Gerry's Blog



What can be done with Crabgrass - July 2020
While there is nothing per se that can be done to eradicate the current infestation (other than removal by hand- which can be helpful as A single crabgrass plant can produce thousands of seeds)
Crabgrass seeds can remain viable for years and when the opportunity arises they will germinate and grow.
So what are the conditions that favour crabgrass and are there things that can be done to reduce it for the future,
Basically crabgrass seeds need warmth and light to grow. If the lawn soil is cool and dark crabgrass seeds won’t germinate. 
2020 has had a few weeks of very dry hot weather- those weakens the lawn and creates conditions that crabgrass seed like.
So make sure to mow high- 3” mowing height minimum
Keep the lawn growing well so that there is a thick stand of grass- lawns can be thinned out from insects, traffic/compaction, uneven soil surfaces, salt or ice damage, heat and/or drought stress.
So watch for insect damage, watch traffic patterns, level or adjust lawn surfaces, repair salt damaged areas, water deeply in drought conditions.
If the lawn has been thinned our, reseed the lawn to increase density. Fall is the best time to seed lawns.

July 22

Ricky says
Hi, I have a blue spruce and see moths flying around everywhere. The leaves have disappeared on the top and seems like tree is deteriorating significantly. Are you able to help?

 Hi Ricky

Right now what you are seeing are the male gypsy moths looking for the female gypsy moths. The females do not fly around. They pupate on or near the trees they want to lay their eggs on so the caterpillars will be close to food next spring. They emerge from their pupa and wait for the males.
The blue spruce needles were eaten by the gypsy moth caterpillars earlier this year- the damage is done- treatment earlier may have reduce the number of moths and the damage.
The males are not easily controlled as they fly around all over the place.
To help the spruce tree recover from the damage- you should try to help it healthy and try to relieve its stress
So make sure to keep it watered if we have hot dry weather
Feeding will also help- Tree can be fed trees up until July 15- They should not be fed after July 15
Deep root feeding can be done mid October to early November- 
Fall feeding put the nutrients into the tree so that they are ready to be used when growth starts in the spring.
The blue spruce should be checked for egg masses- which should be removed
I would suggest waiting a few more weeks - if you did it now, more egg masses may still be laid
The caterpillars won't hatch until next spring. 
IF you have birch maple or oak check them also ad the gypsy moth caterpillars also like these species.
If it was a birch or maple- i would say wait until the leaves come off and it will be easier to find the egg masses.
Next spring consider using Acecaps to control the caterpillars before they damage the tree.

Lawn edges have more crabgrass. Weaker grass = More Crabgrass

Weeds and crabgrass are always more of a problem where the lawn is weaker. Lawn edges can have issues that can cause the grass to be weaker than the lawn that is in the middle of the yard. Weaker lawns means more crabgrass.

String Trimmers (whipper snipper, weed whacker) These are often commonly used to trim the lawn at the edges. And scalping the lawn here is also common. When the grass is cut too short, we call that scalping. When the lawn is too short, there is less leaf blades to shade the ground and reduce weeds and crabgrass.

Scalping with a Lawn Mower – the lawn mower can also scalp the lawn along the edges of the lawn. When the wheels of the mower go down into the flower bed or onto a walk that is much lower than the lawn, the mower blade will scalp the lawn.

Paving Next to the Lawn – Concrete, asphalt, and other hard surfaces can make life hard for lawns. These surface absorb the heat from the sun and then transfer that heat to the soil nearby. Warmer soils can stress the roots of the lawn.Crabgrass prefers warms soil and will outperform lawn grasses along paved edges.

Also, when driveways or walks are installed, there is usually gravel under the concrete or asphalt. This gravel can sometimes end up under the lawn next to the paving. This can also negatively affect the lawn along the edges by creating poor conditions and warmer soil.

 more links to crabgrass

Weed Grasses - Crabgrass in the Summer ...

Weed Grasses - Crabgrass ...

Crabgrass Problems? ...

Hand Pulling Crabgrass ...

What can I do with crabgrass in my lawn? ...

 Is My Crabgrass Up Already in April? Or is it Quackgrass? ...







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