cyanora around the lawn and spraying up onto the house will help to control a broad spectrum of biting insects. If you have butterfly gardens nearby, use granular Critter Gitter on the lawn and water it in. This will help to prevent any overspray into the flower bed because not all bugs are bad. 

July is also the time to apply Long Lasting Grub Control into the lawn. Absorbed by the roots of the grass plant, Long Lasting Grub Control will protect your lawn from damaging white grubs during their hatch this fall. Mama and Papa June bug are making babies now and soon those eggs will hatch into hungry baby grubs. Baby grubs are voracious and feed on yummy grass roots.

4. Summer Turf Fungus. Frequent night time rains and high humidity this summer create ideal situations for brown patch and other turf diseases. Early application of Fungus Fighter is your best defense against disease, but sometimes it gets missed and you will need a curative application. Fungus Fighter will not turn a brown lawn green, but it will keep the disease in check, preventing it from spreading. Remember, you will need to reapply Fungus Fighter about every 21-28 days to maintain control. 

5. Shade Grass. In those established lawns with heavy shade, summer months are the time to deep water those areas. Big trees will use up much-needed water from your soil, leaving less water for your grass. Re-seeding shaded areas with additional Premium Shade Mix will help fight weed pressure.

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How To Lay Sod in Four Simple Steps

Grass Pad Bluegrass Sod
In the age of instant gratification, turf grass sod provides the “instant lawn.” Sod is to grass seed what pop tarts are to breakfast. Homeowners who want to have instant green grass by tomorrow should consider bluegrass or fescue sod instead of grass seed.

On established homes, sod is an excellent choice for certain problem areas. Small patches around the driveway or patio that have been damaged over the winter months are easily repaired with sod. Garden patches or flower beds that are being replaced or redesigned will be immediately transformed into lawn. In areas where washouts and erosion are a problem, sod is a natural choice.

Around the house, in front of gutter downspouts or on slopes where grass seed will be washed away, sod is the problem solver. Dog runs, play grounds, tire tracks, gasoline or fertilizer burns, all are common problems for which sod is the answer.

How to Install Sod: GREEN SIDE UP!
  1. Grading: Sod should be installed on smooth, even ground. The ground should be bare, firm and free of rocks. Once the soil is smooth and level, apply gypsum to the bare soil (40 lbs per 1,000 sqft). 
  2. Installing: The rolls should be placed tightly together with the seams staggered. The outermost edges of the sod should not be exposed, cover them with soil or place them at ground level. Anchor with sod staples on steep slopes. 
  3. Fertilizing: Your new sod must be fertilized at installation. In March - June apply PREVENT! crabgrass pre-emergent with fertilizer. Reapply in 4 weeks. This will suppress crabgrass and foxtail in the seams and cracks between the rolls. In July - February apply LOVELAND GOLF COURSE STARTER fertilizer or RENOVATOR. Re-apply 4 weeks later. 
  4. Watering Fresh Sod: The most important step in any successful sod job. Fresh sod must be watered at once and kept wet for two to three weeks. Homeowners should plan to water sod at least twice a day for one hour at a setting during the hottest part of the day. Sod should be sloppy wet after installation and continually when temperatures are above 80° the first two weeks. 
  5. How much water is enough? Use the wet beach towel test. Place a wet beach towel on your driveway and see how fast it dries out. On hot windy days, the beach towel and the sod can dry out in hours. The beach towel will not die, the sod will. 
  6. Mowing: After installation the grass blades will be horizontal. With proper watering, in 10 to 14 days, your sod will begin to stand up. Mow sod as often as needed with a sharp blade and your mower on the highest setting. Water sod immediately after mowing. 

A few more tips:
Sod is guaranteed to die, unless you water for the 1st hour.
In warm spring weather, sod begins to heat up in the roll as soon as it is cut. The better the sod, the sooner it begins to heat up. Sod that cannot be installed promptly should be unrolled in the shade and watered until the project is ready to start.

How big is a roll of sod?
  • 1 roll of Blue Wave bluegrass or Heat Wave fescue sod is apprx. 9 square ft. 
  • 1 roll of sod weighs apprx. 25 lbs. We can usually fit about 10 in an average trunk 
  • 1 pallet of Blue Wave sod or Heat Wave sod has 50-56 rolls 
  • 1 pad of zoysia sod is apprx. 3 square feet 1.5' wide x 2' long 
  • 1 pallet of zoysia sod has aprx 90 pads 
Sod delivery is available, contact your nearest Grass Pad location for more information.
How much sod do I need?

Control Bagworms in Junipers Now!

Got Bagworms?  

You’ve seen them hanging from evergreens and spruce trees every summer. With our mild temperatures last winter you can expect record numbers. Left unchecked bagworm populations will grow to damaging levels very quickly. One bagworm can produce over 1,000 baby bagworms.

Bagworm eggs overwinter on the leaves and needles of a host plant and hatch in late spring to early summer. The best time to control bagworms is immediately after hatch, while bagworms are still small. Liquid controls will penetrate their cocoon bags more effectively when they are young. During the egg hatch until the bagworm is about the size of a pencil eraser are the most effective times to kill bagworms with a liquid application using one of Grass Pad's Critter Gitters such as Cyonara or Bifen.

Do it now! Spray liquid Critter Gitter while temperatures are still mild, and the bagworms are small for best control. Junipers and Spruce are bagworm magnets, but bagworms will feed on just about any plant. To apply, mix Grass Pad Critter Gitter according to label specifications, then saturate the leaves and needles thoroughly spraying the ground under trees and bushes is also recommended. Liquid Critter Gitter is also useful for control of fleas, ticks, ants, cricket and chiggers in the lawn.