Weeds, brown patches of grass, dying plants, and holes in the lawn. Does that sound like a yard with a lot of problems? It could be the work of one tiny pest. Read on and find out how to prevent grubs in your lawn.
What Are Lawn Grubs and Why Are They Bad?
Grubs, sometimes called lawn grubs or grub worms, are the larvae of beetles. Despite their nickname, they are not really worms. They are also not welcome visitors in your yard.
When grubs hatch, they come into the world with voracious appetites. Your grass and plant roots are an immediately source of nutrition for them. These pests damage the root systems of your turf, making it hard for the grass to absorb the necessary nutrients and water. Even a healthy lawn cannot survive an uncontrolled infestation of lawn grubs.
Signs of Grub Damage
- Dying plants or ones with wilted leaves and stems.
- Patches of dead or browning grass.
- Spongy turf underfoot.
- The turf test: Take a handful of grass and pull gently. Does the turf peel back like a loose carpet?
- A noticeable increase in weeds.
- Holes in the ground from burrowing rodents and other animals that feed on pests.
- Finally, the grubs themselves. Whitish or white-gray in color, they are plump worm-like creatures that curl up in a “C” shape when disturbed. They are most noticeable after you do the turf test.
How to Prevent Grubs in Your Lawn
Grubs are not a serious problem unless there are enough of them. A healthy lawn can handle a few of them without sustaining damage. However, if you find at least six or more per square foot, your yard is in danger of serious damage. So what can you do to prevent grubs in your lawn?
- First, keep your lawn healthy with regular maintenance. A healthy, well-fertilized lawn is strong enough to withstand some grub activity, and at the same time, it isn’t the best environment in which pests can thrive.
- Don’t overwater. In order for beetle eggs to hatch into grubs, they need a moist environment. By cutting back on your watering, you may cut back on grubs.
- Put down roots. Grasses that form deeper root systems, like tall fescue, don’t require as much watering, and therefore, the grubs won’t find the moist environment they love. Also, these longer roots aren’t as easily damaged by feeding grubs. Shallow rooted grasses are among the first to succumb to grub damage.
- Beneficial nematodes are a natural way to fight some yard pests, including grubs. A small amount of these microscopic worm-like creatures already exist in your soil and love to dine on grub larvae. However, there are both bad and good nematodes, so make sure you are working with the right ones when you want to reduce your grub population.
- Lastly, there are plenty of pest control products available in stores. When used correctly, some are effective in controlling a grub population and preventing infestations in the future.
Call Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone] and we’ll help you prevent grubs and other pests from attacking your lawn.
Winter is on its way out. As the snow and ice melt away, your lawn may be left in lackluster condition. The colder season is tough on your turf, but adding more grass seed to a lawn can breath new life into your landscaping and repair winter damage. However, when it comes to proper seeding practices, timing is everything. You may be wondering if you should seed the lawn in spring?
Winter Wear and Tear on Your Turf
Your lawn experiences a great deal of wear and tear during the winter months. After the snow retreats, snow mold and other diseases, brown spots, bare spots, and matted or thinning areas become more apparent. The heavy snow, brutal ice, fluctuating temperatures, salt, and hungry animals and insects of winter all take a toll. But you can bring it back to beautiful by using a technique well known to lawn care specialists–overseeding. Overseeding is the process of adding grass seed to existing turf in order to enhance its color, thickness, and overall health.
Seed the Lawn in Spring
The best time to seed a lawn is usually in the fall, but a weary winter lawn can benefit from spring overseeding. The cooler temperatures of fall and spring prevent the seedlings from drying out, and these two seasons provide enough sun and rain to give cool-weather grasses proper growing conditions. Although seeding in the spring is a little more challenging than in fall, these tips help to achieve the best results.
Setting the Scene for Seeding
If you choose to seed the lawn in spring consider doing so early in the season–the beginning of April is the best time. This lets the lawn get a head start in competing with persistent weeds.
Determine your turf type. Before you take on any seeding project, identify the kind of grass in the existing lawn. A professional can help you with this. Cool weather grasses like bentgrass, bluegrass, ryegrass, tall fescue, and fine fescue typically thrive in areas that temperatures drop below freezing.
Consider spot seeding. For something as small as a few bare patches, spot seeding is a simple solution. First, be certain that the damage is not from insects or rodents, because that is a different problem. Use a rake to get rid of dead grass and loosen up the soil. Then, spread the grass seed over the area. You can use a thin layer of mulch or a seed starter mat to keep the seeds in place in the beginning.
Prepare your turf properly for overseeding. This requires mowing the grass shorter than usual, dethatching, amending the soil if necessary, and possibly aeration.
On-going care. Water regularly to create a moist environment for germination and stimulate root growth. Also, take care to minimize weed growth while the new grass is still vulnerable.
To Seed or Not to Seed
Sometimes a lawn only needs a little tender loving care to get back to a thick lush look. Matted grass can be raked to allow sun and air to better reach it. And fertilizer often helps with the healing process. But what do you do when your turf needs more than TLC, or you just don’t know where to start? Severely damaged lawns in need of major renovation require professional attention. Either way, the advice of an expert never hurts.
Want to green up your grass after the harsh winter months? Start now by calling Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] for tips and helpful information to seed the lawn in spring.