Posted by & filed under Armyworms .

 

 

UPDATE:

It appears that we are well into our second generation of fall armyworms.

Typically, one generation of fall armyworms can develop in about 18-28 days – depending on weather conditions. The first generation of the 2017 season showed up in north east Oklahoma in late July/early August – leaving plenty of time for multiple generations to affect lawns.

Our recommendation is to continue applying a liquid insecticide to help control populations, especially if you have fescue. While the effected areas on bermudagrass can be significant and unsightly, generally bermudagrass will recover. Fescue, however, will not fare well from the damage of a severe infestation this late in the season.

Multiple insecticides are available at your local home improvement stores to control the fall armyworm, just be sure to read the label and follow the instructions for best results. We are also more than happy to help provide our professionally applied insecticide application. Just give us a call or request the service online here.

For more information on fall armyworms, check out:
1) https://www.lawnamerica.com/blog/what-happened-to-my-yard-armyworms/
2) http://entoweb.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/fallarmyworm.htm
3) http://turf.okstate.edu/pest-management/insects-1/fall-armyworms/
4) http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/Members/donald-stotts-40okstate.edu/fall-armyworms-infesting-some-oklahoma-lawns/


We have been seeing them again in Tulsa and surrounding areas.

In 2014 with the last big invasion, you may remember actually seeing the lawns move as thousands of caterpillars moved across the turf eating grass blades down to the dirt.  You could actually hear the chomping of the insects eating the turf. The key to controlling Armyworms is to treat them with an insecticide when they are smaller and before they do damage to the turf.

The first sign is a grey moth. She will fly in and lay nearly 2,000 eggs just for you. Tiny larvae hatch out and hide down in the thatch. You will need to get on your hands and knees to see them. Within a week or so, they will be mature and much larger. Mostly green with brown racing stripes on the sides of them. They have many generations from now until the first frost.

These devastating pests are rightly named, since they can destroy turf seemingly overnight, as they typically invade the lawns like an army and appear to be marching over the turf.

Fescue is the main concern since they eat it all the way down to the soil, especially when it is hot, it has little chance of survival. We never recommend scalping Fescue, and an Armyworm invasion is like a super scalp job. If your Fescue dies, then you will be re-seeding 100% of your lawn this fall. That will be much more expensive than an insecticide treatment. Armyworms also love to eat Bermudagrass, and can take it down to the stems and dirt too. However, Bermuda is pretty tough, and it will recover in most cases with good irrigation and fertilization. Your lawn will look awful for several weeks before it recovers. If you have a Zoysiagrass lawn, you’re in luck, as typically they won’t touch it.

Scout your lawn, if you see them, we recommend contacting us promptly. If we experience a major invasion of Armyworms in Tulsa, most lawn care companies will be hard pressed to treat everyone who calls that day.

Posted by & filed under fescue, overseed .

The drive into the office took a bit longer this morning.  School buses took their rightful place in the morning traffic, picking kids up and dropping them off for the start of another school year.  This familiar sight is just another reminder that summer is winding down and fall is right around the corner.

With the impending change in seasons on the horizon, it is time to start planning to overseed your Fescue lawn.  Unlike warm season grasses such as Bermudagrass or Zoysiagrass, which spread on their own, Fescue requires overseeding to maintain thickness and density.

Fescue is a cool-season, clump type turfgrass, which performs best in cooler climates. But it can be used in the transition zone for shaded areas, where warm season grasses do not perform well.  Being a clump type turfgrass means that it does not develop its density from underground rhizomes or stolons on the surface.  Instead, it has to be seeded every year to help repair any damage from drought, disease, insects or heavy traffic.  Re-seeding, or overseeding, introduces new plants into the grass, which as they grow and mature, will develop into a thick, healthy lawn.

Fall is the ideal time for Fescue seeding.  Seeds planted in September and October have time to sprout and develop a strong root system before winter sets in, which is critical to a healthy plant.

Over the coming weeks, your Route Manager will be leaving behind information for Fescue seeding. Our seeding operation consists of using a top-quality blend of Fescue seed, with zero weed seed.  We aerate the soil, rake the bare areas, apply a starter fertilizer, and leave behind detailed watering instructions.  We also return in about three weeks after the overseeding to check for any thin areas and apply extra seed if necessary.

Call LawnAmerica today to make sure you reserve your spot on our schedule.  It does fill up quickly.

Also, look out for those school buses and school zones!

Posted by & filed under Aphids, crape myrtles .

Written by Evie Baltzer, LawnAmerica Horticulturist      

Aphids are a big problem for Crape Myrtles every year and this year is no different. If you have a Crape Myrtle with wet, sticky leaves and tiny white to greenish yellow bugs all over the underside, then you probably have aphids. In this region, aphids primarily affect Crape Myrtles, but have been known to affect Rose of Sharon as well as Roses from time to time.

Aphids are tiny insects that feed on the sap of a plant, and if severely infested, can make it decline in health and keep it from blooming. More severe infestations will actually damage the plant enough that it will not be able to survive a harsh winter. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your aphid problems before they become substantial. The easiest solution is to prevent them.

Preventing aphids is fairly easy. At LawnAmerica, we prevent aphids by performing two applications: one in the spring and one in the summer – using a systemic insecticide that provides excellent results. However, if you missed the first preventative application, we can still treat aphid problems with the same insecticide.

If you prefer a do it yourself approach, Merit Insecticide (active ingredient: Imidacloprid) is readily available at most big-box stores and garden centers. Just remember to read the directions for treating aphids specifically.

Lady bugs are also a common predator of aphids. So if you’re interested in going the more natural route, lady bugs should be in your arsenal – as well as insecticidal soap.

If you are unsure whether or not you have aphids, or for any other landscape related issues that may need attention, give us a call. We’re always happy to help.

Posted by & filed under fertilization, herbicide .

Recently, my wife and I spent a good portion of the summer in the beautiful mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado. I couldn’t help but notice how green and lush the bluegrass was while enjoying one of the outdoor concerts in the area. Kids were happily playing in the grass, others laying on it, and I even caught a glimpse of a woman running her hands over the soft blades of grass as though she were petting a dog.

I wondered if the experience would have been as pleasant if the park was not allowed to use fertilizers and herbicides to achieve such a thick, inviting lawn.

The word “herbicides” can have a negative connotation in some parts of the country. The perception is that herbicides are harmful, or really not needed to get a beautiful lawn. In fact, some municipalities have passed ordinances prohibiting the use of pesticides on lawns and in landscapes.

But when it comes to grass, people want it green and weed free and that can only happen with the use of herbicides.

Some might object, going along with the opinion or belief of the day. But if you do the research, while there are some risks to using herbicides, they’re minimal if used properly. The benefits include a beautiful, thick lawn everyone enjoys when they’re running barefoot on it. When push comes to shove, most customers tell us to use whatever is necessary to make the lawn look great – trusting us to do the right thing.

So, whether it’s a park, sports venue, golf course or backyard, fertilizers and herbicides are necessary tools to help produce the healthy, green, beautiful lawn Americans love. Professionals, such as LawnAmerica, know how to use these tools properly, doing what we do with pride.

As for the city that banned pesticides? Recently, an upper court judge ruled that the local ban was not valid, since there are already state and federal rules in place to properly regulate the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Posted by & filed under brown patch, excess rain, large patch in Zoysia .

UPDATE

Much as we predicted, all of this extra rain has caused the grass (and weeds) to grow like crazy. Based on recent data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, we are now in 3rd place for the Top-10 Wettest Oklahoma Augusts. It appears we are only about half of an inch away from claiming the top spot! Even though we cannot control the amount of rain falling, don’t worry; service calls to kill any pop-up weeds are always free for our full-service customers. Moreover, if you are having trouble keeping up with mowing the fast growing grass, we can help you there too with our Primo applications. Primo slows the growth of the turf while still maintaining thickness and color.

Just give us a call. We are happy to help.


We are barely at the halfway mark for the month of August, but already the talk of breaking moisture records in Oklahoma is all over the news. Not that we are complaining, because with the increased rain our temperatures have remained surprisingly comfortable and the landscapes have remained lush and green.

However, all this extra rain can cause challenges that we don’t usually face in our typically hot and dry summer patterns.

Excess moisture tends to lead to increased weed pressure. Part of the reason is due to the breakdown of pre-emergent herbicides that are applied in early spring. It would not be uncommon to see late season crabgrass start to break through. Broadleaf weeds also love the moisture, as well as the cooler temperatures, making it easier for many to germinate. Not to worry though, as a full program LawnAmerica customer, all you need to do is give us a call, and we will be happy to return at no charge to keep any pop-up weeds in check.

Excess rain also creates disease pressure, especially in Fescue and Zoysiagrass lawns. Fungicides are available to help keep any disease issues under control. For more information on what to look out for, check our previous blogs on Brown Patch and Large Patch in Zoysia.

During wet conditions, grass often grows taller than normal. After this above average grass growth, a common mistake made is to mow too short. Rather than adjusting the height of the mower to remove only one-third of the blade, the mower is left at normal height and too much is mowed off. When that happens not only does the grass become unnecessarily stressed, but the vast majority of the color of the turf is removed, leaving the lawn a pale green rather than the darker green we all want.

Also, don’t be afraid to just turn off your sprinkler system for the next week or so. Your lawn and plants will appreciate the opportunity to dry out.