The Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station will host the Iowa Turfgrass Field and Demonstration Day Sept. 12. The event will offer information and training for turfgrass management on golf courses, sports fields, and home lawns and landscapes.
If your lawn failed to live up to expectations this summer, don’t wait until next spring to take action. The late summer/early fall season is a great time to rejuvenate your lawn. It’s important to keep in mind that even the most attractive lawns don’t look that way on their own. Creating and caring for a beautiful lawn takes time and effort. Performing a few key maintenance practices now will help get your lawn back in shape and prepare it for next spring and summer. Controlling perennial weeds, fertilizing, establishing new turf with seed and aeration are basic maintenance practices commonly performed during the next couple of months.
Extra care should be taken when applying any fertilizer or pesticide to the lawn. The lawn is like a sponge and is very good at trapping water and reducing runoff, but it does no good if lawn care products are spread onto hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways and then washed into the storm water drainage system. Do your part to sweep or blow granular products back into the lawn where they stay put.
The white grubs that routinely damage lawns in Iowa are called annual white grubs. These root-eating, underground June beetle larvae have one generation per year and take one year to complete their life cycle of egg, larva, pupa and adult. The adult beetles of our annual white grubs are specific kinds of June beetles called masked chafers. They are tan or straw brown in color and as the name implies, they have a black stripe across the eyes and face. The masked chafers begin flying in late June and lay eggs in the turf during July.
Kentucky bluegrass and other cool-season turfgrasses thrive in the cool temperatures and frequent rains of spring. However, the growing conditions for cool-season turfgrasses are usually much more difficult during the summer months. Hot, dry summer weather is stressful to cool-season turfgrasses. Fortunately, good cultural practices can help bluegrass lawns survive the stressful summer weather.