- No Treatment recommended for in the Spring
- Feed lawn to help lawn recover from damage
- Add Grass Seed to fill in bare or damaged spots
- Consider applying Nematodes in Aug-Sept to work on this year's grubs
In the spring, many people will find grubs in their lawns (or the skunks and raccoons find them and leave a big mess.) The good thing is that the skunks are getting rid of the grubs. If you could just teach them to put the grass back after they have taken the grubs out, I’m sure we could hire them out as grub eradicators.
Generally speaking, we wouldn’t recommend trying to treat for grubs at this time of year. And why not?
First of all, most of the damage grubs do to your lawn is done in the fall. By spring, they are not feeding very much. In a few weeks, the grubs will pupate, and then turn into adults. The adults then fly around, mate and the females lay eggs on lawns. The cycle then starts all over again.
Secondly, at this time of year a grub treatment is generally not worth the cost. The products available to control grubs do not work as well in the spring. The grubs are bigger and need more insecticide to control them.
Sometimes if the raccoons and skunks are a problem, people may think that a treatment is worthwhile. The problem with this is that even with a grub control in the spring, the grubs will continue to live for two to three weeks, and the animals may continue to come to rip up your lawn anyway. To keep the animals away, some people also use Critter Ridder, mothballs, black pepper, hot pepper and other products. Some work on some animals sometimes; some do not at all on certain animals. Some skunks may say "Thank you, I like my grubs spicy!" (Keeping animals away can be sometimes achieved by using a Scarecrow- motion activated sprinkler: Also one customer reported that the Bell & Howell Animal Repeller worked well for them.)
We have been testing a liquid spray product to repel the digging animals. Please call for pricing on this treatment.
Controlling the grubs in the spring is good for your neighbourhood, but not necessarily for your lawn. If there are fewer grubs in your lawn now, there will be fewer adults flying in the neighbourhood. But since the adults can fly, even if we were able to get rid of all the grubs in your lawn in the spring, it doesn’t mean that the adults from down the road or across the street won’t fly over this summer and decide to lay their eggs on your lawn.
Helping out the neighbourhood is great for everyone in the neighbourhood, but not necessarily for your lawn. And since you are the one paying for the treatment, we recommend doing what is best for your lawn.
The first task is to fix the grub damage. Feed the lawn to improve its health. Add seed to the areas that are damaged to fill in the bare spots.
Then we recommend that you consider an application of Grub treatment this summer to protect your lawn from the next generation. The eggs laid in the summer turn into “baby” grubs. Baby grubs are the dangerous ones. They have to get fat enough to survive the winter. So they feed on grass roots all fall. This is when the greatest damage is done to your lawn.
Currently in Ontario, the only option is to apply Nematodes to your lawn during August-September. Nematodes are microscopic worms that attack the grubs. When they enter the grubs, they give off a toxin that will kill the grubs. The nematodes multiply within the grub's body cavity and then go off searching for more grubs.
Nematodes, being living organisms, need to be handled with care. They also need lots of moisture so that they do not dry out and die.
Who hasn't wanted to jump into a pile of fresh fall leaves that have been nicely raked into a big heaping mound. It's great to see the leaves scatter and fly when you dive into that heap of bright colour fall foliage.
But with new information and a good lawn mower, raking can be eliminated or reduced. Sure, go ahead and rake a few piles just for the kids to jump into. Why spoil their fun.
Research from the University of Michigan has shown the properly mulched and shredded, leaves can be left on the lawn and that as they decompose, they will enrich the soil and feed the lawn. This mulching should be done in the fall when the leaves are drier and will be easier to chop into small pieces.
Using a mower with special mulching blades, the fall leaves will be shredded into small pieces. These dime sized shreds will fall between the blades. With rain, they will reach the soil and gradually be broken down. As they decompose, they release nutrients to encourage good soil microbes and earthworms. This will help your lawn to be healthy and green. A healthier soil means a healthier lawn and better and more efficient lawn care.
While the study showed that high levels of mulched leaves also reduced dandelions the next year.
Of course, a little common sense is needed. The lawn will tolerate a lot of leaves but they must not be too large or too thick. If too many mulched leaves are left in one spot, the lawn beneath will suffer from a lack of light and air circulation just as much as if you left a big pile of un-mulched leaves in one place.
Ideally, your lawn care raking will be minimized, but then we've always said that raking provides some benefits - such as fresh air, exercise and perhaps some sunshine.
For expert advice and friendly service call TURF KING Hamilton- serving Burlington, Oakville, Caledonia, Ancaster and More.