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Listen-in To Garden Radio April 26

This Saturday morning around 8:00 am EDT, I will be a guest on my friend Tom MacCubbin’s Florida “Better Lawns and Garden” Radio Show. (Click here to open his radio show website where you will be able to listen in.)

Former Extension Agents Tom MacCubbin and Ashton Ritchie share a laugh during a video shoot for Tom’s website: http://www.hisandhersgardening.com

Former Extension Agents Tom MacCubbin and Ashton Ritchie share a laugh during a video shoot for Tom’s website: http://www.hisandhersgardening.com

Spring Grub Questions

Lots of grub questions this spring!

When is the best time to put down GrubEx?

The number 1 question I get in spring is when is the best time to apply GrubEx since the package says to apply spring to late summer? You will also note a direction on the package to not apply to waterlogged soils and to water after application. Since the soils tend to be very wet this time of year and since the grubs will not be laying their eggs until summer, I asked our researchers when they apply GrubEx to their lawns. Their answer: Early May. (If you are reading this and May is in your rearview mirror and you have not put your GrubEx down yet this year, apply as soon as you can up until late summer.) A single application of GrubEx will then prevent the next generation of grubs, that will hatch this summer, from attacking your lawn.  (Click here to learn more about GrubEx.)

When do grubs do the most lawn damage?

Most grub damage is done in fall, however some folks do not notice they have a problem until sections of their lawn look dead in spring because the roots are gone. Sometimes the lawn can be peeled back like a carpet. In extreme cases you may see raccoons or crows tear up the lawn looking for grubs to eat.

Grubs eat grass roots resulting in brown, dead lawn patches in fall and early spring

Grubs eat grass roots resulting in brown, dead lawn patches in fall and early spring

Here is the grub life cycle:

In early spring mature grubs awaken from hibernation and begin to work their way up from deep in the soil to just below the grass surface. In late spring, these grubs change into a pupae stage before turning into beetles that later feed on roses and other shrubs and trees in your landscape.

In summer, beetles burrow into the lawn and lay eggs that will hatch into grubs.

In late summer and early fall, newly hatched grubs feed heavily on your grass roots before hibernating for winter. It is during this time that young grubs do the most lawn damage as they gorge themselves prior to hibernation.

(Click image to enlarge)

(Click image to enlarge)

 

I treated for grubs, why do I still have moles?

GrubEx doesn’t harm earthworms, which are so beneficial to your soil. Even though you rid your lawn of grubs, you may still get the occasional mole in your lawn feasting on your earthworms.

Click here to get info covering how to rid your lawn of moles.

Should spring grubs be treated?

If you find grubs when digging in your soil during spring the first thought is to rush to get a treatment on your lawn. There are two reasons that you may not need to worry about spring grubs. First, they do not feed in late spring when they are making the shift from the grub stage to the pupae stage prior to becoming beetles. And second, if your lawn looks healthy in spring it can tolerate a few grubs without sustaining damage, especially if there are less than five grubs present per square foot.

For lawn questions, click here to see how to contact the Scotts Help Center.

Listen-in To Garden Radio April 19

I will be on the air with my good friend Ron Wilson on his very popular “In the Garden” radio shows this Saturday. At around 7:05 am EDT I will be a guest on his Cincinnati show that can be heard on many stations around the country (click this link to listen live). And then around 10:15 am EDT I will be a guest on his Columbus, Ohio show (click this link to listen live).

I always learn tons of good solid gardening info every time Ron Wilson and I get together to swap stories.

I always learn tons of good solid gardening info every time Ron Wilson and I get together to swap stories.

Our Straw Bale Cucumber and Squash Beds

Last year we grew Cucumbers and Squash in two straw bale beds.  This is a great option for a raised bed in a temporary location.  Nasturtium seeds were also planted in both beds to help repel insects and to provide edible flower blossoms for our salads.

This video shows how the beds were planted.

This is the way our two beds looked about 2 months after planting.

This is the way our two beds looked about 2 months after planting

 

 

April Lawn Checklist

First thing is to pick up fallen tree limbs and rake any lawn areas that have a fungus called snow mold. These patches will be white or tan and will have grass blades stuck together in a mat. When you use a leaf rake on these patches, you help to expose the grass plants underneath the matted grass blades to sunlight and air so they can grow. You can also rake any matted tree leaves so your grass will fill in thin areas faster.

Mow your lawn as soon as you start seeing the first sign of green growth. Some folks like to drop their mower height down a notch for the first mowing to remove the brown, dormant grass blades that remind them of the kind of winter we had this year.  Just remember to raise it back up so your grass height after you cut is around 2-1/2 to 3 inches.

The next step is to figure out what to feed your lawn. You make your choice based on whether you had annual weeds, like crabgrass or foxtail, last summer. If you had these weeds, go with Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food to do two jobs at one time: feeding and preventing new weeds from seed. Be sure to water your lawn after you spread this product. The alternative for those lawns with no annual weeds last summer is to feed with Turf Builder Lawn Food.

Apply crabgrass prevention before yellow blossoms fall from forsythia bushes.  Note:  After this very tough winter, your forsythia may not bloom as much as usual.  If that is the case, apply before you see lilacs bloom.

Apply crabgrass prevention before yellow blossoms fall from forsythia bushes. Note: After this very tough winter, your forsythia may not bloom as much as usual. If that is the case, apply when you see lilacs begin to bloom.

If your lawn has bare spots, spread Scotts EZ Seed. Remember to NOT spread Turf Builder Halts in areas you plan on seeding. If you have large areas to seed and you need to prevent crabgrass, you should use Scotts Turf Builder Starter Lawn Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer to stop crabgrass without stopping your new grass seed from growing.

This first feeding will help your lawn recover and fill in after our tough winter. Your lawn will now be all set until you do your next feeding in about 6 weeks.

For answers to your lawn questions, my friends at the Scotts Help Center can help.

 

“How to Prune an Evergreen” Video

A few years back I got to hang out with my friend and certified arborist Elliott Schaffer to shoot several videos about pruning. I learned a great deal that day. This particular video is very helpful in showing how to prune a spruce tree. The techniques shown here can also be useful with other conifers.

Listen in to Garden Radio April 12

This Saturday morning around 8:05 am EDT I will be on The Magic Garden radio show with my good friend Mort White.   Click here to open the show website where you will be able to listen in.

Mort White and I have been friends for many years.  I always look forward to being a guest on his Magic Garden Radio Show.

Mort White and I have been friends for many years. I always look forward to being a guest on his Magic Garden Radio Show.

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