This has been a trying growing season to date with periods of excessive high temperatures to excessive moisture often causing growing problems. In terms of lawn care, some problems to be on the lookout for include fungus problems like Brown Patch, Red Thread and leaf spot diseases. Cooperative Extension can help identify some of these fungus problems. If isolated to certain areas in the lawn you might be able to treat with registered fungicides for some control following exact instructions on product label. If total lawn is heavily involved, perhaps a lawn care company might be needed.
When we face dry periods, if you water your lawn, always water before 5 p.m. so that the lawn dries before sun set as late evening watering fosters growth of fungus problems. This holds true for flowers, vegetables and shrubs as well.
Grubs in the lawn are a major problem this year as the Japanese beetle adults, who are munching on your raspberries, grapes, and other plants, will testify! These beetles are just one type of grub. Before you attempt any treatment, do a sampling to discover the extent of the grubs in your lawn. Simply dig out a one square foot section of sod in few spots and count the number of grubs present-if the number is less than eight, you probably don’t have to treat. But if more than eight grubs are counted per square foot, then treatment with a grub killing product is necessary to limit feeding damage to the turf. Please remember, as with all pesticide products, to read product labels very closely and apply accordingly.
In terms of home pesticide use, when chemical pesticide products are thought necessary to use, always read product labels to be sure you are purchasing the right products. Cooperative Extension can be of assistance with this. A big factor in this is to use registered chemicals as a last resort for pest (insect, disease, weed, rodent) control and all other attempted measures have not given results. When using pesticides in the summer, it is crucial to avoid making applications when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. In terms of applying weed control products to lawns at temperatures above 80, the products can give off a vapor that can drift upward causing tree leaf damage or drift to nearby flowers or shrubs.
When purchasing pesticide products, especially liquid products, purchase the smallest amount possible to help limit winter storage problems. When applying weed control products, always dedicate a separate sprayer for application since you can never totally wash herbicides from sprayers and the residue remaining in tank could cause harm to plants that might be sprayed when applying other products.
Summer pruning is a practice many gardeners follow. This season, with the ample moisture conditions earlier, seemed to cause several bursts of growth for plants. However, use caution in pruning at this time of year and lightly prune to keep some plants in bounds and avoid extensive pruning practices. Extensive pruning is best performed when plants are in the dormant state in late winter to early spring.