Weeds & Insects

Date: July 31, 2017
Milky Spore Grubs
What is Milky Spore Disease? Milky spore disease of Japanese beetle grubs is caused by a naturally occurring soil bacterium called Paenibacillus popilliae. Grubs ingest the bacterium, which multiplies within the insect causing their color to change to a milky white, hence the name. Infected grubs die of the milky spore disease and release inoculum back into the soil recycling it for infection of future generations of grubs. Milky Spore Only Affects Grubs of Japanese Beetles Milky spore…
Date: July 14, 2017
Dandelion Weed Killer
How long does it take weed killer to work? If you have been prompted to ask this question, you must be among the millions that just cannot stand to have weeds in your lawn, but at the same time, have had a lot of trouble keeping them under control. The correct answer to the question is it depends. Knowing that “it depends” isn’t really all that helpful, let’s go over some of the principles of good weed control in lawns so that you not only do a better job, but are also using these herbicides…
Date: July 7, 2017
Honeybee Pesticide
No one can deny the critical importance of bees, and by extension, all other pollinators. Over 80% of the world’s plants rely upon pollinators for their reproduction. So, if you were to answer the question ‘do pesticides kill bees’ your kneejerk reaction would be ‘of course’, after all pesticides are supposed to kill insects, right? It’s not quite that simple. I attended a symposium on pollinators a while back. The attendees present in this hotel conference room basically boiled down into…
Date: May 15, 2017
Effective Crabgrass Control
Crabgrass seedlings in mid-May. I think that it’s safe to assume that everyone hates crabgrass, it’s yellow, it steals water, nutrients and light from the turfgrasses that we are trying to grow, and then it turns red just before it dies. Even when it’s dead, it’s ugly because it decomposes very slowly. Crabgrass skeleton a plant that was alive in the previous season but has yet to decompose fully. My take on it is different because I’m fascinated by weeds (Weird, I know…), how they are…
Date: April 26, 2017
Yellow Hawkweed
Weeds tell a story. The specific weeds that you find on a lawn, either under our care or not, will give you a strong indication as to how acidic or alkaline, fertile or infertile, even the texture of the soil that lies beneath the lawn. Learning these tell tale signs gives you great insight as to what is occurring and what can be expected in the future. Everyone knows what a dandelion looks like, and probably clover, too, so let's take a look at some other less common weeds that we see in…
Date: April 26, 2017
Common Chickweed
Chickweed is a catchall term that refers to a group of very similar looking lawn weeds that are especially active during the early spring before robust turfgrass growth begins. Walking past these weeds, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they are all the same but they’re not and the differences are fascinating. Common Chickweed Let’s begin with common chickweed, Stellaria media, a winter annual that is one of the world’s most common plants. Wherever humans can be found, chickweed is found…
Date: April 24, 2017
Lawn Mowing Height
My job takes me all over New England and New York working with our Route Managers training them in all aspects of turfgrass management. With all of the ‘windshield time’ I see some crazy stuff. When it comes to crazy stuff on home lawns, I have amassed a collection of photographs that runs into the thousands of the torture that people inflict upon their turfgrass. Crabgrass & Mowing your Lawn When it comes to crabgrass, there’s something special about the way it grows in our Albany, New…
Date: April 20, 2017
Chich Bug
Insect pests play a big role in the overall health of our lawns. If we want to gaze into the future to see what kind of insect activity we will be seeing this coming summer, we should actually look backwards to see what happened last year. Past is prologue, after all. I spent some time at our Boston North branch this past week and while driving around I could not help but notice that last summer’s drought took a heavy toll. One lawn after another was dead, not enjoying winter dormancy but dead…
Date: April 3, 2017
Crabgrass
Learn about these four common weeds found in the Northeast: Crabgrass, Spotted Spurge, Yellow Nutsedge, and Yellow Woodsorrel. About Crabgrass Causes of Crabgrass Of course, this is our old friend, crabgrass. When we see crabgrass in a lawn that has been treated with a preemergent control, all things being equal, we can usually find a secondary cause for its presence. For instance, in the photograph below, the crabgrass is growing adjacent to an asphalt driveway. Why is that significant?…
Date: February 22, 2017
Moss in Lawn
A very common question that we receive during the late winter is how do you kill moss? I’ve got moss everywhere and it’s taking over my lawn! What to do? Well, the first thing to remember is that if you want to control something in your landscape, you have to understand what it is, how it grows, and if you are of a mind to dispatch it from your yard, you also need a keen understanding of the products available to you. A Little about Moss Mosses are non-vascular plants, meaning that they…