Gerry's Blog



In August, I drove by a sod farm in Mount Hope. I could see that the fields had been prepared for seeding. Fall is the best time to sow grass seed. That is when Mother Nature does her seeding. The days can be warm, even hot, in August, but the nights are cooler, for sure. Any moisture that we do get is less likely to be lost.

 August is a good time to Seed LAwns



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A few weeks ago a colleague sent me a new item about a municipality that had a concern about wild parsnips. They can be as bad as poison ivy. Never heard of that before, so I better find out.

"Fine", I said, "but what do they look like?" So you do a Google image search for "Wild Parsnip." Fine, yellow flowers and all. Then did a Google search for "Wild Parsnip." At the top of the list was an article entitled Burned by wild parsnip. These particular weeds can cause "phyto-photo-dermatitis" to those who come in contact with the leaves or stems.

These chemicals in the plants can cause an inflammation of the skin when these areas are exposed to sunlight.

"Learned something new today", I said.

Then a week or two later, we were walking through the fields behind a friend's property when I saw these yellow flowers. "Hey, they look like the wild parsnips." I told Tim, I would check it out and let him know. But to be sure I took a picture for comparison. Sure enough, they were wild parsnips. I sent Tim the information in an email.

Then a few days later, I saw a huge patch of wild parsnips near the York bridge and as I drove down the road today, I could see more patches here and there. There are a number of other roadside plants with yellow flowers blooming right now, but the flower head is quite unique. Seems to grow in the areas that the county does not mow because of the roadslide slope or because of a hydro pole.

So if you are out and about in the countryside, please keep a watch out for this dangerous weed.



Several people have reported the Japanese adult beetles eating the leaves of their grape vines and other home landscape ornamentals. These beetles will feed on a wide range of ornamental plants. They skeletonize foliage, giving it the characteristic lacy look.

Adult beetles can fly. This mobility makes it harder to control them. There are several insecticides registered for the adults. Treatments may need to be repeated to ensure adequate coverage of the plants' foliage.White grubs damage lawns

Japanese beetle traps are one way to eliminate the adults. Rittenhouse says their trap uses sex pheromones to attract the male beetle, but they suggest not using the trap if you don't have a problem. 

Upper Canada and Natural Insect Control have a tr
ap that uses a floral attractant as well as a pheromone that lures both sexes.


We can also use an organic foliar feed/spray containing Neem. Neem oil does not directly kill the beetles but disrupts their feeding and reproduction.


Also, the Japanese beetle larvae are the White grubs that can wreak havoc on a lawn. I would recommend considering a Merit application to control the larvae.
Nematodes are also a consideration to control white grubs.

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